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Oliver Goldsmith (1794-1861)

The Rising Village


              1Thou dear companion of my early years,
              2Partner of all my boyish hopes and fears,
              3To whom I oft addressed the youthful strain,
              4And sought no other praise than thine to gain;
              5Who oft hast bid me emulate his fame
              6Whose genius formed the glory of our name;
              7Say, when thou canst, in manhood’s ripened age,
              8With judgment scan the more aspiring page,
              9Wilt thou accept this tribute of my lay,
            10By far too small thy fondness to repay?
            11Say, dearest Brother, wilt thou now excuse
            12This bolder flight of my adventurous muse?
            13     If, then, adown your cheek a tear should flow
            14For Auburn’s Village, and its speechless woe;
            15If, while you weep, you think the “lowly train”
            16Their early joys can never more regain,
            17Come, turn with me where happier prospects rise,
            18Beneath the sternness of Acadian skies.
            19And thou, dear spirit! whose harmonious lay
            20Didst lovely Auburn’s piercing woes display,
            21Do thou to thy fond relative impart
            22Some portion of thy sweet poetic art;
            23Like thine, Oh! let my verse as gently flow,
            24While truth and virtue in my numbers glow:
            25And guide my pen with thy bewitching hand,
            26To paint the Rising Village of the land.
            27     How chaste and splendid are the scenes that lie
            28Beneath the circle of Britannia’s sky!
            29What charming prospects there arrest the view,
            30How bright, how varied, and how boundless too!
            31Cities and plains extending far and wide,
            32The merchant’s glory, and the farmer’s pride.
            33Majestic palaces in pomp display
            34The wealth and splendour of the regal sway;
            35While the low hamlet and the shepherd’s cot,
            36In peace and freedom mark the peasant’s lot.
            37There nature’s vernal bloom adorns the field,
            38And Autumn’s fruits their rich luxuriance yield.
            39There men, in busy crowds, with men combine,
            40That arts may flourish, and fair science shine;
            41And thence, to distant climes their labours send,
            42As o’er the world their widening views extend.
            43Compar’d with scenes like these, how lone and drear
            44Did once Acadia’s woods and wilds appear;
            45Where wandering savages, and beasts of prey,
            46Displayed, by turns, the fury of their sway.
            47What noble courage must their hearts have fired,
            48How great the ardour which their souls inspired,
            49Who leaving far behind their native plain,
            50Have sought a home beyond the Western main;
            51And braved the perils of the stormy seas,
            52In search of wealth, of freedom, and of ease!
            53Oh! none can tell but they who sadly share
            54The bosom’s anguish, and its wild despair,
            55What dire distress awaits the hardy bands,
            56That venture first on bleak and desert lands.
            57How great the pain, the danger, and the toil,
            58Which mark the first rude culture of the soil.
            59When, looking round, the lonely settler sees
            60His home amid a wilderness of trees:
            61How sinks his heart in those deep solitudes,
            62Where not a voice upon his ear intrudes;
            63Where solemn silence all the waste pervades,
            64Heightening the horror of its gloom shades;
            65Save where the sturdy woodman’s strokes resound,
            66That strew the fallen forest on the ground.
            67See! from their heights the lofty pines descend,
            68And crackling, down their pond’rous lengths extend.
            69Soon from their boughs the curling flames arise,
            70Mount into air, and redden all the skies;
            71And where the forest once its foliage spread,
            72The golden corn triumphant waves its head.
            73     How blest did nature’s ruggedness appear
            74The only source of trouble or of fear;
            75How happy, did no hardship meet his view,
            76No other care his anxious steps pursue;
            77But, while his labour gains a short repose,
            78And hope presents a solace for his woes,
            79New ills arise, new fears his peace annoy,
            80And other dangers all his hopes destroy.
