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I have written ; that I have taken all possible pains in my country excursions, for these four or five years past, to be certain of what I allege; and that all my views and inquiries have led me to believe those miseries real, which I here attempt to display. But this is not the place to enter into an inquiry, whether the country be depopulating or not; the discussion wo 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 inveigh against the increase of our luxuries; and here also I expect the shout of modern politicians against me. For twenty or thirty years past, it has been the fashion to consider luxury as one of the greatest national advantages; and all the wisdom of antiquity, in that particular, as erroneous. Still, however, I must remain a professed ancient on that head, and continue to think those luxuries prejudi. cial to states by which so many vices are introduced, and so many kingdoms have been undone. ludeed 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.
and ardent ad.nirer, OLIVER GOLDSMITH.
SWEET Auburn ! loveliest village of the plain,
The dancing pair that simply sought renown,
these, With sweet succession, taught e’en toil to please ; These round thy bowers their cheerful influence shed,
fled. These were thy charms—but all these charms are
Sweet smiling village, loveliest of the lawn,
Ill fares the land, to hastening ills a prey,
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 cumbrous pomp repose ; And every want to luxury allied, And every pang that folly pays to pride. Those gentle 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; These, far departing, seek a kinder shore, And rural mirth and manners are no more.
Sweet Auburn! parent of the blissful hour, Thy glades forlorn confess the tyrant's pow'r. Here, as I take my solitary rounds, Amidst thy tangling walks and ruin'd grounds, And, many a year elaps'd, return to view Where once the cottage stood, the hawthorn grew, Remembrance wakes with all her busy train, Swells at my breast, and turns the past to pain.
In all my wanderings round this world of care, In all my griefs--and God has given my shareI still had hopes my latest hours to crown, Amidst these humble bowers to lay me down; To husband out life's taper at the close, And keep the flame from wasting, by repose : I still had hopes, for pride attends us still, Amidst the swains to show my book-learn’d skill,
Around my fire an evening group to draw,
O bless'd retirement, friend to life's decline,
ciose Up yonder hill the village murmur rose; There, as I pass’d with careless steps and slow, The mingling notes came soften’d from below; The swain responsive as the milk.maid sung, The saber herd that w'd to meet their young; The noisy geese that gabbled o'er the pool, The playful children just let loose from school; The watch-dog's voice that bay'd the whispering
wind, And the loud laugh that spoke the vacant mind;