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1. ěl'e gý; n. a mournful poem. 1. €ûr few; n. a bell which is
rung at nightfall. 2. drõn'ing; a. humming. 5 elăr' ón; n. a clear, shrill
7. glēbe; n. ground.
Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard. Part I.
1. The curfew tolls the knell of parting day,
The lowing herd winds slowly o'er the lea;
And leaves the world to darkness and to me.
2. Now fades the glimmering landscape on the sight,
And all the air a solemn stillness holds,
And drowsy tinklings lull the distant folds,
3. Save that from yonder ivy-mantled tower
The moping owl does to the moon complain
Molest her ancient, solitary reign.
4. Beneath those rugged elms, that yew-tree's shade,
Where heaves the turf in many a moldering heap, Each in his narrow cell forever laid,
The rude forefathers of the hamlet sleep.
5. 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.
6. For them no more the blazing hearth shall burn,
Or busy housewife ply her evening care ;
Or climb his knees the envied kiss to share.
7. Oft did the harvest to their sickle yield,
Their furrow oft the stubborn glebe has broke ;
How bowed the woods beneath their sturdy stroke!
8. Let not Ambition mock their useful toil,
Their homely joys, and destiny obscure;
The short and simple annals of the poor.
9. The boast of heraldry, the pomp of power,
And all that beauty, all that wealth e'er gave,
The paths of glory lead but to the grave.
10. Nor you, ye proud, impute to these the fault,
If Memory o'er their tomb no trophies raise,
The pealing anthem swells the note of praise.
11. Can storied urn or animated bust
Back to its mansion call the fleeting breath?
Or Flattery soothe the dull, cold ear of Death ?
12. Perhaps in this neglected spot is laid
Some heart once pregnant with celestial fire;
Or waked to ecstasy the living lyre :
13. But Knowledge to their eyes her ample page,
Rich with the spoils of time, did ne'er unroll;
And froze the genial current of the soul.
14. Full many a gem of purest ray serene,
The dark, unfathomed caves of ocean bear;
And waste its sweetness on the desert air.
Curfew (1) is derived from two French words which mean “to cover the fire." According to law the curfew bell was rung at eight o'clock in the evening. It is generally believed that the practice was introduced into England by William the Conqueror. It was common in France, Spain, Italy, and probably in other parts of continental Europe. In England the law obliged the people not only to cover their fires, but also to put out their lights, and any one found out-of-doors after the ringing of the curfew was liable to be arrested. Whether the object in introducing the practice into England was to prevent secret meetings of the people at night ; to protect from fire, as most of the houses were of wood; or to do away with the robberies and murders at that time so frequent after dark, is a matter of dispute.
The line “The plowman homeward plods his weary way ” (1) is an excellent exercise for transposition ; let the pupils try in how many ways they can express the same idea in the same words, but differently arranged.
Let the pupils find synonyms for, or express in other words, the following : “ turf" (4); narrow cell” (4); “hamlet” (4); “sturdy (7); “ the inevitable hour" (9); “ anthem” (10); “ silent dust” (11).
No time is thine but the present. The time gone comes no more; the time to come may find thee gone when it comes.
Help somebody worse off than yourself, and you will find that you are better off than you fancied.
3. çîr €ům
serībęd; 5. se quěs' tēręd; v. shut limited.
apart from others. 4. În ġěn' u důs; d. frank; 6. ůn eoqth'; a. clumsy. open; upright.
6. trib'ute; n. a personal con4. mūşe; n. one of the fabled tribution made in token of
goddesses who preside over that which is due. literary, artistic, and scientific 8. prē' çinets; n. boundaries. matters; in this case the Muse 12. pore; v. look with steady: of Poetry is referred to.
Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard. Part II.
1. Some village Hampden, that with dauntless breast
The little tyrant of his fields withstood ;
Some Cromwell, guiltless of his country's blood. 2. The applause of listening senates to command,
The threats of pain and ruin to despise,
And read their history in a nation's eyes, 3. Their lot forbade: nor circumscribed alone
Their growing virtues, but their crimes confined ;= Forbade to wade through slaughter to a throne,
And shut the gates of mercy on mankind;
To quench the blushes of ingenuous shame,
With incense kindled at the Muse's flame.
5. Far from the madding crowd's ignoble strife,
Their sober wishes never learned to stray ;
They kept the noiseless tenor of their way.
6. Yet e'en these bones from insult to protect,
Some frail memorial still erected nigh,
Implores the passing tribute of a sigh.
7. Their name, their years, spelt by the unlettered Muse.
The place of fame and elegy supply;
That teach the rustic moralist to die.
8. For who, to dumb Forgetfulness a prey,
This pleasing, anxious being e'er resigned ;
Nor cast one longing, lingering look behind ?
9. On some fond breast the parting soul relies;
Some pious drops the closing eye requires ;
Even in our ashes live their wonted fires.
10. For thee, who, mindful of the unhonored dead,
Dost in these lines their artless tale relate;
Some kindred spirit shall inquire thy fate,
11. Haply some hoary-headed swain may say,
" Oft have we seen him at the peep of dawn, Brushing with hasty steps the dews away,
To meet the sun upon the upland lawn;
12. “ There at the foot of yonder nodding beech,
That wreathes its old, fantastic roots so high,
And pore upon the brook that babbles by.