網頁圖片
PDF
ePub 版

"Of foes intestine what a numerous band "Against this little throb of life conspire! "Yet Science can elude their fatal ire "Awhile, and turn aside Death's levell'd dart, Soothe the sharp pang, allay the fever's fire, And brace the nerves once more, and cheer the heart,

And yet a few soft nights and balmy days impart.

LIII.

"Nor less to regulate man's moral frame, "Science exerts her all-composing sway; "Flutters thy breast with fear, or pants for fame, "Or pines, to Indolence and Spleen a prey, “Or Avarice, a fiend more fierce than they? "Flee to the shades of Academus' grove; "Where cares molest not! discord melts away "In harmony, and the pure passions prove "How sweet the words of truth breathed from the lips of Love.

LIV. "What cannot art and industry perform, "When Science plans the progress of their toil! "They smile at penury, disease, and storm; "And oceans from their mighty mounds recoil. "When tyrants scourge, or demagogues embroil "A land, or when the rabble's headlong rage "Order transforms to anarchy and spoil, "Deep-versed in man, the philosophic sage "Prepares, with lenient hand, their frenzy to assuage.

LV.

" 'Tis he alone, whose comprehensive mind, "From situation, temper, soil, and clime

H

"Explored, a nation's various powers can bind "And various orders, in one form sublime "Of polity, that, midst the wrecks of time, "Secure shall lift its head on high, nor fear “Th' assault of foreign or domestic crime, "While public faith, and public love sincere, "And industry and law maintain their sway severe.”

LVI.

Enraptured by the hermit's strain, the youth
Proceeds the path of Science to explore.
And now, expanding to the beams of Truth,
New energies, and charms unknown before,
His mind discloses: Fancy now no more
Wantons on fickle pinion through the skies;
But, fixed in aim, and conscious of her power,
Sublime from cause to cause exults to rise,
Creation's blended stores arranging as she flies.

LVII.
Nor love of novelty alone inspires,
Their laws and nice dependencies to scan;
For, mindful of the aids that life requires,
And of the services man owes to man,
He meditates new arts on Nature's plan;
The cold desponding breast of Sloth to warm,
The flame of Industry and Genius fan,
And Emulation's noble rage alarm,

And the long hours of toil and solitude to charm.

LVIII.

But she, who set on fire his infant heart,

And all his dreams, and all his wanderings shared, And bless'd the Muse, and her celestial art,

Still claim'd th' enthusiast's fond and first regard.

From Nature's beauties variously compared And variously combined, he learns to frame Those forms of bright perfection, which the bard, While boundless hopes and boundless views inflame, Enamor'd consecrates to never-dying fame.

LIX.

Of late, with cumbersome, though pompous show, Edwin would oft his flowery rhyme deface, Through ardor to adorn ; but Nature now To his experienced eye a modest grace Presents, where ornament the second place Holds, to intrinsic worth and just design Subservient still. Simplicity apace Tempers his rage: he owns her charm divine, And clears th' ambiguous phrase, and lops th' unwieldy line.

LX.

Fain would I sing, (much yet unsung remains)
What sweet delirium o'er his bosom stole,
When the great Shepherd of the Mantuan plains*
His deep majestic melody 'gan roll:

Fain would I sing, what transport storm'd his soul,
How the red current throbb'd his veins along,

When, like Pelides, bold beyond control,
Gracefully terrible, sublimely strong,

Homer raised high to heaven the loud, th' impetuous

song.

LXI.

And how his lyre, though rude her first essays,
Now skill'd to soothe, to triumph, to complain,

[blocks in formation]

Warbling at will through each harmonious maze, Was taught to modulate the artful strain, I fain would sing :-but ah! I strive in vain. Sighs from a breaking heart my voice confound.With trembling step, to join yon weeping train, I haste, where gleams funereal glare around, And, mix'd with shrieks of woe, the knells of death resound.

LXII.

Adieu, ye lays, that Fancy's flowers adorn, The soft amusement of the vacant mind! He sleeps in dust, and all the Muses mourn, He, whom each virtue fired, each grace refined, Friend, teacher, pattern, darling of mankind!* He sleeps in dust.-Ah, how should I pursue My theme! to heart-consuming grief resign'd, Here on his recent grave I fix my view, And pour my bitter tears.-Ye flowery lays, adieu!

LXIII.

Art thou, my GREGORY, for ever fled!
And am I left to unavailing woe!
When fortune's storms assail this weary
head,
Where cares long since have shed untimely snow,
Ah! now for comfort whither shall I go !
No more thy soothing voice my anguish cheers:
Thy placid eyes with smiles no longer glow,
My hopes to cherish, and allay my fears.

"Tis meet that I should mourn:-flow forth afresh my

tears.

This excellent person died suddenly, on the 10th of February, 1773. The conclusion of the poem was written a few days after.

[ocr errors]

AN ELEGY

WRITTEN IN

A COUNTRY CHURCH-YARD.

BY THOMAS GRAY.

THE curfew tolls the knell of parting day,
The lowing herd wind slowly o'er the lea,
The plowman homeward plods his weary way,
And leaves the world to darkness and to me.
Now fades the glimmering landscape on the sight,
And all the air a solemn stillness holds,
Save where the beetle wheels his drony flight,
And drowsy tinklings lull the distant folds;
Save that, from yonder ivy-mantled tower,

The moping owl does to the moon complain
Of such, as wandering near her secret bower,
Molest her ancient, solitary reign.

Beneath those rugged elms, that yew-tree's shade, Where heaves the turf in many a mouldering 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 twittering from the straw-built shed, The cock's shrill clarion, or the echoing horn,

No more shall rouse them from their lowly bed. For them no more the blazing hearth shall burn. Or busy housewife ply her evening care;

« 上一頁繼續 »