These notes record all editorial emendations in the present text to the 1825 and 1834 editions of The Rising Village. The entries record the reading of the present text before the "]" and the reading of the 1834 edition (the only one emended) after the "]". Thus the entry "127 its] it" indicates that in line 127 of the 1834 edition of the poem "it" has been emended to "its".

The 1834 Edition


13   And]"And

The Poem

127   its] it

324   made.] made

515   round,] round.


These notes explain or identify words or references that might be unfamiliar to modern readers of The Rising Village and call attention to words and phrases that derive from the works of other writers. The 1834 edition is the more fully annotated of the two editions of the poem, it being considered to represent Goldsmith's final intentions for the poem; only those words and references in the 1825 edition that do not occur also in the 1834 edition have been annotated in the explanatory notes to the 1825 poem. In compiling these notes extensive use has been made of the Oxford English Dictionary, The Canadian Encyclopedia (Edmonton: Hurtig, 1985), and Encyclopedia Canadiana (Ottawa: The Grolier Society, 1957, 1958). The explanatory notes in earlier volumes of this series have also proven highly useful, particularly those in Thomas Cary's Abram's Plains: A Poem, ed. D.M.R. Bentley (1986), and J. Mackay's Quebec Hill, ed. D.M.R. Bentley (1988). Extensive use has also been made of The Autobiography of Oliver Goldsmith, ed. Wilfrid E. Myatt (Toronto: Ryerson, 1943), especially of Myatt's detailed notes. Quotations from the works of the Anglo-Irish Oliver Goldsmith are from the standard Collected Works of Oliver Goldsmith, edited by Arthur Friedman (Oxford: Clarendon, 1966). Quotations from the works of Alexander Pope are from the Twickenham edition of Pastoral Poetry and an Essay on Criticism, eds. E. Audra and Aubrey Williams (London: Methuen; New Haven: Yale University Press, 1961). Quotations from James Thomson's The Seasons are from James Thomson: Poetical Works, edited by J. Logie Robertson (1908; rpt. London: Oxford, 1965). Other quotations are from standard editions of their author's works.

The 1825 Edition

9 allied to him by blood   Goldsmith was the second child of Mary Mason (1759-1832) and Henry Goldsmith (1775-1811); his father Henry was the son of the Rev. Henry Goldsmith (1722-1768), who was brother of the Anglo-Irish Oliver Goldsmith. See "Genealogical Tree," compiled by Benjamin Mason Goldsmith, in The Autobiography of Oliver Goldsmith, ed. Wilfrid E. Myatt, unpaginated between pp. 72 and 73.
11 who were driven from Auburn   See the note to 14 (1834).
12 Western main   The Atlantic Ocean.
13 rude   Uncultivated; involving hardship or discomfort.
17 indulgence   Forbearance.
20 an aged and widowed mother, now residing at Plymouth   Myatt, The Autobiography, p. 40, n. 95, supposes that Goldsmith's mother moved to Plymouth, England, with her daughter Jane after the death of her husband (Goldsmith's father) in 1811, where she died Jan. 29, 1832. After his mother's death, Goldsmith continued to be the main support of his maiden sister Jane. See Myatt, p. 69. n. 313.
20 Plymouth   A South-West England seaport on the English Channel.
JOHN NOVA SCOTIA   John Inglis, third Anglican Bishop of Nova Scotia, 1825-50.
Piccadilly   A street in London, England.