            81Behold the savage tribes in wildest strain,
            82Approach with death and terror in their train;
            83No longer silence o’er the forest reigns,
            84No longer stillness now her power retains;
            85But hideous yells announce the murderous band,
            86Whose bloody footsteps desolate the land;
            87He hears them oft in sternest mood maintain,
            88Their right to rule the mountain and the plain;
            89He hears them doom the white man’s instant death,
            90Shrinks from the sentence, while he gasps for breath,
            91Then, rousing with one effort all his might,
            92Darts from his hut, and saves himself by flight.
            93Yet, what refuge! Here a host of foes,
            94On every side, his trembling steps oppose;
            95Here savage beasts around his cottage howl,
            96As through the gloomy wood they nightly prowl,
            97Till morning comes, and then is heard no more
            98The shouts of man, or beast’s appalling roar;
            99The wandering Indian turns another way,
          100And brutes avoid the first approach of day.
          101     Yet, tho’ these threat’ning dangers round him roll,
          102Perplex his thoughts, and agitate his soul,
          103By patient firmness and industrious toil,
          104He still retains possession of the soil;
          105Around his dwelling scattered huts extend,
          106Whilst every hut affords another friend.
          107And now, behold! his bold aggressors fly,
          108To seek their prey beneath some other sky;
          109Resign the haunts they can maintain no more,
          110And safety in far distant wilds explore.
          111His perils vanished, and his fears o’ercome,
          112Sweet hope portrays a happy peaceful home.
          113On every side fair prospects charms his eyes,
          114And future joys in every thought arise.
          115His humble cot, built from the neighbouring trees,
          116Affords protection from each chilling breeze;
          117His rising crops, with rich luxuriance crowned,
          118In waving softness shed their freshness round;
          119By nature nourished, by her bounty blest,
          120He looks to Heaven, and lulls his cares to rest.
          121     The arts of culture now extend their sway,
          122And many a charm of rural life display.
          123Where once the pine upreared its lofty head,
          124The settlers’ humble cottages are spread;
          125Where the broad firs once sheltered from the storm,
          126By slow degrees a neighbourhood they form;
          127And, as its bounds, each circling year, increase
          128In social life, prosperity, and peace,
          129New prospects rise, new objects too appear,
          130To add more comfort to its lowly sphere.
          131Where some rude sign or post the spot betrays,
          132The tavern first its useful front displays.
          133Here, oft the weary traveller at the close
          134Of evening, finds a snug and safe repose.
          135The passing stranger here, a welcome guest,
          136From all his toil enjoys a peaceful rest;
          137Unless the host, solicitous to please,
          138With care officious mar his hope of ease,
          139With flippant questions to no end confined,
          140Exhaust his patience, and perplex his mind.
          141     Yet, let no one condemn with thoughtless haste,
          142The hardy settler of the dreary waste,
          143Who, far removed from every busy throng,
          144And social pleasures that to life belong,
          145Whene’er a stranger comes within his reach,
          146Will sigh to learn whatever he can teach.
          147To this, must be ascribed in great degree,
          148That ceaseless, idle curiosity,
          149Which over all the Western world prevails,
          150And every breast, or more or less, assails;
          151Till, by indulgence, so o’erpowering grown,
          152It seeks to know all business but its own.
          153Here, oft when winter’s dreary terrors reign,
          154And cold, and snow, and storm, pervade the plain,
          155Around the birch-wood blaze the settlers draw,
          156“To tell of all they felt, and all they saw.”
          157When, thus in peace are met a happy few,
          158Sweet are the social pleasures that ensue.
          159What lively joy each honest bosom feels,
          160As o’er the past events his memory steals,
          161And to the listeners paints the dire distress,
          162That marked his progress in the wilderness;
          163The danger, trouble, hardship, toil, and strife,
          164Which chased each effort of his struggling life.
          165     In some lone spot of consecrated ground,
          166Whose silence spreads a holy gloom around,
          167The village church in unadorned array,
          168Now lifts its turret to the opening day.
          169How sweet to see the villagers repair
          170In groups to pay their adoration there;
          171To view, in homespun dress, each sacred morn,
          172The old and young its hallowed seats adorn,
          173While, grateful for each blessing God has given,
          174In pious strains, they waft their thanks to Heaven.
