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however, I must remain a professed ancient on that head; and continue to think those luxuries prejudicial to states by which so many vices are introduced, and so many kingdoms have been undone. Indeed, so much has been poured out of late on the other side of the question, that, merely for the sake of novelty and variety, one would sometimes wish to be in the right. I am,

Dear sir,
Your sincere friend, and ardent admirer,

OLIVER GOLDSMITH.

THE DESERTED VILLAGE.

Sweet Auburn ! loveliest village of the plain, Where health and plenty cheer'd the labouring

swain, Where smiling spring its earliest visit paid, And parting summer's lingering blooms delay'd; Dear lovely bowers of innocence and ease, Seats of my youth, when every sport could

please; How often have I loiter'd o'er thy green, Where humble happiness endear'd each scene; How often have I paus’d on every charm, The shelter'd cot, the cultivated farm, The never-failing brook, the busy mill, The decent church that topt the neighb'ring

hill ; The hawthorn bush, with seats beneath the

shade, For talking age and whisp'ring lovers made! How often have I bless'd the coming day, When toil remitting lent its turn to play, And all the village train, from labour free, Led up their sports beneath the spreading tree!

While many a pastime circled in the shade,
The young contending as the old survey'd ;
And many a gambol frolick'd o'er the ground,
And sleights of art, and feats of strength went

round;
And still, as each repeated pleasure tir’d,
Succeeding sports the mirthful band inspir’d.
The dancing pair that simply sought renown,
By holding out to tire each other down;
The swain mistrustless of his smutted face,
While secret laughter titter'd round the place;
The bashful virgin's side-long looks of love;
The matron's glance that would those looks

reprove : These were thy charms, sweet village ! sports

like these, With sweet succession, taughte'en toil to please; These round thy bowers their cheerful influence

shed, These were thy charms, but all these charms

are fled. Sweet smiling village, loveliest of the lawn, Thy sports are fled, and all thy charms with

drawn : Amidst thy bowers the tyrant's hand is seen, And Desolation saddens all thy green : One only master grasps the whole domain, And half a tillage stints thy smiling plain ; No more thy glassy brook reflects the day, But choak'd with scdges, works its weedy

way;

Along thy glades, a solitary guest,
The hollow-sounding bittern guards its nest ;
Amidst thy desert walks the lapwing flies,
And tires their echoes with unvaried cries;
Sunk are thy bowers in shapeless ruin all,
And the long grass o'ertops the mould'ring wall,
And, trembling, shrinking from the spoiler's hand,
Far, far away thy children leave the land.

Ill fares the land, to hast’ning ills a prey,
Where wealth accumulates, and men decay.
Princes and lords may flourish, or may fade;
A breath can make them, as a breath has made:
But a bold peasantry, their country's pride,
When once destroy'd, can never be supplied.

A time there was, ere England's griefs began, When every rood of ground maintain'd its man; For him light Labour spread her wholesome store, Just gave what life requir’d, but gave no more : His best companions, innocence and health; And his best riches, ignorance of wealth.

But times are alter'd ; trade's unfeeling train Usurp the land, and dispossess the swain ; Along the lawn, where scatter'd hamlets rose, Unwieldy wealth and cumb'rous pomp repose ; And every want to luxury allied, And every pang that folly pays to pride. Those gentler hours that plenty bade to bloom, Those calm desires that ask'd but little room, Those healthful sports that grac'd the peaceful

scene, Liv'd in each look, and brighten'd all the green ;

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