23 College at Windsor   University of King's College, established at Windsor, Nova Scotia, in 1789, by Bishop Charles Inglis (father of the Bishop John Inglis who wrote the preface to the 1825 edition of The Rising Village; see note "JOHN NOVA SCOTIA" above), primarily for the purpose of training the Anglican clergy; now located at Halifax, Nova Scotia.
23-24 one school   A reference perhaps to the Halifax Grammar School.
24-25 the capital of this Province   Halifax, Nova Scotia.
25 Now the number is greatly increased   Between 1805 and 1825, and particularly after the appointment of the Earl of Dalhousie as lieutenant- governor in 1816, there was increased emphasis on education and a marked increase in the number of schools in Nova Scotia, the chief illustration of which was the beginning of the construction in 1820 of Dalhousie College. See W.S. MacNutt, The Atlantic Provinces, The Emergence of Colonial Society, 1712-1857, The Canadian Centenary Series (Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1965), pp. 165-67.
28 His Majesty   King George IV (1762-1830), reigned 1820-1830.
31 Dalhousie   George Ramsay, 9th Earl of Dalhousie (1770-1838), lieutenant-governor of Nova Scotia 1816-1820, and founder (1820) of what is today Dalhousie University.
31 Kempt   Sir James Kempt (1764-1854), lieutenant-governor of Nova Scotia 1820-1828.

The Poem
44 desert   Uninhabited or uncultivated.
95 terrific   Causing terror.
98 barb'rous   Barbarous, cruelly savage, with a suggestion of not-Christian.
143 immur'd   Surrounded, confined.
176n. I cannot avoid here . . . Province   The Anglican Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts was founded in England in 1701 to assist in the missionary work of the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge (founded in 1698). Until its amalgamation with the Universities Mission to Central Africa to become the United Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in 1965, the S.P.G. pushed its twofold objective of evangelizing non-Christians and ministering for British people overseas, first throughout New England and subsequently throughout Atlantic (and the rest of) Canada. The Society sent its first two missionaries to Nova Scotia in 1749 with Edward Coruwallis (17 12-1776), founder of Chebucto (later renamed Halifax) and first governor of Nova Scotia. From that time onward the Society was instrumental in the establishment of missions, churches, and schools, supplying books and heavily supplementing the salaries of schoolmasters whose grants of lands did not provide a living. See Winthrop Pickard Bell, The "Foreign Protestants" and the Settlement of Nova Scotia: The History of a Piece of Arrested British Colonial Policy in the Eighteenth Century (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1961), pp. 338, 392, n. 16, and especially 607-614. The Society functioned of course as an instrument of the Anglican Church, as Bell observes, 394-395: "It should be realized that the interest of a body like the S.P.G. in appointing schoolmasters was a rather special one. The appointees did not have to satisfy any exacting professional requirements, and they were not expected to teach any general range of secular subjects. The elements of reading and writing were expected as fundamental—because, as one of the Anglican missionaries wrote, it is hard to preach effectively to people who have had no education whatever."

impell'd   Urged, driven.


See note to 176 n. above.


loit'ring   Loitering; see note to 409 (1834).


riv'n   Riven; see note to 415 (1834).


bosom'd   Bosomed; see note to 459 (1834).


the humble muse   Goldsmith himself; his poem.

525-528     The Earl of Dalhousie commanded, as one of the Duke of Wellington's generals, a division in France and Spain (18 12-14), and received the thanks of Parliament for his services at the Battle of Waterloo. See note "Dalhousie" above in Preface (1825).

Gallia's   France's.

529 "not less to peaceful arts inclin'd"   See note to 513 (1834); see also Goldsmith's "Address for the Amateur Theatre (spoken in the character of an officer)," in The Rising Village, with other poems (1834), p. 130: "We've turned out arts to suit the peaceful age." An exhaustive search of probable sources has failed to find the original of the quoted phrase. It is likely that Goldsmith has enclosed a fairly commonplace sentiment in quotation marks.

main   Ocean. hind   Farm labourer.

533 swain   Farm labourer.
533n. Goldsmith's judgement of Nova Scotian agricultural practices before the arrival of Dalhousie is shared by the anonymous author of American Husbandry (1775), ed. Harry J. Carman (New York: Columbia University Press, 1939; rev. Port Washington, N. Y.: Kennikat Press, 1964), p. 6:  "[Ploughing] they perform as soon as the weather breaks, and the snow is all gone; they do it in a very clumsy manner, attending not the least to their lands being laid neat and regular. In September the corn is ripe: they usually mow it, and the crops they get, notwithstanding the soil being good, scarce ever amount to middling ones in England. I have been assured that two quarters [sixteen bushels] of bad wheat in quality are a great crop. They have hardly any idea of fallowing, but in the succeeding year plough up the stubble for another wheat crop, which they continue as long as the land will yield it, and then leave it to recover itself, sometimes, however, changing for beans." MacNutt, The Atlantic Provinces, p. 159, is more sympathetic: "The breaking of the harsh land by an inexperienced people who were accustomed to softer climes was accompanied by calamities that became familiar." In the poem, 533, Goldsmith is more sympathetic than critical: "the honest uninstructed swain."