          175     Oh, heaven-born faith! sure solace of our woes,
          176How lost is he who ne’er thy influence knows,
          177How cold the heart thy charity ne’er fires,
          178How dead the soul thy spirit ne’er inspires!
          179When troubles vex and agitate the mind,
          180By gracious Heaven for wisest ends designed,
          181When dangers threaten, or when fears invade,
          182Man flies to thee for comfort and for aid;
          183The soul, impelled by thy all-powerful laws,
          184Seeks safety, only, in a Great First Cause!
          185If, then, amid the busy scene of life,
          186Its joy and pleasure, care, distrust, and strife;
          187Man, to his God for help and succour fly,
          188And on his mighty power to save, rely;
          189If, then, his thoughts can force him to confess
          190His errors, wants, and utter helplessness;
          191How strong must be those feelings which impart
          192A sense of all his weakness to the heart,
          193Where not a friend in solitude is nigh,
          194His home the wild, his canopy the sky;
          195And, far removed from every human arm,
          196His God alone can shelter him from harm.
          197     While now the Rising Village claims a name,
          198Its limits still increase, and still its fame.
          199The wandering Pedlar, who undaunted traced
          200His lonely footsteps o’er the silent waste;
          201Who traversed once the cold and snow-clad plain,
          202Reckless of danger, trouble, or of pain,
          203To find a market for his little wares,
          204The source of all his hopes, and all his cares,
          205Established here, his settled home maintains,
          206And soon a merchant’s higher title gains.
          207Around his store, on spacious shelves arrayed,
          208Behold his great and various stock in trade.
          209Here, nails and blankets, side by side, are seen,
          210There, horses’ collars, and a large tureen;
          211Buttons and tumblers, fish-hooks, spoons and knives,
          212Shawls for young damsels, flannel for old wives;
          213Woolcards and stockings, hats for men and boys,
          214Mill-saws and fenders, silks, and children’s toys;
          215All useful things, and joined with many more,
          216Compose the well-assorted country store.
          217     The half-bred Doctor next then settles down,
          218And hopes the village soon will prove a town.
          219No rival here disputes his doubtful skill,
          220He cures, by chance, or ends each human ill;
          221By turns he physics, or his patient bleeds,
          222Uncertain in what case each best succeeds.
          223And if, from friends untimely snatched away,
          224Some beauty fall a victim to decay;
          225If some fine youth, his parents’ fond delight,
          226Be early hurried to the shades of night,
          227Death bears the blame, ’tis his envenomed dart
          228That strikes the suffering mortal to the heart.
          229     Beneath the shelter of a log-built shed
          230The country school-house next erects its head.
          231No “man severe,” with learning’s bright display,
          232Here leads the opening blossoms into day;
          233No master here, in every art refined,
          234Through fields of science guides the aspiring mind;
          235But some poor wanderer of the human race,
          236Unequal to the task, supplies his place,
          237Whose greatest source of knowledge or of skill
          238Consists in reading, and in writing ill;
          239Whose efforts can no higher merit claim,
          240Than spreading Dilworth’s great scholastic fame.
          241No modest youths surround his awful chair,
          242His frowns to deprecate, or smiles to share,
          243But all the terrors of his lawful sway
          244The proud despise, the fearless obey;
          245The rugged urchins spurn at all control,
          246Which cramps the movement of the free-born soul,
          247Till, in their own conceit so wise they’ve grown,
          248They think their knowledge far exceeds his own.
          249     As thus the village each successive year
          250Presents new prospects, and extends its sphere,
          251While all around its smiling charms expand,
          252And rural beauties decorate the land.
          253The humble tenants, who were taught to know,
          254By years of suffering, all the weight of woe;
          255Who felt each hardship nature could endure,
          256Such pains as time alone could ease or cure,
          257Relieved from want, in sportive pleasures find
          258A balm to soften and relax the mind;
          259And now, forgetful of their former care,
          260Enjoy each sport, and every pastime share.
