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How jocund did they drive their team afield!
How bow'd the woods beneath their sturdy stroke! 28
Let not Ambition mock their useful toil,
Their homely joys, and deftiny obfcure:
Nor Grandeur hear with a difdainful fmile
The fhort and fimple annals of the poor.

The boaft of heraldry, the pomp of pow'r,
And all that beauty, all that wealth, e'er gave,
Await alike th' inevitable hour:

The paths of glory lead but to the




Nor you, ye Proud! impute to these the fault,
If Mem'ry o'er their tomb no trophies raife,
Where, thro' the long drawn aifle and fretted vault,
The pealing anthem fwells the note of praise.
Can ftoried urn or animated buft

Back to it's manfion call the fleeting breath?
Can honour's voice provoke the filent duft,
Or Flatt'ry foothe the dull cold ear of death?
Perhaps in this neglected fpot is laid

Some heart once pregnant with celeftial fire.
Hands that the rod of empire might have fway'd,
Or wak'd to ecftacy the living lyre.

But Knowledge to their eyes her ample page,
Rich with the fpoils 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 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,
Some Cromwell, guiltlefs of his country's blood. 60
Th' applaufe of lift'ning fenates to command,
The threats of pain and ruin to despise,

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;
Forbade to wade thro' flaughter to a throne,
And fhut the gates of mercy on mankind;


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,
Their fober wishes never learn'd to firay;
Along the cool fequefter'd vail of life


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,
And many a holy text around the ftrews,

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,
Bids ev'ry fierce tumultuous paffion cease,
In ftill fmall accents whifp'ring from the ground.
A grateful carneft of eternal peace.

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,
Some kindred spirit fhall enquire thy fate.

Haply fome hoary-headed fwain may fay,
"Oft' have we seen him, at the peep of dawn,
"Brufhing with hafty fleps the dews away,
"To meet the fun upon the upland lawn.

"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:
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;
Heav'n did a recompenfe as largely fend:
He gave to mis'ry all he had, a tear ;



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,
While o'er the heath we hy'd, our labour done,
Oft' as the woodlark pip'd her farewel fong,
With wiftful eyes purfue the fetting fun.


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.




LO! where this filent marble weeps,
A friend, a wife, a mother, fleeps;
A heart, within whofe facred cell,
The peaceful Virtues lov'd to dwell:
Affection warm, and faith fincere,
And foft humanity were there.
In agony, in death, refign'd,
She felt the wound fhe left behind.
Her infant image here below

Sits fmiling on a father's wo,

Whom what awaits while yet he strays
Along the lonely vale of days?

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.

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THIRD in the labours of the difc came on,
With sturdy step and flow, Hippomedon ;
Artful and strong he pois'd the well-known weight,
By Phlegyas warn'd, and fir'd by Mneftheus' fate,
That to avoid and this to emulate.

His vig'rous arm he try'd before he flung,
Brac'd all his nerves and ev'ry finew ftrung,

+ This lady, the wife of Dr. Clarke, phyfician at Epfom, died April 27th, 1757, and is buried in the church of Beckenham, Kent.

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