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ODE TO SIMPLICITY
O Thou, by nature taught
To breathe her genuine thought, Who slept in flow'rs the day,
In numbers warmly pure, and sweetly
strong; And many a nymph who wreaths her
Who first, on mountains wild, brows with sedge,
In fancy, loveliest child, And sheds the fresh’ning dew, and, lovelier Thy babe, or pleasure's, nursed the powers still
of song! The pensive Pleasures sweet, Prepare thy shadowy car.
Thou, who, with hermit heart,
Disdain'st the wealth of art, Then lead, calm vot'ress, where some And gauds, and pageant weeds, and trailsheety lake
ing pall; Cheers the lone heath, or some time- But com'st a decent maid, hallow'd pile
In Attic robe arrayed, Or upland fallows grey
O chaste, unboastful nymph, to thee I Reflect its last cool gleam.
By all the honeyed store
On Hybla's thymy shore;
In evening musings slow,
I only seek to find thy temperate vale;
Where oft my reed might sound
To maids and shepherds round,
By old Cephisus deep,
Who, the purple evening, lie
On the mountain's lonely van, When holy freedom died,
Beyond the noise of busy man; No equal haunt allured thy future feet. Painting fair the form of things,
While the yellow linnet sings; O sister meek of truth,
Or the tuneful nightingale To my admiring youth,
Charms the forest with her tale ; Thy sober aid and native charms infuse! Come, with all thy various hues,
The flowers that sweetest breathe, Come, and aid thy sister muse;
Though beauty culled the wreath, Now, while Phæbus, riding high, Still ask thy hand to range their ordered Gives luster to the land and sky! hues.
Grongar Hill invites my song,
Draw the landscape bright and strong; While Rome could none esteem
Grongar, in whose mossy cells, But virtue's patriot theme,
Sweetly musing, Quiet dwells; You loved her hills, and led their laureat Grongar, in whose silent shade, band:
For the modest Muses made; But stayed to sing alone
So oft I have, the evening still, To one distinguished throne;
At the fountain of a rill, And turned the face, and fled her altered Sat upon a flowery bed, land.
With my hand beneath my head;
While strayed my eyes o'er Towy's flood, No more, in hall or bower,
Over mead, and over wood, The passions own thy power;
From house to house, from hill to hill, Love, only love, her forceless numbers Till contemplation had her fill.
About his checkered sides I wind, For thou hast left her shrine;
And leave his brooks and meads behid, Nor olive more, nor vine,
And groves and grottoes where I lay, Shall gain thy feet to bless the servile scene. And vistas shooting beams of day:
Wide and wider spreads the vale,
The mountains round, unhappy fate
Withdraw their summits from the skies, What each, what all supply,
And lessen as the others rise:
Still it widens, widens still,
And sinks the newly risen hill. Of these let others ask,
Now I gain the mountain's brow, To aid some mighty task,
What a landscape lies below!
No clouds, no vapours intervene,
Sometimes swift, sometimes slow, But the gay, the open scene,
Wave succeeding wave, they go Does the face of nature shew,
A various journey to the deep, In all the hues of heaven's bow;
Like human life, to endless sleep! And, swelling to embrace the light, Thus is nature's vesture wrought, Spreads around beneath the sight.
To instruct our wandering thought; Old castles on the cliffs arise,
Thus she dresses green and gay, Proudly towering in the skies !
To disperse our cares away. Rushing from the woods, the spires
Ever charming, ever new, Seem from hence ascending fires !
When will the landscape tire the view ! Half his beams Apollo sheds
The fountain's fall, the river's flow, On the yellow mountain heads!
The woody valleys, warm and low; Gilds the fleeces of the flocks,
The windy summit, wild and high,
Roughly rushing on the sky!
The naked rock, the shady bower;
The town and village, dome and farm, The yellow beech, the sable yew,
Each give each a double charm. The slender fir, that taper grows,
As pearls upon an Æthiop's arm. The sturdy oak, with broad-spread boughs. See, on the mountain's southern side, And beyond the purple grove,
Where the prospect opens wide, Haunt of Phyllis, queen of love!
Where the evening gilds the tide, Gaudy as the opening dawn,
How close and small the hedges lie! Lies a long and level lawn,
What streaks of meadows cross the On which a dark hill, steep and high,
eye! Holds and charms the wandering eye! A step, methinks, may pass the stream, Deep are his feet in Towy's flood,
So little distant dangers seem;
As yon summits soft and fair,
Barren, brown, and rough appear;
Still we tread the same coarse way, 'Tis now the raven's bleak abode;
The present's still a cloudy day. 'Tis now the apartment of the toad;
O may I with myself agree,
And never covet what I see!
For while our wishes wildly roll,
And misers gather wealth and care. Has seen this broken pile complete,
Now, even now, my joys run high, Big with the vanity of state;
As on the mountain turf I lie; But transient is the smile of fate!
While the wanton zephyr sings, A little rule, a little sway,
And in the vale perfumes his wings; A sunbeam in a winter's day,
While the waters murmur deep, Is all the proud and mighy have
While the shepherd charms his sheep, Between the cradle and the grave.
While the birds unbounded fly, And see the rivers, how they run
And with music fill the sky, Through woods and meads, in shade and sun, Now, even now, my joys run high.
Be full, ye courts; be great who will ; Search for peace with all your skill; Open wide the lofty door, Seek her on the marble floor: In vain you search, she is not there; In vain you search the domes of care! Grass and flowers Quiet treads, On the meads and mountain heads, Along with Pleasure close allied, Ever by each other's side: And often, by the murmuring rill, Hears the thrush, while all is still, Within the groves of Grongar Hill.
While some on earnest business bent
Their murm'ring labours ply 'Gainst graver hours, that bring con
And unknown regions dare descry:
And snatch a fearful joy.
ODE ON A DISTANT PROSPECT
OF ETON COLLEGE
Gay hope is theirs by fancy fed,
Less pleasing when possessed; The tear forgot as soon as shed,
The sunshine of the breast : Theirs buxom health of rosy hue, Wild wit, invention ever-new,
And lively cheer of vigour born; The thoughtless day, the easy night, The spirits pure, the slumbers light,
That fly the approach of morn.
YE distant spires, ye antique towers,
That crown the watry glade, Where grateful Science still adores
Her Henry's holy Shade; And ye, that from the stately brow Of Windsor's heights the expanse below
Of grove, of lawn, of mead survey, Whose turf, whose shade, whose flowers
among Wanders the hoary Thames along
His silver-winding way:
Alas, regardless of their doom,
The little victims play!
Nor care beyond to-day:
And black Misfortune's baleful train ! Ah, show them where in ambush stand To seize their prey the murth’rous band !
Ah, tell them, they are men !
Ah, happy hills, ah, pleasing shade,
Ah, fields beloved in vain,
A stranger yet to pain !
As waving fresh their gladsome wing,
To breathe a second spring.
These shall the fury Passions tear,
The vultures of the mind, Disdainful Anger, pallid Fear,
And Shame that skulks behind ; Or pining Love shall waste their youth, Or Jealousy with rankling tooth,
That inly gnaws the secret heart, And Envy wan, and faded Care, Grim-visaged, comfortless Despair,
And Sorrow's piercing dart.
Say, Father Thames, for thou hast seen
Full many a sprightly race
The paths of pleasure trace,
The captive linnet which enthrall ?
Or urge the flying ball?
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' altered eye,