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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 sequester'd vale of life They kept the noiseless tenor of their way. Yet e'en these bones from insult to protect, Some frail memorial still erected nigh, With uncouth rlıymes and shapeless sculpture deck'd, Implores the passing tribute of a sigh. Their name, their years, spelt by th' 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 ling’ring 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, For thee, who mindful of th' unhonor'd dead, Dost in these lines their artless tale relate, If chance, by lonely Contemplation led, Some kindred spirit shall enquire 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 wreaths its old fantastic root so high, His listless length at noon-tide would he stretch, And pore upon the brook that bubbles by,
Hard by yon wood, now smiling as in scorn,
lap of earth, A youth to Fortune and to Fame unknown; Fair Science frown'd uot 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.
That crown the watry glade
Her Henry's holy shade;
Of grove, of lawn, of mead, survey ;
Ah happy hills! ah pleasing shade!
Ah fields belov'd in vain !
A stranger yet to pain!
As waving fresh their gladsome wing
To breathe a second spring.
Full many a sprightly race,
The paths of pleasure trace,
The captive linnet which enthral?
Or urge the flying ball ?
Their murm'ring labors ply 'Gainst graver hours, that bring constraint,
To sweeten liberty ;
And unknown regions dare descry:
And snatch a fearful joy.
Less pleasing when possest!
The sunshine of the breast; Theirs buxom health of rosy hue, Wild wit, invention ever new,
And lively cheer of vigor born; The thoughtless day, the easy night, The spirits pure, the slumbers light,
That fly th' approach of morn.
Alas! regardless of their doom,
The litlle victims play!
Nor care beyond to-day;
And black Misfortune's baleful train! Ah ! shew them where in ambush stand, To seize their prey, the murd'rous band !
Ah! tell them they are men. These shall the fury passions tear,
The vulturs of the mind, Disdainful Anger, pallid Fear,
And Shame, that skulks behind ; Or pining Love shall waste their youth, Or Jealousy, with rankling tooth,
That inly gnaws the secret heart! And Envy wan, and faded Care, Grim-visag'd, comfortless Despair,
And Sorrow's piercing dart. Ambition this shall tempt to rise,
Then whirl the wretch from high, To bitter Scorn a sacrifice,
And grinning Infamy: The stings of Falsehood those shall try, And hard Unkindness' alter'd eye,
That mocks the tear it forc'd to flow; And keen Remorse, with blood defild, And moody Madness laughing wild
Amid severest woe.
A grisly troop are seen,
More hideous than their queen:
Those in the deeper vitals rage;
And slow-consuming Age.
To each his suff'rings; all are men
Condemn'd alike to groan,
Th' unfeeling for his own.
And Happiness too swiftly flies!
'Tis folly to be wise.
Thou tamer of the human breast,
The bad affright, afflict the best!
Virtue, his darling child, design'd,
And bade to form her infant mind :
Self-pleasing Folly's idle brood,
And leave us leisure to be good.