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Who-as he watches her silently gliding-
know, Like heart-broken exiles, lie burning below; Whilst the vessel drives on to that desolate shore Where the dreams of our childhood are vanish'd and o'er.
Elegy written in a Conntry Churchyard.
The lowing herd wind slowly o'er the lea ;
And leaves the world—to darkness and to me.
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
Molest her ancient solitary reign.
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 her 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; No children run to lisp their sire's return,
Or climb his knees the envied kiss to share. Oft did the harvest to their sickle yield;
Their furrow oft the stubborn glebe has broke: How jocund did they drive their team a-field !
How bow'd the woods beneath their sturdy stroko! Let not Ambition mock their useful toil,
Their homely joys and destiny obscure; Nor Grandeur hear, with a disdainful smile,
The short and simple annals of the poor ! The boast of Heraldry, the pomp of Power,
And all that Beauty, all that Wealth e'er gave, Await alike the inevitable hour:
The paths of Glory lead-but to the grave. Nor you, ye Proud, impute to these the fault.
If Memory o’er their tomb no trophies raise, Where through the long-drawn aisle and fretted vault,
The pealing anthem swells the note of praise. Can storied urn, or animated bust,
Back to its mansion call the fleeting breath ? Can Honour's voice provoke the silent dust,
Or Flattery soothe the dull cold ear of death? Perhaps, in this neglected spot, is laid
Some heart once pregnant with celestial fire ; Hands that the rod of Empire might have sway'd,
Or waked to ecstasy the living lyre:
Rich with the spoils of time, did ne'er unroll;
And froze the genial current of the soul ! Full many a gem of purest ray serene,
The dark unfathom'd caves of Ocean bear; Full many a flower is born to blush unseen,
And waste its sweetness on the desert air !
Some village Hampden, that, with dauntless breast,
The little tyrant of his fields withstood; Some mute inglorious Milton here may rest
Some Cromwell, guiltless of his country's blood. The applause of listening senates to command,
The threats of pain and ruin to despise, To scatter plenty o'er a smiling land,
And read their history in a nation's eyes, Their lot forbade; nor circumscribed alone
Their glowing virtues, but their crimes confined Forbade to wade through slaughter to a throne,
And shut the gates of mercy on mankind; The struggling pangs of conscious truth to hide;
To quench the blushes of ingenuous shame; Or heap the shrine of luxury and pride,
With incense kindled at the Muse's flame. Far from the madding crowd's iguoble strife,
Their sober wishes never learn'd to stray: Along the cool sequester'd vale of life
They kept the noiseless tenor of their way! Yet e'en these bones from insult to protect,
Some frail memorial, still erected nigh, With uncouth rhymes and shapeless sculpture deck'd,
In plores the passing tribute of a sigh. Their name, their pears, spellid by the unletter'd muse,
The place of fame and elegy supply; And many a holy text around she strews,
To teach the rustic moralist to die. For who, to dumb Forgetfulness a prey,
This pleasing, anxious being e'er resign'dLeft the warm precincts of the cheerful day,
Nor cast one longing, lingering look behind ? On some fond breast the parting soul relies,
Some pious drops the closing eye requires :
E’en in our ashes live their wonted fires !
Dost in these lines their artless tale relate,
Some kindred spirit shall inquire thy fate;
Haply, some hoary-headed swain may say
“Oft have we seen him, at the peep of dawn, Brushing, with hasty steps, the dews away,
To meet the sun upon the upland lawn. “There, at the foot of yonder nodding beech,
That wreathes its old fantastic roots so high, His listless length at noontide would he stretch,
And pore upon the brook that bubbles by. “ Hard by yon wood, now smiling as in scorn,
Muttering his wayward fancies, he would rove: Now drooping, woful, wan, like one forlorn,
Or crazed with care, or cross'd in hopeless love ! “One morn I miss'd him on the accustom'd hill,
Along the heath, and near his favourite tree : Another came ; nor yet beside the rill,
Nor up the lawn, nor at the wood was he: “The next with dirges due, in sad array,
Slow through the church-way path we saw him borne ; Approach and read (for thou canst read) the lay,
Graved on the stone beneath yon aged thorn."
HERE rests his head upon the lap of earth,
A youth to Fortune and to Fame unknown; Fair Science frown'd not on his humble birth,
And Melancholy mark'd him for her own. Large was his bounty, and his soul sincere ;
Heaven did a recompence as largely send ;He gave to Misery all he had—a tear ;
He gain'd from Heaven, 'twas all he wish'd—a friend. No further seek his merits to disclose,
Or draw his frailties from their dread abode, (There they alike in trembling hope repose, The bosom of his Father and his God.)
Time Rolls his Ceaseless Course.
TIME rolls his ceaseless course. The race of yore,
Who danced our infancy upon their knee,
Of their strange ventures happ'd by land or sea,
How few, all weak and wither'd of their force, Wait on the verge of dark eternity, Like stranded wrecks, the tide returning hoarse, To sweep them from our sight! Time rolls his ceaseless course,
Memories of the Dead.
THEN let us be content in spirit, though