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Or Winter rises in the blackening east ;
Should fate command me to the farthest verge
THE SHEPHERD'S HOME.
Whose murmur invites one to sleep ;
And my hills are white over with sheep.
Such health do my fountains bestow ;
Where the harebells and violets blow.
Not a pine in my grove is there seen,
But with tendrils of woodbine is bound;
But a sweet-brier entwines it around :
Not my fields in the prime of the year,
More charms than my cattle unfold ;
But it glitters with fishes of gold.
To the bower I have laboured to rear ;
But I hasten'd and planted it there.
With the lilac to render it gay !
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.
So much I her accents adore,
Methinks I should love her the more.
AN ELEGY WRITTEN IN A COUNTRY CHURCHYARD.
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.
Now fades the glimm’ring landscape on the sight,
And all the air a solemn stillness holds,
And drowsy tinklings lull the distant folds ;
Save that, from yonder ivy-mantled tow'r,
The moping owl does to the moon complain
Molest her ancient solitary reign.
Beneath those rugged elms, that yew-tree's shade,
Where heaves the turf in many a mould'ring heap,
The rude forefathers of the hamlet sleep.
The breezy call of incense-breathing morn,
The swallow twittring from the straw-built shed,
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 :
Or climb his knees the envied kiss share.
Oft did the harvest to their sickle yield ;
Their furrow oft the stubborn glebe has broke ;
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 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.