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And black Misfortune's baleful train!
Ah, show them where in ambush stand
To seize their prey, the murd'rous band!.
Ah, tell them they are men!
These shall the fury Passions tear, The vultures of ihe mind, Disdainful Anger, pallid Fear, And Shame tbat skulks behind; Or pining Love shall waste iheir youth, Or Jealousy with rankling tooth, That inly gnaws the secret heart; And Envy wan, and faded Care, Grinr-visag'd comfortless Despair, And Sorrow's piercing dart.
"Ambition this shall tempt to rise, Then whirl the wretch from high, To bitter Scorn a sacrifice, And grinning Infamy. The stings of Falsehood those shall try, And hard Unkindness' alter'd eye, That mocks the tear it forc'd to flow; And keen Remorse with blood defild, And moody Madness laughing wild. Amid severest wa
Lo, in the vale of
A grisly troop are seen,
The painful family of Death,
More hideous than their queen;
This racks the joints; this fires the veins,
every labouring sinew strains,
Those in the deeper vitals rage:
Lo, Poverty, to fill the band,
That numbs the soul with icy hand,
And slow-consuming Age.
To each his suff'rings: all are mens
Condemn'd alike to groan;
The tender for another's pain,
Th' unfeeling for his own.
Yet ah! why should they know their fate?
Since sorrow never comes too late,
And happiness 100 swiftly tlies:
Thought would destroy their paradise.
No more; where ignorance is bliss,
'Tis foliy to be wise.
ELEGY, WRITTEN IN A COUNTRY
'The curfew tolls the knell of parting day,
The lowing herds wind slowly o'er the lea,
The ploughman homeward plods his weary way,
And leaves the world to darkness and to me.
Now fades the glimm'ring landscape on the sight,
And all the air a solemo stillness holds,
Save where the beelle wbeels. bis drony flight,
And drowsy tinklings lull the distant folds;
Save that from yonder ivy-mantled low'r,
The moping owl does to the moon complain
Of such, as wand'ring near her secret bow'r,
Molest her ancient solitary reign.
Beneath those rugged elms, that yew-tree's shade,
Where heaves the turf in many a mould'ring heap,
Each in his narrow cell for ever laid,
The rude forefathers of the hamlet sleep.
The breezy call of incense-breathing morn,
The swallow twitt'ring from the straw-built shed;
The cock's shrill clarion, or the echoing hori,
No more shall rouse them from their lowly bed.
For them no more the blazing hearth shall burn,
Or busy housewite ply her evening care:
No children run to lisp their sire's return,
Of climb his knees the envied kiss to share,
Oft did the harvest to their sickle yield,
Their harrow oft the stubborn glebe has bruke:
How jocund did they drive their teams afield !
How bow'd the woods beneath their sturdy stroke !
Let not ambition mock their useful toil,
Their homely joys, and destiny obscure;
Nor grandeur hear, with a disdainful smile,
The short and simple annals of the poor.
The boast of heraldry, the pomp of pow'r,
And all that beauty, all that wealth e'er gaver
Await alike th' inevitable hour;
The paths of glory lead but to the grave.
Nor you, ye proud, impute to these the fault,
If mem’ry o'er their tombs no trophies raise,
Where through the long-drawn aisle, and firetted vault,
The pealing anthem swells the note of praise.
Can storied urn, or animated bust,
Back to its mansion call the fleeting breath?
Can Honour's voice provoke the silent dust,
Or Flatt'ry sooth the dull cold ear of death?
Perhaps in this neglected spot is laid
Some heart once pregnant with celestial fire ;
Hands, that the rud of empire might have sway'a,
Or wak’d to ecstacy the living lyre.
But Knowledge to their eyes her ample page,
Rich with the spoils of Time, did ne'er utrol;
Chill Penury repress’d their noble rage,
And froze the genial current of the soul.
Full nrany a gem of purest ray serene
The dark unfarhom'd caves of ocean bear :
Full many a flower is born to blush unseen,
And waste its sweeiness on the desert air.
Some village Hampden, that with dauntless breast
The litule iyrant of his fields wiihstond;
Some mute inglorious Milton here may rest,
Some Cromwell, guiltless of his country's blood.
Th' applause of list'ning senates to command,
The ihreats of pain and ruin to despise,
To scatter plenty o'er a smiling land,
And 'read their history in a nation's eyes,
Their lot forbade: nor circumscrib'd alone
Their growing virtues, but their crimes confin’dl;
Forbade to wade through slaughter to a throne,
And shut the gates of Mercy on mankind;
The struggling pangs of conscious Truth to hide,
To quench the blushes of ingenuous Shame,
Or heap the shrine of Luxury and Pride
With incense kindled at the Muse's flanie,
Far from the madding crowi's ignoble strife,
Their sober wishes never learn'd to stray ;
Along the cool sequester'd vale of life
They kept the noiseless tenour of their way.
Yet ev’n these bones from insult to protect,
Some frail memorial still erected nigh,
With uncouth rhymes and shapeless sculpture deck’d,
Implores the passing tribute of a sig.
Their name, their years, spelt by th' unletter'd Muse,
The place of fame and elegy supply;
And many a holy text around she strews,
Thal teach the rustic moralist 10 die.
For who, to dumb forgetfulness a prey,
This pleasing, auxioss being e'er resign'd,
Left the warm precincts of the cheerful day,
Nor cast one longing, ling'ring look behind?
On some fond breast the parting soul relies,
Some pious drops the closing eye requires ;
Ev’n from the tomb ihe voice of Nature cries,
Ev'n in our ashes live their wonted fires.
For thee, who mindful of thi' unhonour'd dead,
Dost in these lines their artless tale relate;
If, chance, by lonely Contemplation led,
Some kindred Spirit shall inquire thy fate,
Haply some hoary-headed swain may say,
- Oft have we seen him at the peep of dawn,
• Brushing with hasty steps the dew away,
• To meet the sun upon the upland lawn.
There, at the foot of yonder nodding beech,
That wreathes his old fantastic roots so high, * His listless length at noon-tide would he stretch, * And pore upon the brook that bubbles by.
• Hard by yon wood, now smiling as in scorn,
Mult'ring his wayward fancies he would rove;
Now drooping, woful, wan, like one forlorni,
• Or craz'd with care, or cross'd in hopeless love.
* One morn I miss'd him on th' accustom'u hill,
Along the heath, and near his fav’rite tree;
Another came, nor yet beside the rill,
the lawn, nor at the wood was he,
* The next, with dirges due, in sad array, * Slow through the churchway path we saw him borne;
Approach and read (for thou canst read) tbe lay, * Gray'd on the stone beneath yon aged thorn.'