The Deserted Village Poem Rhyme Scheme and Analysis


Sweet Auburn loveliest village of the plainA
Where health and plenty cheered the labouring swainA
Where smiling spring its earliest visits paidB
And parting summer's lingering blooms delayedB
Dear lovely bowers of innocence and easeC
Seats of my youth where every sport could pleaseC
How often have I loitered o'er your greenD
Where humble happiness endeared each sceneD
How often have I paused on every charmE
The sheltered cot the cultivated farmE
The never failing brook the busy millF
The decent church that topped the neighbouring hillF
The hawthorn bush with seats beneath the shadeB
For talking age and whispering lovers madeB
How often have I blessed the coming dayG
When toil remitting lent its turn to playG
And all the village train from labour freeH
Led up their sports beneath the spreading treeH
While many a pastime circled in the shadeB
The young contending as the old surveyedB
And many a gambol frolicked o'er the groundI
And sleights of art and feats of strength went roundI
And still as each repeated pleasure tiredJ
Succeeding sports the mirthful band inspiredJ
The dancing pair that simply sought renownK
By holding out to tire each other downK
The swain mistrustless of his smutted faceL
While secret laughter tittered round the placeL
The bashful virgin's sidelong look of loveM
The matron's glance that would those looks reproveM
These were thy charms sweet village sports like theseC
With sweet succession taught even toil to pleaseC
These round thy bowers their cheerful influence shedN
These were thy charms But all these charms are fledN
Sweet smiling village loveliest of the lawnO
Thy sports are fled and all thy charms withdrawnO
Amidst thy bowers the tyrant's hand is seenD
And desolation saddens all thy greenD
One only master grasps the whole domainA
And half a tillage stints thy smiling plainA
No more thy glassy brook reflects the dayG
But choked with sedges works its weedy wayG
Along thy glades a solitary guestP
The hollow sounding bittern guards its nestP
Amidst thy desert walks the lapwing fliesQ
And tires their echoes with unvaried criesQ
Sunk are thy bowers in shapeless ruin allR
And the long grass o'ertops the mouldering wallR
And trembling shrinking from the spoiler's handS
Far far away thy children leave the landS
Ill fares the land to hastening ills a preyG
Where wealth accumulates and men decayG
Princes and lords may flourish or may fadeB
A breath can make them as a breath has madeB
But a bold peasantry their country's prideT
When once destroyed can never be suppliedT
A time there was ere England's griefs beganU
When every rood of ground maintained its manU
For him light labour spread her wholesome storeV
Just gave what life required but gave no moreV
His best companions innocence and healthW
And his best riches ignorance of wealthW
But times are altered trade's unfeeling trainA
Usurp the land and dispossess the swainA
Along the lawn where scattered hamlet's roseX
Unwieldy wealth and cumbrous pomp reposeX
And every want to opulence alliedT
And every pang that folly pays to prideT
Those gentle hours that plenty bade to bloomY
Those calm desires that asked but little roomY
Those healthful sports that graced the peaceful sceneD
Lived in each look and brightened all the greenD
These far departing seek a kinder shoreV
And rural mirth and manners are no moreV
Sweet Auburn parent of the blissful hourZ
Thy glades forlorn confess the tyrant's powerZ
Here as I take my solitary roundsA2
Amidst thy tangling walks and ruined groundsA2
And many a year elapsed return to viewM
Where once the cottage stood the hawthorn grewM
Remembrance wakes with all her busy trainA
Swells at my breast and turns the past to painA
In all my wanderings round this world of careB2
In all my griefs and God has given my shareB2
I still had hopes my latest hours to crownK
Amidst these humble bowers to lay me downK
To husband out life's taper at the closeC2
And keep the flame from wasting by reposeX
I still had hopes for pride attends us stillF
Amidst the swains to show my book learned skillF
Around my fire an evening group to drawD2
And tell of all I felt and all I sawD2
And as a hare whom hounds and horns pursueM
Pants to the place from whence at first she flewM
I still had hopes my long vexations passedE2
Here to return and die at home at lastE2
O blest retirement friend to life's declineF2
Retreats from care that never must be mineF2
How happy he who crowns in shades like theseC
A youth of labour with an age of easeC
Who quits a world where strong temptations tryG2
And since 'tis hard to combat learns to flyG2
For him no wretches born to work and weepH2
Explore the mine or tempt the dangerous deepH2
No surly porter stands in guilty stateI2
To spurn imploring famine from the gateI2
But on he moves to meet his latter endJ2
