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A daimen-icker in a thrave
'S a sma' request : I'll get a blessin' wi’ the lave,
And never miss't!
Thy wee bit housie, too, in ruin !
O’ foggage green !
Baith snell an' keen !
Thou saw the fields laid bare and waste
Thou thought to dwell,
Out thro’ thy cell.
That wee bit heap of leaves an' stibble
But house or hald,
An' cranreuch cauld !
But, Mousie, thou art no thy lane
Gang aft a-gley,
For promised joy.
Still thou art blest, compared wi' me !
On prospects drear !
A bee-hive's hum shall soothe my ear ;
With many a fall shall linger near.
Shall twitter from her clay-built nest ;
And share my meal, a welcome guest.
Each fragrant flower that drinks the dew ; 10
In russet gown and apron blue.
Where first our marriage-vows were given,
Like thy own brawling springs,
Thy springs, and dying gales ; O Nymph reserved, while now the bright-hair'd
Sits in yon western tent, whose cloudy skirts
With brede ethereal wove
O’erhang his wavy bed ; Now air is hush'd, save where the weak-ey'd bat With short shrill shriek flits by on leathern wing, Or where the beetle winds
11 His small but sullen horn,
As oft he rises 'midst the twilight path,
Now teach me, maid composed,
To breathe some soften'd strain, Whose numbers, stealing through thy dark’ning vale, May not unseemly with its stillness suit ;
As musing slow I hail
Thy genial loved return.
The fragrant Hours, and Elves
Who slept in buds the day, And many a Nymph who wreathes her brows with
sedge And sheds the freshening dew, and lovelier still
The pensive Pleasures sweet,
Prepare thy shadowy car. Then let me rove some wild and heathy scene ; Or find some ruin midst its dreary dells,
Whose walls more awful nod
By thy religious gleams.
That, from the mountain's side,
Views wilds and swelling floods, And hamlets brown, and dim-discover'd spires ; And hears their simple bell ; and marks o'er all
Thy dewy fingers draw
The gradual dusky veil. While Spring shall pour his showers, as oft he wont, And bathe thy breathing tresses, meekest Eve ?
While Summer loves to sport
Beneath thy lingering light ;
Affrights thy shrinking train
So long, regardful of thy quiet rule,
Thy gentlest influence own,
ELEGY WRITTEN IN A COUNTRY CHURCH-YARD The curfew tolls the knell of parting day,
The lowing herd wind slowly o'er the lea, The ploughman homeward plods his weary way,
And leaves the world to darkness, and to me. Now fades the glimmering landscape on the sight, 5
And all the air a solemn stillness holds, Save where the beetle wheels his droning flight,
And drowsy tinklings lull the distant folds : Save that from yonder ivy-mantled tower
The moping owl does to the moon complain 10 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 : 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 afield !
How bow'd the woods beneath their sturdy stroke!
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, Awaits alike th' inevitable hour :
35 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
41 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 ; Chill Penury repress'd their noble rage,
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. Th' applause of list’ning 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