Truth poems/ page 9 of 257 /
I have been one of the fortunate ones of the Earth,Having gazed upon Beauty and Truth all my days,And I had no need to think or to write concerning them,But when Beauty and Truth were withdrawn from meI found I could no longer live without them,But I was obliged to keep them ever by my side,I therefore wrote of them, and to write I thought of them,And by thinking kept them with me and they stayed
Though grief and fondness in my breast rebel,
When Learning's triumph o'er her barb'rous foesFirst rear'd the stage, immortal Shakespear rose;Each change of many-colour'd life he drew,Exhausted worlds, and then imagin'd new:Existence saw him spurn her bounded reign,And panting Time toil'd after him in vain:His pow'rful strokes presiding Truth impress'd,And unresisted Passion storm'd the breast
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
You who are happy in a thousand homes,Or overworked therein, to a dumb peace;Whose souls are wholly centered in the lifeOf that small group you personally love;Who told you that you need not know or careAbout the sin and sorrow of the world?
Do you believe the sorrow of the worldDoes not concern you in your little homes? --That you are licensed to avoid the careAnd toil for human progress, human peace,And the enlargement of our power of loveUntil it covers every field of life?
The one first duty of all human lifeIs to promote the progress of the worldIn righteousness, in wisdom, truth and love;And you ignore it, hidden in your homes,Content to keep them in uncertain peace,Content to leave all else without your care