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For thee, who, mindful of th' unhonour'd dead,
Dost in these lines their artless tale relate; If, chance, by lonely contemplation led,
Some kindred spirit shall inquire thy fate ;
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. “There at the foot of yonder nodding beech,
That wreathes its old fantastic roots so high, His listless length at noontide would he stretch,
And pore upon the brook that bubbles by. “Hard by yon wood, now smiling, as in scorn,
Muttring his wayward fancies, he would rove; Now dropping, woful, wan, like one forlorn,
Or craz’d with care, or crossd in hopeless love.
“ One mom I miss'd him on the accustom'd hill,
Along the heath, and near his fav'rite tree :
up the lawn, nor at the wood was he.
“ The next, with dirges due, in sad array,
Slow thro' the churchyard path we saw him bome: Approach and read (for thou canst read) the lay,
Gravid on the stone beneath yon aged thorn.”
Here rests his head
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 soul sincere,
Heav'n did a recompense as largely send : 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 seek his merits to disclose,
Or draw his frailties from their dread abode, (There they alike in trembling hope repose,)
The bosom of his Father and his God.
ODE ON THE PASSIONS.
COLLINS, 1720—1756. WHEN Music, heavenly maid ! was young, While yet in early Greece she sung, The Passions oft, to hear her shell, Thronged around her magic cell ; Exulting, trembling, raging, fainting, Possessed beyond the Muse's painting ; By turns they felt the glowing mind Disturbed, delighted, raised, refined ; Till once, 'tis said, when all were fired, Filled with fury, rapt, inspired, From the supporting myrtles round, They snatched her instruments of sound ; And as they oft had heard apart Sweet lessons of her forceful art, Each, for madness ruled the hour, Would prove his own expressive power. First Fear his hand, its skill to try, Amid the chords, bewildered laid ; And back recoiled, he knew not why, Even at the sound himself had made.
Next Anger rushed, his eyes on fire
But thou, oh Hope ! with eyes so fair,
Still it whispered promised pleasure,
Still would her touch the strain prolong;
And from the rocks, the woods, the vale,
And where her sweetest theme she chose,
Revenge impatient rose ;
And, with a withering look,
And blew a blast so loud and dread,
And ever and anon he beat
The double drum with furious heat ;
Dejected Pity at his side
Her soul-subduing voice applied, Yet still he kept his wild unaltered mien, While each strained ball of sight seemed bursting from his
Sad proof of thy distressful state ;
With eyes upraised, as one inspired,
In notes by distance made more sweet,
Whilst dashing soft from rocks around,
Bubbling runnels joined the sound ;
Round a holy calm diffusing
Love of peace and lonely musing,
But oh ! how altered was its sprightly tone,
Her bow across her shoulder flung,
Her buskins gemmed with morning dew,
The hunter's call, to Fawn and Dryad known ;
Satyrs and sylvan boys, were seen
Brown Exercise rejoiced to hear,
Last came Joy's ecstatic trial :
He, with viny crown advancing,
They would have thought, who heard the strain,
Amidst the festal sounding shades,
To some unwearied minstrel dancing ;
And he, amidst the frolic play,
As if he would the charming air repay, Shook thousand odours from his dewy wings.
THE bell strikes one. We take no note of time
It is the signal that demands dispatch :
How poor, how rich, how abject, how august,
THE VILLAGE PASTOR.
GOLDSMITH, 1728—1774. Near yonder copse, where once the garden smiled, And still where many a garden flower grows wild, There, where a few torn shrubs the place disclose, The village preacher's modest mansion rose.