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poetry, and at length supplant her; they engross all, Where'er I roam, whatever realms to see, that favour once shown to her, and though but My heart untravell’d fondly turns to thee; younger sisters, seize upon the elder's birth-right. Still to my brother turns, with ceaseless pain,
Yet, however this art may be neglected by the And drags at each remove a lengthening chair powerful, it is still in great danger from the mis
Eternal blessings crown my earliest friend, taken efforts of the learned to improve it. What
And round his dwelling guardian saints attend; criticisms have we not heard of late in favour of blank verse, and Pindaric odes, chorusses, anapests To pause from toil, and trim their evening fire;
Blest be that spot, where cheerful guests retire and iambics, alliterative care and happy negligence! Blest that abode, where want and pain repair, Every absurdity has now a champion to defend it; And every stranger finds a realy chair; and as he is generally much in the wrong, so he
Blest be those feasts with simple plenty crown'd, has always much to say; for error is ever talkative.
Where all the ruddy family aroand But there is an enemy to this art still more dangerous, -I mean party. Party entircly distorts Laugh at the jests or pranks that never fail,
Or sigh with pity at some mournful tale;. the judgment, and destroys the taste. When the mind is once infected with this disease, it can only And learn the luxury of doing good.
Or press the bashful stranger to his food, find pleasure in what contributes to increase the distemper. Like the tiger, that seldom desists from
But me, not destined such delights to share, pursuing man, after having once preyed upon hu. My prime of life in wandering spent and care ; man flesh, the reader, who has once gratified his Impell’d, with steps unceasing, to pursue appetite with calunny, makes, ever after, the most Some fleeting good, that mocks me with the view, agreeable feast upon murdered reputation. Such That, like the circle bounding earth and skies, readers generally admire some half-witted thing, Allures from far, yet, as I follow, flies; who wants to be thought a bold man, having lost My fortune leads to traverse realms alone, the character of a wise one. Him they dignify And find no spot of all the world my own. with the name of poet: his tawdry lampoons are called satires; his turbulence is said to be force, and E'en now, where Alpine solitudes ascend, his phrensy fire.
I sit me down a pensive hour to spend; What reception a poem may find, which has And placed on high above the storm's career, neither abuse, party, nor blank verse to pport it, Look downward where an hundred realms appear ; I can not tell, nor am I solicitous to know. My Lakes, forests, cities, plains extending wide, aims are right. Without espousing the cause of The pomp of kings, the shepherd's humbler pride. any party, I have attempted to moderate the rage of all. I have endeavoured to show, that there may Amidst the store should thankless prile repine?
When thus Creation's charms around combine, be cqual happiness in states that are differently governed from our own; that every state has a par. That good which makes each humbler bosom vain ?
Say, should the philosophic mind disdain ticular principle of happiness, and that this princi- Let school-taught pride dissemble all it can, ple in each may be carried to a mischievous excess. These little things are great to little man; There are few can judge better than yourself how And wiser he, whose sympathetic mind far these positions are illustrated in this poem. I
Exults in all the good of all mankind. am, dear Sir, your most affectionate brother,
Ye glittering towns, with wealth and splendous
crown'd; Ye fields, where summer spreads profusion round,
Ye lakes, whose vessels catch the busy gale;
For me your tributary stores combine:
Creation's heir, the world, the world is mine!
As some lone miser, visiting his store, Remote, unfriended, melancholy, slow, Bends at his treasure, counts, recounts it o'er; Or by the lazy Scheld, or wandering Po; Hoards after hoards his rising raptures fill, Or onward, where the rude Carinthian boor
Yet still he sighs, for hoards are wanting still: Against the houseless stranger shuts the door; Thus to my breast alternate passions rise, Or where Campania's plain forsaken lies,
Pleased with each good that Heaven to man supA weary waste expanding to the skies;
Yet oft a sigh prevails, and sorrows fall, • In this poem, as it passed through different editions, seve. To see the hoard of human bliss so small; ral alterations were made, and some additional verses introduced. We have lowed the ninth edition, which was the And oft I wish, amidst the scene to find CR that appeared in the lifetime of the author.
