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VIRTUE IN RURAL RETIREMENT ; THE GOOD MAN'S DEATH.
O blest retirement, friend to life's decline, Retreats 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 't is 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, His heaven commences ere the world be past !
VILLAGE SOUNDS AT EVENING.
Sweet was the sound when oft at evening's close Up yonder hill the village murmur rose ; There, as I past with careless steps and slow, The mingling notes came softened from below : The swain responsive as the milk-maid sung, The sober herd that lowed 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 wind, And the loud laugh that spoke the vacant mind ; These all in sweet confusion sought the shade, And filled each pause the nightingale had made.
Whose beard descending swept his aged breast ;
THE CLERGYMAN WITH THE POOR, SICK, AND DYING
Beside the bed where parting life was laid, And sorrow, guilt, and pain, by turns dismayed, The reverend champion stood. At his control, Despair and anguish fled the struggling soul ; Comfort came down the trembling wretch to raise, And his last faltering accents whispered praise. THE VILLAGE PASTOR AT CHIRCH; SYMPATHY AND FAITH.
At church, with meek and unaffected grace, His looks adorned the venerable place ; Truth from his lips prevailed with double sway, And fools, who came to scoff, remained to pray. The service past, around the pious man, With ready zeal, each honest rustic ran ; Even children followed with endearing wile, And plucked his gown, to share the good man's smile. His ready smile a parent's warmth exprest, Their welfare pleased him, and their cares distrest ; To them his heart, his love, his griefs, were given, But all his serious thoughts had rest in heaven. As some tall cliff that lifts its awful form, Swells from the vale, and midway leaves the storm, Though round its breast the rolling clouds are spread, Eternal sunshine settles on its head.
THE VILLAGE SCHOOL-HOUSE AND SCHOOLMASTER, Beside yon straggling fence that skirts the way With blossomed furze, unprofitably gay, There, in his noisy mansion, skilled to rule, The village master taught his little school. A man severe he was, and stern to view,I knew him well, and every truant know ; Well had the boding tremblers learned to trace The day's disasters in his morning face ; Full well they laughed with counterfeited glee At all his jokes, for many a joke had ho ; Full well the busy whisper, circling round, Conveyed the dismal tidings when he frowned ; Yet he was kind, or if severe in aught, The love he bore to learning was in fault ; The village all declared how much he knew ; 'T was certain he could write, and cipher too ;
RCRAL DESOLATION; THE FORLORY WIDOW.
But now the sounds of population fail,
THE VILLAGE PARSON; HIS GUESTS. 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 ; Remote from towns he ran his godly race, Nor e'er had changed nor wished to change his place; Unskilful he to fawn, or seek for power, By doctrines fashioned to the varying hour ; Far other aims his heart had learned to prize, More bent to raise the wretched than to rise. His house was known to all the vagrant train, He chid their wanderings, but relieved their pain. The long-remembered beggar was his guest,
Lands he could measure, terms and tides presage,
WEALTH CROWDS OUT POVERTY; SHOW, USE; A FEW, THE MANY. - THE RICH BECOME RICHER, THE POOR POORER.
Ye friends to truth, ye statesmen who survey The rich man's joys increase, the poor's decay, 'Tis yours to judge how wide the limits stand Between a splendid and a happy land. Proud swells the tide with loads of freighted ore, And shouting Folly hails them from her shore ; Hoards even beyond the miser's wish abound, And rich men flock from all the world around. Yet count our gains. This wealth is but a name, That leaves our useful products still the same. Not so the loss. The man of wealth and pride Takes up a space that many poor supplied ; Space for his lake, his park’s extended bounds, Space for his horses, equipage, and hounds; The robe that wraps his limbs in silken sloth Had robbed the neighboring fields of half their His seat, where solitary sports are seen, [growth. Indignant spurns the cottage from the green ; Around the world each needful product flies, For all the luxuries the world supplies. While thus the land, adorned for pleasure all, In barren splendor feebly waits the fall.
MERETRICIOCS LUXURY EXILES THE PEASANTRY.
THE VILLAGE ALE-HOCSE ; ITS &LORIES ; ITS DESOLATION,
Near yonder thorn, that lifts its head on high, Where once the sign-post caught the passing eye, Low lies that house where nut-brown draughts in
Vain transitory splendors ! could not all
As some fair female, unadorned and plain,
Where, then, ah ! where shall poverty reside,
If to the city sped — what waits him there?
