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How jocund did they drive their team afield!
The boaft of heraldry, the pomp of pow'r,
The paths of glory lead but to the
Nor you, ye Proud! impute to these the fault,
Back to it's manfion call the fleeting breath?
Some heart once pregnant with celeftial fire.
But Knowledge to their eyes her ample page,
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 flow'r is born to blufh unfeen,
And wafte it's fweetnefs on the defert air.
Some village-Hampden, that with dauntless breaft
The little tyrant of his fields withftood,
Some mute inglorious Milton, here may reft,
To scatter plenty o'er a fmiling land,
And read their hift'ry in a nation's eyes.
Their lot forbade; nor circumfcrib'd alone
Their growing virtues, but their crimes confin'd;
The ftruggling pangs of conscious Truth to hide, To quench the blushes of ingenuous Shame, Or heap the farine of Luxury and Pride
With incenfe kindled at the Mufe's flame.
Far from the madding crowd's ignoble ftrife,
They kept the noifelefs tenor of their way.
Yet e'en these 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
The place of fame and elegy supply,
That teach the ruftic moralift to die.
* This part of the Elegy differs from the first copy. The following flanza was excluded with the cther alterations:
Hark! how the facred calm, that breathes around,
For who to dumb Forgetfulness a prey This pleasing anxious being e'er refign'd, Left the warm precincts of the chearful day, Nor caft one longing ling'ring look behind?
On fome fond breast the parting foul relies, Some pious drops the clofing eye requires; E'en from the tomb the voice of Nature cries, E'en in our afhest live their wonted fires.
For thee, who, mindful of th' unhonour'd dead, Doft in those lines their artlefs tale relate,
If chance, by lonely Contemplation led,
Haply fome hoary-headed fwain may fay,
"There, at the foot of yonder nodding beach, "That wreathes it's old fantastic root fo high, "His liftlefs length at noon-tide would he stretch, "And pore upon the brook that babbles by.
"Hard by yon' wood, now fmiling as in fcorn, "Mutt'ring his wayward fancies, he would rove; "Now drooping, woful wan! like one forlorn, "Or cras'd with care, or crofs'd in hopeless love. 108 "One morn I miss'd him on the cuftom'd hill, "Along the heath, and near his fav'rite tree;
† Ch'i veggio nel penfier, dolce m.io fuoco, Fredda una lingua, et due begli occhi chiufi Rimaner droppo noipien di faville. Petrarch, San. 169. Mr. Gray forgot, when he difplaced, by the preceding flanza, his beautiful defcription of the evening haunt, the reference to it which he had here left:
"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 thro' the churchway-path we faw him borne: "Approach, and read (for thou canft read) the lay "Grav'd on the stone beneath yon' aged thorn."§
HERE refts his head upon the lap of Earth,
A youth to Fortune and to Fame unknown:
Large was his bounty, and his foul fincere;
He gain'd from Heav'n ('twas all he wish'd) a friend. No further feek his merits to difclofe,
Or draw his frailties from their dread abode, (There they alike in trembling hope repofe*) The bofom of his Father and his God.
Him have we feen the greenwood fide along,
In the early editions the following lines were added, but the parenthefis was thought too long: There fcatter'd oft', the earlieft of the year, By hands unfeen, are fhow'rs of vi'lets found; The redbreaft loves to build and warble there, And little footsteps lightly print the ground. Paventofa fpeme. Petrarch, Son. 114.
ON MRS. MARY CLARKE.
LO! where this filent marble weeps,
Sits fmiling on a father's wo,
Whom what awaits while yet he strays
A pang, to fecret forrow dear,
A figh, an unavailing tear,
Till time shall ev'ry grief remove
With life, with memʼry, and with love.
TRANSLATION FROM STATIUS.
THIRD in the labours of the difc came on,
His vig'rous arm he try'd before he flung,
+ This lady, the wife of Dr. Clarke, phyfician at Epfom, died April 27th, 1757, and is buried in the church of Beckenham, Kent.