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The struggling pangs of conscious truth to hide, To quench the blushes of ingenuous shame, Or heap the shrine of luxury and pride
With incense kindled at the Muse's flame. Far from the madding crowd's ignoble strife, Their sober wishes never learn'd to stray; Along the cool sequester'd vale of life
They kept the noiseless tenour of their way.
Yet e'en these bones from insult to protect,
Some frail memorial still erected nigh, [deck'd,
With uncouth rhymes, and shapeless sculpture
Implores the passing tribute of a sigh.
Their names, their years, spelt by th' unletter'd
The place of fame and elegy supply: [Muse,
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 resign'd,
Left the warm precincts of the cheerful day,
Nor cast one longing, lingering look behind?
On some fond breast the parting soul relies,
Some 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 th' unhonour'd dead,
Dost in these lines their artless tale relate;
If chance, by lonely contemplation led,
Some kindred spirit shall enquire thy fate,
Haply some hoary-headed swain may say—
"Öft have we seen him at the peep of dawn,
Brushing with hasty steps the dew away,
To meet the sun upon the upland lawn.
"There at the foot of yonder nodding beech, That wreathes its old fantastic roots so high, His listless length at noontide would he stretch, And pore upon the brook that bubbles by. "Hard by yon wood, now smiling as in scorn, Muttering his wayward fancies, he would rove; Now drooping, woful wan, like one forlorn,
Or craz❜d with care, or cross'd in hopeless love. "One morn I miss'd him on th' accustom'd 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 dirges due, in sad array,
Slow through the church-yard path we saw him borne.
Approach and read (for thou canst read) the lay, Grav'd 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 frown'd not on his humble birth,
And melancholy mark'd 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 gain'd from Heav'n ('twas all he wish'd) a friend.
No farther seek his merits to disclose,
Or draw his frailties from their dread abode, (There they alike in trembling hope repose) The bosom of his Father and his God.
LOVE OF COUNTRY.
BREATHES there the man with soul so dea
Who never to himself hath said,
This is my own, my native land;
Whose heart has ne'er within him burn'd,
As home his footsteps he hath turn'd,
From wandering on a foreign strand?
If such there breathe, go mark him well;
For him no minstrel raptures swell;
High tho' his titles, proud his name,
Boundless his wealth as wish can claim;
Despite those titles, power, and pelf,
The wretch, concentred all in self,
Living, shall forfeit fair renown,
And, doubly dying, shall go down
To the vile dust, from whence he sprung,
Unwept, unhonour'd, and unsung.
"Man giveth up the ghost, and where is he?"-JOB.
AND where is he? not by the side
Of her whose wants he lov'd to tend;
Not o'er those valleys wandering wide,
Where, sweetly lost, he oft would wend;
That form belov'd he marks no more,
Those scenes admir'd no more shall see;
Those scenes are lovely as before,
And she as fair;-but where is he?
No, no; the radiance is not dim,
That us'd to gild his favourite hill;
The pleasures that were dear to him,
Are dear to life and nature still:
But, ah! his home is not as fair,
Neglected must his gardens be,
The lilies droop and wither there,
And seem to whisper, "where is he?"
His was the pomp, the crowded hall,
But where is now this proud display?
His riches, honours, pleasures, all
Desire could frame; but where are they?
And he, as some tall rock that stands
Protected by the circling sea,
Surrounded by admiring bands,
Seem'd proudly strong-and where is he?
The church-yard bears an added stone,
The fire-side shows a vacant chair;
Here sadness dwells, and weeps alone,
And Death displays his banner there:
The life is gone, the breath has fled,
And what has been no more shall be;
The well-known form, the welcome tread,
O where are they, and where is he?
RECOLLECTIONS OF BOYHOOD.
Be it a weakness, it deserves some praise,
We love the play-place of our early days;
The scene is touching, and the heart is stone
That feels not at that sight, and feels at none.
The wall on which we tried our graving skill,
The very name we carv'd subsisting still;
The bench on which we sat while deep employ'd,
Tho' mangl'd, hack'd, and hew'd, not yet destroy'd;
The little ones, unbutton'd, glowing hot,
Playing our games, and on the very spot;
As happy as we once, to kneel and draw
The chalky ring, and knuckle down at taw;
To pitch the ball into the grounded hat,
Or drive it devious with a dext'rous pat;
The pleasing spectacle at once excites
Such recollection of our own delights,
That, viewing it, we seem almost t' obtain
Our innocent sweet simple years again.
This fond attachment to the well-known place,
Whence first we started into life's long race,
Maintains its hold with such unfailing sway,
We feel it even in age, and at our latest day.
THE SABBATH MORNING.
How still the morning of the hallow'd day!
Mute is the voice of rural labour, hush'd
The ploughboy's whistle, and the milkmaid's song.
The scythe lies glittering in the dewy wreath
Of tedded grass, mingled with fading flowers,
That yester-morn bloom'd waving in the breeze:
Sounds the most faint attract the ear-the hum
Of early bee, the trickling of the dew,
The distant bleating midway up the hill;
Calmness sits thron'd on yon unmoving cloud.
To him who wanders o'er the upland leas,
The blackbird's note comes mellower from the dale;
And sweeter from the sky the gladsome lark
Warbles his heaven-tun'd song; the lulling brook
Murmurs more gently down the deep-worn glen;
While from yon lowly roof, whose curling smoke