Selections from Five English Poets eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 100 pages of information about Selections from Five English Poets.
If in Parson Primrose and in the “village preacher” of The Deserted Village he has painted portraits of his father, the country curate, there is something of himself as well in these lovable characters.  Both in poetry and in prose his style is easy and delightful; his humor has no sting.  Everything that comes from his pen has the flavor of his quaint personality.  In spite of his failings—­or possibly in part because of them—­this son of Ireland is one of the most popular of English writers.

THE TRAVELLER;

  OR, A PROSPECT OF SOCIETY

  Remote, unfriended, melancholy, slow,
  Or by the lazy Scheld[1] or wandering Po;
  Or onward, where the rude Carinthian boor[2]
  Against the houseless stranger shuts the door;
  Or where Campania’s plain[3] forsaken lies, 5
  A weary waste expanding to the skies;
  Where’er I roam, whatever realms to see,
  My heart untravelled fondly turns to thee;
  Still to my brother[4] turns, with ceaseless pain,
  And drags at each remove a lengthening chain. 10

  Eternal blessings crown my earliest friend,
  And round his dwelling guardian saints attend: 
  Blest be that spot where cheerful guests retire
  To pause from toil, and trim their ev’ning fire: 
  Blest that abode where want and pain repair, 15
  And every stranger finds a ready chair: 
  Blest be those feasts, with simple plenty crowned,
  Where all the ruddy family around
  Laugh at the jests or pranks that never fail,
  Or sigh with pity at some mournful tale; 20
  Or press the bashful stranger to his food,
  And learn the luxury of doing good.

  But me, not destined such delights to share,
  My prime of life in wand’ring spent and care;
  Impelled, with steps unceasing, to pursue 25
  Some fleeting good that mocks me with the view;
  That, like the circle bounding earth and skies,
  Allures from far, yet, as I follow, flies;
  My fortune leads to traverse realms alone,
  And find no spot of all the world my own. 30

  Even now, where Alpine solitudes ascend,
  I sit me down a pensive hour to spend;
  And placed on high above the storm’s career,
  Look downward where an hundred realms appear;
  Lakes, forests, cities, plains extending wide, 35
  The pomp of kings, the shepherd’s humbler pride.

  When thus Creation’s charms around combine,
  Amidst the store should thankless pride repine? 
  Say, should the philosophic mind disdain
  That good which makes each humbler bosom vain? 40
  Let school-taught pride dissemble all it can,[5]
  These little things are great to little man;
  And wiser he, whose sympathetic mind
  Exults in all the good of all mankind. 
  Ye glitt’ring towns, with wealth

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Project Gutenberg
Selections from Five English Poets from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.