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the World against the present Time but only that it is present; why when hereafter comes to be present the Reason will be just the same. So that thy present Unwillingness is so far from being a just Reason against it, that it is a good Reaion the other Way; because thou art unwilling now, and like to be more so hereafter; if thou intendest to do it at all, thou shouldest set about it immediately, and without Delay. In Matters of great and necessary Concernment, and which must be done. there is no greater Argument of a weak and impotent Mind than Irresolution; to be undetermined where the Case is fo plain, and the Necesfity fo urgent; to be always about doing that which we are convinced must be done.

Vićturos agimus semper, nec vivimus unquam.

We are always intending to live a new Life, but can never find a Time to set about it. This is as if a Man should put off eating and drinking and sleeping from one Day and Night to another, till he has starved and destroyed himself.

The hoary Fool, who many Days Has struggled with continued Sorrow,

Renews his Hope, and blindly lays The desperate Bett upon to-morrow.

To-morrow comes, 'tis Noon, 'tis Night, This Day like all the former flies;

Yet on he runs to seek Delight To-morrow, 'till to-night he dies, PRIOR.

An Elegy written in a Country Church-Yard.


HE Curfew tolls the Knell of parting Day,

The lowing Herd winds Nowly o'er the Lea, The Plowman homeward plods his weary Way,

And leaves the World to Darkness and to me.



Now fades the glimmering Landscape on the Sight,

And all the Air a folemn Stillness holds, Save where the Beetle wheels his drony Flight,

And drowsy Tinklings lall the distant Folds ;

Save that from yonder ivy-mantled Tow'r

The moping Owl does to the Moon complain Ofsuch, as wand'ring near her secret Bow'r,

Moleft her ancient, folitary Reign.

Beneath thofe rugged Elms, that Yew Tree's Shade,
Where heaves che Turf in many a mould’ring

Each in his narrow Cell for ever laid,

The rude Forefathers of the Hamlet sleep.

The breezy Call of Incense-breathing Morn,

The Swallow twitt'ring from the Straw built Shed The Cock's shrill Clarion, or the echoing Horn,

No more shall rouse them from their lowly Bed.

From them no more the blazing Hearth shall burn,

Or busy Housewife ply her Ev'ning Care :
No Children run to lisp their Sire's Return,
Os climb his Knees the envied Kiss to fhare.


K 3

Oft did the Harvest to their Sickle Yield,

Their Furrow oft the stubborn Glebe has broke; How jocund did they drive their Teams a-field !

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'r,

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 Ise, and fretted Vault

The pealing Anthem sivells the Note of Praise.

Can storied Urn or animated Buff

Back to its Mansion call the fleeting Breath? Can Honour's Voice provoke the silent Duit,

Or Flatt'ry footh 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 Extafy the living Lyre.
But Knowledge to their Eyes her ample Page

Rich with the Spoils of Time did ne'er unroll; Chill Penury repreis’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 defert Air.

Some Village Hampden, that with dauntless Breast

The little Tyrant of the Fields withstood; Some mute inglorious Milton here may rest,

Some Cromwell guiltless of his country's Blood.

Th’ Applause of lift'ning Senates to command,

The Threats of Pain and Ruin to despite, To scatter Plenty o'er a smiling Land,

And read their Hist'ry in a Nation's Eyes.

Their Lot forbad: nor circumfcrib'd alone
Their growing Virtues, but their Crimes con-

Forbad to wade thro' Slaughter to a Throne,

And shut the Gates of Mercy on Mankind.

The struggling Pangs of conscious Truth to hide,

To quench the Bluihes of ingenuous Shame, Or heap the Shrine of Luxury and Pride

With Incenfe kindled at the Mufe's Flame.

Far from the madding Crowd's ignoble Strife,

Their fober Wishes never learnt to stray ; Along the cool sequester'd Vale of Life

They kept the noiseless Tenor of their Way.

Yet ev'n these Bones from Infult to protect,

Some frail Memorial (till erected nigh,


With uncouth Rhimes and shapeless Sculpture

deck's, Implores the passing Tribute of a Sigh.

Their Name, their Years, spelt by th' unletter'd

The Place of Fame and Elegy supply:
And many a holy Text around she strews,

To 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 chearful Day,

Nor cast one longing ling’ring Look behind. On some fond Breast the parting Soul relies,

Some pious Drops the closing Eye requires ; Ev'n from the Tomb the Voice of Nature cries,

Ey'n in our Alhes live their wonted Fires.

For thee who mindful of th' unhonour'd Dead

Doft in these Lines their artless Tale relate; If chance, by lonely Contemplation led,

Some kindred Spirit shall enquire thy Fate.

Haply fome hoary-headed Swain may fay,

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 Roots so high, · His listless Length at Noon-tide would he stretch, • And pore upon the Brook that babbles by.


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