          261Beneath some spreading tree’s expanded shade
          262Here many a manly youth and gentle maid,
          263With festive dances or with sprightly song
          264The summer’s evening hours in joy prolong,
          265And as the young their simple sports renew,
          266The aged witness, and approve them too.
          267And when the Summer’s bloomy charms are fled,
          268When Autumn’s fallen leaves around are spread,
          269When Winter rules the sad inverted year,
          270And ice and snow alternately appear,
          271Sports not less welcome lightly they essay,
          272To chase the long and tedious hours away.
          273Here, ranged in joyous groups around the fire,
          274Gambols and freaks each honest heart inspire;
          275And if some venturous youth obtain a kiss,
          276The game’s reward, and summit of its bliss,
          277Applauding shouts the victor’s prize proclaim,
          278And every tongue augments his well-earned fame;
          279While all the modest fair one’s blushes tell
          280Success had crowned his fondest hope too well.
          281Dear humble sports, Oh! long may you impart
          282A guileless pleasure to the youthful heart,
          283Still may your joys from year to year increase,
          284And fill each breast with happiness and peace.
          285     Yet, tho’ these simple pleasures crown the year,
          286Relieve its cares, and every bosom cheer,
          287As life’s gay scenes in quick succession rise,
          288To lure the heart and captivate the eyes;
          289Soon vice steals on, in thoughtless pleasure’s train,
          290And spreads her miseries o’er the village plain.
          291Her baneful arts some happy home invade,
          292Some bashful lover, or some tender maid;
          293Until, at length, repressed by no control,
          294They sink, debase, and overwhelm the soul.
          295How many aching breasts now live to know
          296The shame, the anguish, misery and woe,
          297That heedless passions, by no laws confined,
          298Entail forever on the human mind.
          299Oh, Virtue! that thy powerful charms could bind
          300Each rising impulse of the erring mind.
          301That every heart might own thy sovereign sway,
          302And every bosom fear to disobey;
          303No father’s heart would then in anguish trace
          304The sad remembrance of a son’s disgrace;
          305No mother’s tears for some dear child undone
          306Would then in streams of poignant sorrow run,
          307Nor could my verse the hapless story tell
          308Of one poor maid who loved – and loved too well.
          309     Among the youths that graced their native plain,
          310Albert was foremost of the village train;
          311The hand of nature had profusely shed
          312Her choicest blessings on his youthful head;
          313His heart seemed generous, noble, kind, and free,
          314Just bursting into manhood’s energy.
          315Flora was fair, and blooming as that flower
          316Which spreads its blossom to the April shower;
          317Her gentle manners and unstudied grace
          318Still added lustre to her beaming face,
          319While every look, by purity refined,
          320Displayed the lovelier beauties of her mind.
          321     Sweet was the hour, and peaceful was the scene
          322When Albert first met Flora on the green;
          323Her modest looks, in youthful bloom displayed,
          324Then touched his heart, and there a conquest made.
          325Nor long he sighed, by love and rapture fired,
          326He soon declared the passion she inspired.
          327In silence, blushing sweetly, Flora heard
          328His vows of love and constancy preferred;
          329And, as his soft and tender suit he pressed,
          330The maid, at length, a mutual flame confessed.
          331     Love now had shed, with visions light as air,
          332His golden prospects on this happy pair:
          333Those moments soon rolled rapidly away,
          334Those hours of joy and bliss that gently play
          335Around young hearts, ere yet they learn to know
          336Life’s care or trouble, or to feel its woe.
          337The day was fixed, the bridal dress was made,
          338And time alone their happiness delayed,
          339The anxious moment that, in joy begun,
          340Would join their fond and faithful hearts in one.
          341’Twas now at evening’s hour, about the time
          342When in Acadia’s cold and northern clime
          343The setting sun, with pale and cheerless glow,
          344Extends his beams o’er trackless fields of snow,
          345That Flora felt her throbbing heart oppressed
          346By thoughts, till then, a stranger to her breast.
