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ELEGY WRITTEN IN A COUNTRY
con-tem-pla’-tion mould'-er-ing me-mo'-ri-al fan-tast'.ic for-get'-ful-ness in-ev'-it-a-ble an'-im-at-ed sol'-it-ar-y cir'-cum-scribed re'-com-pense ce-les'-ti-al pre'-cincts mel'-an-choly in-gen'-u-ous am-bi'-tion preg'-nant se-quest'-ered in-glo'-ri-ous fa'-your-ite mor-a-list un-fath'-omed twit'-ter-ing sculp'-ture tro'-phies glim'-mer-ing dis-dain'-ful her'-ald-ry ec'-sta-cy un-hon'-oured know'-ledge
an'-them THE 'curfew tolls the ?knell of Sparting day,
The lowing herd winds slowly o'er the `lea,
And leaves the world to darkness and to me.
And all the air a solemn stillness holds,
And "drowsy tinklings lull the distant folds.
The '? moping owl does to the moon complain
Molest her ancient solitary reign.
Where "heaves the turf in many a mouldering heap,
The rude forefathers of the "hamlet sleep. The 16 breezy call of incense-breathing morn,
The swallow twittering 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 18 ply her evening care ; No children run to lisp their sire's return,
Or climb his knee the envied kiss to share.
Oft did the harvest to their sickle yield,
Their "furrow oft the stubborn 20 glebe has broke, How a jocund did they drive their team afield !
How bowed the woods beneath their sturdy stroke !
Let not 2 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 2 heraldry, the pomp of power,
And all that beauty, all that wealth e'er gave,
Await alike the 26 inevitable hour,
The paths of glory lead but to the grave. Nor you, ye proud, impute to these the fault,
If memory o'er their tomb no a trophies raise, Where, through the 28 long-drawn aisle and "fretted vault,
The pealing 80 anthem swells the note of praise. Can 31 storied urn or animated bust
Back to its mansion call the fleeting breath ? Can honour's voice ® provoke the silent dust,
Or flattery soothe the dull, cold ear of Death ?
Perhaps, in this neglected spot is laid
Some heart once " pregnant with celestial fire ;
Or wake to *secstasy the living lyre.
Rich with the spoils of time, did ne'er unroll;
And froze the genial current of the soul.
Full many a gem of purest ray serene,
The dark unfathomed 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 38 Milton here may rest ;
Some 39 Cromwell guiltless of his country's blood. The applause of listening senates to command,
The threats of pain and ruin to despise ; To scatter plenty o'er a smiling land,
And read their history in a nation's eyes, Their lot forbade : nor circumscribed alone
Their growing virtues, but their crimes confined ;
And shut the gates of mercy on mankind ;
To quench the blushes of "ingenuous shame,
With incense kindled at the Muse's flame.
Far from the madding crowd’s ignoble strife
Their sober wishes never learned to stray ; Along the cool 43 sequestered vale of life
They kept the "noiseless tenor of their way. Yet even these bones from insult to protect,
Some frail memorial still erected nigh, With 4 uncouth rhymes and shapeless sculpture decked,
Implores the passing tribute of a sigh. Their name,
their years, spelt by the unlettered Muse, The place of fame and 4 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 resigned,
Left the warm “precincts of the cheerful day,
Nor cast one longing, lingering look behind ? On some fond breast the parting soul relies,
Some 4 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 the unhonoured dead,
Dost in these lines their 49 artless tale relate ; If chance, by lonely contemplation led,
Some kindred spirit shall inquire thy fate;