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Shenstone., The floking rooks, by Instinet's native rule, ,
This peaceful scene for their asylum chose.
A few small spires, to Gothic fancy fair,
Amid the shades emerging struck the view;
'Twas here his youth respir’d its earliest air;
„ 'Twas here his age breath'd out its last adieu.“
One favour'd son engag‘d his tend'rest care:
One pious youth his whole affection crown'd;
In his young breast the virtues (prung so fair,
Such charms display'd, such sweets diffus'd around.
But whilft gay transport in his face appears,
A noxious vapour clogs the poison'd lky,
Blasts the fair crop- the fire is drown'd in tears,
And, scarce surviving, fees șis Cynthio die!
O'er the pale corse we saw him gently bend;
Heart.chilld with grief „My thread," he cry'd,
If Heav'n had meant I should my life extend,
„Heav'n had preserv'd my life's support, my son.
Snatch'd in thy prime! alas! the stroke were mild.
„Had my frail form obey'd the Fates' decree!
,,Bless'd were my lot, o Cynthio! o my child!
Had Heav'n so pleas'd, and I had dy'd for thee."
Five sleepless nights he ftemm'd this tide of woes;
Five irksome funs he law, thro' tears, forlorn!
On his pale corse the sixth sad morning role;
From yonder dome the mournful bier was borne.
'Twas on those Downs, by Roman hosts annoy'da
Fought our bold fathers, rústic, unrefin'd!
Freedom's plain fons, in martial cares employ'd!
They ting'd their bodies, but unmal k'd their mind,
'Twas there, in happier times, this virtuous race,
Of milder merit, fix'd their calm retreat;
War's deadly crimson had forfook the place,
And Freedom fondly lov'd the chosen feat.
No wild ambition fir'd their tranquil breast,
To swell with empty sounds a spotless name;
If folt'ring skies, the sun, the show'r were blest,
Their bounty spread, their fields' extent the fame,
Those fields; profuse of raiment, food, and fire,
They scorn'd to lessen, careless to extend;
Bade Luxury to lavilh courts aspire,
And Avarice to city breasts descend.
None to a virgin's mind preferr'd her dow'r,
To fire with vicious hopes a modeft heir:
The fire, in place of titles, wealth, or pow'r
Allign’d him virtue, and his lot was fair,
They spoke of Fortune as some doubtful dame,
That sway'd the natives of a distant sphere;
From Lucre's vagrant fons had learn'd her fame,
But never wish'd to place her banners here.
Here youth's free spirit, innocently gay,
Enjoy'd the most that Innocence can give;
Those wholesome sweets that border Virtue's way;
Those cooling fruits, that we may taste and live.
Their board no strange ambiguous viand bore;
From their own streams their choicer fare they drew;
To lure the scaly glutton to the shore
The fole deceit their artless bosom knew!
Sincere themselves, ah! too secure to find
The common bosom, like their own, sincere !
,'Tis its own guilt alarms the jealous mind;
'Tis her own poison bids the viper fear.
Sketch'd on the lattice of th' adjacent fane
Their suppliant busts implore the reader's pray'r:
Shenstone., Ah! Gentle souls! enjoy your blissful reign,
And let frail mortals claim your guardian care.
For sure! to blisful realms the souls are fown
That never flatter'd, injur'd, cenfur'd, strove;
The friends of science music all their own;
Mufic, the voice of Virtue and of Love!
The journeying peasant, thro' the secret I hade
Heard their soft lyres engage his lift'ning ear.
And haply deem'd some courteous angel play'd;
No angel play'd — but might with transport - hear.
For there the sounds that chase unholy strife!
Solve Envy's charm, Ambition's wretch release
Raise him to fpurn the radiant ills of life,
To pity pomp, to be content with peace.
Farewell, pure spirits! vain the praise we give,
The praise you fought from lips angelic flows;
Farewell! the virtues which deserve to live
Deserve an ampler bliss than life bestows.
Last of his race, Palemon, now no more,
The modest merit of his line display'd;
The pious Hough Vigornia's mitte wore'-
Soft fleep the duft of each deserving shade.
Nur durch einige wenige, aber in ihrer Art sehr meis fterhafte Gedichte erwarb fich Thomas Gray bei seiner Nas tion sehr großen Ruhm, ein Mann von vielem Geschmack und mannichfaltigen feinen Kenntnissen, geb. 1716; geft. 1771. von ihm gilt, was Quintilian vom Persius sagt: Multum et verae gloriae, quamvis uno libro, meruit. Schon diese eins zigë, mit Recht so allgemein bewunderte, so häufig übersekte, aber nie ganz erreichte, Elegie auf einen Dorfkirchhof würde immer ein dußerst rühmliches Denkmal feines dichtes rischen Talents, seines edeln und tiefen Gefühls bleiben. Selbft Dr. Johnson, deffen Urtheil über diesen Dichter ges wiß zu ftrenge und mit zu vieler kritischen Stålte abgefaßt ift, fühlte sich doch durch diese Elegie zu febr erivärmt, that reis ner Strenge nun Einhalt, und gestand, daß fie reich an Bils dern sen, die einen Spiegel in jeder Seele finden, und an Gedanken und Empfindungen, die jede Bruft wiederhaut.
AN ELEGY, WRITTEN IN A COUN,
he curfew tolls the knell of parting day
The lowing herd wind flowly o'er the lea,
The plowman homeward plods his weary way,
And leaves the world to darkness and to me,
Now fades the glimmering landscape on the fight;
And all the air a folemn 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 mepeying owl does to the moon complain
Of such as, wand'ring near her secret bower,
Moleft her ancient folitary reign.
Beneath those rugged elms, that yew - tree's Shader
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 roule them from their lowly bed.
For them no more the blazing hearth shall burn,
Or busy houlewife ply her evening care:
No children run to lisp their fire's return
Or climb his knees the envied kiss to share.
Oft did the harvest to their ficklė 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 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 thro' the long-drawn isle 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 filent dust,
Or Flatt'ry footh the dull cold ear of Death?