          347Albert had promised that his bosom’s pride
          348That very morning should become his bride;
          349Yet morn had come and passed; and not one vow
          350Of his had e’er been broken until now.
          351But, hark! a hurried step advances near,
          352’Tis Albert’s breaks upon her listening ear;
          353Albert’s, ah, no! a ruder footstep bore,
          354With eager haste, a letter to the door;
          355Flora received it, and could scarce conceal
          356Her rapture, as she kissed her lover’s seal.
          357Yet, anxious tears were gathered in her eye,
          358As on the note it rested wistfully;
          359Her trembling hands unclosed the folded page,
          360That soon she hoped would every fear assuage,
          361And while intently o’er the lines she ran,
          362In broken half breathed tones she thus began:
          363     “Dear Flora, I have left my native plain,
          364And fate forbids that we shall meet again:
          365’Twere vain to tell, nor can I now impart
          366The sudden motive to this change of heart.
          367The vows so oft repeated to thine ear
          368As tales of cruel falsehood must appear.
          369Forgive the hand that deals this treacherous blow,
          370Forget the heart that can afflict this woe;
          371Farewell! and think no more of Albert’s name,
          372His weakness pity, now involved in shame.”
          373     Ah! who can paint her features as, amazed,
          374In breathless agony, she stood and gazed!
          375Oh, Albert, cruel Albert! she exclaimed,
          376Albert was all her faltering accents named.
          377A deadly feeling seized upon her frame,
          378Her pulse throbb’d quick, her colour went and came;
          379A darting pain shot through her frenzied head,
          380And from that fatal hour her reason fled!
          381     The sun had set; his lingering beams of light
          382From western hills had vanished into night.
          383The northern blasts along the valley rolled,
          384Keen was that blast, and piercing was the cold.
          385When, urged by frenzy, and by love inspired,
          386For what but madness could her breast have fired!
          387Flora, with one slight mantle round her waved,
          388Forsook her home, and all the tempest braved.
          389Her lover’s falsehood wrung her gentle breast,
          390His broken vows her tortured mind possessed;
          391Heedless of danger, on she bent her way
          392Through drifts of snow, where Albert’s dwelling lay,
          393With frantic haste her tottering steps pursued
          394Amid the long night’s darkness unsubdued;
          395Until, benumbed, her fair and fragile form
          396Yielded beneath the fury of the storm;
          397Exhausted nature could no further go,
          398And, senseless, down she sank amid the snow.
          399     Now as the morn had streaked the eastern sky
          400With dawning light, a passing stranger’s eye,
          401By chance directed, glanced upon the spot
          402Where lay the lovely sufferer: To his cot
          403The peasant bore her, and with anxious care
          404Tried every art, till hope became despair.
          405With kind solicitude his tender wife
          406Long vainly strove to call her back to life;
          407At length her gentle bosom throbs again,
          408Her torpid limbs their wonted power obtain;
          409The loitering current now begins to flow,
          410And hapless Flora wakes once more to woe:
          411But all their friendly efforts could not find
          412A balm to heal the anguish of her mind.
          413     Come hither, wretch, and see what thou hast done,
          414Behold the heart thou hast so falsely won,
          415Behold it, wounded, broken, crushed and riven,
          416By thy unmanly arts to ruin driven;
          417Hear Flora calling on thy much loved name,
          418Which, e’en in madness, she forbears to blame.
          419Not all thy sighs and tears can now restore
          420One hour of pleasure that she knew before;
          421Not all thy prayers can now remove the pain,
          422That floats and revels o’er her maddened brain.
          423Oh, shame of manhood! that could thus betray
          424A maiden’s hopes, and lead her heart away;
          425Oh, shame of manhood! that could blast her joy,
          426And one so fair, so lovely, could destroy.
          427     Yet, think not oft such tales of real woe
          428Degrade the land, and round the village flow.
