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The lowing herd winds slowly o'er the lea,
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 tow'r The moping owl does to the moon complain Of such as, wand'ring near her secret bow'r, Molest her ancient solitary reign. Beneath those rugged elms, that yew-tree's shade, Where heaves the turf in many a mould'ring 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 twitt'ring 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 ev'ning care ; No children run to lisp their sire's return, Or climb his knees the envy'd 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 pow'r,
But Knowledge to their eyes her ample page,
Full many a gem of purest ray serene
Th' applause of list'ning senates to command,
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 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's, Implores the passing tribute of a sigh. 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 moralist to die. For who to dumb Forgetfulness a prey This pleasing anxious being e'er resign'd, Left the warm precincts of the cheerful day, Nor cast one longing ling'ring look behind ? On some fond breast the parting soul relies, Some pious drops the closing eye requires ; E'en from the tomb the voice of nature cries, E'en in our ashes live their wonted fires. , For thee, who mindful of th' unhonor'd dead, Dost in these lines their artless tale relate, If chance, by lonely Contemplation led, Some kindred spirit shall enquire 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,
Hard by yon wood, now smiling as in scorn,
1 That crown the wat'ry glade Where grateful Science still adores
Her Henry's holy shade;
Of grove, of lawn, of mead, survey ;
Ah happy bills! ah pleasing shade!
Ah fields belov'd in vain !
A stranger yet to pain !
As waving fresh their gladsome wing
To breathe a second spring.
Full many a sprightly race,
The paths of pleasure trace,
The captive linnet which enthral?
Or urge the flying ball ?
Their murm ring labors ply 'Gainst graver hours, that bring constraint,
To sweeten liberty ;
And unknown regions dare descry: -
And snatch a fearful joy.
Less pleasing when possest!
The sunshine of the breast; Theirs buxom health of rosy hue, Wild wit, invention ever new,
And lively cheer of vigor born; The thoughtless day, the easy night, The spirits pure, the slumbers light. That fly th' approach of morn.