Tuesday, January 06, 2009

The following poem speaks of a time in England when the common peasant enjoyed the simple pleasures of the little village. But then the wealthy came and exploited the land, developed it and pushed out the common man who used to live off the land and replaced it with luxury and folly, and now nothing remains of simplicity of life. It reminds me of the sight where Ruby’s Cafe once stood, but now replaced with a Starbucks, the mom and pop Cook’s store was ploughed down to be replaced with a 7-11. As you age you see much of the landmarks change and become but a memory. This poem captures that thought to me.

"Ill fares the land, to hastening ills a prey,
Where wealth accumulates and men decay:
Princes and lords may flourish or may fade;
A breath can make them, as a breath has made,
But a bold peasantry, their country’s pride,
When once destroyed can never be supplied.
A time there was, ere England’s griefs began,
When every rood of ground maintained its man;
For him light labor spread her wholesome store,
Just gave what life required, but gave no more;
His best companions, innocence and health;
And his best riches, ignorance of wealth.
But times are altered: trade’s unfeeling train
Usurp the land, and dispossess the swain;
Along the lawn, where scattered hamlets rose,
Unwieldy wealth and cumbrous pomp repose;
And every want to luxury allied,
And every pang that folly pays to pride.
Those gentle hours that plenty bade to bloom,
Those calm desires that asked but little room,
Those healthful sports that graced the peaceful scene,
Lived in each look, and brightened all the green;
These, far departing, seek a kinder shore,
And rural mirth and manners are no more."

Poem by Goldsmith - Photo by Erik Lewandowski


Joseph Pulikotil said...

Hi Fred :)

Lovely photo of a simple dwelling place of humble, hardworking people who have to cope up with climate, worry about food and cold but people who lived in breathtaking surroundings braving all difficulties in their stride and complete belief in God, the Almighty.

As civilization progressed, man became avaricious and started exploiting the weak and the gullible in order to amass wealth and become rich and powerful.

Your amazing post brings to life the wonders of the bye gone era.

Many thanks.

Best wishes :)

FCB said...

Hi Joseph,
thanks for you thoughts, the precise ones the author had in writing this poem, which is a three page poem but this part captured the thought for the most part. "Wonders of a bye gone era", so true.