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Still is the toiling hand of Care;
And float amid the liquid noon;
To Contemplation's sober eye
In Fortune's varying colours drest;
Methinks I hear in accents low
Thy joys no glittering female meets,
ODE ON A DISTANT PROSPECT OF ETON COLLEGE
Ye distant spires, ye antique towers,
Where grateful Science still adores
And ye that from the stately brow
Ah, happy hills! ah, pleasing shade!
Where once my careless childhood strayed,
I feel the gales that from ye blow
A momentary bliss bestow,
As, waving fresh their gladsome wing,
Say, father Thames-for thou hast seen
The captive linnet which enthral?
While some, on earnest business bent,
'Gainst graver hours, that bring constraint
Some bold adventurers disdain
The limits of their little reign,
And unknown regions dare descry;
Gay hope is theirs, by fancy fed,
Less pleasing when possessed; The tear forgot as soon as shed; The sunshine of the breast; Theirs buxom health 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
No sense have they of ills to come,
Nor care beyond to-day:
Yet see how all around 'em wait
And black Misfortune's baleful train!
These shall the fury Passions tear,
And Shame that sculks behind;
That inly gnaws the secret heart,
And Sorrow's piercing dart.
Ambition this shall tempt to rise,
And grinning Infamy.
The stings of Falsehood those shall try,
That mocks the tear it forced to flow,
And keen Remorse with blood defiled,
Lo, in the vale of years beneath,
More hideous than their queen:
This racks the joints; this fires the veins;
That numbs the soul with icy hand,
To each his suff'rings; all are men,
The tender for another's pain,
Th' unfeeling for his own.
Yet, ah, why should they know their fate?
And happiness too swiftly flies,
HYMN TO ADVERSITY
When first thy sire to send on earth
Virtue, his darling child, designed, To thee he gave the heav'nly birth, And bade to form her infant mind.
Stern, rugged nurse! thy rigid lore
With patience many a year she bore;
What sorrow was thou bad'st her know,
And from her own she learned to melt at others' woe.
Scared at thy frown terrific, fly
Self-pleasing Folly's idle brood,
Wild Laughter, Noise, and thoughtless Joy,
Light they disperse, and with them go
The summer friend, the flatt'ring foe;
To her they vow their truth and are again believed.
Wisdom in sable garb arrayed,
Immersed in rapt'rous thought profound,
And Melancholy, silent maid,
With leaden eye that loves the ground,
And Pity, dropping soft the sadly-pleasing tear.
Oh, gently on thy suppliant's head,
Dread goddess, lay thy chast'ning hand!
Nor circled with the vengeful band
Thy form benign, O goddess, wear,
To soften, not to wound, my heart;