The 1834 Edition

1 to the notice of his Countrymen   The title poem, The Rising Village, had been published in book form in England in 1825, and in its entirety in the Feb. 1826 issue of Montreal's The Canadian Review and Magazine. Moreover, between its British and Canadian publications the poem had received considerable attention in Halifax. See Myatt, The Autobiography, pp. 49-52, n. 154.
6-8 he begs also . . . publication   See The Autobiography, pp. 11, 12 "Encouraged by some friends I wrote a poem called the "Rising Village," which was published by John Sharpe in 1825 in London." "I had . . . the approbation of the 'judicious few', who thought it an interesting Production."
12 Saint John   St. John, New Brunswick. See The Autobiography, p. 12: "In the first week of July 1833, I was removed to the province of New Brunswick, and I remained there until the Year 1844." See also Myatt, p. 53, n. 157: "On July 25, 1833, the Novasotian published a poem of 26 lines, entitled "Farewell to Nova Scotia." It was signed O and was presumably from the pen of Oliver Goldsmith. The opening lines allude to the author's departure from "the haunts of my childhood."


Henry Goldsmith, ESQ.   The poet's brother (1786-1845). Barrister-at-law               and Collector of Customs at the town of Annapolis Royal, Nova               Scotia. As Goldsmith notes further in the dedication, the Anglo-Irish               Goldsmith dedicated his poem The Traveller to his brother Henry.

fond   Doting.

3 The celebrated Author of the DESERTED VILLAGE   Oliver Goldsmith (1728-1774), grand-uncle of the Canadian Goldsmith.
4-5 from various causes   The author of The Deserted Village is quite explicit in naming one cause—the pursuit of luxury; see his dedication of the poem: "In regretting the depopulation of the country, I inveigh against the increase of our luxuries. . . . I must remain a professed ancient on that head, and continue to think those luxuries prejudicial to states, by which so many vices are introduced, and so many kingdoms have been undone." Cf. The Rising Village, 289-90: "Soon vice steals on, in thoughtless pleasure's train, / And spreads her miseries o'er the village plain."

his brother Henry   The Rev. Henry Goldsmith (1722-1768), brother of the Anglo-Irish Goldsmith.

10 "Traveller"   The Traveller, or a Prospect of Society (1765), a poem that describes the manners, customs, and characteristics of various European countries.
12-13 "Wild Oswego . . . sound"   These lines are quoted from The Traveller, 411-12. Cf. The Autobiography, p. 11: "When the poet [the Anglo-Irish Goldsmith] saw his play performed at Covent Garden [a theatre in London, England], little did he imagine that in the course of time a grand-nephew would play, even as an Amateur, his Tony in a far distant Land, and at no great remove from the spot,

'Where wild Oswego spreads her swamps around'
'And Niagara stuns with thundering Sound.'"

14-17 In the Rising Village . . . possessors   Cf. The Autobiography, p. 12: "In my humble poem, I, therefore endeavoured to describe the sufferings they experienced in a new and uncultivated Country, the Difficulties they surmounted, the Rise and progress of a Village, and the prospects which promised Happiness to its future possessors.
17-18 You, my dear Brother, were born in this portion of the globe       Henry Goldsmith was born at St. Andrews, New Brunswick, August 22, 1786.

The Title

The Rising Village    The title alludes to, in a manner suggesting continuity with,
                The Deserted Village (1770) of the Anglo-Irish Oliver Goldsmith.


