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