Some spot to real happiness consign'd,
Where my worn soul, each wand'ring hope at rest, Whatever sweets salute the northern sky
These here disporting own the kindred soil,
Nor ask luxuriance from the planter's toil; Who can direct, when all pretend to know?
While sea-born gales their gelid wings expand The shuddering tenant of the frigid zone
To winnow fragrance round the smiling land. Boldly proclaims that happiest spot his own; Extols the treasures of his stormy seas,
But small the bliss that sense alone bestows, And his long nights of revelry and ease: And sensual bliss is all the nation knows. The naked negro, panting at the line,
In florid beauty groves and fields appear, Boasts of his golden sands and palmy wine, Man seems the only growth that dwindles here. Basks in the glare, or stems the tepid wave, Contrasted faults through all his manners reign; And thanks his gods for all the good they gave. Though poor, luxurious; though submissive, vaing Such is the patriot's boast, where'er we roam, Though grave, yet trifling; zealous, yet untrue; His first, best country, ever is at home. And e'en in penance planning sins anew. And yet, perhaps, if countries we compare, All evils here contaminate the mind, And estimate the blessings which they share, That opulence departed leaves behind; Though patriots flatter, still shall wisdom find For wealth was theirs, not far removed the date, An equal portion dealt to all mankind;
When commerce proudly flourish'd through the As different good, by art or nature given,
state; To different nations makes their blessings even. At her command the palace learn'd to rise,
Again the long-fall'n column sought the skies; Nature, a mother kind alike to all,
The canvass glow'd beyond e'en nature warm, Still grants her bliss at labour's earnest call;
The pregnant quarry teem'd with human form: With food as well the peasant is supplied
Till, more unsteady than the southern gale, On Idra's cliffs as Arno's shelvy side ;
Commerce on other shores display'd her sail; And though the rocky crested summits frown,
While nought remaind of all that riches gave, These rocks, by custom, turn to beds of down.
But towns unmann'd, and lords without a slave. From art more various are the blessings sent
And late the nation found with fruitless skill Wealth, commerce, honour, liberty, content.
Its former strength was but plethoric ill.
Yet, still the loss of wealth is herc supplied
Here may be seen, in bloodless pomp array'd Each to the favourite happiness attends, The pasteboard triumph and the cavalcade; And spurns the plan that aims at other ends; Processions form'd for piety, and love, Till carried to excess in each domain,
A mistress or a saint in every grove. This favourite good begets peculiar pain. By sports like these are all their cares beguiled, But let us try thesc truths with closer eyer,
The sports of children satisfy the child; And trace them through the prospect as it lies;
Each nobler aim, repress’d by long control, Here for a while my proper cares resign'd,
Now sinks at last, or feebly mans the soul; Here let me sit in sorrow for mankind;
While low delights, succeeding fast behind, Like yon neglected shrub at random cast,
In happier meanness occupy the mind: That shades the steep, and sighs at every blast.
As in those domes, where Cæsars once bore sway
Defaced by time and tottering in decay, Far to the right where Appenine ascends, There in the ruin, heedless of the dead, Bright as the summer, Italy extends ;
The shelter-seeking peasant builds his shed; Its uplands sloping deck the mountain's side, And, wondering man could want the larger pile, Woods over woods in gay theatric pride; Exults, and owns his cottage with a smile While oft some temple's mouldering tops between With venerable grandeur mark the scene,
My soul, turn from them; turn we to survey
Where rougher climes a nobler race display, Could nature's bounty satisfy the breast, Where the bleak Swiss their stormy mansion treuh The sons of Italy were surely blest.
And force a churlish soil for scanty bread Whatever fruits in different climes were found, No product here the barren hills afford, That proudly rise, or humbly court the ground; But man and steel, the soldier and his sword. Whatever blooms in torrid tracts appear, No vernal blooms their torpid rocks array, W bose bright succession decks the varied year; But winter lingering chills the lap of May.
No zephyr fondly sues the mountain's breast, For, as refinement stops, from sire to son
And love's and friendship's finely pointed dart
Some sterner virtues o'er the mountain's breast Though poor the peasant's but, his feasts though
May sit like falcons cowering on the nest; small,
But all the gentler morals, such as play He sees his little lot the lot of all;
Through life's more cultured walks, and charm the Sees no contiguous palace rear its head
way, To shame the meanness of his humble shed;
These, far dispersed, on timorous pinions fly
To sport and flutter in a kinder sky.
