He struggled for survival in England and remained impoverished until the end of his life. The only way home was on that twin-rigged sailing ship of his imagination. Conversely, emigration is viewed thoroughly negatively as a horrible journey into wilderness. It provides an affectionate, humorous moment of respite from the surging emotions that carry the poem on its flood-tide of nostalgia, lamentation and invective.
Of course, the poem is selective and village life idealised, even if the ideal is attainable compared with that of conventional pastoral. But then, this is a poem of exile — written by an exile.
Polemic comes alive when it is grounded in detail, and Goldsmith conducts his argument using an expansive array of vivid supporting material — topographies, interiors, and sharp human portraits.
The poet is blending recollections of the Irish village of his boyhood, Lissoy, and the fruits of his more recent travels through the villages of England, which had undergone similar enclosures and depopulation.
Could not all Reprieve the tottering mansion from its fall! Others naively admire him for unexceptional skills such as the ability "to write, and cipher, too". The very spot Where many a time he triumphed is forgot. These shared places are the real wealth of the country, not the private estates.
Imagination fondly stoops to trace The parlour splendours of that festive place: Near yonder thorn, that lifts its head on high, Where once the signpost caught the passing eye, Low lies that house where nut-brown draughts inspired, Where grey-beard mirth and smiling toil retired, Where village statesmen talked with looks profound, And news much older than their ale went round.
Like the school-house, this building is described as a "mansion" although now a tottering onesignalling the reverence for communal values. The next section introduces the village pub, and its details are recounted with much charm. But past is all his fame.
The school-master is a partly comic figure, but he too values something besides profit: However, some of those listed qualifications are practical and worth passing on, and there seems no irony in the claim that "Lands he could measure, terms and tides presage.
The parson probably considers him a windbag.Gray's Elegy and Goldsmith's the Deserted Village, the Traveller and Other Poems has 7 ratings and 1 review. Gray and Goldsmith were contemporaries. Born /5.
Gray's Poems and Goldsmiths Deserted Village Gray's: Elegy in a Country Churchyard and Other Selections & Goldsmith's Deserted Village by A. M. Van Dyke [editor].
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