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Not this the worst. As nature's ties decay, As duty, love, and honour, fail to sway, Fictitious bonds, the bonds of wealth and law, Still gather strength, and force unwilling awe. Hence all obedience bows to thee alone, And talent sinks, and Merit weeps unknown; Till time may come, when, stripp'd of all her charms, The land of scholars, and the nurse of arms, Where noble stems transmit the patriot flame, Where kings have toild, and poets wrote, for fame, One sink of level avarice shall lie, And scholars, soldiers, kings, unhonour'd die.
Yet think not, thus when Freedom's ills I state, I mean to flatter kings, or court the great: Ye powers of truth, that bid my soul aspire, Far from my bosom drive the low desire ! And thou, fair Freedom, taught alike to feel The rabble's rage, and tyrant's angry steel; Thou transitory flow'r, alike undone By proud contempt, or favour's fostering sun; Still may thy blooms the changeful clime endure ! I only would repress them to secure; For just experience tells, in every soil, That those who think must govern those that toil; And all that Freedom's highest aims can reach Is but to lay proportion'd loads on each. Hence should one order disproportion'd grow, Its double weight must ruin all below.
Oh then how blind to all that truth requires, Who think it freedom when a part aspires ! Calm is my soul, nor apt to rise in arms, Except when fast approaching danger warns : But when contending chiefs blockade the throne, Contracting regal pow'r to stretch their own ;
When I behold a factious band agree
Yes, brother, curse with me that baleful hour,
E'en now, perhaps, as there some pilgrim strays Through tangled forests, and through dang’rous
ways; Where beasts with man divided empire claim, And the brown Indian marks with murderous aim;
There, while above the giddy tempest flies,
Vain, very vain, my weary search to find
* In the Respublica Hungarica, there is an account of a desperate rebellion in the year 1514, headed by two brothers, George and Luke Zeck. When it was quelled, George, not Luke, was punished by his head being encircled with a red-hot iron crown. Mr. Boswell pointed out Gold, smith's mistake.
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 bow'rs 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 topp'd the neighbouring hill, The hawthorn bush, with seats beneath the shade, For talking age and whispering 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 tittered round the place; The bashful virgin's side-long looks of love, The matron's glance that would those looks re
These were thy charms, sweet village! sports like
these, With sweet succession, taught e'en toil to please; These round thy bow'rs their cheerfulinfluence shed, These were thy charms—but all these charms are
Sweet smiling village, loveliest of the lawn,
Il fares the land, to hastening ills a prey,
A time there was, ere England's griefs began,