Classic Poetry Aloud

Classic Poetry Aloud

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Classic Poetry Aloud gives voice to poetry through podcast recordings of the great poems of the past. Our library of poems is intended as a resource for anyone interested in reading and listening to poetry. For us, it's all about the listening, and how hearing a poem can make it more accessible, as well as heightening its emotional impact. See more at: www.classicpoetryaloud.com


from Village Life - As It Is by George Crabbe

February 23rd, 2008

Episode 150 of 608 episodes

Crabbe read by Classic Poetry Aloud: http://www.classicpoetryaloud.com/ Giving voice to the poetry of the past. --------------------------------------------- from Village Life - As It Is by George Crabbe (1754 – 1832) I grant indeed that fields and flocks have charms For him that grazes or for him that farms; But when amid such pleasing scenes I trace The poor laborious natives of the place, And see the mid-day sun, with fervid ray, On their bare heads and dewy temples play; While some with feebler heads and fainter hearts, Deplore their fortune, yet sustain their parts: Then shall I dare these real ills to hide In tinsel trappings of poetic pride? No; cast by Fortune on a frowning coast, Which neither groves nor happy valleys boast; Where other cares than those the Muse relates, And other shepherds dwell with other mates; By such examples taught, I paint the Cot, As Truth will paint it, and as Bards will not: Nor you, ye poor, of letter'd scorn complain, To you the smoothest song is smooth in vain; O'ercome by labour, and bow'd down by time, Feel you the barren flattery of a rhyme? Can poets soothe you, when you pine for bread, By winding myrtles round your ruin'd shed? Can their light tales your weighty griefs o'erpower Or glad with airy mirth the toilsome hour? Lo! where the heath, with withering brake grown o'er, Lends the light turf that warms the neighbouring poor; From thence a length of burning sand appears, Where the thin harvest waves its wither'd ears; Rank weeds, that every art and care defy, Reign o'er the land, and rob the blighted rye: There thistles stretch their prickly arms afar, And to the ragged infant threaten war; There poppies nodding, mock the hope of toil; There the blue bugloss paints the sterile soil; Hardy and high, above the slender sheaf, The slimy mallow waves her silky leaf; O'er the young shoot the charlock throws a shade, And clasping tares cling round the sickly blade; With mingled tints the rocky coasts abound, And a sad splendour vainly shines around. So looks the nymph whom wretched arts adorn, Betray'd by man, then left for man to scorn; Whose cheek in vain assumes the mimic rose, While her sad eyes the troubled breast disclose; Whose outward splendour is but folly's dress, Exposing most, when most it gilds distress. Here joyous roam a wild amphibious race, With sullen woe display'd in every face; Who, far from civil arts and social fly, And scowl at strangers with suspicious eye. http://www.gradesaver.com/classicnotes/titles/crabbe/essay1.html About George Crabbe: http://infomotions.com/etexts/gutenberg/dirs/1/1/0/8/11088/11088.htm

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