The Village Preacher by Goldsmith

 

Near yonder copse, where once the garden smil'd,

And still where many a garden flow'r grows wild,
There, where a few torn shrubs the place disclose,
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 chang'd, nor wish'd to change his place;
Unskilful he to fawn, or seek for pow'r,
By doctrines fashioned to the varying hour;
Far other aims his heart had learn'd to prize,
More bent to raise the wretched than to rise.
Beside the bed, where parting life was laid,
And sorrow, guilt, and pain, by turns dismay'd,
The rev'rend champion stood. At his controul
Despair and anguish fled the struggling soul;
Comfort came down the trembling wretch to raise,
And his last falt'ring accents whisper'd praise.
At church with meek and unaffected grace,
His looks adorn'd the venerable place;
Truth from his lips prevail'd with double sway;
And fools, who came to scoff, remain'd to pray.
The service past, around the pious man,
With ready zeal, each honest rustic ran;
Ev'n children follow'd with endearing wile,
And pluck'd his gown, to share the good man's smile,
His ready smile a parents warmth express'd,
Their welfare pleas'd him, and their care distress'd;
To them his heart, his love, his griefs were giv'n,
But all his serious thoughts had rest in heav'n.