페이지 이미지
PDF
ePub

Tumultuous grandeur crowds the blazing square,
The rattling chariots clash, the torches glare.
Sure scenes like these no troubles e'er annoy!
Sure these denote one universal joy!
Are these thy serious thoughts? Ah! turn thine eyes
Where the poor houseless shivering female lies.
She once, perhaps, in village plenty blest,
Has wept at tales of innocence distrest;
Her modest looks the cottage might adorn,
Sweet as the primrose peeps beneath the thorn;
Now lost to all, her friends, her virtue fled,
Near her betrayer's door she lays her head, *
And pinch'd with cold, and shrinking from the shower,
With heavy heart deplores that luckless hour,
When idly first, ambitious of the town,
She left her wheel, and robes of country brown.

Do thine, sweet AUBURN, thine, the loveliest train,
Do thy fair tribes participate her pain ?
E'en now, perhaps, by cold and hunger led,
At proud men's doors they ask a little bread !

Ah, no. To distant climes, a dreary scene,
Where half the convex world intrudes between,
Through torrid tracts with fainting steps they go,
Where wild Altamat murmurs to their woe.

[“ These poor shivering females have once seen happier days, and been flattered into beauty. They have been prostituted to the gay luxurious villain, and are now turned out to meet the severity of winter. Perhaps, now lying at the doors of their betrayers, they sue to wretches whose hearts are insensible, or debauchees who may curse, but will not relieve them.”—Citizen of the World, No. cxviii. See vol. ii. 464.)

+ [A river of Georgia, North America ; introduced here probably from

p.

Far different there from all that charm'd before,
The various terrors of that horrid shore;
Those blazing suns that dart a downward ray,
And fiercely shed intolerable day;
Those matted woods where birds forget to sing,
But silent bats in drowsy clusters cling;
Those poisonous fields with rank luxuriance crown'd,
Where the dark scorpion gathers death around:
Where at each step the stranger fears to wake
The rattling terrors of the vengeful snake;
Where crouching tigers* wait their hapless prey,
And savage men more murderous still than they;
While oft in whirls the mad tornado flies,
Mingling the ravag'd landscape with the skies.
Far different these from

every
former

scene,
The cooling brook, the grassy vested green,
The breezy covert of the warbling grove,
That only shelter'd thefts of harmless love.

*

being mentioned in conversation by General Oglethorpe, the founder of that state, with whom Goldsmith was intimate ]

[“ The poet,” says Dr. Percival,“ is not on all occasions to be confined within the precise boundaries of truth. What writer of lively fancy, in describing a morning walk on the banks of Keswick, would not embellish the beauty of the scene by the melody of birds, and thus add the charms of music to all the enchantments of vision ? Yet, I believe, there is not a feathered songster to be found in those delightful vales : probably owing to the terrors inspired by the birds of prey which abound on the mountains that surround them. The same observation will perhaps justify the author of the Deserted Village,' when he attempts to magnify the terrors of an American wilderness by introducing a tiger into the tremendous group, though this animal has never yet been found in the British trans-Atlantic settlements.”— Works, vol. ii. p. 170, edit. 1806.

“I believe I have taken a poetical license to transplant the jackal from Asia. In Greece I never saw nor heard these animals; but among the ruins of Ephesus I have heard them by hundreds. They haunt ruins and follow armies."-LORD BYRON, Siege of Corinth, note.)

Good Heaven! what sorrows gloom'd that parting day, That called them from their native walks

away;
When the poor exiles, every pleasure past,
Hung round the bowers, and fondly look'd their last,
And took a long farewell, and wish'd in vain
For seats like these beyond the western main;
And shuddering still to face the distant deep,
Return'd and wept, and still return’d to weep.
The good old sire, the first prepar'd to go
To new-found worlds, and wept for others' woe;
But for himself, in conscious virtue brave,
He only wished for worlds beyond the grave.
His lovely daughter, lovelier in her tears,
The fond companion of his helpless years,
Silent went next, neglectful of her charms,
And left a lover's for her father's arms.
With louder plaints the mother spoke her woes,
And blest the cot where every pleasure rose ;
And kiss'd her thoughtless babes with many a tear,
And clasp'd them close, in sorrow doubly dear;
Whilst her fond husband strove to lend relief
In all the silent manliness of grief.*

O luxury! thou curst by Heaven's decree,
How ill exchang'd are things like these for thee !
How do thy potions, with insidious joy,
Diffuse their pleasures only to destroy!
Kingdoms by thee, to sickly greatness grown,
Boast of a florid vigor not their own:
At every draught more large and large they grow,
A bloated mass of rank, unwieldy woe,

("In all the decent manliness of grief.”—First edit.)

Till sapp'd their strength, and every part unsound, Down, down they sink, and spread a ruin round.

E'en now the devastation is begun, And half the business of destruction done ; E'en now, methinks, as pondering here I stand, I see the rural virtues leave the land. Down where you anchoring vessel spreads the sail, That idly waiting flaps with every gale, Downward they move, a melancholy band, Pass from the shore and darken all the strand. Contented toil, and hospitable care, And kind connubial tenderness, are there; And piety with wishes plac'd above, And steady loyalty, and faithful love. And thou, sweet Poetry, thou loveliest maid, Still first to fly where sensual joys invade; Unfit in these degenerate times of shame, To catch the heart, or strike for honest fame; Dear charming nymph, neglected and decried, My shame in crowds, my solitary pride. Thou source of all my bliss, and all my woe, That found'st me poor at first, and keep’st me so ; Thou guide, by which the nobler arts excel, Thou nurse of every virtue, fare thee well ! Farewell, and 0 ! where'er thy voice be tried, On Torno's cliffs, or Pambamarca's side, Whether where equinoctial fervors glow, Or winter wraps the polar world in snow, Still let thy voice, prevailing over time, Redress the rigors of th' inclement clime; Aid slighted truth with thy persuasive strain;

Teach erring man to spurp the rage of gain;
Teach him, that states of native strength possest,
Though very poor, may still be very blest;
That trade's proud empire hastes to swift decay,
As ocean sweeps the labor'd mole away;
While self-dependent power can time defy,
As rocks resist the billows and the sky.*

* ["Dr. Johnson favored me by marking the lines which he furnished to Goldsmith's Deserted Village,' which are only the four last.”—BOSWELL, vol. ü. p. 309, edit. 1835.]

VOL IV.

« 이전계속 »