The Deserted Village, an excerpt
51 Ill fares the land, to hastening ills a prey,
52 Where wealth accumulates, and men decay:
53 Princes and lords may flourish, or may fade;
54 A breath can make them, as a breath has made:
55 But a bold peasantry, their country's pride,
56 When once destroy'd, can never be supplied.
57 A time there was, ere England's griefs began,
58 When every rood of ground maintain'd its man;
59 For him light labour spread her wholesome store,
60 Just gave what life requir'd, but gave no more:
61 His best companions, innocence and health;
62 And his best riches, ignorance of wealth.