Angels round befriending Virtue's friendJ2
Bends to the grave with unperceived decayG
While Resignation gently slopes the wayG
All all his prospects brightening to the lastE2
His Heaven commences ere the world be pastE2
Sweet was the sound when oft at evening's closeC2
Up yonder hill the village murmur roseX
There as I passed with careless steps and slowK2
The mingling notes came softened from belowK2
The swain responsive as the milkmaid sungL2
The sober herd that lowed to meet their youngL2
The noisy geese that gabbled o'er the poolM2
The playful children just let loose from schoolM2
The watchdog's voice that bayed the whisp'ring windN2
And the loud laugh that spoke the vacant mindN2
These all in sweet confusion sought the shadeB
And filled each pause the nightingale had madeB
But now the sounds of population failO2
No cheerful murmurs fluctuate in the galeO2
No busy steps the grass grown footway treadN
For all the bloomy flush of life is fledN
All but yon widowed solitary thingP2
That feebly bends beside the plashy springP2
She wretched matron forced in age for breadN
To strip the brook with mantling cresses spreadN
To pick her wintry faggot from the thornQ2
To seek her nightly shed and weep till mornQ2
She only left of all the harmless trainA
The sad historian of the pensive plainA
Near yonder copse where once the garden smiledR2
And still where many a garden flower grows wildR2
There where a few torn shrubs the place discloseX
The village preacher's modest mansion roseX
A man he was to all the country dearS2
And passing rich with forty pounds a yearS2
Remote from towns he ran his godly raceL
Nor e'er had changed nor wished to change his placeL
Unpractised he to fawn or seek for powerZ
By doctrines fashioned to the varying hourZ
Far other aims his heart had learned to prizeQ
More skilled to raise the wretched than to riseQ
His house was known to all the vagrant trainA
He chid their wanderings but relieved their painA
The long remembered beggar was his guestP
Whose beard descending swept his aged breastP
The ruined spendthrift now no longer proudT2
Claimed kindred there and had his claims allowedT2
The broken soldier kindly bade to stayG
Sat by his fire and talked the night awayG
Wept o'er his wounds or tales of sorrow doneU2
Shouldered his crutch and showed how fields were wonU2
Pleased with his guests the good man learned to glowK2
And quite forgot their vices in their woeK2
Careless their merits or their faults to scanU
His pity gave ere charity beganU
Thus to relieve the wretched was his prideT
And e'en his failings leaned to Virtue's sideT
But in his duty prompt at every callR
He watched and wept he prayed and felt for allR
And as a bird each fond endearment triesQ
To tempt its new fledged offspring to the skiesQ
He tried each art reproved each dull delayG
Allured to brighter worlds and led the wayG
Beside the bed where parting life was laidB
And sorrow guilt and pain by turns dismayedB
The reverend champion stood At his controlV2
Despair and anguish fled the struggling soulV2
Comfort came down the trembling wretch to raiseW2
And his last faltering accents whispered praiseW2
At church with meek and unaffected graceL
His looks adorned the venerable placeL
Truth from his lips prevailed with double swayG
And fools who came to scoff remained to prayG
The service passed around the pious manU
With steady zeal each honest rustic ranU
Even children followed with endearing wileX2
And plucked his gown to share the good man's smileX2
His ready smile a parent's warmth expressedP
Their welfare pleased him and their cares distressedP
To them his heart his love his griefs were givenU2
But all his serious thoughts had rest in HeavenU2
As some tall cliff that lifts its awful formY2
Swells from the vale and midway leaves the stormY2
Though round its breast the rolling clouds are spreadN
Eternal sunshine settles on its headN
Beside yon straggling fence that skirts the wayG
With blossomed furze unprofitably gayG
There in his noisy mansion skilled to ruleM2
The village master taught his little schoolM2
A man severe he was and stern to viewM
I knew him well and every truant knewM
Well had the boding tremblers learned to traceL
The day's disasters in his morning faceL
Full well they laughed with counterfeited gleeH
At all his jokes for many a joke had heH
Full well the busy whisper circling roundI
Conveyed the dismal tidings when he frownedI
Yet he was kind or if severe in aughtI
The love he bore to learning was in faultI
The village all declared how much he knewM
'Twas certain he could write and cipher tooM
Lands he could measure terms and tides presageZ2
And even the story ran that he could gaugeA3
In arguing too the parson owned his skillF
For e'en though vanquished he could argue stillF
While words of learned length and thundering soundI
Amazed the gazing rustics ranged aroundI