To kinder skies, where gentler manners reign,
And haply, though my harsh touch faltoring still,
Thus every good bis native wilds impart, So blest a life these thoughtless realms display,
, seeming blest, they grow to what they seema
But while this softer art their bliss supplies,
The mind still turns where shifting fashion draw
Nor weighs the solid worth of self-applause. In wild excess the vulgar breast takes fire,
To men of other minds my fancy flies, Till buried in debauch, the bliss expire.
Embosom'd in the deep where Holland lies But not their joys alone thus coarsely flow; Methinks her patient sons before me stand, T'heir morals, like their pleasures, are but low; Where the broad ocean leans against the land
And, sedulous to stop the coming tide,
The self-dependent lordlings stand alone, Lift the tall rampire's artificial pride.
All claims that bind and sweeten life unknown; Onward, methinks, and diligently slow, Here by the bonds of nature feebly held, The firm connected bulwark seems to grow; Minds combat minds, repelling and repellid. Spreads its long arms amidst the wat'ry roar, Ferments arise, imprison'd factions roar, Scoops out an empire, and usurps the shore. Represt ambition struggles round her shore, While the pent ocean, rising o'er the pile, Till, over-wrought, the general system feels Sees an amphibious world beneath him smile; Its motion stop, or phrensy fire the wheels. The slow canal, the yellow-blossom’d vale, The willow-tufted bank, the gliding sail,
Nor this the worst. As nature's ties decay, The crowded mart, the cultivated plain,
As duty, love, and honour fail to sway, A new creation rescued from his reign.
Fictitious bonds, the bonds of wealth and law,
Still gather strength, and force unwilling awe. Thus, while around the wave-subjected soil Hence all obedience bows to thee alone, Impels the native to repeated toil,
And talent sinks, and merit weeps unknown: Industrious habits in each bosom reign,
Till time may come, when, stript of all her charms, And industry begets a love of gain.
The land of scholars, and the nurse of arms, Hence all the good from opulence that springs, Where noble stems transmit the patriot flame, With all those ills superfluous treasure brings Where kings have toild, and poets wrote for fame Are heredisplay'd. Their much loved wealth imparts One sink of level avarice shall lie, Convenience, plenty, elegance, and arts : And scholars, soldiers, kings, unhonour'd die. But view them closer, craft and fraud appear, E'en liberty itself is barter'd here.
Yet think not, thus when freedom's ills I state, At gold's superior charms all freedom flies,
I mean to flatter kings, or court the great : The needy sell it, and the rich man buys;
Ye powers of truth, that bid my soul aspire, A land of tyrants, and a den of slaves,
Far from my bosom drive the low desire; Here wretches seek dishonourable graves, '
And thou, fair Freedom, taught alike to feel And, calmly bent, to servitude conform,
The rabble's rage, and tyrant's angry steel ; Dull as their lakes that slumber in the storm. Thou transitory flower, alike undone
By proud contempt, or favour's fostering sun, Heavens! how unlike their Belgic sires of old! Still may thy blooms the changeful clime endure, Rough, poor, content, ungovernably bold; I only would repress them to secure : War in each breast, and freedom on each brow For just experience tells, in every soil, How much unlike the sons of Britain now! That those that think must govern those that toil:
And all that freedom's highest aims can reach,
Its double weight must ruin all below,
O then how blind to all that truth requires,
Who think it freedom when a part aspires ! Creation's mildest charms are there combined, Calm is my soul, nor apt to rise in arms, Extremes are only in the master's mind! Except when fast-approaching danger warms : Stern o'er each bosom reason holds her state But when contending chiefs blockade the throne, With daring aims irregularly great ;
Contracting regal power to stretch their own; Pride in their port, defiance in their eye,
When I behold a factious band agree I see the lords of human kind pass by ;
To call it freedom when themselves are free; Intent on high designs, a thoughtful band, Each wanton judge new penal statutes draw, By forms unfashion’d, fresh from nature's hand, Laws grind the poor, and rich men rule the law; Fierce in their native hardiness of soul,
The wealth of climes, where savage nations roam, True to imagined right, above control,
Pillaged from slaves to purchase slaves at home
Till half a patriot, half a coward grown,
Yes, brother, curse me with that baleful hour, But foster'd e'en by freedom ills annoy ;
When first ambition struck at regal power ; That independence Britons prize too high, And thus polluting honour in its source, Keeps man from man, and breaks the social tie; Gave wealth to sway the mind with double furco
Have we not seen, round Britain's peopled shore, Now Auburn, now, absolve impartial Fate,
The poet had not sung, nor Britain wept.
