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COME, HOLY SPIRIT, HEAVENLY DOVE.
Hosannas languish on our tongues,
And our devotion dies.
Dear Lord, and shall we ever lie,
At this poor dying rate ? Look how we grovel here below,
Our love so faint, so cold to Thee,
And Thine to us so great !
Come, Holy Spirit, Heavenly Dove,
With all Thy quickening powers; In vain we tune our formal songs,
Come, shed abroad a Saviour's love, In vain we strive to rise ;
And that shall kindle ours.
FROM ALL THAT DWELL.
ROM all that dwell below the skies
Let the Creator's praise arise ;
Eternal are Thy mercies, Lord :
SINGLE noble masterpiece, the “Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard” is the foundation of the fame of Thomas Gray. He won distinction at Cambridge, and traveled abroad with Horace Walpole, who complained that Gray “was too serious a companion for me; he was for antiquities, etc., while I was for balls and plays. The fault was mine.”
Returning to England after the death of his father, Gray spent the rest of his life at Cambridge. He was offered the post of poet laureate in 1757, but declined it. He became Professor of History at Cambridge, but was unfit for the office and delivered no lectures.
The “Elegy" was printed in 1750. Few poems were ever so popular. It ran through eleven editions, and has ever since been one of those few favorite pieces that every one has by heart. His other poems contain a great number of famous lines, but are themselves little known. He died in 1771, in the fifty-fifth year of his age.
Gray was small and delicate in person, handsome and refined, fond of fashionable dress, and preferred to be known as a “gentleman ” rather than as a poet. Lowell says that the “Elegy” won its popularity, not through any originality of thought, but far more through originality of sound. Its simple language and the depth and sincerity of emotion which it expresses have given it a prominent place among the finest monuments of our literature.
ELEGY WRITTEN IN A COUNTRY CHURCHYARD. HE Curfew tolls the knell of parting day, Save where the beetle wheels his droning light,
The lowing herd wind slowly o'er the lea, And drowsy tinklings lull the distant folds; The ploughman homeward plods his weary
way, And leaves the world to darkness and to me. Save that, from yonder ivy-mantled tower,
The moping owl does to the moon complain Now fades the glimmering landscape on the sight, Of such as, wandering near her secret bower, And all the air a solemn stillness holds,
Molest her ancient solitary reign.
Or draw his frailties from their dread abode, Large was his bounty, and his soul sincere, (There they alike in trembling hope repose,) Heaven did a recompense as largely send.
The bosom of his Father and his God.
THE MOST CHARMING AND VERSATILE WRITER OF THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY.
O writer of English is more universally loved and appreciated than
the shiftless little Irishman who claimed to be a physician, but who picked up a precarious living by writing, and who was the butt of the brilliant company, Johnson, Burke, Reynolds, Garrick, and others, who formed a famous literary club. Dr. Johnson says, "No man was more foolish when he had not a pen in his hand or
more wise when he had ;” and the humorous epitaph, composed to tease him by his friends, “Who wrote like an angel, but talked like · Poor Poll,' correctly represents the esteem in which they held him.
Goldsmith was born in County Longford, Ireland, in 1728. His father was a clergyman of the Established Church and very poor; but some of his relatives were in comfortable circumstances: they contributed funds to send him to Dublin University as a sizar, or “ poor scholar.” He entered in 1744 and took his degree five years after. He went home, ostensibly to study for the Church. In two years he presented himself as a candidate for ordination, but was rejected. He tried tutorship, and several other things, with no result
. An uncle gave him £50 to go to London, where he proposed to study law. He got as far as Dublin, where he lost all his money at the gaming-table, and went back to his friends for a while. Toward the end of 1752 they sent him to Edinburgh to study medicine. He ran through his money and Aed to the Continent, where he made an extended tour, with little or no means of support except his fiddle.
Early in 1756, Goldsmith, now about twenty-eight, made his way back to London, ragged and penniless. During the next two or three years we catch glimpses of him as assistant to an apothecary; as a “corrector of the press ” for Richardson, the novelist; as usher in a school ; and finally as a
as a “hack-writer" for the Monthly Review. Once we find him an unsuccessful applicant at the College of Surgeons for the position of hospital-mate. Somehow he managed to keep his head above water, for in 1759 he published a small volume entitled “An Inquiry into the Present State of Polite Learning in Europe.” This attracted some notice, and made the author known among literati and publishers. He wrote for several newspapers, among others for the Public Ledger, to which he furnished a series of Chinese Letters,” which were soon republished under the title of “The Citizen of the World.” Goldsmith was now able to escape from his humble garret.