תמונות בעמוד

That sees through tears the mummers leap, |
Would now its wearied vision close,)

Would, child-like, on his love repose,] 48 Who giveth his beloved sleep. |


[And friends, dear friends,] when it shall be, |
That this low breath is gone from me, |
And round my bier ye come to weep, |
Let One, most loving of you all,

Say,] Not a tear must o'er her fall, 54 “He giveth his beloved sleep.”]

45. Sees. kap. Gr. 76, Ex. 1 and 108; iii. 2. That can only look upon mirth and iollity through its tears.

50 and 51. Subs. Sentences, both in apposition with it in line 49.

55 and 56. Two Subs. Sentences. Obiected

to say.



This is considered, for felicity of diction and charm of style, one of the best poems in the English language. It describes the scenes of a happy country village in the olden time, and the desolation produced by the eviction and emigration of the tenantry. The beauty of the poem lies wholly in the detailed descriptions. The moralizing is more sentimental than philosophic.

[SWEET Auburn ! loveliest village of the plain,]
Where health and plenty cheer'd the labouring swain, |
Where smiling Spring its earliest visit paid,

And parting Summer's lingering blooms delay'd :]
5 [Dear lovely bowers of innocence and ease,

Seats of my youth,] when every sport could please : 1
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, 10 The shelter'd cot, the cultivated farm,

The never-failing brook, the busy mill,
The decent church) that topp'd the neighbouring hill; |
The hawthorn bush, with seats beneath the shade,

For talking age and whispering lovers made !) 1. Auburn-Under this name Goldsmith of idyllic poetry. Such words are swain describes his native village, Lissoy, in Ire- (lines 64, 90, 117), nymph, lawn (lines 35.

65), train (lines 17, 63, 135, 149, 252, 337), 2 and 3. Adjective sentences - Where band (lines 24, 300), virgin (line 29), matron is bere equivalent to in uhich.

(line 30). 3. ItsIt is to be regretted that the poet 7, 9, 15. Exclamatory sentences. did not personify Spring.

10, 11, 12, 13. Cot, farm, brook, mill. 5. Bowers-Cottages, as lines 33, 37, 47, church, bush--All in opposition with, and -6, 366. The worii bower belongs to a class explanatory of the word “ charm." of words, in one sense peculiar to this kind 14. Made-Qualifying "seats.


[ocr errors]

15 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, 20 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 tired,

Succeeding sports the mirthful band inspired—) 25 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 side-long looks of love ;) 30 The matron’s glance,) that would those looks reprove : 1

These were thy charms,) [sweet village !) sports like these,
With sweet succession, taught even toil to please ; |
These round thy bowers their cheerful influence shed,|

These were thy charms | --but all these charms are fled. 35 [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, | 40 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; | 45 Amidst thy desert walks the lapwing flies,

And tires their echoes with unvaried cries :]

20. The young contending. Nom. absolute.

25-30. Pair, swain, looks, glance- All in apposition with these ; and Subj. to “ were thy charms."

27. MistrustlessA double negative in one word is hard and unpleasant.

31. Sweet is too quickly repeated in the following line, and again line 35.

45. Desert- Used here for deserted.

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, 50 Far, far away thy children leave the land.

Ill fares the land, to hastening ills a prey, I
Where wealth accumulates, / and men decay.]
Princes and lords may flourish, / or may fade ;]

A breath can make them, | as a breath has made :]
55 But a bold peasantry, their country's pride,)
When once destroy’d,] can never be supplied.)

A time there was, ere England's griefs began,
When every rood of ground maintain’d its man ; |

For him light Labour spread her wholesome store,) 60 Just gave] what life required, | but gave no more :]

His best companions, innocence and health ;)
And his best riches, ignorance of wealth.)

But times are alter'd ;| Trade's unfeeling train
Usurp the land, and dispossess the swain ;]
65 Along the lawn,) where scatter'd hamlets rose, |

Unwieldy wealth and cumbrous pomp repose ;)
And every want to luxury allied,]
And every pang] that folly pays to pride. |

Those gentle hours) that plenty bade to bloom, 70 Those calm desires) that ask'd but little room,

Those healthful sports) that graced the peaceful scene,
Lived in each look,] and brighten'd all the green ;]
These, far departing, seek a kinder shore,)

And rural mirth and manners are no more.
75 [Sweet Auburn ! parent of the blissful hour,]

Thy glades forlorn confess the tyrant's power. |
Here,) as I take my solitary rounds,
Amidst thy tangling walks and ruin'd grounds, |

50. Far away thy children leave the land. Does away stand for behind? The phraseology is evidently indefinite.

61 and 62. Thesa two lines may be taken as nom. absolutes, and, as such, attached to the principal sent. contained in line 59.

68. And every pang, &c., reposes. Think of pangs reposing! Another example of the want of accuracy of expression which is observable in Goldsmith, despite bis remarkable genius.

74. Are no more, scil. here.

And, many a year elapsed, return to view] 80 Where once the cottage stood, | the hawthorn grew ;]

Remembrance wakes with all her busy train,)
Swells at my breast,] and turns the past to pain.]

In all my wanderings through this world of care, In all my griefs—[and God has given my share-] 85 I still had hopes, my latest hours to crown,

Amidst these humble bowers to lay me down ;
To husband out life's taper at the close,
And keep the flame from wasting, by repose : |

I still had hopes, (for pride attends us still,]
90 Amidst the swains to show my book-learn'd skill,

Around my fire an evening group to draw,
And tell of all) I felt,) and all) I saw ;]
And,) as a hare,) whom hounds and horns pursue, |

Pants to the place) from whence at first she flew, 95 I still had hopes, my long vexations past,

Here to return—and die at home at last.)

[O blest retirement, friend to life's decline, Retreat from care,] that never must be mine, |

How blest is he who crowns, in shades like these, 100 A youth of labour with an age of ease ; |

; Who quits a world where strong temptations try, |

And,) since 'tis hard to combat, | learns to fly !) 79. Many a year elapsed-Noin. abs., from hence, from thence, have now become, forming adjunct of time.

however, currently used, though they are 85. Construe-I still bad bopes amidst just as anomalous as if we were to say to these humble bowers to lay me down in whither, or at where. order to crown my latest hours. To crown, 94. Flew is the Imperf. of fly, and is here is used as in line 99.

confounded with fled, the Imperf. of flee: 88. And by repose keep the flame from Though these two verbs are of cognate oriwasting

gin and signification, it is much to be re89. Still=ever, always.

gretted that the still existing difference 90. Skill is not used here in its proper should be so often overlooked, and that the sense; for skill is eminently gained by language should be deprived of a nice dispractice, not from books and theory. It is tinction between two shades of meaning. meant here to stand for knowledge.

The same confusion recurs, line 102. The 94. From whence is a pleonastic expres- rhyme has a great deal to do with it. sion, which first arose from not observing, 97. Oblest retirement. An invocation that whence implies motion from a place, without a sequence. being equal to from where. The pbrases

« הקודםהמשך »