The Poem
1 Thou dear companion of my early years   The poet's brother, Henry, to whom The Rising Village is dedicated.
3 strain   Poem, especially impassioned poetry.
5 emulate   Imitate, equal.   his fame   The Anglo-Irish Goldsmith's.
8 scan   Estimate or judge by a certain rule or standard.
9 tribute   Offering or gift, rendered as if through duty.   lay   Poem.
12 The line refers to Goldsmith's ambition with The Rising Village to write a narrative poem much longer than any of his earlier occasional poems; the line may also reveal Goldsmith's ambition to write a new-world epic. The phrase my adventurous muse may again point to the Anglo-Irish Goldsmith who, as author of The Traveller, repeatedly describes his poet-speaker in terms such as the following, 7-9:

Where'er I roam, whatever realms to see,
My heart untravell'd fondly turns to thee;
Still to my brother turns, . . .

13 adown   down
14 Auburn's Village   Auburn is the name that the Anglo-Irish Goldsmith gave to the fictional village of his The Deserted Village. Auburn was based specifically on an ironic idealization of the poet's boyhood home of Lissoy, Ireland, but more generally on a number of English villages that, in Goldsmith's view, had experienced depopulation at the hands of wealthy landowners who desired the land for such sporting pastimes as fox hunting.
15 train   A body of persons travelling together.   lowly train   See The Deserted Village, 252: "These simple blessings of the lowly train."
17 prospects   The word is used here in a dual sense suggesting vista and expectations.
18 sternness   Inhospitableness, forbiddingness, gloominess.   Acadian See Goldsmith's note to 485, p. 33.
19 dear spirit   The Anglo-Irish Goldsmith; the Canadian Goldsmith invokes his poet-ancestor to inspire him. See note to 12 above.
24 numbers   Verses, lines.   While truth and virtue in my numbers flow   Following upon the invocation to his grand-uncle, Goldsmith may have in mind his namesake's instructions to "Poetry" as she departs for the land where, Deserted Village, 420, "winter wraps the polar world in snow." The English Goldsmith admonishes Poetry, 416, to be 'The nurse of every virtue," and, 423, to "Aid slighted truth."
25 bewitching   Fascinating, charming. Cf. The Deserted Village, 415: "Thou guide by which the nobler arts excell."
26 To paint the Rising Village of the land   The poet states his intention in painterly terms. Often, as in 45 1-464, Goldsmith presents "word-pictures" of the village and environs, employing such conventions of picturesque description as the "Here / There" ordering of material in a foreground/mid- ground/distance perspective. See The Autobiography, p. 12, for a fuller statement of intention.
27 chaste   Decent, restrained, with the suggestion of virtuous.
27-42 The idealized picture of Britain signals a marked departure from the unfavourable picture presented in The Deserted Village.
28 Britannia's   Britain's; both Pope and Thomson use this Latin and poetic name for Britain; see for instance Windsor-Forest, 110, and "Summer," 243.
29 arrest   Catch and fix the attention.
31-32 Cf. The Traveller, 35-36: "Lakes, forests, cities, plains extending wide, / The pomp of kings, the shepherd's humbler pride."
31-36 The overall description of Britain, but especially these lines, may also echo Alexander Pope's Windsor-Forest, 39-42:

Here Ceres' Gifts in waving Prospect stand,
And nodding tempt the joyful Reaper's Hand,
Rich Industry sits smiling on the Plains,
And Peace and Plenty tell, a STUART reigns.

35 hamlet   Small village or group of cottages.   cot   Cottage.
37 vernal   Spring-time, youthful.
41 climes   Regions, countries.
45-46 Cf. The Deserted Village, 355-356: "Where crouching tigers wait their hapless prey, / And savage men more murderous still than they."
49-50 Cf. The Traveller, 409-410: "Forc'd from their homes, a melancholy train, / To traverse climes beyond the western main"; and The Deserted Village, 367-368: "And look a long farewell, and wished in vain / For seats like these beyond the western main."
49 their native plain   Their home, birthplace.
56 desert   Uninhabited or uncultivated.
58 culture   Cultivation.
63 solemn   Imposing, awe-inspiring.
67-72 This description may owe something to Pope's description of a pheasant brought down, Windsor-Forest, 111-118:

See! from the Brake the whirring Pheasant springs,
And mounts exulting on Triumphant Wings;
Short is his Joy! he feels the fiery Wound,
Flutters in Blood, and panting beats the Ground.
Ah! what avail his glossie, varying Dyes,
His Purple Crest, and Scarlet-circled Eyes,
The vivid Green his shining Plumes unfold;
His Painted Wings, and Breast that flames with Gold?


pond'rous   Ponderous, massive.

72 corn   Not necessarily Indian corn, or maize, but more likely the dominant grain of the region, wheat,
78 solace   Comfort.
81 savage   Wild, untamed.   strain   Song, poem.
81-86 This passage may have behind it the Anglo-Irish Goldsmith's account of General Braddock's futile expedition against Du Quense in 1775, An History of England, in a series of Letters (1764), II, 203:
". . . he marched forward with the rest of his army through a country equally dangerous from its forests and savage inhabitants; a country where Europeans had never before attempted to penetrate, wild, solitary, and hideous. Still, however, he went forward with intrepidity, through the desarts of Oswego." As quoted in The Collected Works of Oliver Goldsmith, IV, p. 268, n. 1.
83-84 The lines are perhaps a syntactical borrowing from The Deserted Village, 243-245:

No more the fanner's news, the barber's tale,
No more the wood-man's ballad shall prevail;
No more the smith his dusky brow shall clear,...

85 Cf. The Deserted Village, 356: "And savage men more murderous still than they."
86 desolate   Depopulate. Cf. The Deserted Village, 38: "And desolation saddens all thy green."
90 sentence   Judgement, condemnation.
98 appalling   To make pale, dismaying.
121 culture   Here indicating the intellectual side of civilization.
131 rude   Rough.
132-140   Goldsmith's tavern serves a communal purpose similar to that served by "The Village preacher's modest mansion" in The Deserted Village, 140-162.
132 useful   Potentially for good.   front   Entrance.
137 solicitous   Anxious.
138 officious   Meddlesome.
142 dreary   Gloomy, uninteresting.   waste    A land covered with snow or, more generally, a wild and desolate region.

The line is a slight rewording of The Deserted Village, 92: "And tell of all I felt, and all I saw."

167 array   Attire, appearance. Cf. The Deserted Village, 140: "The village preacher's modest mansion rose."
168 turret   Small tower.
169 repair   Go.
171 homespun dress   Clothes made of a yam spun at home, or simply plain clothes.
180 By gracious Heaven for wisest ends designed   The sentiment reveals Goldsmith's faith in Providence and his acceptance of man's limitations with regard to understanding the plenitude of creation. Cf. Pope, An Essay On Man, 1, 205-206: "Who finds not Providence all good and wise, / Alike in what it gives, and what denies?" and 293-294: "And, spite of Pride, in erring Reason's spite, / One truth is clear, 'Whatever is, is RIGHT.'"
183 impelled   Urged, driven.
184 Great First Cause   God, the Prime Mover. Cf. An Essay On Man, I, 145: "first Almighty Cause."
194 Cf. An Essay On Man, I, 140: "My foot-stool earth, my canopy the skies."
199 The wandering Pedlar   One of the first works of Canadian and Maritime fiction, Thomas Chandler Haliburton's The Clockmaker (1836), concerns the activities of another wandering Pedlar, the Yankee Sam Slick.
202 Reckless   Not caring about, heedless, unconcerned with.
207-216    This catalogue of the contents of a country store may owe something syntactically to Pope's catalogue of a fishing stream, Windsor-Forest, 141-146:

Our plenteous Streams a various Race supply;
The bright-ey'd Perch with Fins of Tyrian Dye,
The silver Eel, in shining Volumes roll'd,
The yellow Carp, in Scales bedrop'd with Gold,
Swift Trouts, diversify'd with Crimson Stains,
And Pykes, the Tyrants of the watry Plains.