CHARMS OF SIMPLICITY AND NATURE. Yes ! let the rich deride, the proud disdain, These simple blessings of the lowly train, To me more dear, congenial to my heart, One native charm, than all the gloss of art. Spontaneous joys, where Nature has its play, The soul adopts, and owns their first-born sway ; Lightly they frolic o'er the vacant mind, Unenvied, unmolested, unconfined. But the long pomp, the midnight masquerade, With all the freaks of wanton wealth arrayed, In these, ere triflers half their wish obtain, The toiling pleasure sickens into pain ; And, e'en while fashion's brightest arts decoy, The heart distrusting asks if this be joy!
Tumultuous grandeur crowds the blazing square, The rattling chariots clash, the torches glare. Sure scenes like these no troubles e'er annoy! Sure these denote one universal joy!
THE VICTIM OF SEDUCTION.
Are these thy serious thoughts ? — Ah, turn thine Where the poor, houseless, shiv'ring female lies. [eyes She once, perhaps, in village plenty blest, Has wept at tales of innocence distrest ; Her modest looks the cottage might adorn, Sweet as the primrose peeps beneath the thorn ; Now lost to all — her friends, her virtue fled, Near her betrayer's door she lays her head, (shower, And, pinched with cold, and shrinking from the With heavy heart deplores that luckless hour, When idly first, ambitious of the town, She left her wheel and robes of country brown.
His lovely daughter, lovelier in her tears,
LUXURY DENOUNCED ; THE RUIN OF NATIONS.
THE AUBURN VILLAGERS BECOME EXILED EMIGRANTS.
HORRORS OF THEIR WESTERN WILDERNESS.
REFLECTIONS ON EMIGRATION. THE RURAL VIRTTES EXILED.
Do thine, sweet Auburn, thine the loveliest train, Do thy fair tribes participate her pain ? Even now, perhaps, by cold and hunger led, At proud men's doors they ask a little bread !
Ah, no! To distant climes, a dreary scene, Where half the convex world intrudes between, Through torrid tracts with fainting steps they go, Where wild Altama murmurs to their woe. Far different there from all that charmed before, The various terrors of that horrid shore ; Those blazing suns, that dart a downward ray, And fiercely shed intolerable day ; Those matted woods where birds forget to sing, And silent bats in drowsy clusters cling; Those poisonous fields with rank luxuriance crowned, Where the dark scorpion gathers death around ; Where at each step the stranger fears to wake The rattling terrors of the vengeful snake ; Where crouching tigers wait their hapless prey, And savage men more murderous still than they ; While oft in whirls the mad tornado flies, Mingling the ravaged landscape with the skies. Far different these from every former scene, The cooling brook, the grassy-vested green, The breezy covert of the warbling grove, That only sheltered thefts of harmless love.
THE EMIGRANT'S FAREWELL TO HOME. Good heaven ! what sorrows gloomed that parting
day, That called them from their native walks away ; When the poor exiles, every pleasure past, Hung round the bowers, and fondly looked their last, And took a long farewell, and wished in vain For seats like these beyond the western main ; And, shuddering still to face the distant deep, Returned and wept, and still returned to weep. The good old sire the first prepared to go To new-found worlds, and wept for other's woo ; But for himself, in conscious virtue brave, He only wished for worlds beyond the grave.
Even now the devastation is begun, And half the business of destruction done ; Even now, methinks, as pondering here I stand, I see the rural virtues leave the land. Down where yon anchoring vessel spreads the sail, That idly waiting flaps with every 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. FAREWELL APOSTROPITE TO POETRY. - THE EMPIRE OF TRADE
TRANSITORY ; OF MANLY VIRTUE, ENDURING.
of gain ;
Rural Hymus of Praise for March.
BRYANT'S “FOREST HYMN."
Wells softly forth, and visits the strong roots
Of half the mighty forest, tells no tale The groves were God's first temples. Ere man Of all the good it does. Thou hast not left To hew the shaft, and lay the architrave, [learned Thyself without a witness, in these shades, And spread the roof above them, - ere he framed Of thy perfections. Grandeur, strength, and grace, The lofty vault, to gather and roll back
Are here to speak of Thee. This mighty oak The sound of anthems ; - in the darkling wood, By whose immovable stem I stand and seem Amidst the cool and silence, he knelt down
Almost annihilated — not a prince, And offered to the Mightiest solemn thanks
In all the proud old world beyond the deep, And supplication. For his simple heart
E’er wore his crown as loftily as he Might not resist the sacred influences,
Wears the green coronal of leaves with which That, from the stilly twilight of the place,
Thy hand has graced him. Nestled at his root And from the gray old trunks that high in heaven Is beauty, such as blooms not in the glare Mingled their mossy boughs, and from the sound Of the broad sun. That delicate forest-flower, Of the invisible breath that swayed at once
With scented breath, and look so like a smile, All their green tops, stole over him, and bowed Seems, as it issues from the shapeless mould, His spirit with the thought of boundless power An emanation of the indwelling Life, And inaccessible majesty. Ah, why
A visible token of the upholding Love, Should we, in the world's riper years, neglect That are the soul of this wide universe. God's ancient sanctuaries, and adore
My heart is awed within me, when I think Only among the crowd, and under roofs
Of the great miracle that still goes on, That our frail hands have raised? Let me, at least,
In silence, round me — the perpetual work Here, in the shadow of this aged wood,
Of thy creation, finished, yet renewed Offer one hymn — thrice happy, if it find
Forever. Written on thy works I read
The lesson of thy own eternity.
