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From "The Deserted Village"

Sweet Auburn I 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 paus'd on every charm,

The shelter'd cot, the cultivated farm,

The never-failing brook, the busy mill,

The decent church that topt the neighboring hill,

The hawthorn bush, with seats beneath the shade,

For talking age and whispering lovers made I

How often have I blest the coming day,

When toil remitting lent its turn to play,

And all the village train, from labor 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 round;

And still, as each repeated pleasure tir'd,

Succeeding sports the mirthful band inspir'd;

The dancing pair that simply sought renown,

By holding out, to tire each other down;

The swain mistrustless of his smutted face,

While secret laughter titter'd round the place;

The bashful virgin's sidelong looks of love,

The matron's glance that would those looks reprove: These were thy charms, sweet village! sports like these, With sweet succession, taught e'en toil to please; These round thy bowers their cheerful influence shed, These were thy charms, - but all these charms are fled.

Sweet smiling village, loveliest of the plain!

Thy sports are fled, and all thy charms withdrawn;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 weedy 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.

Ill fares the land, to hastening ills a prey, Where wealth accumulates, and men decay; Princes and lords may flourish, or may fade; A breath can make them, as a breath has made; But a bold peasantry, their country's pride, When once destroy'd, can never be supplied.

Oliver Goldsmith.

daniel Webster's bunker hill oration. 251

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