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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 51 upland lawn. “There, at the foot of yonder nodding beech,
That wreaths its old fantastic roots so high, His listless length at noontide would he stretch,
52 And pore upon the brook that babbles by. “Hard by yon wood, now smiling as in scorn,
Muttering his 58 wayward fancies he would rove, Now drooping, woful, 54 wan, like one forlorn,
Or crazed with care, or crossed in hopeless love. “ One morn I missed him on the 'customed hill,
Along the heath, and near his favourite tree ; Another came ; nor yet beside the rill,
Nor up the lawn, nor at the wood was he : " The next with 55 dirges due, in sad array,
Slow through the churchway path we saw him borne ; Approach, and read (for thou canst read) the lay
56 Graved on the stone, beneath yon aged thorn."
Here rests his head upon the lap of Earth,
A Youth, to Fortune and to Fame unknown, Fair Science frowned not on his humble birth,
And Melancholy marked him for her own. Large was his bounty, and his soul sincere,
Heaven did a recompense as largely send ; He gave to Misery all he had a tear;
He gained from Heaven ('twas all he wished) a friend. No further seek his merits to disclose,
Or draw his 57 frailties from their dread abode (There they alike in trembling hope repose), The bosom of his Father and his God.
58 Thonas Gray.
curfew (French, courre-feu), means cover fire. By a Norman law a bell was rung every evening at eight o'clock, as a signal for fires to be extinguished. ? knell, the sound of a funeral bell.. s parting, departing, dying. *lea, meadow or pasture land. 5 plods, toils along (after his day's work). @glimmering, appearing faintly. "landscape, view, scene. 8 save, except. droning, humming (like a drone). 10 drowsy tinklings, the tinkling sounds of the bells round the necks of the sheep. The sound seems to the poet to have a sleepy or drowsy tone at the approach of night. " ivy. mantled, mantled with ivy; covered with a cloak or mantle of ivy. 12 moping, dreamy, creeping about in the night-time. 13 rugged, rough, weather-beaten. I heaves the turf, referring to the hillocks over the graves, with perhaps a thought of the heaving of the waves of the sea. 15 hamlet (diminutive of old English ham, a dwelling), a small village. 18the breezy call, etc., the call to awake given by the pure, fresh air of the country. ? clarion, a kind of trumpet. The horn is that of the hunters. 18ply her evening care, attend to her evening domestic duties. '9 furrow, trench made by the plough. Here the ploughshare which makes the furrow. % glebe, soil, land to be cultivated. 24 jocund, cheerful, merry. 2 afield, to the field. 23 ambition, grandeur, ambitious people, grand people ; the ambitious, the great. 24 annals (Lat. annus, a year), yearly records, history. 2 heraldry, the art of commemorating great deeds by means of figures. 26 inevitable hour, the hour which cannot be avoided ; the hour of death. 27 trophies, monuments erected in honour of victory. 28 long-drawn aisle, the long passage on each side of the nave of a cathedral. The poet is probably thinking of the monuments to great men in the aisles of Westminster Abbey. 29 fretted vault, richly ornamented vaulted (or arched) roof. 20 anthem, a sacred song. $1 storied urn, monument bearing an inscription relating the story, or history, of great deeds. The ancients burned the bodies of their dead and deposited the ashes in urns ; hence urn is used poetically for tomb, or monument. 82 animated bust, a bust is a carved image of the head and shoulders of some person. An animated bust is one to which the art of the sculptor has given the appearance of life. 3 provoke, to call forth, arouse. 34 pregnant with celestial fire, filled with the divine ardour of genius. 35 ecstacy, great joy, rapture. Lyre is a kind of harp. 36,
36 penury, poverty. 87 Hampden, John Hampden, a famous leader of the popular party in the reign of Charles I. He resisted the imposition of ship-money. He died during the Civil
War, at the battle of Chalgrove Field, 1643. 38 Milton, John Milton, author of “ Paradise Lost,” the second greatest English poet. 39 Cromwell, Oliver Cromwell, Lord Protector of England after the fall of Charles I. 40 circumscribed, limited, confined. 4 ingenuous, frank, open, simple, sincere. The general meaning of this passage is that though their lowly condition kept them from becoming great men, yet it saved them from the necessity of committing cruel actions, of living a life of insincerity, and employing their talents in flattering the great. *2 madding, maddening, distracting. 48 sequestered, retired, quiet. 4 noiseless tenor of their way, their quiet course of life. 45 uncouth, strange, awkward, clumsy. 48 elegy, a poem written in memory of one who is dead. "precinct, neighbourhood. 48 pious drops, tears of affection. simple, without art. 50 kindred spirit, one having the same tastes and habits. 51 upland lawn, meadow on the slope of a hill. spore upon, gaze upon earnestly and long. 53 wayward fancies, strange ideas, odd thoughts. wan, pale. 55 dirges, funeral chants. 56 graved, engraved, carved. 57 frailties, failings, faults. 58 Thomas Gray. (See App.)
