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Or Winter rises in the blackening east ;
Be my tongue mute, may fancy paint no more,
And, dead to joy, forget my heart to beat !

Should fate command me to the farthest verge
Of the green earth, to distant barbarous climes,
Rivers unknown to song ; where first the sun
Gilds Indian mountains, or his setting beam
Flames on the Atlantic isles ; 'tis nought to me :
Since God is ever present, ever felt,
In the void waste as in the city full ;
And where He vital breathes there must be joy.
When even at last the solemn hour shall come,
And wing my mystic flight to future worlds,
I cheerful will obey ; there with new powers,
Will rising wonders sing : I cannot go
Where Universal Love not smiles around,
Sustaining all yon orbs, and all their sons ;
From seeming evil still educing good,
And better thence again, and better still,
In infinite progression. But I lose
Myself in Him, in Light ineffable !
Come then, expressive silence, muse His praise.


SHENSTONE, 1714—1763.
My banks they are furnished with bees,

Whose murmur invites one to sleep ;
My grottoes are shaded with trees,

And my hills are white over with sheep.
I seldom have met with a loss,

Such health do my fountains bestow ;
My fountains are bordered with moss,

Where the harebells and violets blow.

Not a pine in my grove is there seen,

But with tendrils of woodbine is bound;
Not a beech's more beautiful green,

But a sweet-brier entwines it around :

Not my fields in the prime of the year,

More charms than my cattle unfold ;
Not a brook that is limpid and clear,

But it glitters with fishes of gold.
One would think she might like to retire

To the bower I have laboured to rear ;
Not a shrub that I heard her admire,

But I hasten'd and planted it there.
Oh, how sudden the jessamine strove

With the lilac to render it gay !
Already it calls for my love
To prune the wild branches

away. From the plains, from the woodlands, and groves,

What strains of wild melody flow ! How the nightingales warble their loves

From the thickets of roses that blow : And when her bright form shall appear,

Each bird shall harmoniously join In a concert so soft and so clear,

As—she may not be fond to resign. I have found out a gift for my

I have found where the wood-pigeons breed ;But let me such plunder forbear,

She would say 'twas a barbarous deed ; For he ne'er could be true, she averred,

Who would rob a poor bird of its young ; And I loved her the more when I heard

Such tenderness fall from her tongue. I have heard her with sweetness unfold

How that pity was due to a dove ; That it ever attended the bold,

And she called it the sister of Love.
But her words such a pleasure convey,

So much I her accents adore,
Let her speak, and whatever she say,

Methinks I should love her the more.

fair ;


GRAY, 1716—1771.

The curfew tolls the knell of parting day,

The lowing herd winds slowly o'er the lea,
The ploughman homeward plods his weary way,

And leaves the world to darkness and to me.

Now fades the glimm’ring landscape on the sight,

And all the air a solemn stillness holds,
Save where the beetle wheels his drony flight,

And drowsy tinklings lull the distant folds ;

Save that, from yonder ivy-mantled tow'r,

The moping owl does to the moon complain
Of such, as wand’ring near her secret bow'r,

Molest her ancient solitary reign.

Beneath those rugged elms, that yew-tree's shade,

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 twittring from the straw-built shed,
The cock's shrill clarion, or the echoing horn,

No more shall rouse them from their lowly bed.

For them no more the blazing hearth shall burn,

Or busy housewife ply her evening care :
Her children run to lisp their sire's return,

Or climb his knees the envied kiss share.

Oft did the harvest to their sickle yield ;

Their furrow oft the stubborn glebe has broke ;
How jocund did they drive their teams 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 simple annals of the poor.

The boast 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 grave.

Nor you, ye proud, impute to these the fault,

If mem'ry o'er their tomb no trophies raise, Where thro' the long-drawn aisle 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 silent dust,

Or flatt'ry sooth 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 swayed,

Or wak’d to ecstasy the living lyre.

But knowledge to their eyes

her ample page, Rich with the spoils of time, did ne'er unrol ; Chill penury repress’d their noble rage,

And froze the genial current of the soul.

Full many a gem, of purest ray serene,

The dark unfathom'd caves of ocean bear : Full many a flow'r is born to blush unseen,

And waste its sweetness on the desert air.

Some village Hampden, that with dauntless breast,

The little tyrant of his fields withstood ; Some mute inglorious Milton here may rest ;

Some Cromwell guiltless of his country's blood.

Th' applause of listning senates to command,

The threats of pain and ruin to despise, To scatter plenty o'er a smiling land,

And read their hist'ry in a nation's eyes,

Their lot forbade : nor circumscrib'd alone

Their growing virtues ; but their crimes confin'd, Forbade to wade through slaughter to a throne,

And shut the gates of mercy on mankind;

The struggling pangs of conscious truth to hide,

To quench the blushes of ingenuous shame, Or heap the shrine of luxury and pride

With incense kindled at the muse's flame.

Far from the madding crowd's ignoble strife,

Their sober wishes never learn'd to stray ; Along the cool, sequesterd vale of life

They kept the noiseless tenour of their way.

Yet e'en these bones from insult to protect,

Some frail memorial still erected nigh, With uncouth rhymes and shapeless sculpture deck'd,

Implores the passing tribute of a sigh.

Their name,

their years, spelt by the unletter'd muse, The place of fame and elegy supply ; And many a holy text around she strews,

That teach the rustic moralist to die :

For who, to dumb forgetfulness a prey,

This pleasing, anxious being e'er resign'd, Left the warm precincts of the cheerful day,

Nor cast one longing, lingʻring look behind ?

On some fond breast the parting soul relies,

Some pious drops the closing eye requires : E'en from the tomb the voice of nature cries,

E'en in our ashes live their wonted fires.

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