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For them no more the blazing hearth fhall burn,
Or bufy housewife ply her evening care:
No children run to lifp their fire's return,
Or climb his knees the envied kifs to fhare.
Oft did the harveft to their fickle yield,
Their furrow w oft the stubborn glebe has broke;
How jocund did they drive their team afield!
How bow'd the woods beneath their sturdy ftroke!
Let not Ambition mock their useful toil,
Their homely joys, and deftiny obfcure;
Nor Grandeur hear with a difdainful smile,
The short and fimple annals of the poor.
The boast of heraldry, the pomp of. power,
And all that beauty, all that wealth e'er gave,
Await alike th' 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 aifle and fretted vault,
The peeling anthem fwells the note of praise.
Can ftoried urn or animated buft
Back to its manfion call the fleeting breath?
Can Honour's voice provoke the filent duft,
Or Flattery foothe 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 sway'd,
Or wak'd to extafy the living lyre.
But Knowledge to their eyes her ample page,
Rich with the spoils of time, did ne'er unroll;
Chill Penury reprefs'd their noble rage,
And froze the genial current of the foul.
Full many a gem of pureft ray ferene,
The dark unfathom'd caves of ocean bear:
Full many a flower is born to blush unseen,
And wafte its fweetnefs on the defert air.
Some village-Hampden, that with dauntless breaft
The little tyrant of his fields withstood;
Some mute inglorious Milton here may reft,
Some Cromwell guiltlefs of his country's blood.
Th' applaufe of liftening fenates to command,
The threats of pain and ruin to despise,
To fcatter plenty o'er a fmiling land,
And read their history in a nation's eyes,
Their lot forbad: nor circumfcrib'd alone
Their growing virtues, but their crimes confin'd;
Forbad to wade through flaughter to a throne,
And shut the gates of mercy on mankind,
The ftruggling pangs of confcious truth to hide,
To quench the blushes of ingenuous fhame,
Or heap the fhrine of Luxury and Pride
With incenfe kindled at the Mufe's flame.
Far from the madding crowd's ignoble ftrife,
Their fober wishes never learn'd to stray;
Along the cool fequefter'd vale of life
They kept the noiseless tenor of their way,
Yet ev'n thefe bones from infult to protect
Some frail memorial ftill erected nigh,
With uncouth rhymes and fhapelefs fculpture deck'd,
Implores the paffing tribute of a figh.
Their name, their years, fpelt by th' unletter'd Muse,
The place of fame and elegy fupply:
And many a holy text around the strews,
That teach the ruftic moralift to die.
For who, to dumb Forgetfulnefs a prey,
This pleafing anxious being e'er refign'd,"
Left the warm precincts of the chearful day,
Nor caft one longing lingering look behind?
On fome fond breaft the parting foul relies,
Some pious drops the clofing eye requires;
Ev'n from the tomb the voice of Nature cries,
Ev'n in our afhes live their wonted fires.
For thee, who, mindful of th' unhonour'd Dead,
Doft in thefe lines their artlefs tale relate;
If chance, by lonely contemplation led,
Some kindred Spirit fhall inquire thy fate,
Haply fome hoary-headed Swain may fay,
Oft have we feen him at the peep of dawn
Brufhing with hafty fteps the dews away
To meet the fun upon the upland lawn.
Ch'i veggio nel penfier, dolce mio fuoco,
"Fredda una lingua, & due begli occhi chiufi
Rimaner doppo noi pien di faville."
"There at the foot of yonder nodding beech
"That wreathes its old fantastic roots fo high,
"His liftlefs length at noontide would he ftretch,
"And pore upon the brook that babbles by.
"Hard by yon wood, now finiling as in fcorn,
"Muttering his wayward fancies he would rove,
"Now drooping woeful wan, like one forlorn,
"Or craz'd with care, or crofs'd in hopeless love.
"One morn I mifs'd him on the custom'd hill,
"Along the heath and near his favourite tree;
"Another came; nor yet befide 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 faw him borne. "Approach and read (for thou canst read) the lay, "Grav'd on the ftone beneath yon aged thorn."
ERE refts his head upon the lap of Earth
A youth to fortune and to fame unknown.
Fair Science frown'd not on his humble birth,
And Melancholy mark'd him for her own.
Large was his bounty, and his foul fincere,
Heaven did a recompence as largely fend:
He gave to Mifery all he had, a tear;
He gain'd from Heaven ('twas all he wifh'd) a friend.
No farther feek his merits to disclose,
Or draw his frailties from their dread abode,
(* There they alike in trembling hope repofe,)
The bofom of his Father and his God.