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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 tittered 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.

Sweet was the sound, when oft, at evening's close,
Up yonder hill the village murmur rose;
There, as I passed, with careless steps and slow,
The mingling notes came softened from below;
The swain responsive as the milkmaid 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 bayed the whispering 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.

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, Whose beard descending swept his aged breast:

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The ruined spendthrift, now no longer proud,
Claimed kindred there, and had his claims allowed
The broken soldier, kindly bade to stay,
Sat by his fire, and talked the night away;

Wept o'er his wounds, or, tales of sorrow done,
Shouldered his crutch, and showed how fields were won
Pleased with his guests, the good man learned to glow,
And quite forgot their vices in their woe;
Careless their merits or their faults to scan,
His pity gave ere charity began.

Thus to relieve the wretched was his pride,
And even his failings leaned to virtue's side;
But, in his duty prompt at every call,

He watched and wept, he prayed and felt for all ;
And, as a bird each fond endearment tries

To tempt her new-fledged offspring to the skies,
He tried each art, reproved each dull delay,
Allured to brighter worlds, and led the way.

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.

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 expressed;
Their welfare pleased him, and their cares distressed;
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.

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 inspired,
Where graybeard mirth and smiling toil retired;
Where village statesmen talked with looks profound,
And news much older than their ale went round.
Imagination fondly stoops to trace

The parlor splendors of that festive place;
The whitewashed wall, the nicely-sanded floor,
The varnished clock that clicked behind the door.
The chest, contrived a double debt to pay,

A bed by night, a chest of drawers by day;
The pictures placed for ornament and use;
The twelve good rules; the royal game of goose
The hearth, except when winter chilled the day,
With aspen boughs, and flowers, and fennel gay:
While broken teacups, wisely kept for show,
Ranged o'er the chimney, glistened in a row.

Vain, transitory splendor! could not all
Reprieve the tottering mansion from its fall?
Obscure it sinks, nor shall it more impart
An hour's importance to the poor man's heart.
Thither no more the peasant shall repair
To sweet oblivion of his daily care;

No more the farmer's news, the barber's tale,
No more the woodman's ballad, shall prevail;
No more the smith his dusky brow shall clear,
Relax his ponderous strength, and lean to hear;
The host himself no longer shall be found
Careful to see the mantling bliss go round.

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 even while fashion's brightest arts decoy,
The heart, distrusting, asks if this be joy.

Oliver Goldsmith, the author of the above extract, is one whose writ ings range over every department of miscellaneous literature. His merits are so generally acknowledged, and his fame so well established, that they can neither be augmented by praise nor diminished by censure. His essays and historical works constitute a treasure. His writings are characterized by ease, grace, and beauty of description, and for a vein of pensive philosophical reflection which runs through them. His poems are not, it is true, written in that attractive, transcendental style of some poets of the present time, whose wonderfully gorgeous and powerful imaginations tower far above and soar beyond untrodden heights. Goldsmith never soars beyond Apollo's ken. As a poet, he sits down among common men, talks common sense, and uses clear and vigorous language. The plan of his poems, the choice and arrangement of his words, the vivacity of his language, possess a charm beyond the scope of criticism.

39. The Story of a Disabled Soldier.

I was born in Shropshire My father was a laborer, and died when I was five years old; so I was put upon the parish. As ne had been a wandering sort of a man, the parishioners were not able to tell to what parish I belonged, or where I was born; so they sent me to another parish, and that parish sent me to a third. I thought in my heart

they kept sending me about so long-that they would not let me be born in any parish at all; but at last, however, they fixed me. I had some disposition to be a scholar, and was resolved, at least, to know my letters; but the master of the workhouse put me to business as soon as I was able to handle a mallet; and here I lived an easy kind of life for five years. I only wrought ten hours in the day, and had my meat and drink provided for my labor.

It is true, I was not suffered to stir out of the house, for fear, as they said, I should run away. But what of that? I had the liberty of the whole house, and the yard before the door; and that was enough for me. I was then bound out to a farmer, where I was up both early and late; but I ate and drank well, and liked my business well enough, till he died, when I was obliged to provide for myself: so I was resolved to go and seek my fortune.

In this manner, I went from town to town, worked when I could get employment, and starved when I could get none; when happening one day to go through a field belonging to a justice of peace I spied a hare crossing the path just before me. I flung my stick at it. Well, what will you have on't? I killed the hare, and was bringing it away, when the justice himself met me; he called me a poacher, and a villain; and collaring me, desired I would give an account of myself. I fell upon my knees, begged his worship's pardon, and began to give a full account of all that I knew of my history; but though I gave a very true account, the justice said I could give no account; so I was indicted at Sessions, found guilty of being poor, and sent up to London, to Newgate, in order to be transported as a vagabond.

People may say this and that of being in jail, but for my part, I found Newgate as agreeable a place as ever I was in in all my life. I had plenty to eat and drink, and did no work at all. This kind of life was too good to last forever;

Workhouse, almshouse. Poacher, one who steals game. · meeting of justices of the peace, a court for trials.

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