Smile poems/ page 8 of 369 /
Though grief and fondness in my breast rebel,
I love all sights of earth and skies,From flowers that glow to stars that shine;The comet and the penny show,All curious things, above, below,Hold each in turn my wandering eyes:I claim the Christian Pagan's line,Humani nihil, -- even so, --And is not human life divine?
When soft the western breezes blow,And strolling youths meet sauntering maids,I love to watch the stirring tradesBeneath the Vallombrosa shadesOur much-enduring elms bestow;The vender and his rhetoric's flow,That lambent stream of liquid lies;The bait he dangles from his line,The gudgeon and his gold-washed prize
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: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 neighbouring hill,The hawthorn bush, with seats beneath the shade,For talking age and whisp'ring lovers made!How often have I blest 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,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 renownBy 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 theseWith 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
Thou dear companion of my early years,Partner of all my boyish hopes and fears,To whom I oft addressed the youthful strain,And sought no other praise than thine to gain;Who oft hast bid me emulate his fameWhose genius formed the glory of our name;Say, when thou canst, in manhood's ripened age,With judgment scan the more aspiring page,Wilt thou accept this tribute of my lay,By far too small thy fondness to repay?Say, dearest Brother, wilt thou now excuseThis bolder flight of my adventurous muse? If, then, adown your cheek a tear should flowFor Auburn's Village, and its speechless woe;If, while you weep, you think the