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No more the drops of piercing grief
Shall swell into mine eyes;

Nor the meridian sun decline
Amidst those brighter skies.

There all the millions of his saints
Shall in one song unite,

And each the bliss of all shall view
With infinite delight.


Interval of grateful shade,
Welcome to my weary head!
Welcome slumber to mine eyes,
Tired with glaring vanities!
My great Master still allows
Needful periods of repose :
By my heavenly Father blest,
Thus I give my powers to rest;
Heavenly Father! gracious name!
Night and day his love the same!
Far be each suspicious thought,
Every anxious care forgot:
Thou, my ever bounteous God,
Crown'st my days with various good;
Thy kind eye, that cannot sleep,
These defenceless hours shall keep;
Blest vicissitude to me,

Day and night I'm still with Thee!

What though downy slumbers flee,
Strangers to my couch and me?
Sleepless, well I know to rest,
Lodged within my Father's breast.
While the empress of the night
Scatters mild her silver light;
While the vivid planets stray
Various through their mystic way
While the stars unnumbered roll
Round the ever-constant pole;

Far above the spangled skies,
All my soul to God shall rise:
Midst the silence of the night,
Mingling with those angels bright,
Whose harmonious voices raise
Ceaseless love and ceaseless praise.
Through the throng his gentle ear
Shall my tuneless accents hear;
From on high shall He impart
Secret comfort to my heart.
He, in these serenest hours,
Guides my intellectual powers.
And his Spirit doth diffuse,
Sweeter far than midnight dews,
Lifting all my thoughts above
On the wings of faith and love.
Blest alternative to me,

Thus to sleep or wake with Thee!

What if death my sleep invade?
Should I be of death afraid?
Whilst encircled by thine arm,
Death may strike, but cannot harm.
What if beams of opening day
Shine around my breathless clay?
Brighter visions from on high
Shall regale my mental eye.
Tender friends awhile may mourn
Me from their embraces torn;
Dearer, better friends I have
In the realms beyond the grave.
See the guardian angels nigh
Wait to waft my soul on high!
See the golden gates displayed!
See the crown to grace my head!
See a flood of sacred light,

Which no more shall yield to night!
Transitory world, farewell!
Jesus calls with Him to dwell.
With thy heavenly presence blest,
Death is life, and labour rest,
Welcome sleep or death to me,
Still secure, for still with Thee!

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THOMAS GRAY was born 1716, in London, where his father, a man of morose and violent disposition, followed the profession of a scrivener. Gray was educated at Eton, where he formed a friendship with Horace Walpole; and at the University of Cambridge, where he devoted himself to the study of law. His temperament exhibits a melancholy which was probably induced or fostered by the abiding clouds and memories of early domestic bitterness. He was appointed to the Professorship of History in his University; but his indolence would not allow him to fulfil the duties of his office, even to the extent of preparing his lectures. He closed, in 1771, a life of academical seclusion, only varied by a tour, during which he visited France and Italy, in company with Walpole, and by periodical visits to London. Of the works of Gray, "The Bard," "The Progress of Poesy," and others, the one by which he will ever continue to be best known is his famous "Elegy in a Country Churchyard."


'Gray," says Hazlitt, "was an author of great pretensions, but of great merit. He has an air of sublimity, if not the reality. He aims at the highest things; and if he fails, it is only by a hair's breadth. His pathos is injured, like his sublimity, by too great an ambition

after the ornaments and machinery of poetry. His craving after foreign help perhaps shows the want of the internal impulse."


The curfew tolls the knell of parting day,

The lowing herds 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 glimmering landscape on the sight,
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 tower,
The moping owl does to the moon complain
Of such as, wandering near her secret bower,
Molest her ancient solitary reign.

Beneath those rugged elms, that yew-tree's shade,
Where heaves the turf in many a mouldering 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 twittering 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 evening care:

No children run 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 a-field!

How bowed 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 power,
And all that beauty, all that wealth e'er gave,
Await alike the inevitable hour-

The paths of glory lead but to the grave.

Nor you, ye proud, impute to these the fault,
If Memory o'er their tomb no trophies raise,
Where through the long-drawn aisle and fretted vault,
The pealing anthem swells the note of praise.

Can storied urn or animated bust

Back to its mansion call the fleeting breath?
Can Honour's voice provoke the silent dust,
Or Flattery soothe the dull cold ear of Death ?

Perhaps in this neglected spot is laid

Some heart once pregnant with celestial fire;
Hands that the rod of empire might have swayed,
Or waked 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 repressed their noble rage,
And froze the genial current of the soul.

Full many a gem, of purest ray serene,

The dark unfathomed caves of ocean bear;
Full many a flower is born to blush unseen,
And waste its sweetness on the desert air.

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.

The applause of listening senates 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.

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