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A rural, shelter'd, folitary scene;
Where ruddy fire and beaming tapers join, 430
To cheer the gloom. There ftucious let me fit,
XAnd hold high converse with the Mighty Dead;
Sages of ancient time, as gods rever'd,
As gods beneficent, who blest mankind
With arts, with arms, and humaniz'd a world. 435
Rous’d at th' inspiring thought, I throw aside
The long-liv’d volume ; and, deep mufing, hail
The sacred shades, that slowly-rising pass .
Before my wondering eyes. First Socrates,
Who, firmly good in a corrupted state,
Against the rage of tyrants fingie stood,
Invincible!.calm Reason's holy law,
That voice of God within th' attentive mind,
Obeying, fearless, or in life, or death :
Great moral teacher! wifeft of mankind !
Solon the next, who built his common-weal
On equity's wide base; by tender laws
A lively people curbing, yet undamp'
Preserving still that quick peculiar fire,
Whence in the laureld field of finer arts,
And of bold freedom, they unequal'd lhone,
The pride of smiling Greece, and human-kind.
V Lycurgus* then, who bowd beneath the force
Of strictent discipline, severely wise, ..
All human passions. Following him, I fee,
As at Thermopylæ he glorious fell, . .. ,
The firm * devoted Chief, who prov'd by deeds
The hardest lesson which the other taught. Then Aristides lifts his honest front; Spotless of heart, to whom th' unflattering voice 460 Of freedom gave the noblest name of Just; In pure majestic poverty rever'd; Who, ev’n his glory to his country's weal Submitting, swell’d a haughty *rival's fame. Rear’d by his care, of softer ray appears Cimon sweet-soul'd; whose genius, rising strong, Shook off the load of young debauch ; abroad The scourge of Persian pride, at home the friend Of every worth and every splendid art; Modest, and simple, in the pomp of wealth. Then the last worthies of declining Greece, Late call’d to glory, in unequal times, Pensive, appear. The fair Corinthian boast, . Timoleon, happy temper! mild, and firm, Who wept the brother while the tyrant bled. And, equal to the best, the t Theban Pair, Whose virtụes, in heroic concord join'd, Their country rais'd to freedom, empire, fame. He too, with whom Athenian honour funk; And left a mass of sordid lees behind, Phocion the Good; in public life fevere, To virtue still inexorably firm; But when, beneath his low illustrious roof, Sweet peace and happy wisdom smooth'd his brow, Not friendship softer was, nor love more kind. 485 * Themistocles. + Pelopidas and Epaminondas.
And he, the last of old Lycurgus' fons,
The generous victim to that vain attempt,
To save a rotten state, Agis, who fawt
Ev'n Sparta's self to servile avarice sunk.
The two Achaian heroes close the train:
Aratus, who a while relum'd the soul
Of fondly lingering liberty in Greece :
And he her darling as her latest hope,
The gallant Philopoemen; who to arms
Turn'd the luxurious pomp he could not cure ; 495
Or toiling in his farm, a simple swain;
Or, bold and skilful, thundering in the field.
Of rougher front, a mighty people come!
A race of heroes ! in those virtuous times
Which knew no stain, save that with partial flame 500
Their dearest country they too fondly lov’d:
Her better founder first, the light of Rome,
Numa, who soften'd her rapacious fons :
Servius the King, who laid the folid bafes'
On which o'er earth the vast republic spread.
Then the great confuls venerable rise.
The ** Public Father who the Private quell'd,
As on the dread tribunal sternly fad.
He, whom his thankless country could not lose,
Camillus, only vengeful to her foes.
510 Fabricius, scorner of all-conquering gold; And Cincinnatus, awful from the plough. Thy + willing Victim, Carthage, bursting loose
. * Marcus Junius Brutus. + Regulus.
From all that pleading Nature could oppose,
From a whole city's tears, by rigid faith
Imperious call’d, and honour's dire command.
Scipio, the gentle chief, humanely brave,
Who soon the race of spotless glory ran,
And, warm in youth, to the poetic shade
With Friendship and Philosophy retir’d.
Tully, whose powerful eloquence a while
Restrain’d the rapid fate of rushing Rome.
Unconquer'd Cato, virtuous in extreme.
And thou, unhappy Brutus, kind of heart,
Whose steady arm, by awful virtue urg'd, - 525
Lifted the Roman feel against thy friend.
Thousands besides the tribute of a verse
Demand ; but who can count the stars of heaven?
Who sing their influence on this lower world?
Behold, who yonder comes ! in sober state, 530 Fair, mild, and strong, as is a vernal sun :
Tis Phæbus felf, or else the Mantuan Swain !
Great Homer too appears, of daring wing,
Parent of song! and equal by his side,
The British Muse; join'd hand in hand they walk,
Darkling, full up the middle steep to fame.
Nor absent are those shades, whose skilful touch
Pathetic drew th' impassion'd heart, and charm'd
Transported Athens with the moral scene :
Nor those who, tuneful, wak'd th' enchanting lyre.
First of your kind! society divine !
Still visit thus my nights, for you reserv'd,
And mount my foaring foul to thoughts like yours. .
Silence, thou lonely power! the door be thine;
See on the hallow'd hour that none intrude, 545
Save a few chofen friends, who fometimes deign
To bless my humble roof, with senfe refin'd,
Learning digested well, exalted faith,
Unstudy'd wit, and humour ever gay.
Or from the Muses” hill will Pope descend, 550
To raise the facred hour, to bid it smile,
And with the focial fpirit warm the heart?
For though not sweeter his own Homer fings,
Yet is his life the more endearing song.
: Where art thou, Hammond ? theu the darling pride,
The friend and lover of the tuneful throng!
Ah, why, dear youth, in all the blooming prime,
Of vernal genius, where disclofing faft i
Each active worth, each manly virtue lay,
Why wert thou ravith'd from our hope so foon?. 360
What now avails that noble thirst of fame,
Which súng thy fervent breast that treasur'd store"
Of knowledge, early gain'd? that eager zeal
To serve thy country, glowing in the band
Of Youthful Patriots, who fuftain her name? 565
What now, alas ! that life-diffufing charm
Of sprightly wit? that rapture for the Muse,
That heart of friendship, and that foul of joy,
Which bade with softest light thy virtues smile? .
Ah ! only shew'd, to check our fond pursuits,
And teach our humbled hopes that life is vain !
Thus in some deep retirement would I pass 2 The winter-glooms, with friends of pliant soul, A