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Blest, who can unconcern'dly find
Hours, days, and years, slide soft away, In health of body, peace of mind,
Quiet by day, Sound sleep by night ; study and ease,
Together mix'd ; sweet recreation, And innocence, which most does please
With meditation. Thus let me live, unseen, unknown ;
Thus, unlamented, let me die,
Tell where I lie.
THE DESERTED VILLAGE.
BY OLIVER GOLDSMITH, M. B.
SWEET AUBURN! loveliest village of the plain, Where health and plenty cheer'd the laboring swain, Where smiling spring its earliest visit paid, And parting summer's lingering blooms delay'd. Dear lovely bowers 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 paused on every charm, The shelter'd cot, the cultivated farm, The never-failing brook, the busy mill, The decent church that topp'd the neighboring hill.
The hawthorn bush, with seats beneath the shade,
Sweet smiling village, loveliest of the lawn,
Sunk are thy bowers in shapeless ruin all,
A time there was, ere England's griefs began,
But times are alter'd ; trade's unfeeling train
Sweet AUBURN! parent of the blissful hour,
And, many years elapsed, return to view
In all my wanderings round this world of care, In all my griefs-and God has giv'n me 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 shew my book-learn'd skill, Around my fire an evening group to draw, And tell of all I felt, and all I saw; And, as an hare whom hounds and horns pursue, Pants to the place from whence at first she flew, I still had hopes my long vexations past, Here to return and die at home at last.
O blest retirement, friend to life's decline, Retreat from care that never must be mine! How blest is he who crowns, in shades like these, A youth of labor with an age of ease; Who quits a world where strong temptations try, And, since 'tis hard to combat, learns to fly! For him no wretches, born to work and weep, Explore the mine, or tempt the dangerous deep; No surly porter stands in guilty state, To spurn imploring famine from the gate ; But on he moves to meet his latter end, Angels around befriending virtue's friend ; Sinks to the grave with unperceived decay, While resignation gently slopes the way;
And, all his prospects brightening to the last,
Sweet was the sound, when oft, at evening's close, 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 sober herd that low'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; These all in sweet confusion sought the shade, And fill'd each pause the nightingale had made. But now the sounds of population fail, No cheerful murmurs fluctuate in the gale, No busy steps the grass-grown footway tread, But all the bloomy flush of life is fled. All but yon widow'd, solitary thing, That feebly bends beside the plashy spring; She, wretched matron, forced, in age, for bread, To strip the brook with mantling cresses spread, To pick her wintry faggot from the thorn, To seek her nightly shed, and weep 'till morn; She only left, of all the harmless train, The sad historian of the pensive plain.
Near yonder copse, where once the garden smiled, And still where many a garden flower grows
wild; There, where a few torn shrubs the place disclose, The village preacher’s modest mansion rose. A man he was to all the country dear, And passing rich with forty pounds a year;