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The good old sire the first prepared to go
O Luxury! thou curs’d by Heaven's decree, How ill-exchanged are things like these for thee! How do thy potions, with insidious joy, Diffuse their pleasures only to destroy! 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, sapp'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 pond'ring here I stand, I see the rural virtues leave the land: Down where yon anchoring vessel spreads the sail,
THE DESERTED VILLAGE
That idly waiting flaps with ev'ry gale,
ABOVE yon sombre swell of land
Thou see'st the dawn's grave orange hue, With one pale streak like yellow sand,
And over that a vein of blue.
The air is cold above the woods;
All silent is the earth and sky, Except with his own lonely moods
The blackbird holds a colloquy.
Over the broad hill creeps a beam,
Like hope that gilds a good man's brow; And now ascends the nostril-stream
Of stalwart horses come to plough.
Ye rigid Ploughmen, bear in mind
Your labour is for future hours: Advance
spare not nor look behind Plough deep and straight with all your powers.
RICHARD HENRY HORNE
BEHOLD her, single in the field,
Yon solitary Highland lass!
Stop here, or gently pass!
O listen! for the vale profound
No nightingale did ever chant
More welcome notes to weary bands
Among Arabian sands:
Will no one tell me what she sings?
Perhaps the plaintive numbers flow
And battles long ago:
Whate'er the theme, the maiden sang
As if her song could have no ending;
And o'er the sickle bending;
The green corn waving in the dale,
The ripe grass waving on the hill: I lean across the paddock pale
And gaze upon the giddy mill.
Its hurtling sails a mighty sweep
Cut thro' the air: with rushing sound Each strikes in fury down the steep,
Rattles, and whirls in chase around.
Beside his sacks the miller stands
On high within the open door: A book and pencil in his hands,
His grist and meal he reckoneth o'er.
His tireless merry slave, the wind,
Is busy with his work to-day:
He hath a will and knows the way.
He gives the creaking sails a spin,
The circling millstones faster flee, The shuddering timbers groan within,
And down the shoot the meal runs free.
The miller giveth him no thanks,
And doth not much his work o'erlook: He stands beside the sacks, and ranks The figures in his dusty book.