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Kingdoms by thee, to sickly greatness grown,
Boast of a florid vigour not their own :
At every draught more large and large they grow,
A bloated mass of rank unwieldy woe;
Till sap'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 yon 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 se; Thou guide, by which the nobler arts excel, Thou nurse of every virtue, fare thee well. Parewell! and O! 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 rigours of the inclement clime ;

Aid slighted truth with thy persuasive strain ;
Teach erring man to spurn the rage

of gain;
Teach him, that states of native strength possess'd,
Though very poor, may still be very bless'd ;
That tradc's proud empire hastes to swift decay,
As ocean sweeps the labour'd mole away;
While self-dependent power can time defy,
As rocks resist the billows and the sky.

' THE

HERMIT.

A BALLAD.

(FIRST PRINTED IN THE VICAR OF WAKEFIELD, 1765.)

THE

FOLLOWING LETTER,

ADDRESSED TO

THE PRINTER OF THE ST. JAMES'S CHRONICLE,

Appeared in that Paper in June, 1767.

SIR, As there is nothing I dislike so much as newspaper controversy, particularly upon trifles, permit me to be as concise as possible in informing a correspondent of yours, that I recommended Blainville's Travels, because I thought the book was a good one; and I think so still. I said, I was told by the bookseller that it was then first published; but in that, it seems, I was misinformed, and my reading was not extensive enough to set me right.

Another correspondent of yours accuses me of having taken a ballad, I published some time ago, from one* by the ingenious Mr. Percy.t I do not

• The Friar of Orders Gray,' in Reliques of Anc, Poetry.
+ Since Dean of Carlisle and Bishop of Dromore,

think there is any great resemblance between the two pieces in question. If there be any, his ballad is taken from mine. read it to Mr. Percy, some years ago; and he (as we both considered these things as trifles at best) told me, with his usual good humour, the next time I saw him, that he had taken my plan to form the fragments of Shakspeare into a ballad of his own. He then read me his little cento, if I may so call it, and I highly approved it. Such petty anecdotes as these are scarce worth printing; and were it not for the busy disposition of some of your correspondents, the public should never have known that he owes me the hint of his ballad, or that I am obliged to his friendship and learning for communications of a much more important nature.

I am, sir,
Yours, &c.

OLIVER GOLDSMITH.

THE

HERMIT.

' 'Turn, gentle hermit of the dale,

And guide my lonely way, To where yon taper cheers the vale

With hospitable ray.

• For here forlorn and lost I tread,

With fainting steps and slow; Where wilds, immeasurably spread,

Seem lengthening as I go.'

• Forbear, my son, (the hermit cries)

To tempt the dangerous gloom ; For yonder faithless phantom flies

To lure thee to thy doom.

"Here to the houseless child of want

My door is open still ; And though my portion is but scant,

I give it with good will.

• Then turn to-night, and freely share

Whate'er my cell bestows; My rushy couch and frugal fare,

My blessing and repose.

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