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ODE ON THE SPRING.
Lo! where the rosy-bosom'd Hours,
The untaught harmony of spring:
Where'er the oak's thick branches stretch A broader browner shade,
Where'er the rude and moss-grown beech
O'er-canopies the glade,
Beside some water's rushy brink
(At ease reclined in rustic state) How vain the ardour of the crowd, How low, how little are the proud,
How indigent the great!
Still is the toiling hand of Care;
And float amid the liquid noon:
To Contemplation's sober eye
In Fortune's varying colours drest:
Methinks I hear, in accents low,
Poor moralist! and what art thou?
Thy joys no glittering female meets,
No painted plumage to display :
ODE ON A DISTANT PROSPECT OF ETON COLLEGE.
Ye distant spires, ye antique towers,
His silver-winding way:
Ah, happy hills! ah, pleasing shade!
Where once my careless childhood strayed,
I feel the gales that from ye blow
A momentary bliss bestow,
As waving fresh their gladsome wing, My weary soul they seem to soothe, And, redolent of joy and youth,
To breathe a second spring.
Say, father Thames, for thou hast seen
The captive linnet which enthral?
While some on earnest business bent
Some bold adventurers disdain
The limits of their little reign,
And unknown regions dare descry: Still as they run they look behind, They hear a voice in every wind,
And snatch a fearful joy.
Gay hope is theirs by fancy fed,
And lively cheer, of vigour born;
Alas! regardless of their doom
No sense have they of ills to come,
Nor care beyond to-day:
Yet see, how all around them wait
And black Misfortune's baleful train! Ah, show them where in ambush stand, To sieze their prey, the murderous band! Ah, tell them, they are men!
These shall the fury Passions tear,
And Shame that skulks behind;
That inly gnaws the secret heart; And Envy wan, and faded Care, Grim-visaged comfortless Despair,
And Sorrow's piercing dart.
Ambition this shall tempt to rise,
And grinning Infamy.
The stings of Falsehood those shall try, And hard Unkindness' altered eye,
That mocks the tear it forced to flow; And keen Remorse with blood defiled, And moody Madness laughing wild Amid severest woe.
Lo! in the vale of years beneath
The painful family of Death,
More hideous than their queen: This racks the joints, this fires the veins, That every labouring sinew strains,
Those in the deeper vitals rage:
To each his sufferings: all are men,
The tender for another's pain,
The unfeeling for his own.
Yet, ah! why should they know their fate,
And happiness too swiftly flies?
HYMN TO ADVERSITY.
Daughter of Jove, relentless power,
The proud are taught to taste of pain,
With pangs unfelt before, unpitied and alone.
When first thy sire to send on earth
And bade to form her infant mind.
What sorrow was, thou bad'st her know,
And from her own she learned to melt at others' woe.