221 physics   Practices medicine upon.   bleeds   Draws blood from surgically.
225 fond   Doted upon.
229 See Thomson, "Autumn," 210: "Beneath the shelter of encircling hills."
229-230    Cf. The Traveller, 179-180: "Sees no contiguous palace rear its head / To shame the meanness of his humble shed."
231 "man severe"   See The Deserted Village, 197: "A man severe he was, and stern to view.
237-238    Cf. Pope, An Essay On Criticism, 1-2: "'Tis hard to say, if greater Want of Skill / Appear in Writing or in Judging ill."
238 Contrast the tone of The Deserted Village, 208: "'Twas certain he could write, and cypher too."
240 Dilworth's   As Michael Gnarowski notes in his edition of The Rising Village (Montreal: Delta, 1968), p. 31, Thomas Dilworth was "an English school master of the eighteenth century who produced several extremely popular and widely-used school books, among which were, Arithmetic and A Spelling Book. Dilworth died in 1780."
241 awful   Worthy of respect.
241-242    Cf. The Deserted Village, 201-204:

Full well they laugh'd with counterfeited glee,
At all his jokes, for many a joke had he;
Full well the busy whisper circling round,
Conveyed the dismal tidings when he frowned.

242 deprecate   Seek to avert.
243 sway   Controlling influence.
247-248    Cf. An Essay On Criticism, 199-200: "To teach vain Wits a Science little known, / T'admire Superior Sense, and doubt their own!" See also The Deserted Village, 269-270: "And still they gazed, and still the wonder grew, / That one small head could carry all he knew." Here, at the close of the schoolhouse sections of both The Deserted Village and The Rising Village, it is worth noting again the contrasting tones of the two Goldsmiths, the gentle irony of the English poet, the bitterness of the Canadian. See p. xvi of the Introduction for a discussion of Goldsmith's opinion of the value of his own formal education.
257 sportive   Playful.
260 sport   Pleasant pastime, dalliance.
260-261    Cf. The Deserted Village, 18: "Led up their sports beneath the spreading tree."
265-266    Cf. The Deserted Village, 20: "The young contending as the old surveyed."

See Thomson, "Winter", 43: "And fierce Aquarious stains the inverted year."

274 Gambols and freaks    Sportive games and capriciousness. Cf. "The Kiss; or The Freaks of Christmas Day," in The Rising Village with Other Poems, pp. 47-69, esp. p. 50: "In joyous seasons, such as Christmas time, / Gambols and Freaks are known in every clime."
281-282    Cf. The Traveller, 153: "By sports like these are all their cares beguil'd."
289-290    Cf. The Deserted Village, 387-388: "How do thy [luxury's] potions with insidious joy, / Diffuse their pleasures only to destroy!"
291 baneful   Pernicious.
293-294    Cf. The Traveller, 155-156: "Each nobler aim represt by long controul, I Now sinks at last, or feebly mans the soul."
307 hapless   Unhappy.
310 village train   See The Deserted Village, 17: "And all the village train from labour free."

   Flora   The classical Greek goddess of flowers. See Windsor-Forest, 38: "blushing Flora." See also Thomson's description of Lavinia, "Autumn," 192: "Her form was fresher than the morning rose." See further The Deserted Village, 287-302, wherein the poet employs the extended metaphor of a female aging gracelessly to parallel what is happening to a rurally depopulated England; and 325-336, wherein a 'fallen woman' is employed to illustrate what might become of Auburn's displaced residents.

317 Her gentle manners and unstudied grace   See Thomson, "Autumn," 201:"A native grace."
321 Cf. The Deserted Village, 113: "Sweet was the sound when oft at evening's close."
321-326    The description of Albert's and Flora's first meeting may be an ironic treatment of the meeting of Palemon and Lavinia, in Thomson, "Autumn," 253-258 (as might the entire interpolated tale of Albert and Flora be an ironized version of the Palemon and Lavinia episode):

When, strict inquiring, from herself he found
She was the same, the daughter of his friend,
Of bountiful Acasto, who can speak
The mingled passions that surprised his heart
And through his nerves in shivering transport ran?
Then blazed his smothered flame, . . .

