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Of grove, of lawn, of mead, survey,
Whose turf, whose shade, whose flowers among Wanders the hoary Thames along
His silver-winding way.
Ah happy hills, ah pleasing shad, Ah fields belov'd in vain,
Where once my careless childhood stray'd,
A stranger yet to pain!
I feel the gales that from ye blow,
A momentary bliss.bestow,
As waving fresh their gladsome wing,
And, redolent of joy and youth,
To breathe a second spring.
Say, Father Thames (for thou hast seen
Full many a sprightly race,
Disporting on thy margent green,
Whilst some, on earnest buisness bent,
'Gainst graver hours, that bring constraint
To sweeten liberty:
Some bold adventurers disdain
The limits of their little reign,
And unknown regions dare descry:
Alas, regardless of their doom,
No sense have they of ills to come,
Yet see how all around them wait
And black Misfortune's baleful train!
These shall the fury Passions tear, The vultures of the mind,"
Disdainful Anger, pallied Fear,
And shame that skulks behind;
Or pining Love shall waste their youth,
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,
Lo, in the vale of years beneath
The painful family of Death,
This racks the joints, this fires the veins,
Lo, Poverty, to fill the band,
That numbs the soul with icy hand,
And slow-consuming Age.
To each his suff'rings: all are men,
Condemn'd alike to groan;
The tender for in other's pain,
Th' unfeeling for his own.
Yet ah! why should they know their fate?
Thought would destroy their paradise,
ELEGY WRITTEN IN A COUNTRY
THE curfew tolls the knell of parting day,
The ploughman homeward plods his weary way, And leaves the world to darkness and to me.
Now fades the glimmering landscape on the sight,
Save where the beetle wheels his drony flight,
Save that from yonder ivy-mantled tow'r,
Beneath those rugged elms, that yew-tree's shade, Where heaves the turf in many a mould'ring heap,. Each in his narrow cell for ever laid,
The rude forfathers of the hamlet sleep.
The breezy call of incense-breathing Morn,
For them no more the blazing hearth shall burn,
Oft did the harvest to their sickle yield,
Let not ambition mock their usual toil,
The boast of heraldry, the pomp of pow'r,
The paths of glory lead but to the grave.
Nor you, ye proud, impute to these the fault,
Can storied urn, or animated bust,
Back to its mansion call the fleeting breath?
Perhaps in this neglected spot is laid
But knowledge to their eyes her ample page
Full many a gem of purest ray serene
Some village Hampden, that with dauntless breast
Th' applause of list'ning senates to command,