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Straight mine eye hath caught new pleasures
Whilst the landscape round it measures,
Russet lawns and fallows grey,
Where the nibbling flocks do stray;
Mountains, on whose barren breast
The lab'ring clouds do often rest;
Meadows trim, with daisies pied;
Shallows, brooks, and rivers wide:
Towers and battlements it sees,
Bosom'd high in tufted trees;
Where perhaps some beauty lies,
The cynosure of neighb'ring eyes.
Hard by, a cottage-chimney smokes
From betwixt two aged oaks ;
Where Corydon and Thyrsis met,
Are at their sav'ry dinner set,
Of herbs and other country messes,
Which the neat-handed Phyllis dresses:
And then in haste her bower she leaves,
With Thestylis to bind the sheaves;
Or, if the earlier season lead,
To the tann'd haycock in the mead.
WHEN the sun begins to fling
His flaring beams, me, goddess, bring
To arched walks of twilight groves,
And shadows brown, that sylvan loves,
Of pine or monumental oak;
Where the rude axe, with heaved stroke,
Was never heard the nymphs to daunt,
Or fright them from their hallow'd haunt.
There in close covert, by some brook,
Where no profaner eye may look,
Hide me from day's garish eye:
While the bee, with honied thigh,
That at her flow'ry work doth sing,
And the waters murmuring,
With such concert as they keep,
Entice the dewy-feather'd sleep;
And let some strange mysterious dream
Wave at his wings in airy stream
Of lively portraiture display'd,
Softly on my eyelids laid.
And as I wake, sweet music breathe
Above, about, or underneath,
Sent by some spirit to mortals good,
Or th' unseen genius of the wood.
But let my due feet never fail To walk the studious cloister's pale, And love the high embowed roof With antique pillars massy proof, And storied windows richly dight, Casting a dim religious light: There let the peeling organ blow To the full-voiced quire below, In service high and anthems clear, As may with sweetness through mine ear
Dissolve me into ecstacies,
And bring all heaven before mine eyes!
And may, at last, my weary age
Find out the peaceful hermitage,
The hairy gown and mossy cell,
Where I may sit and rightly spell
Of every star that heaven doth shew,
And every herb that sips the dew;
Till old experience do attain
To something like prophetic strain:
These pleasures, Melancholy, give,
And I with thee will choose to live.
THE DESERTED VILLAGE.
SWEET Auburn! loveliest village of the plain, Where health and plenty cheer'd the lab'ring swain,
Where smiling Spring its earliest visit paid,
And parting Summer's ling'ring blooms delay'd:
Dear lovely bowers of innocence and ease,
Seats of my youth when ev'ry 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 topt the neighb'ring hill,
The hawthorn bush with seats beneath the shade.
For talking age and whisp'ring 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
And still as each repeated pleasure tired,
Succeeding sports the mirthful band inspired.
Sweet smiling village, loveliest of the lawn,
Thy sports are fled and all thy charms withdrawn;
Amidst thy bowers the tyrant's hand is seen,
And desolation saddens all thy green :
One only master grasps the whole domain,
And half a tillage stints thy smiling plain :
No more thy glassy brook reflects the day,
But choked with sedges works its weary way;
Along thy glades, a solitary guest,
The hollow-sounding bittern guards its nest;
Amidst thy desert walks the lapwing flies,
And tires their echoes with unvaried cries.
Sunk are thy bowers in shapeless ruin all,
And the long grass o'ertops the mouldering wall;
And trembling, shrinking from the spoiler's hand,
Far, far away thy children leave the land.
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 milkmaid 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 whisp'ring
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 blooming flush of life is fled :
All but yon widow'd solitary thing,
That feebly bends beside the plashy spring;
The 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.