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The good old sire the first prepared to go
To new-found worlds, and wept for others' woe;
But for himself, in conscious virtue brave,
He only wish'd for worlds beyond the grave,
His lovely daughter, lovelier in her tears,
The fond companion of his helpless years,
Silent went next, neglectful of her charms,
And left a lover's for a father's arms.
With louder plaints the mother spoke her woes,
And bless'd the cot where every pleasure rose,
And kiss'd her thoughtless babes with many a tear,
And clasp'd them close, in sorrow doubly dear;
Whilst her fond husband strove to lend relief
In all the silent manliness of grief.

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

165

That idly waiting flaps with ev'ry 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 placed 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 so;
Thou guide by which the nobler arts excel,
Thou nurse of every virtue, fare thee well!
Farewell, and oh! where'er thy voice be tried,
On Torno's cliffs, or Pambamarca's side,
Whether where equinoctial fervours 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

of gain;
Teach him, that states of native strength possess’d,
Though very poor, may still be very bless'd;
That trade'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 rage

OLIVER GOLDSMITH

THE PLOUGH

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

THE REAPER

BEHOLD her, single in the field,

Yon solitary Highland lass!
Reaping and singing by herself;

Stop here, or gently pass!
Alone she cuts and binds the grain,
And sings a melancholy strain;

THE REAPER

167

O listen! for the vale profound
Is overflowing with the sound.

No nightingale did ever chant

More welcome notes to weary bands
Of travellers in some shady haunt,

Among Arabian sands:
A voice so thrilling ne'er was heard
In spring-time from the cuckoo-bird,
Breaking the silence of the seas
Among the farthest Hebrides.

Will no one tell me what she sings?

Perhaps the plaintive numbers flow
For old, unhappy, far-off things,

And battles long ago:
Or is it some more humble lay,
Familiar matter of to-day?
Some natural sorrow, loss, or pain,
That has been, and may be again?

Whate'er the theme, the maiden sang

As if her song could have no ending;
I saw her singing at her work,'

And o'er the sickle bending;
I listen’d, motionless and still;
And, as I mounted up the hill,
The music in my heart I bore,
Long after it was heard no more.

WILLIAM WORDSWORTH

THE WINDMILL

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:
From whencesoe'er he comes to grind,

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.

ROBERT BRIDGES

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