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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 swectness on the desert air.
Some village Hampden, that with dauntless breaft,
The little tyrant of his fields with tood;
Some mute inglorious Milton here may reft,
Some Cromwell guiltless of his country's blood.
Th' applause of liftning fenates 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 circumscrib'd alone
Their growing virtues, but their crimes confin'd;
Forbade to wade through slaughter to a throne,
And shut the
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 fober wishes never learn'd to ftray;
Along the cool fequefter'd yale 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 paling 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 the strews,
That teach the rustic moralift to die.
For who to dumb Forgetfulness a prey,
This pleasing anxious being e'er refign'd,
Left the warm precincts of the cheerful day,
Nor cast one longing ling'ring look behind?
On some fond breaft the parting foul relies,
Some pious drops the closing eye requires ;
Ev'n from the tomb the voice of Nature cries,
Ev’n in our alhes live their wonted fires.
For thee, who mindful of th' unhonour'd Dead
Doft in these lines their artless tale relate ;
If chance, by lonely Contemplation led,
Some kindred Spirit Mall inquire thy fate,
Haply fome hoary-headed swain may say, • Oft have we seen him at the
of dawn, • Brushing with hafty steps the dew away • To meet the fun upon the upland lawn.
• There at the foot of yonder nodding beech,
• That wreathes its old fantastic roots fo 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,
• Mutt'ring his wayward fancies he would rove;
• Now drooping, woeful wan, like one forlorn,
! Or craz'd with care, or cross'd in hopeless love.
• One morn I miss'd him on the custom'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 fad array
• Slow through the church-way path we saw him borne.
Approach and read (for thou canst read) the lay,
Grav'd on the Atone, beneath yon aged thorn.'
HERE refis his bead upon the lap of Earth
A Youth, to Fortune and to Fame unknown: Fair Science frown'd not on 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 fend:
to Mis'rg all be had, a tear,
He gain'd from Heav'n ('twas all be willid) a frtend.
No farther seek his merits to disclose,
Or draw bis frailties from their dread abode,
(There they alike in trembling hope repose,)
The bofom of his Father and his God.
MARK where its fimple front yon manfion rears,
The nursery of men for future years !
Here callow chiefs and embryo statesmen lie,
And unfledg'd poets short excursions try:
While Mersey's gentle current, which too long
By fame neglected, and unknown to song,
Between his rushy banks, (no poet's theme)
Had crept inglorious, like a vulgar stream,
Reflects th' ascending seats with conscious pride,
And dares to emulate a classic tide.
Soft music breathes along each op'ning shade,
And sooths the dashing of his rough cascade.
With myftic lines his fands are figur'd o'er,
And circles trac'd upon the letter'd shore.
Beneath his willows rove th' inquiring youth,
And court the fair majestic form of truth.
Here nature opens all her secret springs,
And heav'n-born science plumes her eagle-wings;
Too long had bigot rage, with malice swellid,
Crush'd her ftrong pinions, and her flight withheld;
Too long to check her ardent progress strove :
So writhes the serpent round the bird of Jove;
Hangs on her flight, reftrains her tow'ring wing,
Twists its dark folds, and points its venom'd fting.
Yet ftill (if aught aright the Mufe divine)
Her rising pride shall mock the vain design ;
On sounding pinions yet aloft shall soar,
And thro' the azure deep untravell'd paths explore.
Where science (miles, the Muses join the train ;
And gentlest arts and purest manners reign.
Ye generous youth who love this studious shade,
How rich a field is to your hopes display'd!
Knowledge to you unlocks the classic page ;
And virtue blossoms for a better age.
Oh golden days ! oh bright unvalued hours !
What bliss (did ye but know that bliss) were yours?
With richest stores your glowing bosoms fraught,
Perception quick, and luxury of thought ;
The high designs that heave the labouring soul,
Panting for fame, impatient of controul ;
And fond enthusiastic thought, that feeds
On pictur'd tales of vast heroic deeds ;
And quick affections, kindling into flame
At virtue's, or their country's honour'd name ;
And spirits light, to every joy in tune;
And friendship, ardent as a summer's noon;
And generous scorn of vice's venal tribe ;
And proud disdain of intereft's fordid bribe;
And conscious honour's quick instinctive sense ;
And smiles unforc'd; and easy confidence ;
And vivid fancy; and clear simple truth ;
And all the mental bloom of vernal youth.
How bright the scene to fancy's eye appears,
Thro' the long perspective of diftant years,