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OPHELIA'S URN, AN ELEGY.
TO MR. GRAVES.
THROUGH the dim vale of evening's dusky shade,
Shall Strephon's tear bedew Ophelia's urn. Sure nought unhallow'd shall presume to stray Where sleep the relics of that virtuous maid; Nor aught unlovely bend its devious way Where soft Ophelia's dear remains are laid. Haply thy Muse, as with unceasing sighs
She keeps late vigils on her urn reclin'd, May see light groups of pleasing visions rise, And phantoms glide, but of celestial kind. Then Fame, her clarion pendant at her side, Shall seek forgiveness of Ophelia's shade; Why has such worth, without distinction, died? Why, like the desert's lily, bloom'd to fade?
Then young Simplicity, averse to feign,
Shall, unmolested, breathe her softer sigh, And Candour with unwonted warmth complain, And Innocence indulge a wailful cry.
Then Elegance, with coy judicious hand,
And ask sweet solace of the Muse in vain!
Too much the sacred Nine their loss deplore: Well may ye grieve, nor find an end of griefYour best, your brightest, favourite is no more. Shenstone.
ELEGY, COMPLAINING HOW SOON THE PLEASING NOVELTY OF LIFE IS OVER.
TO MR. JAGO.
Aн me! my Friend! it will not, will not last! This fairy scene that cheats our youthful eyes; The charm dissolves; th' aërial music's pass'd; The banquet ceases, and the vision flies.
Where are the splendid forms, the rich perfumes ?
Vain now are books, the sage's wisdom vain!
Scarce has the sun seven annual courses roll'd, Scarce shown the whole that Fortune can supply, Since not the miser so caress'd his gold
As I, for what it gave, was heard to sigh.
On the world's stage I wish'd some sprightly part,
And you, ye works of Art! allur'd mine eye,
The breathing picture and the living stone: Though gold, though splendour, Heav'n and Fate deny,
Yet might I call one Titian stroke my own!' Smit with the charms of Fame, whose lovely spoil, The wreath, the garland, fire the poet's pride, I trimm'd my lamp, consum'd the midnight oilBut soon the paths of health and fame divide! Oft too I pray'd, 'twas Nature form'd the prayer, To grace my native scenes, my rural home; To see my trees express their planter's care, And gay, on Attic models, raise my dome. But now 'tis o'er, the dear delusion's o'er! A stagnant breezeless air becalms my soul; A fond aspiring candidate no more,
I scorn the palm before I reach the goal.
O youth! enchanting stage, profusely bless'd!
Then glows the breast, as opening roses fair ;
Tender as buds, and lavish as the spring.
O life! how soon of every bliss forlorn!
We start false joys, and urge the devious race; A tender prey; that cheers our youthful morn, Then sinks untimely, and defrauds the chase. Shenstone.
ELEGY, IN MEMORY OF A PRIVATE FAMILY IN
FROM a lone tow'r with reverend ivy crown'd,
So droop'd, I ween, each Briton's breast of old, When the dull curfew spoke their freedom fled; For, sighing as the mournful accent roll'd,
"Our hope,' they cried, 'our kind support, is dead!'
"Twas good Palemon!-Near a shaded pool,
A few small spires, to gothic fancy fair,
Amid the shades emerging struck the view;
One favour'd son engag'd his tenderest care;
O'er the pale corse we saw him gently bend; Heart-chill'd with grief-'My thread,' he cried, ' is spun !
If Heav'n had meant I should my life extend, Heaven had preserv'd my life's support, my son.
Snatch'd in thy prime! alas, the stroke were mild, Had my frail form obey'd the Fate's decree! Bless'd were my lot, O Cynthio! O my child!
Had Heav'n so pleas'd, and I had died for thee',