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Some village Hampden, that with dauntless breast
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 listning senates to command,
Tļe 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 forbade: nor circumscrib'd alone
Their growing virtues, but their crimes confin'd;
Forbade to wade through slaughter to a throne,
And shut the gæies of mercy on mankind;
The struggling pangs of conscious truth to hide,
To quench the blushes of ingenuous shame,
Or heap the shrine of Lüxury and Pride
Wità incense kindled at the Muse's fiame.
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 tenour of their way.
Yet ev’n these bones from insult to protect,
Some frail juemerial still erected nigh,
With uncouth rhymes and shapeiess sculpture deck'd,
inplores the passing tribute of a sigh.
Their names, 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,
Lest 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 ;
Ev'n from the tomb the voice of Nature cries,
Evin 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 hasțy steps the dew away,
“To meet the sun upon the upland lawn.
“ There at the foot of yonder nodding beech,
“ That wreathes it's old fantastic roots so high,
“ His listless length at noontide would lie 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, woful, wan, like one forlorn, “ Or craz'd with care, or cross'd in hopeless .love. “ One morn, I miss'd him on th' accustom'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.; " The next, with dirges due, in sad array, “ Slow through the churchway path we saw him borne.
Approach and read (for thou can't read) the lay, “ Gravid on the stone beneath yon aged thorn."
HERE rests his head upon the lap of Earth
A Youth to Fortune and to Fame unknown :
Fair Science frown'd net on his humble birth,
And Melancholy mark'd him for her own.
Large was his bounty, and his soul sincere,
Heav'n did a recompense as largely send :
gave to Mis'ry all he had, a tear ;
He gain'd from Heav’n, 'twas all he wish'd, a friend.
No farther seek his merits to disclose,
Or draw his frailties from their dread abode ;
(There they alike in trembling hope repose)
The bosom of his Father and his God.
MARK where it's simple front yon mansion 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 mystic lines his sands 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 trutii.
Here Nature opens all her secret springs,
And Heav'n-bon Science plumes her eagle wings;
Too long had bigot Rage, with malice swell’d,
Crush'd her strong 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, restrains her tow'ring wing,
Twists it's dark folds, and points it's venom'd sting:
Yet still, if aught aright the Muse divine,
Her rising pride shall mock the vain design;
On sounding pinions yet aloft shall soar,
And through the azure deep untravell’d paths explore.
Where Science smiles, the Muses join the train,
And gentlest arts and purest manners reign.
Ye gen'rous 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. O, golden days! O, bright unvalued hours ! What bliss (did ye but krow that bliss) were yours
With richest stores your glowing bosoms fraught,
Perception quick, and luxury of thought;
The high designs, that heave the lab'ring soul,
Panting for fame, impatient of control;
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 ev'ry joy in tune;
And friendship, ardent as a summer's noon;
And gen'rous scorn of vice's venal tribe ;
And proud disdain of int'rest's sordid 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 niental bloom of vernal youth.
How bright the scene to Fancy's eye appears,
Through the long perspective of distant years,
When this, this little group their country calls
From academic sliades and learned halls,
To fix her laws, hier spirit to sustain,
And light up glory through her wide domain!
Their various tastes in diff'rent arts display'd,
Like temper'd harmony of light and shade,
With friendly union in one mass shall blend,
And this adorn the state, and that defend.
These the sequester'd shade shall cheaply please,
With learned labour and inglorious ease;
While those, impell’d by some resistless force,
O'er seas and rocks shall
their vent'rous course ; Rich fruits, matur'd by glowing suns, behold, And China's groves of vegetable gold; From ev'ry land the various harvest spoil, And bear the tribute to their native soil ; But tell each land (while every toil they share, Firm to sustain, and resolute to dare) Man is the nobler growth our realms supply, And Souls are ripen'd in our northern sky.
Some pensive creep along the shelly shore, Unfold the silky texture of a flow'r,
With sharpen'd eyes inspect a hornet's sting,
And all the wonders of an insect's wing.
Some trace with curious search the hidden cause
Of Nature's changes, and her various laws;
Untwist her beauteous web, disrobe her charms,
And hunt her to her elemental forms;
Or prove what hidden pow'rs in herbs are found,
To quench disease, and cool the burning wound;
With cordial drops the fainting head sustain,
Call back the flitting soul, and still the throbs of pain.
The patriot passion this shall strongly feel,
Ardent, and glowing with undaunted zcal;
With lips of fire shall plead his country's cause,
And vindicate the majesty of laws.
This, cloth’d with Britain's thunder, spread alarms
Through the wide earth, and shake the pole with arms.
That to the sounding lyre his deeds rehearse,
Enshrine his name in some immortal verse,
To long posterity his praise consign,
And pay a life of hardships by a line.
While others, consecrate to higher aims,
Whose hallow'd bosoms glow with purer flames,
Love in their hearts, persuasion on their tongue,
With words of peace shall charm the list'ning throng,
Draw the dread veil that wraps th' eternal throne,
And launch our souls into the bright unknown.
THOU, the Nymph with placid eye!
O seldom found, yet ever nigh!
Receive my temp’rate vow :
Not all the storms, that shake the pole,
Can e'er disturb thy halcyon soul,
And smooth, unalter'd brow.