          429Here virtue’s charms appear in bright array,
          430And all their pleasing influence display;
          431Here modest youths, impressed in beauty’s train,
          432Or captive led by love’s endearing chain,
          433And fairest girls whom vows have ne’er betrayed,
          434Vows that are broken oft as soon as made,
          435Unite their hopes, and join their lives in one,
          436In bliss pursue them, as at first begun.
          437Then, as life’s current onward gently flows,
          438With scarce one fault to ruffle its repose,
          439With minds prepared, they sink in peace to rest,
          440To meet on high the spirits of the blest.
          441     While time thus rolls his rapid years away,
          442The Village rises gently into day.
          443How sweet it is, at first approach of morn,
          444Before the silvery dew has left the lawn,
          445When warning winds are sleeping yet on high,
          446Or breathe as softly as the bosom’s sigh,
          447To gain some easy hill’s ascending height,
          448Where all the landscape brightens with delight,
          449And boundless prospects stretched on every side,
          450Proclaim the country’s industry and pride.
          451Here the broad marsh extends its open plain,
          452Until its limits touch the distant main;
          453There verdant meads along the uplands spring,
          454And grateful odours to the breezes fling;
          455Here crops of grain in rich luxuriance rise,
          456And wave their golden riches to the skies;
          457There smiling orchards interrupt the scene,
          458Or gardens bounded by some fence of green;
          459The farmer’s cottage, bosomed ’mong the trees,
          460Whose spreading branches shelter from the breeze;
          461The winding stream that turns the busy mill,
          462Whose clacking echoes o’er the distant hill;
          463The neat white church, beside whose walls are spread
          464The grass-clod hillocks of the sacred dead,
          465Where rude cut stones or painted tables tell,
          466In laboured verse, how youth and beauty fell;
          467How worth and hope were hurried to the grave,
          468And torn from those who had no power to save.
          469   Or, when the Summer’s dry and sultry sun
          470Adown the West his fiery course had run;
          471When o’er the vale his parting rays of light
          472Just linger, ere they vanish into night,
          473How sweet to wander round the wood-bound lake,
          474Whose glassy stillness scarce the zephyrs wake;
          475How sweet to hear the murmuring of the rill,
          476As down it gurgles from the distant hill;
          477The note of Whip-poor-Will how sweet to hear,
          478When sadly slow it breaks upon the ear,
          479And tells each night, to all the silent vale,
          480The hopeless sorrows of its mournful tale.
          481Dear lovely spot! Oh may such charms as these,
          482Sweet tranquil charms, that cannot fail to please,
          483Forever reign around thee, and impart
          484Joy, peace, and comfort to each native heart.
          485     Happy Acadia! though around thy shore
          486Is heard the stormy wind’s terrific roar;
          487Though round thee Winter binds his icy chain,
          488And his rude tempests sweep along thy plain,
          489Still Summer comes, and decorates thy land
          490With fruits and flowers from her luxuriant hand;
          491Still Autumn’s gifts repay the labourer’s toil
          492With richest products from thy fertile soil;
          493With bounteous store his varied wants supply,
          494And scarce the plants of other suns deny.
          495How pleasing, and how glowing with delight
          496Are now thy budding hopes! How sweetly bright
          497They rise to view! How full of joy appear
          498The expectations of each future year!
          499Not fifty Summers yet have blessed thy clime,
          500How short a period in the page of time!
          501Since savage tribes, with terror in their train,
          502Rushed o’er thy fields, and ravaged all thy plain.
          503But some few years have rolled in haste away
          504Since, through thy vales, the fearless beast of prey,
          505With dismal yell and loud appalling cry,
          506Proclaimed his midnight reign of terror nigh.
          507And now how changed the scene! the first, afar,
          508Have fled to wilds beneath the northern star;
          509The last has learned to shun man’s dreaded eye,
          510And, in his turn, to distant regions fly.
          511While the poor peasant, whose laborious care
          512Scarce from the soil could wring his scanty fare;
          513Now in the peaceful arts of culture skilled,
          514Sees his wide barn with ample treasures filled;
          515Now finds his dwelling, as the year goes round,
          516Beyond his hopes, with joy and plenty crowned.