BINGEN is situated in a charming country on the left bank of the Rhine, in the grand-duchy of Hesse-Darmstadt. The inhabitants are engaged chiefly in the manufacture of leather, flannel, fustian, and tobacco. The vine is extensively cultivated in the surrounding country. The ruins of an old castle are still to be seen on the declivity of the hill; and in the middle of the river stands the tower in which, according to the legend, Bishop Hatto was devoured by rats in the year 969.
BYRON. Lord Byron, a great English poet, was born in London, 22nd January, 1788. He was most unhappy in his domestic relations, and this led him to spend the latter part of his life abroad. Among his chief poems may be mentioned “ Childe Harold” and “ The Prisoner of Chillon." He died at Missolonghi, Greece, 22nd April, 1824.
Coor, a waterfowl usually found on large sheets of water, particularly if sheltered by trees. The nest is a huge mass of flags, reeds, and grass, generally at the water's edge, but some. times actually in the water. It is commonly called the water hen.
COMET. This name has been given to a heavenly body which appears to us like a star with a long tail. It was so called on account of the haze or luminous vapour, which is its most strik. ing characteristic—the name comet being derived from a Greek word signifying hair. Halley was a great astronomer, who established beyond doubt that certain comets travel in fixed orbits and visit our earth periodically. The one which appeared in 1682 was identified by Halley with one which was observed in 1607; hence it was named Halley's Comet.
COWPER. William Cowper, an English poet, was born in 1731. Cowper has written a great number of poems, which are among the best in the English language. The Olney Hymns were composed by him. He was also the writer of many charming letters. His lines addressed to his mother's picture are very affecting. He died in 1800.
Etna is the largest volcano in Europe. It is an isolated moun. tain, situated on the eastern coast of Sicily. Its base is nearly ninety miles in circumference, and from this it rises like an immense cone to the height of 10,874 feet. The summit of Etna rises above the line of vegetation, and presents, except when covered with snow, a dreary waste of black lava. Below this is the wooded region in which luxuriant forests of pine, oak, beech, poplar, and hawthorn abound. A varying breadth of from two to eleven miles of cultivated land surrounds the base of Etna. Its chief products are corn, wine, oil, fruit, and aromatic herbs.
Violent eruptions occurring at different periods have destroyed much property and many lives. In A.D. 1169, Catania and 15,000 of its inhabitants were destroyed. A terrible eruption took place in 1852. Immense clouds of dust were ejected, covering the surrounding country for miles. From two new mouths on the eastern side there issued vast torrents of lava.
F. FLORENCE, a splendid city of Italy, is situated on the river Arno, in North Tuscany. This city is a most attractive place of residence to foreigners. The climate is very healthy: the living is cheap; and it is surrounded by a lovely and fertile country encircled by sloping hills, and studded with picturesque villas and fruitful vineyards and gardens. In one of its churches are two famous statues by Michael Angelo, which are marvellous works of sculpture. In the middle ages, Florence was one of the most important cities in Italy; the citizens traded with France and England, and other European countries, and their skill as workers in gold and jewels was considered greater than that of any other people. 1.- Moffatt's Ex. Reader.