Imagens da página

For him no wretches, born to work and weep,

Explore the mine,| or tempt the dangerous deep ;] 105 No surly porter stands, in guilty state,

To spurn imploring famine from the gate ; |
But on he moves to meet his latter end,
Angels around befriending virtues friend ; |

Sinks to the grave with unperceived decay,] 110 While resignation gently slopes the way ; |

And, all his prospects brightening to the last,
His heaven commences | ere the world be past ! |

Sweet was the sound, I when oft, at evening's close,

Up yonder hill the village murmur rose ; |
115 There,) as I pass’d with careless steps and slow, |

The mingled notes came soften'd from below ;)
The swain responsive) as the milk-maid sung, |
The sober herd) that low'd to meet their young ; |

The noisy geese) that gabbled o'er the pool, I 120 The playful children just let loose from school ;

The watch-dog's voice) that bay'd the whispering wind,
And the loud laugh) that spoke the vacant mind : 1
These all in sweet confusion sought the shade,)

And fill'd each pause) the nightingale had made.] 125 But now the sounds of population fail, |

No cheerful murmurs fluctuate in the gale, |
No busy steps the grass-grown footway tread,
But all the blooming flush of life is filed :

All but yon widow'd, solitary thing, |
130 That feebly bends beside the plashy spring ;

105. Guilty state-Guilty is too strorg a term.

108. Befriending . friend-Here is a designed alliteration, as in ill and ills, line 51.

116. Softened— Participial adjunct to the Pred. “ came" (Gr. 78. d).

117-122 Swain, herd, geese, children, and voice, laugh--All in apposition with these," and Subj. to " sought." A precisely similar construction to lines 25-30.

122. Vacant, i.e., free from care, see line 257.

123. These all, i.e., all these sounds, viz., the watch-dog's voice, the loud laugh, and (the sounds of) the swain, the herd, the geese, and the children. This joining together of several nouns, to all of which the predicate does not, in strict analysis, equally apply, is called a Zeugma.

129. But is here used as a preposition, equivalent to except, and governing thing."

She, wretched matron, forced, in age, for bread,
To strip the brook with mantling cresses spread,
To pick her wintry fagot from the thorn,

To seek her nightly shed, and weep till morn; 135 She only left of all the harmless train,

The sad historian of the pensive plain. |

Near yonder copse,) where once the garden smiled,
And still where many a garden-flower grows wild,

There,) where a few torn shrubs the place disclose, 140 The village preacher's modest mansion rose.)

A man he was to all the country dear,
And passing rich with forty pounds a year ; |
Remote from towns he ran his godly race,

Nor e'er had changed,] nor wish'd to change, his place ;] 145 Unskilful he to fawn, or seek for power

By doctrines fashion'd to the varying hour ;]
Far other aims his heart had learned to prize,
More bent to raise the wretched than to rise.

His house was known to all the vagrant train,
150 He chid their wanderings, but relieved their pain ;]

The long-remember'd beggar was his guest,
Whose beard descending swept his aged breast ; |
The ruin'd spendthrift, now no longer proud,

Claim'd kindred there, and had his claims allow'd ;] 155 The broken soldier, kindly bid to stay,

Sat by his fire, and talk'd the night away ;]

131-136. The grammatical construction of these lines is rather loose ; but it coheres better with the sense to regard she forced, and she left, as Nom. absolutes, qualifying the previous sentence, than to take them as separate sentences, with ellipsis of is.

136. The pensive plain—Thoughtfulness is akin to seriousness and sadness, as mirth is to thoughtlessness : hence pensive is here so much as mournful, just as vacant (lines 122 and 257) stands for joyful.

138. And still whereA strange transposition for, and where still.

140. Modest mansion is almost & contrediction in terms, for a mansion is a grand house, but Goldsmith uses it simply for house, see lines 195, 238; but he may perhaps have had the Scottish term, manse, in his mind, used always of a minister's abode.

142. Passing, i.e., surpassingly; exceedingly, as passing fair.

148. More bent-The partic. refers not to the subject heart (which certainly was not “bent to rise") but to the pronoun he, which lies involved in his.

Wept o'er his wou

wounds, or, tales of sorrow done,] Shoulder'd his crutch,] and show'd] how fields were won. I

Pleased with his guests, the good mạn learn’d to glow, | 160 And quite forgot their vices in their woe ;]

Careless their merits or their faults to scan,
His pity gave] ere charity began. |

Thus to relieve the wretched was his pride, |

And even his failings lean’d to virtue's side ; | 165 But in his duty prompt at every call,

He watch'd] and wept] he pray'd] and felt, for all :]
And,) as a bird each fond endearment tries,
To tempt its new-fledged offspring to the skies, |

He tried each art,) reproved each dull delay,] 170 Allured to brighter worlds,] and led the way.]

