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Hence, should one order disproportion'd grow,
Its double weight must ruin all below.

O then how blind to all that truth requires,
Who think it freedom when a part aspires !
Calm is my soul, nor apt to rise in arms,
Except when fast-approaching danger warms:
But when contending chiefs blockade the throne,
Contracting regal power to stretch their own;
When I behold a factious band agree
To call it freedom when themselves are free;
Each wanton judge new penal statutes draw,
Laws grind the poor, and rich men rule the law;
The wealth of climes, where savage nations roam,
Pillag'd from slaves, to purchase slaves at home;
Fear, pity, justice, indignation start,
Tear off reserve, and bare my swelling heart;
Till half a patriot, half a coward grown,
I fly from petty tyrants to the throne.

Yes, brother, curse with me that baleful hour When first ambition struck at regal power; And, thus polluting honour in its source, Gave wealth to sway the mind with double force. Have we not seen, round Britain's peopled shore, Her useful sons exchang'd for useless ore; Seen all her triumphs but destruction haste, Like flaring tapers brightning as they waste ; Seen Opulence, her grandeur to maintain, Lead stern Depopulation in her train, And over fields where scatter'd hamlets rose, In barren solitary pomp repose ? Have we not seen, at pleasure's lordly call, The smiling long.frequented village fall; Beheld the duteous son, the sire decay'd, The modest matron, and the blushing maid, Forc'd from their homes, a melancholy train, To traverse climes beyond the western main; Where wild Oswego spreads her swamps around, And Niagara stuns with thund'ring sound?

Even now perhaps, as there soine pilgrim strays Through tangled forests, and through dangerous

ways;

Where beasts with man divided empire claim,
And the brown Indian marks with murd'rous aim;
There, while above the giddy tempest flies,
And all around distressful yells arise,
The pensive exile, bending with his woe,
To stop too fearful, and too faint to go,
Casts a long look where England's glories shine,
And bids his bosom sympathise with mine.

Vain, very vain, my weary search to find
That bliss which only centres in the mind :
Why have I stray'd from pleasure and repose,
To seek a good each government bestows?
In every government though terrors reign,
Though tyrant kings, or tyrant laws restrain,
How small, of all that human hearts endure,
That part which laws or kings can cause or cure !
Still to ourselves in every place consiga'd,
Our own felicity we make or find :
With secret course, which no loud storms annoy,
Glides the smooth current of domestic joy.
The lifted ax, the agonising wheel,
Luke's iron crown, and Damien's bed of steel,
To men remote from power but rarely known,
Leave reason, faith, and conscience, all our own.

THE

DESERTED VILLAGE,

A POEM;

FIRST PRINTED IN MDCCLXIX.

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TO

SIR JOSHUA REYNOLDS.

DEAR SIR,

I CAN

have no expectations in an address of this kiod, either to add to your reputation, or to establish my own. You can gain nothing from my admiration, as I am ignorant of that art in which you are said to excel; and I may lose much by the severity of your judgement, as few have a juster taste in poetry than you. Setting interest there. fore aside, to which I vever paid much attention, I must be indulged at present in following my affections. The only dedication I ever made was to my brother, because I loved hiin better than most other men. He is since dead. Permit me to ipscribe this poem to you.

How far you may be pleased with the versifica. tion and mere mechanical parts of this atternpt, I do not pretend to inquire : but I know you will object (and indeed several of our best and wisest friends concur iu the opinion) that the depopulation it dem plores is no where to be seen, and the disorders ic laments are only to be found in the poet's own imagination. To this I can scarle make any other answer than that I sincerely believe what I have write ten; that I have taken all possible pains, in my coun

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