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Wisdom in sable garb array'd,
Immers'd in rapt'rous thought profound,
And Melancholy, silent maid,
With leaden eye, that loves the ground,
Still on thy solemn steps attend :
Tari Charity, the gen'ral friend,
With Justice, to herself severe,
And Pity, dropping soft the sadly pleasing tear.
O, gently on tly suppliant's head,
Dread Goddess lay thy chast' ning hand !
Not in thy Gorgon terrours clad,
Nor circled with the vengeful band
(As by the impious thou art seen)
With thund'ring voice, and threat'ning mien,
With screaming Horrour's funeral cry,
Despair, and fell Disease, and ghastly Poverty.
Thy form benign, O Goddess ! wear,
Thy milder influence impart,
Thy philosophic train be there,
To sosten, not to wound my heart.
The gen'rous spark extinct revive,
Teach me to love and to forgive,
Exact my own defects to scan,
What others are, to feel, and know myself a man.
ODE ON A DISTANT PROSPECT OF EATON COLLEGE.
Y e distant spires, ye antique tow'rs,
That crown the wat’ry glade,
Where grateful Science still adores
Her Henry's holy shade;
And ye, that froin the stately brow
Of Windsor's heights th' expanse below
Of grove, of lawn, of mead survey,
Whose turf, whose shade, whose flow'rs among
Wanders the hoary Thames along
His silver winding way.
Ah, happy hills ! ah, pleasing shade! Ah, fields belov'd in vain ! Where once my careless childhood stray'd, A stranger yet to pain ! I feel the gales, that from ye blow, A momentary bliss bestow, As waving fresh their gladsome wing, My weary soul they seem to sooth, And, redolent of joy and youth, To breathe a second spring.
Say, Father Tharnes (for thou hast seen Full many a sprightly race, Disporting on thy margent green, The paths of pleasure trace), Who foremost now delight to cleave With pliant arm thy glassy wave? The captive linnet which enthral? What idle progeny succeed To chase the rolling circle's speed, Or urge the flying ball?
While some, on earnest business bent,
Their murm'ring labours ply
'Gainst graver hours, that bring constraint
To sweeten liberty :
Some bold adventurers disdain
The limits of their little reign,
And unknown regions dare descry:
Still as they run they look behind,
They hear a voice in every wind,
And snatch a fearful joy.
Gay hope is theirs by Fancy fed,
Less pleasing when possess'd ;
The tear forgot as soon as shed,
The sunshine of the breast;
Theirs buxom Health of rosy hue,
Wild Wit, Invention ever new,
And lively Cheer, of Vigour born;
The thoughtless day, the easy night,
The spirits pure, the slumbers light,
That fly th' approach of morn.
Alas ! regardless of their doom,
The little victims play!
No sense have they of ills to coine,
No care beyond to day:
Yet see how all around them wait
The ministers of human fate,
And black Misfortune's baleful train!
Ah, show them wliere in ambush stand,
To seize their prey, the murd'rous band !
Ah, tell them, they are men !
These shall the fury passions tear,
The vultures of the mind,
Disdainful Anger, pailid Fear,
And Shame that skulks behind :
Or pining Love shall waste their youth,
Or Jealousy with rankling tooth,
That inly gnaws the secret heart,
And Envy wan, and faded Care,
Grim visag'd comfortless Despair,
And Sorrow's piercing dart.
Ambition this shall tempt to rise,
Then whirl the wretch from high,
To bitter Scorn a sacrifice,
And grinning Infamy.
The stings of Falsehood those shall try,
And hard Unkindness' alter'd eye,
That mocks the tear it forc'd to flow;
And keen Remorse with blood defild,
And moody Madness laughing wild
Amid severest wo.
Lo, in the vale of years
A grisiy troop are seen,
The painful family of Death,
More hideous than their queen :
This racks the joints, this fires the veins,
That ev'ry lab'ring sinew strains,
Those in the deeper vitals rage:
Lo, Poverty, to fill the band,
That numbs the soul with icy hand,
And slow consuming Age.
To cach his suff'rings : all are men,
Condemn'd alike to groan;
The tender for another's pain,
Th’unfeeling for his own.
Yet ah! Why should they know their fate?.
Since Sorrow never comes too late,
And Happiness too swiftly flies:
Thought would destroy their Paradise.
No more; where ignorance is bliss,
"Tis folly to be wise.
ELEGY, WRITTEN IN A COUNTRY CHURCHYARD. The curfew tolls the knell of parting day, The lowing lierds 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 glimmn'ring landscape on the sight, And all the air a solemn stillness holds, Save where the beetle wheels his drony 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, MG'est her ancient sclitary 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 rụn 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 Pow'r,
And all that Beauty, all that Wealth e'er gave,
Await alike thi' 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 tonubs no trophies raise,
Where through the long drawn aisle, and fretted vauit,
The sealing anthem swells the note of praise,
Can storied urn, er animated bust,
Back to it's mansion call the fleeting breath?
Can Honour's voice provoke the silent dust,
Or Flatt'ry sooth the dull cold ear of Death?
Perhaps in this negiected spot is laid
Some heart once pregnant with celestial fire;
Hands, that the rod of empire might have sway'd,
Or wak'd to ecstasy 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 flow'r is born to blush unseen,
And waste it's sweetness on the desert air,