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Affrighted, mount aloft, and quit the brain,
Which late they fann'd: now other scenes than dales
Of woody pride, succeed, or flow'ry vales:
As when a sudden tempest veils the sky,
Before serene, and streaming lightnings fly;
The prospect shifts, and pitchy volumes roll,
Along the drear expanse, from pole to pole;
Terrific horrors all the void invest,
Whilst the arch-spectre issues forth confest.
The Bard beholds him beckon to the tomb
Of yawning night, eternity's dread womb;
In vain attempts to fly, the impassive air
Retards his steps, and yields him to despair;
He feels a gripe that thrills through every vein,
And panting struggles in the fatal chain.
Here paus'd the fell destroyer to survey
The pride, the boast of man, his destin'd prey;
Prepar'd to strike, he pois'd aloft the dart,
And plung'd the steel in Virtue's bleeding heart;
Abhorrent, back the springs of life rebound,
And leave on Nature's face a grisly wound,
A wound enroll'd among Britannia's woes,
That ages yet to follow, cannot close.

Oh, Goldsmith! how shall sorrow now essay
To murmur out her slow incondite lay?
In what sad accents mourn the luckless hour,
That yielded thee to unrelenting power ;
Thee, the proud boast of all the tuneful train
That sweep the lyre, or swell the polish'd strain?
Much-honour'd Bard! if my untutor'd verse
Could pay a tribute, worthy of thy hearse,
With fearless hands I'd build the fane of praise,
And boldly strew the never-fading bays.
But, ah! with thee my guardian Genius fled,
And pillow'd in thy tomb his silent head:
Pain'd Memory alone behind remains,
And pensive stalks the solitary plains.
Rich in her sorrows, honours without art,
She pays in tears, redundant from the heart.
And say, what boots it o'er thy hallow'd dust
To heap the graven pile, or laurel'd bust;
Since by thy hands already rais'd on high,
We see a fabric tow'ring to the sky:
Where hand in hand with Time, the sacred lore
Shall travel on, till Nature is no more?

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THE POEMS

OF

DR. GOLDSMITH.

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THE TRAVELLER;

OR,

A PROSPECT OF SOCIETY.

FIRST PRINTED IN 1765.

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