And still they gazed and still the wonder grewM
That one small head could carry all he knewM
But past is all his fame The very spotI
Where many a time he triumphed is forgotI
Near yonder thorn that lifts its head on highG2
Where once the signpost caught the passing eyeG2
Low lies that house where nut brown draughts inspiredI
Where grey beard mirth and smiling toil retiredI
Where village statesmen talked with looks profoundI
And news much older than their ale went roundI
Imagination fondly stoops to traceL
The parlour splendours of that festive placeL
The white washed wall the nicely sanded floorV
The varnished clock that clicked behind the doorV
The chest contrived a double debt to payG
A bed by night a chest of drawers by dayG
The pictures placed for ornament and useB3
The twelve good rules the royal game of gooseB3
The hearth except when winter chilled the dayG
With aspen boughs and flowers and fennel gayG
While broken teacups wisely kept for showK2
Ranged o'er the chimney glistened in a rowK2
Vain transitory splendours Could not allR
Reprieve the tottering mansion from its fallR
Obscure it sinks nor shall it more impartI
An hour's importance to the poor man's heartI
Thither no more the peasant shall repairB2
To sweet oblivion of his daily careB2
No more the farmer's news the barber's taleO2
No more the woodman's ballad shall prevailO2
No more the smith his dusky brow shall clearS2
Relax his ponderous strength and lean to hearC3
The host himself no longer shall be foundI
Careful to see the mantling bliss go roundI
Nor the coy maid half willing to be pressedI
Shall kiss the cup to pass it to the restI
Yes let the rich deride the proud disdainA
These simple blessings of the lowly trainA
To me more dear congenial to my heartI
One native charm than all the gloss of artI
Spontaneous joys where Nature has its playG
The soul adopts and owns their first born swayG
Lightly they frolic o'er the vacant mindI
Unenvied unmolested unconfinedI
But the long pomp the midnight masqueradeI
With all the freaks of wanton wealth arrayedI
In these ere triflers half their wish obtainA
The toiling pleasure sickens into painA
And even while fashion's brightest arts decoyD3
The heart distrusting asks if this be joyD3
Ye friends to truth ye statesmen who surveyG
The rich man's joys increase the poor's decayG
'Tis yours to judge how wide the limits standI
Between a splendid and a happy landI
Proud swells the tide with loads of freighted oreV
And shouting Folly hails them from her shoreV
Hoards even beyond the miser's wish aboundI
And rich men flock from all the world aroundI
Yet count our gains This wealth is but a nameE3
That leaves our useful products still the sameE3
Not so the loss The man of wealth and prideI
Takes up a space that many poor suppliedI
Space for his lake his park's extended boundsA2
Space for his horses equipage and houndsA2
The robe that wraps his limbs in silken slothF3
Has robbed the neighbouring fields of half their growthF3
His seat where solitary sports are seenD
Indignant spurns the cottage from the greenD
Around the world each needful product fliesQ
For all the luxuries the world suppliesQ
While thus the land adorned for pleasure allR
In barren splendour feebly waits the fallR
As some fair female unadorned and plainA
Secure to please while youth confirms her reignA
Slights every borrowed charm that dress suppliesQ
Nor shares with art the triumph of her eyesQ
But when those charms are passed for charms are frailO2
When time advances and when lovers failO2
She then shines forth solicitous to blessG3
In all the glaring impotence of dressG3
Thus fares the land by luxury betrayedI
In nature's simplest charms at first arrayedI
But verging to decline its splendours riseQ
Its vistas strike its palaces surpriseQ
While scourged by famine from the smiling landI
The mournful peasant leads his humble bandI
And while he sinks without one arm to saveM
The country blooms a garden and a graveM
Where then ah where shall poverty resideI
To 'scape the pressure of contiguous prideI
If to some common's fenceless limits strayedI
He drives his flock to pick the scanty bladeI
Those fenceless fields the sons of wealth divideI
And even the bare worn common is deniedI
If to the city sped what waits him thereB2
To see profusion that he must not shareB2
To see ten thousand baneful arts combinedI
To pamper luxury and thin mankindI
To see those joys the sons of pleasure knowK2
Extorted from his fellow creature's woeK2
Here while the courtier glitters in brocadeI
There the pale artist plies the sickly tradeI
Here while the proud their long drawn pomps displayG
There the black gibbet glooms beside the wayG
The dome where Pleasure holds her midnight reignA
Here richly decked admits the gorgeous trainA
Tumultuous grandeur crowds the blazing squareB2
The rattling chariots clash the torches glareB2
Sure scenes like these no troubles e'er annoyD3