Lo! all grow old and die — but see, again,
How on the faltering footsteps of decay Didst weave this verdant roof. Thou didst look down
- ever gay and beautiful youth Upon the naked earth, and, forthwith, rose
In all its beautiful forms. These lofty trees All these fair ranks of trees. They in thy sun
Wave not less proudly that their ancestors Budded, and shook their green leaves in thy breeze,
Moulder beneath them. Oh, there is not lost And shot towards heaven. The century-living crow,
One of carth's charms : upon her bosom yet, Whose birth was in their tops, grew old and died
After the flight of untold centuries, Among their branches, till, at last, they stood,
The freshness of her far beginning lies, As now they stand, massy and tall and dark ;
And yet shall lie. Life mocks the idle hate Fit shrine for humble worshipper to hold
Of his arch enemy Death yea, seats himself Communion with his Maker. Here are seen
Upon the sepulchre, and blooms and smiles, No traces of man's pomp or pride ; –
- no silks
And of the triumphs of his ghastly foe Rustle, no jewels shine, nor envious eyes
Makes his own nourishment. For he came forth Encounter; no fantastic carvings show
From thine own bosom, and shall have no end. The boast of our vain race to change the form Of thy fair works. But Thou art here — Thou fill'st There have been holy men who hid themselves The solitude. Thou art in the soft winds
Deep in the woody wilderness, and gave That run along the summits of these trees
Their lives to thought and prayer, till they outlived In music ; - Thou art in the cooler breath,
The generation born with them, nor seemed That, from the inmost darkness of the place, Less aged than the hoary trees and rocks Comes, scarcely felt; — the barky trunks, the ground, Around them ; - and there have been holy men The fresh moist ground, are all instinct with Thee. Who deemed it were not well to pass life thus. Here is continual worship ; - nature, here,
But let me often to these solitudes In the tranquillity that Thou dost love,
Retire, and in thy presence reässure Enjoys thy presence. Noiselessly, around,
My feeble virtue. Here its enemies, From perch to perch, the solitary bird
The passions, at thy plainer footsteps shrink Passes ; and yon clear spring, that, 'midst its herbs, And tremble and are still. O God! when Thou
MILTON'S “ MORNING HYMN”
OF ADAM AND EVE.
Dost scare the world with tempests, settist on fire
MERRICK'S PSALM EIGHTH.
IMMORTAL King ! through earth's wide frame, How great thy honor, praise, and name ! Whose reign o'er distant worlds extends, Whose glory heaven's vast height transcends. From infants Thou canst strength upraise, And form their lisping tongues to praise : By these the vengeance-breathing foe, Thy mightier terrors taught to know, In mute astonishment shall stand, And bow beneath thy conquering hand. When, rapt in thought, with wakeful eye I view the wonders of the sky, Whose frame thy fingers o'er our head In rich magnificence have spread ; The silent moon, with waxing horn, Along the ethereal region borne ; The stars with vivid lustre crowned, That nightly walk their destined round ; Lord ! what is man, that in thy care His humble lot should find a share ? Or what the son of man, that Thou Thus to his wants thy ear should bow? His rank a while, by thy decree, The angelic tribes beneath them see, Till round him thy imparted rays With unextinguished glory blaze. Subjected to his feet by Thee, To him all nature bows the knee ; The beasts in him their lord behold; The grazing herd, the bleating fold, The savage race, a countless train, That range at large the extended plain ; The fowls, of various wing, that fly O'er the vast desert of the sky; And all the watery tribes, that glide Through paths, to human sight denied. Immortal King ! through earth’s wide fraine, How great thy honor, praise, and name !
These are thy glorious works, Parent of good ! Almighty! thine this universal frame, Thus wondrous fair ; thyself how wondrous then ! Unspeakable, who sitt'st above these heavens To us invisible, or dimly seen In these thy lowest works ; yet these declare Thy goodness beyond thought, and power divine. Speak, ye who best can tell, ye sons of light, Angels ; for ye behold Him, and with
ye five other wandering fires that move