329 suit   Courtship.
344 trackless fields of snow   Cf. Thomson, "Winter," 281: "trackless plain," and 502: "endless snows."
373 amazed   Panicked.
376 accents   Speech.
383 blast   Withering blight of wind.
384 and piercing was the cold   Cf. Thomson, "Winter," 336: "sore pierc'd by wintry Winds."
387 mantle   A loose sleeveless cloak of varying length.
389-398    Cf. The Deserted Village, 33 1-333:

Now lost to all; her friends, her virtue fled,
Near her betrayer's door she lays her head,
And pinch'd with cold, and shrinking from the
     shower,  . . .

This episode in The Rising Village may also have behind it Thomson's account of a "Swain" getting lost and dying in the snow, "Winter," 276-321; cf. especially The Rising Village, 398, and "Winter," 305-306: "and down he sinks / Beneath the shelter of the shapeless drift."

405 solicitude   Anxious care.
408 torpid   Sluggish in action.   wonted   Accustomed, usual.
409 loitering   Idling.   current   A pariphrasis for blood.
410 hapless   Destitute.
413-414    Cf. Pope, Pastorals, "Summer," 33-34: "Ah wretched Shepherd, what avails thy Art, / To cure thy Lambs, but not to heal thy Heart."
413-425    Cf. the Anglo-Irish Goldsmith's "A City Night-Piece," in the Bee, No. IV: "These poor shivering females, have once seen happier days, and been flattered into beauty. They have been prostituted to the gay luxurious villain, and are now turned out to meet the severity of winter in the streets. Perhaps now lying at the door of their betrayers they sue to wretches whose hearts are insensible to calamity, or debauchees who may curse, but will not relieve them." As quoted in The Collected Works, IV, p. 299, n. 2.
415 riven    Torn apart.
422 revels   Indulges itself; spends or wastes itself.
425 blast   See note to 383 above, and cf. 383-384.
427    Cf. The Traveller, 361-362: "Yet think not, thus when freedom's ills I state, / I mean to flatter Kings, or court the great
431 impressed   Compelled or enlisted to serve in.
437    Cf. The Traveller, 434: "Glides the smooth current of domestic joy."
441 Cf. The Traveller, 256: 'Thus idly busy rolls their world away."
453 verdant meads   Green meadows.
457-463    It is worth noting that The Rising Village concludes with the establishment of an order that is described, and subsequently disrupted, at the opening of The Deserted Village, 7-12:

How often have I loitered o'er thy green,
Where humble happiness endeared each scene;
How often have I paused on every charm,
The sheltered cot, the cultivated farm,
The never failing brook, the busy mill,
The decent church that topt the neighbouring hill.

457 interrupt   Break the continuity of
458 bounded   Limited, cicumscribed.   fence of green   A hedge presumably.
459 bosomed   Enclosed.
461 the busy mill   A saw mill most likely, though, given the domesticated scene here presented, a flour mill could be intended. See 565 (1825): "The saw-mill rude." See The Deserted Village, 11: "The never failing brook, the busy mill." See the Introduction, pp. xxi, for a discussion of the 1834 revisions, 461-462, of 465-466 (1825).
464 hillocks   Mounds.
465-468    The "graveyard sensibility" evidenced here derives perhaps from Thomas Gray's "Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard"; see especially 77-80:

Yet even these bones from insult to protect
   Some frail memorial still erected nigh,
With uncouth rhymes and shapeless sculptures decked,
    Implores the passing tribute of a sigh.

