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Quotes

Quote #4

To scatter plenty o'er a smiling land,
And read their hist'ry in a nation's eyes,
Their lot forbade: (63-65)

The speaker points out that the villagers' situation (their "lot") kept them from making a big splash in the history books. After all, they were pretty busy just keeping food on the table!

Quote #5

Along the cool sequester'd vale of life
They kept the noiseless tenor of their way. (75-76)

The villagers had to live their lives in the seclusion of the village—outside of the national spotlight. They didn't make a lot of "noise," in that they didn't do anything that got recorded in the history books, but that doesn't mean that we should just forget about them.

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