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The breczy call of incense-breathing Morn,
The swallow twitt'ring from the straw-built shed,
The cock's fhrill clarion, or the ecchoing horn,
No more shall rouse them from their lowly bed.
For them no more the blazing hearth shall burn,
Or busy houswife ply her evening care:
No children run to lisp their fire's return,
Or climb his knees the envied kiss to share.
Oft did the harvest to their fickle 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 pow'r,
And all that beauty, all that wealth e'er gave,
Await alike th' inevitable hour.
The paths of glory lead but to the grave.
Nor you, ye Proud, impute to These the fault,
If Mem'ry o'er their Tomb no Trophies raise,
Where thro' the long-drawn isle and fretted vault
The pealing anthem swells the note of praise.
Can storied urn or animated bust
Back to its manfion call the fleeting breath
Can Honour's voice provoke the filent duft,
Or Flatt'ry footh 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 (way'd,
Or wak'd to extasy the living lyre.
But Knowledge to their eyes her ample page
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 dauntlefs breaft
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 lift'ning fenates to command,
The threats of pain and ruin to despise,
To scatter plenty o'er a smiling land,
And read their hist'ry in a nation's eyes
Their lot forbad: nor circumscrib'd alone
Their growing virtues, but their crimes confin'd;
Forbad 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 ignoble ftrife,
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 ev’n these bones from insult to protect
Some frail memorial ftill erected nigh,
With uncouth rhimes and shapeless sculpture deck'd,
Implores the passing tribute of a figh.
Their name, their years, spelt by th' unletter'd Muse,
The place of fame and elegy supply:
And many a holy text around she strews,
That teach the rustic moralift to dye.
For who to dumb Forgetfulness a prey,
This pleasing anxious being e'er resign'd,
Left the warm precincts of the chearful day,
Nor cast one longing ling'ring look behind ?
On some fond breast the parting soul relies,
Some pious drops the clofing eye requires ;
Ev’n from the tomb the voice of Nature cries,
Ev'n in our Ashes live their wonted Fires.
For thee, who mindful of th' unhonour'd Dead
Dost in these lines their artless tale relate ;
If chance, by lonely Contemplation led,
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 hafty 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 noon-tide wou'd he stretch,
pore upon the brook that babbles by.
• Hard by yon wood, now smiling as in scorn,
• Mutt'ring his wayward fancies he wou'd rove;
• Now drooping, woeful wan, like one forlorn,
• Or craz'd with care, or crofs’d in hopeless love.
One morn I miss'd him on the custom'd hill,
Along the heath and near his fav’rite tree: • Another came; nor yet beside the rill, • Nor up the lawn, nor at the wood was he,
(6) The next with dirges due in fad array
Slow through the church-way path we saw him born, * Approach and read (for thou can'ít read) the lay,
Grav'd on the stone beneath yon aged thorn.
HERE refis bis head upon the lap of Earth
A Youth to Fortune and to Fame unknown, Fair Science frown'd not or bis humble birth, And Melancholy mark'd him for her own.
Large was his bounty, and his foul fincere,
Heav'n did a recompence as largely send :
He gave to Mis’ry all he had, a tear,
He gain'd from Heav'n ('twas all be willid) a friend.
No fartber seek bis merits to disclose,
Or draw his frailties from their dread abode,
(There they alike in trembling hope repoje)
The bofom of his Father and his God.