          517     Nor culture’s arts, a nation’s noblest friend,
          518Alone o’er Scotia’s fields their power extend;
          519From all her shores, with every gentle gale,
          520Commerce expands her free and swelling sail;
          521And all the land, luxuriant, rich, and gay,
          522Exulting owns the splendour of their sway.
          523These are thy blessings, Scotia, and for these,
          524For wealth, for freedom, happiness, and ease,
          525Thy grateful thanks to Britain’s care are due,
          526Her power protects, her smiles past hopes renew,
          527Her valour guards thee, and her councils guide.
          528Then, may thy parent ever be thy pride!
          529     Happy Britannia! though thy history’s page
          530In darkest ignorance shrouds thine infant age,
          531Though long thy childhood’s years in error strayed,
          532And long in superstition’s bands delayed;
          533Matur’d and strong, thou shin’st in manhood’s prime,
          534The first and brightest star of Europe’s clime.
          535The nurse of science, and the seat of arts,
          536The home of fairest forms and gentlest hearts;
          537The land of heroes, generous, free, and brave,
          538The noblest conquerors of the field and wave;
          539Thy flag, on every sea and shore unfurled,
          540Has spread thy glory, and thy thunder hurled.
          541When, o’er the earth, a tyrant would have thrown
          542His iron chain, and called the world his own,
          543Thine arm preserved it, in its darkest hour,
          544Destroyed his hopes, and crushed his dreaded power,
          545To sinking nations life and freedom gave,
          546’Twas thine to conquer, as ’twas thine to save.
          547     Then blest Acadia! ever may thy name,
          548Like hers, be graven on the rolls of fame;
          549May all thy sons, like hers, be brave and free,
          550Possessors of her laws and liberty;
          551Heirs of her splendour, science, power, and skill,
          552And through succeeding years her children still.
          553And as the sun, with gentle dawning ray,
          554From night’s dull bosom wakes, and leads the day,
          555His course majestic keeps, till in the height
          556He glows one blaze of pure exhaustless light;
          557So may thy years increase, thy glories rise,
          558To be the wonder of the Western skies;
          559And bliss and peace encircle all thy shore,
          560Till empires rise and sink, on earth, no more.

Notes

72] “The process of clearing land, though simple, is attended with a great deal of labour. The trees are all felled, so as to lie in the same direction; and after the fire has passed over them in that state, whatever may be left is collected into heaps and reduced to ashes. The grain is then sown between the stumps of the trees, which remain, until the lapse of time, from ten to fifteen years, reduces them to decay.” (Oliver Goldsmith)

216] “Every shop in America, whether in city or village, in which the most trifling articles are sold, is dignified with the title of a store.” (Oliver Goldmsith)

316] “The May-flower (Epigaea repens) is indigenous to the wilds of Acadia, and is in bloom from the middle of April to the end of May. Its leaves are white, faintly tinged with red, and it possesses a delightful fragrance.” (Oliver Goldsmith)

477] “The Whip-poor-Will (Caprimulgus vociferous) is a native of America. On a summer’s evening the wild and mournful cadence of its note is heard at a great distance; and the traveller listens with delight to the repeated tale of its sorrows.” (Oliver Goldsmith)

485] “The Provinces of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick now comprehend that part of British North America, which was formerly denominated by Acadia, or L’Acadie, by the French, and Nova Scotia by the English.” (Oliver Goldsmith)


Online text copyright © 2004, Ian Lancashire for the Department of English, University of Toronto.
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services, University of Toronto Libraries.

Original text:
Publication date note: Early Long Poems on Canada, ed. D.M.R. Bentley (London, On: Canadian Poetry Press, 1993): 201-16. PS 8289 .E27 1993
Original edition: Oliver Goldsmith, The Rising Village, with Other Poems (Saint John: John McMillan, 1834).
RPO poem editor: Ian Lancashire
RP edition:
Recent editing: 1:2004/8/11


Other poems by Oliver Goldsmith