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Beside yon straggling fence that skirts the way,
that he could guage:
But past is all his fame. The very spot Where many a time he triumph'd, is forgot. Near yonder thorn, that lifts its head on high, Where once the sign-post caught the passing eye, Low lies that house where nut-brown draughts inspir'd, Where grey-beard mirth, and smiling toil retir'd, Where village statesmen talk'd with looks profound, And news much older than their ale went round. Imagination fondly stoops to trace The parlour splendours of that festive place; The white-wash'd wall, the nicely sanded floor, The varnish'd clock that click'd behind the door;
The chest contriv'd a double debt to pay,
Vain transitory splendours! could not all
Yes! let the rich deride, the proud disdain, These simple blessings of the lowly train, To me more dear, congenial to my heart, One native charm, than all the gloss of art : Spontaneous joys, where nature has its play, The soul adopts, and owns their first-born sway; Lightly they frolic o'er the vacant mind, Unenvied, unmolested, unconfin'd. But the long pomp, the midnight masquerade, With all the freaks of wanton wealth array'd, In these, ere triflers balf-their wish obtain, The toiling pleasure sickens into pain: And e'en while fashion's brightest arts decoy, The heart distrusting asks, if this be joy?
Ye friends to truth, ye statesmen who survey The rich man's joys increase, the poor's decay, 'T is your's to judge, how wide the limits stand Between a spleadid and a happy land. Proud swells the tide with loads of freighted ore, And shouting folly hails them from her shore; Hoards e'en beyond the miser's wish abound, And rich men flock from all the world around. Yet count our gains. This wealth is but a name, That leaves our useful products still the same. Not so the loss. The man of wealth and pride Takes up a space that many poor supplied; Space for his lake, his park's extended bounds, Space for his horses, equipage, and hounds: The robe that wraps his limbs in silken sloth, Has robb’d the neighbouring fields of half their growth ; His seat, where solitary sports are seen, Indignant spurns the cottage from the green; Around the world each needful product flies, For all the luxuries the world supplies. While thus the land, adorn'd for pleasure all, In barren splendour feebly waits the fall.
As some fair female, unadorn'd and plain, Secure to please while youth confirms her reign, Slights every borrow'd charm that dress supplies, Nor shares with art the triumph of her eyes; But when those charms are past, for charms are frail, When time advances, and when lovers fail, She then shines forth, solicitous to bless, Io all the glaring impotence of dress. Thus fares the land, by luxury betray'd; In uature's simplest charms at first array'd, But verging to decline, its splendours rise, Its vistas strike, its palaces surprise; While, scourg'd by famine from the smiling land,
The mournsul peasant leads his humble band; Goldsmith.
And while he sinks, without one arm to save,
Where then, ah! where shall poverty reside,
If to the city sped - What waits him there?
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, Tbrough torrid tracts with fainting steps they go, Where wild Altama murmurs to their woe. 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 cvery former scene, The cooling brook, the grassy vested green, The breezy covert of the warbling grove, That only shelter'd thefts of harmless love.
Good Heaven! what sorrows gloom'd that parting day, That call'd 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;