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26
THE DESERTED PARKS.

These round thy walks their cheerful influence shed;
These were thy charms—but all these charms are fled.
Amidst thy bowers the tyrant's hand is seen,
And rude pavilions sadden all thy green;
One selfish pastime grasps the whole domain,
And half a faction swallows up the plain;
Adown thy glades, all sacrificed to cricket,
The hollow-sounding bat now guards the wicket;
Sunk are thy mounds in shapeless level all,
Lest aught impede the swiftly rolling ball;
And trembling, shrinking from the fatal blow,
Far, far away thy hapless children go.
Ill fares the place, to luxury a prey,
Where wealth accumulates, and minds decay;
Athletic sports may flourish or may fade,
Fashion may make them, even as it has made;
But the broad Parks, the city's joy and pride,
When once destroyed can never be supplied!
Ye friends to truth, ye statesmen, who survey
The rich man's joys increase, the poor's decay,
'Tis yours to judge, how wide the limits stand
Between a splendid and a happy land.
Proud swells go by with laugh of hollow joy,
And shouting Folly hails them with 'Ahoy!'