Beside the bed) where parting life was laid,
And sorrow, guilt, and pain, by turns dismay'd, I
The reverend champion stood.) At his control,

Despair and anguish fled the struggling soul;
175 Comfort came down the trembling wretch to raise, ]

And his last faltering accents whisper'd praise.

At church, with meek and unaffected grace,
His looks adorn’d the venerable place ;|

Truth from bis lips prevail'd with double sway, | 180 And fools) who came to scoff, | remain’d to pray.)

The service past, around the pious man,
With steady zeal, each honest rustic ran ;
Even children follow'd, with endearing wile,

And pluck'd his gown, to share the good man's smile ;] 185 His ready smile a parent's warmth express'd ; |

Their welfare pleased him, and their cares distress'd :]
To them his heart, his love, his griefs were given,
But all his serious thoughts had rest in heaven.

157. Sorrow done-Done is here used for passed, gone by.

163. To relieve the wretched-Subj. Gr. 71. 1.

172. Construe--And where sorrow, guilt,

and pain, did dismay by turns. The object of the verb is left out, as also in lines 221 408, and often in poetry.--See note on Milton, Paradise Lost, i. 259.


[As some tall cliff] that lifts its awful form, | 190 Swells from the vale,] and midway leaves the storm,]

Though round its breast the rolling clouds are spread, I
Eternal sunshine settles on its head.

Beside yon straggling fence) that skirts the way,

With blossom'd furze, unprofitably gay,
195 There, in his noisy mansion, skill'd to rule,

The village master taught his little school ;)
A man severe he was, and stern to view, |
I knew him well, and every truant knew ;]

Well had the boding tremblers learn'd to trace 200 The day's disasters in his morning face ; |

Full well they laugh'd with counterfeited glee
At all his jokes, for many a joke had he ; |
Full well the busy whisper, circling round,

Convey'd the dismal tidings | when he' frown'd ;) 205 Yet he was kind, | or) if severe in aught]

The love) he bore to learning] was in fault ;)
The village all declared | how much he knew ; )
'Twas certain | he could write, i and cipher too ;]

Lands he could measure, | terms and tides presage,] 210 And even the story ran that he could gauge. I

In arguing, too, the parson own'd his skill,
For even though vanquish'd, he could argue still ;/
While words of learned length and thundering sound

Amazed the gazing rustics ranged around ; |
215 And still they gazed, and still the wonder grew,

That one small head should carry all | he knew.]

199. To trace the day's disasters in his morning face-Obj. to learned. Gr. 75. 1. 4.

189. As . . head-This beautiful sentence is syntactically considered irregular; it is in technical language an anacoluthon, the end does not correspond with the begin. ning. The subject is clif* in the first part, but in the latter it is shifted to sunshine.

195. Skilled to rule-Adj. to Subj. master.

198. I knew him well, and every truant knew, sc. to be severe and stern—referring to the previous line.

208. He could write and cipher too-The Conj. that is understood. The whole is a Subs. Sent., in apposition with it involved in 'Twas ; consequently, all acting as Subj. to the Pred.“ was certain."

209. He could measure land, and calculate astronomical periods.

But past is all his fame. The very spot)
Where many a time he triumph’d, 1 is forgot.)

Near yonder thorn,) that lifts its head on high, | 220 Where once the sign-post caught the passing eye, |

Low lies that house) where nut-brown draughts inspired, I
Where grey-beard mirth and smiling toil retired ; |
Where village statesmen talk'd with looks profound, I

And news much older) than their ale) went round.) 225 Imagination fondly stoops to trace

The parlour splendours of that festive place;
The whitewash'd wall, the nicely-sanded floor,
The varnish'd clock) that click'd behind the door ; |

The chest, contrived a double debt to pay, 230 A bed by night, a chest of drawers by day ;

The pictures placed for ornament and use,
The twelve good rules, the royal game of goose ;
The hearth, except) when winter chill'd the day, |

With aspen boughs, and flowers, and fennel, gay ;) 235 While broken tea-cups, wisely kept for show,

Ranged o'er the chimney, glisten'd in a row. |

(Vain transitory splendours ] could not all Reprieve the tottering mansion from its fall ?

Obscure it sinks, nor shall it more impart
240 An hour's importance to the poor man's heart. |

Thither no more the peasant shall repair,
To sweet oblivion of his daily care ; |
No more the farmer's news, the barkut's tale,
No more the woodman's ballar shull prevail :|

in the trug usa irom th: 100 it, wars, 46 team var, at

اتت سبع به وزیر به باورها و الله

221. See note on line 172 226-234. All enlarzesasta v *** splendours," and is ide sejenite sitta Us to “trace.”

232. The twelve gi rin- Deus a printed paper of mazina starus sy public-houses.

Game od gums ar with holes, and pers in tota

238. Mansion-see line 145, USA

« AnteriorContinuar »