469 sultry   Oppressively hot.
474 zephrys   Gentle breezes (from Zephyrus, the classical Greek god of the west wind).
479 vale   Valley, river valley, and figuratively the troubled world.
480 The hopeless sorrows of its mournful tale   See Peter Kalm' s Travels in North America: The English Version of 1770, ed. Adolph B. Benson (New York: Dores, 1937; rpt. Toronto: General, 1964), I, 288: "the Indians affirm that they never saw these birds [Whip-poor-wills], or heard them, before a certain battle in which the Europeans killed a great number of Indians. Therefore they suppose that these birds, which are restless and utter their plaintive note at night, are the souls of their ancestors who died in battle."
484 native   Not artificial or adorned; left or remaining in a plain and natural state.
489-494    Cf. The Traveller, 81-84:

Nature, a mother kind alike to all,
Still grants her bliss at Labour's earnest call;
With food as well the peasant is supply'd
On Idra's cliffs as Arno's shelvy side.

502 ravaged   Devastated, laid waste.

how changed the scene!   See Thomson, "Summer," 784: "How chang'd the scene!"

507-508    the first . . . star   Generally, during the first half of the 17th century European epidemics and hostilities drastically reduced the Indian populations. The Micmacs, an aboriginal people who occupied most of the Maritime provinces, were among the first native peoples to suffer depopulation and dislocation as a result of European activities in the New World. They were allies of the French and, therefore, unfriendly to the British. But other than the fact that some of their number were taken by the British to Newfoundland to assist in the extermination of the Beothuk in the 18th century, there is little to support Goldsmith's remark with regard to the Micmacs. His remark may be more specifically in reference to the Malecite (or Maliseet), an Algon kian-speaking Indian band of New Brunswick who also supported the French against the English, and who were eventually driven north to Northern New Brunswick and Quebec.
513 Cf. Thomson, "Summer," 875: "the softening Arts of Peace."
519-520    Cf. The Deserted Village, 269-270: "Proud swells the tide with loads of freighted ore, / And shouting Folly hails them from her shore." The similar imagery is used for celebratory purposes in The Rising Village and for condemnatory purposes in The Deserted Village.
520 Commerce   Trading between different regions and countries. Cf. The Traveller, 140: "Commerce on other shores display'd her sail."
521 gay   Attractive, charming.
524 This line echoes 52, as the poem comes full circle.
525-528    Nova Scotia was confirmed as a British possession by the Treaty of Utrecht (1713), though lasting British settlement did not occur until the founding of Halifax in 1749, a founding which was intended to counter the French presence at Louisburg on Ile Royale, Cape Breton. The early history of Nova Scotia is one fraught with acrimony and fighting between English and French—a state of warfare that reached its nadir in the deportation of 6000 Acadians (French-speaking Nova-Scotians) by Governor Charles Lawrence in 1775. The first elective assembly—the first in what was to become Canada—was held in Halifax on October 2, 1758.
529-532    These lines were suggested perhaps by Pope's description of ancient Britain, Windsor-Forest, 43-52:

   Not thus the Land appear'd in Ages past,
A dreary Desart and a gloomy Waste,
To Savage Beasts and Savage Laws a Prey,
And Kings more furious and severe than they:
Who claim'd the Skies, dispeopled Air and Floods,
The lonely Lords of empty Wilds and Woods.
Cities laid waste, they storm'd the Dens and Caves,
(For wiser Brutes were backward to be Slaves.)
What could be free, when lawless Beasts obey'd,
And Ev'n the Elements a Tyrant sway'd?<


superstition's bands   A reference perhaps to the religious and philosophic system of druidism that pertained in ancient Britain, Ireland, and France.

540 thunder   Power; potentially power to destroy.

a tyrant   Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821), a French military leader and Emperor of France (1804-1815), defeated by the allied forces under the British Duke of Wellington and the Prussian field marshall Gebhard von Blucher at the Battle of Waterloo (June 18, 1815).

548 graven   Engraved, carved on.

Cf. Thomson, "Winter," 1068-69: "The storms of wintry time will quickly pass, / And one unbounded Spring Encircle all."

559-560    Cf. Windsor-Forest, 407-408: "Oh stretch thy Reign, fair Peace! from Shore to Shore, / Till Conquest cease, and Slav'ry be no more."

The Deserted Village, 427: "That trade's proud empire hastes to swift decay."