Sure these denote one universal joyD3
Are these thy serious thoughts Ah turn thine eyesQ
Where the poor houseless shivering female liesQ
She once perhaps in a village plenty blessedI
Has wept at tales of innocence distressedI
Her modest looks the cottage might adornQ2
Sweet as the primrose peeps beneath the thornQ2
Now lost to all her friends her virtue fledI
Near her betrayer's door she lays her headI
And pinched with cold and shrinking from the showerZ
With heavy heart deplores that luckless hourZ
When idly first ambitious of the townK
She left her wheel and robes of country brownK
Do thine sweet Auburn thine the loveliest trainA
Do thy fair tribes participate her painA
E'en now perhaps by cold and hunger ledI
At proud men's doors they ask a little breadI
Ah no To distant climes a dreary sceneD
Where half the convex world intrudes betweenD
Through torrid tracts with fainting steps they goK2
Where wild Altama murmurs to their woeK2
Far different there from all that charmed beforeV
The various terrors of that horrid shoreV
Those blazing suns that dart a downward rayG
And fiercely shed intolerable dayG
Those matted woods where birds forget to singP2
But silent bats in drowsy clusters clingP2
Those poisonous fields with rank luxuriance crownedI
Where the dark scorpion gathers death aroundI
Where at each step the stranger fears to wakeH3
The rattling terrors of the vengeful snakeH3
Where crouching tigers wait their hapless preyG
And savage men more murderous still than theyG
While oft in whirls the mad tornado fliesQ
Mingling the ravaged landscape with the skiesQ
Far different these from every former sceneD
The cooling brook the grassy vested greenD
The breezy covert of the warbling groveM
That only sheltered thefts of harmless loveM
Good Heaven what sorrows gloomed that parting dayG
That called them from their native walks awayG
When the poor exiles every pleasure passedI
Hung round their bowers and fondly looked their lastI
And took a long farewell and wished in vainA
For seats like these beyond the western mainA
And shuddering still to face the distant deepH2
Returned and wept and still returned to weepH2
The good old sire the first prepared to goK2
To new found worlds and wept for others' woeK2
But for himself in conscious virtue braveM
He only wished for worlds beyond the graveM
His lovely daughter lovelier in her tearsI3
The fond companion of his helpless yearsJ3
Silent went next neglectful of her charmsK3
And left a lover's for a father's armsK3
With louder plaints the mother spoke her woesX
And blessed the cot where every pleasure roseX
And kissed her thoughtless babes with many a tearB2
And clasped them close in sorrow doubly dearS2
Whilst her fond husband strove to lend reliefM
In all the silent manliness of griefM
O luxury thou cursed by Heaven's decreeH
How ill exchanged are things like these for theeH
How do thy potions with insidious joyD3
Diffuse thy pleasures only to destroyD3
Kingdoms by thee to sickly greatness grownL3
Boast of a florid vigour not their ownL3
At every draught more large and large they growK2
A bloated mass of rank unwieldly woeK2
Till sapped their strength and every part unsoundI
Down down they sink and spread the ruin roundI
Even now the devastation is begunU2
And half the business of destruction doneU2
Even now methinks as pondering here I standI
I see the rural virtues leave the landI
Down where yon anchoring vessel spreads the sailO2
That idly waiting flaps with every galeO2
Downward they move a melancholy bandI
Pass from the shore and darken all the strandI
Contented toil and hospitable careB2
And kind connubial tenderness are thereB2
And piety with wishes placed aboveM
And steady loyalty and faithful loveM
And thou sweet Poetry thou loveliest maidI
Still first to fly where sensual joys invadeI
Unfit in these degenerate times of shameE3
To catch the heart or strike for honest fameE3
Dear charming nymph neglected and decriedI
My shame in crowds my solitary prideI
Thou source of all my bliss and all my woeK2
That found'st me poor at first and keep'st me soK2
Thou guide by which the nobler arts excelM3
Thou nurse of every virtue fare thee wellM3
Farewell and oh where'er thy voice be triedI
On Torno's cliffs or Pambamarca's sideI
Whether where equinoctial fervours glowK2
Or winter wraps the polar world in snowK2
Still let thy voice prevailing over timeN3
Redress the rigours of th' inclement climeN3
Aid slighted truth with thy persuasive strainA
Teach erring man to spurn the rage of gainA
Teach him that states of native strength possessedI
Though very poor may still be very blessedI
That trade's proud empire hastes to swift decayG
As ocean sweeps the laboured mole awayG
While self dependent power can time defyG2
As rocks resist the billows and the skyG2

Oliver Goldsmith


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