Unhonour'd genius, and her swift decay: Have we not seen at pleasure's lordly call, O, patron of the poor! it can not be, The smiling long-frequcnted village fall? While one-one poet yet remains like thee. Beheld the duteous son, the sire decay'd, Nor can the Muse desert our favour'd isle, The modest matron, and the blushing maid, Till thou desert the Muse, and scorn her smile. Forced from their homes, a melancholy train, To traverse climes beyond the western main; Where wild Oswego spreads her swamps around, And Niagara stuns with thund'ring sound?
TO SIR JOSHUA REYNOLDS. E’en now, perhaps, as there some pilgrim strays Dear Sir, Through tangled forests, and through dangerous I can have no expectations, in an address of this ways;
kind, either to add to your reputation, or to establish Where beasts with man divided empire claim, my own. You can gain nothing from my admiraAnd the brown Indian marks with murd'rous aim; tion, as I am ignorant of that art in which you are There, while above the giddy tempest flies, said to excel; and I may lose much by the severity And all around distressful yells arise,
of your judgment, as few have a juster taste in The pensive exile, bending with his woe, poetry than you. Setting interest therefore aside, To stop too fearful, and too faint to go,
to which I never paid much attention, I must be Casts a long look where England's glories shine, indulged at present in following my affections. And bids his bosom sympathize with mine. The only dedication ever made was to my bro
ther, because I loved him better than most other Vain, very vain, my weary search to find
He is since dead. Permit me to inscribe That bliss which only centres in the mind:
this Poem to you. Why have I stray'd from pleasure and repose,
How far you may be pleased with the versificaTo seek a good each government bestows?
tion and mere mechanical parts of this attempt, I In every government, though terrors reign,
do not pretend to inquire; but I know you will obThough tyrant kings, or tyrant laws restrain,
ject (and indeed several of our best and wisest How small, of all that human hearts endure,
friends concur in the opinion,) that the depopuThat part which laws or kings can cause or cure. lation it deplores is no where to be seen, and the disStill to ourselves in every place consign'd,
orders it laments are only to be found in the poet's Our own felicity we make or find:
own imagination. To this I can scarcely make any With secret course, which no loud storms annoy, other answer than that I sincerely believe what I Glides the smooth current of domestic joy.
have written; that I have taken all possible pains, The lifted axe, the agonizing wheel, Luke's iron crown, and Damien's bed of steel,
in my country excursions, for these four or five To men remote from power but rarely known,
years past, to be certain of what I alledge; and that
all my views and inquiries have led me to believe Leave reason, faith, and conscience, all our own.
those miseries real, which I here attempt to display. But this is not the place to enter into an in
quiry, whether the country be depopulating or lut; THE DESERTED VILLAGE; the discussion would take up much room, and I
should prove myself, at best, an indifferent politician, to tire the reader with a long preface, when I want his unfatigued attention to a long poem.
In regretting the depopulation of the country, I TO DR. GOLDSMITH,
inveigh against the increase of our luxuries; and AUTHOR OF THE DESERTED VILLAGE, BY MISS AIKIN, against me. For twenty or thirty years past, it
here also I expect the shout of modern politicians AFTERWARDS MRS, BARBAULD.
has been the fashion to consiler luxury as one of In vain fair Auburn weeps her desert plains: the greatest national advantages; and all the wisShe moves our envy who so well complains: dom of antiquity in that particular, as erroneous. In vain hath proud oppression laid her low; Still
, however, I must remain a professed ancient Sho wears a garland on her failed brow, on that head, and continue to think those luxuria