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Would thy fond love his grace to her controul, And in these low abodes of sin and pain
Her pure exalted soul
Unjustly for thy partial good detain ?
No-rather strive thy groveling mind to raise
Up to that unclouded blaze,
That heavenly radiance of eternal light,
In which enthron'd she now with pity sees
How frail, how insecure, how slight,
Is every mortal bliss;
E'en Love itself, if rising by degrees
Beyond the bounds of this imperfect state,
Whose fleeting joys so soon must end,
It does not to its sovereign good ascend.
Rise then, my soul, with hope elate, And seek those regions of serene delight, Whose peaceful path and ever-open gate No feet but those of harden'd Guilt shall miss.
There Death himself thy Lucy shall restore, There yield up all his power ne'er to divide you more.
Written in 1746. MOURN, hapless Caledonia, mourn
Thy banish'd peace, thy laurels torn! Thy sons, for valour long renown'd, Lie slaughter'd on their native ground; Thy hospitable roofs no more Invite the stranger to the door; In smoky ruins sunk they lie, The monuments of cruelty. The wretched owner sees afar His all become the prey of war; Bethinks him, of his babes and wife, Then smites his breast, and curses life! Thy swains are famish'd on the rocks Where once they fed their wanton flocks: Thy ravish'd virgins shriek in vain; Thy infants perish on the plain.
What boots it then, in every clime
Through the wide spreading waste of time,
Thy martial glory, crown'd with praise,
Still shone with undiminish'd blaze?
Thy towering spirit now is broke,
Thy neck is bended to the yoke.
What foreign arms could never quell
By civil rage, and rancour fell.
The rural pipe and merry lay
No more shall cheer the happy day:
No social scenes of gay delight
Beguile the dreary winter night:
No strains, but those of sorrow flow,
And nought be heard but sounds of woe,
While the pale phantoms of the slain
Glide nightly o'er the silent plain.
O baneful cause! oh, fatal morn,
Accurs'd to ages yet unborn!
The sons against their fathers stood,
The parent shed his children's blood.
Yet, when the rage of battle ceas'd,
The victor's soul was not appeas'd;
The naked and forlorn must feel
Devouring flames, and murdering steel!
The pious mother, doom'd to death,
Forsaken wanders o'er the heath,
The bleak wind whistles round her head,
Her helpless orphans cry for bread;
Bereft of shelter, food, and friend,
She views the shades of night descend,
And stretch'd beneath the inclement skies,
Weeps o'er her tender babes and dies.
While the warm blood bedews my veins,
And unimpair'd remembrance reigns,
Resentment of my country's fate,
Within my filial breast shall beat;
And, spite of her insulting foe,
My sympathizing verse shall flow :
Mourn, hapless Caledonia, mourn
Thy banish'd peace, thy laurels torn.
Written in a Country Church-Yard.
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 droning 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 ev'ning care ; 1
No children run to lisp their sire's return,
Or climb his knees the envy'd kiss to share.
Oft did the harvest to their sickle yield,
Their furrow oft the stubborn glebe has broke;
How jocund did they drive their team 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's,
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 Honor's voice provoke the silent dust,
Or Flatt'ry soothe 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 sway'd,
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 unroll;
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 flower 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 list’ning 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 forbad; nor circumscrib'd alone
Their growing virtues, but their crimes confin'd;
Forbad to wade thro' slaughter to a throne,
And shut the gates of mercy on mankind;