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For them no more the blazing hearth shall burn,
Or climb his knees the envied kiss to share.
Oft did the harvest to their sickle yield,
Their furrow oft the stubborn glebe has broke ; How jocund did they drive their team 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 power,
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 through the long-drawn aisle and fretted vault
The pealing anthem swells the note of praise.
Can storied urn, or animated bust,
Back to its mansion call the fleeting breath? Can honour's voice provoke the silent dust,
Or flatt'ry soothe 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 waked to ecstasy the living lyre:
But knowledge to their eyes her ample page, Rich with the spoils of time, did ne'er unroll ; Chill penury repress'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 desert air.
Th' applause of list'ning senates to command;
And read their history in a nation's eyes—
Their lot forbade : nor circumscrib'd alone
Forbade to wade through slaughter to a throne,
With incense kindled at the Muse's flame.
Far from the madding crowd's ignoble strife,
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,
With uncouth rhymes and shapeless sculpture deck'd,
Implores the passing tribute of a sigh.
Their name, their years, spelt by th' unletter'd Muse,
The place of fame and elegy supply;
For who, to dumb forgetfulness a prey,
For thee, who, mindful of th' unhonour'd dead,
There, at the foot of yonder nodding beech, That wreathes its old fantastic roots on high, His listless length at noontide would he stretch, And pore upon the brook that babbles by.
Him have we seen the greenwood side along, While o'er the heath we hied, our labour done, Oft as the woodlark piped her farewell song, With wistful eyes pursue the setting sun.
Hard by yon wood, now smiling as in scorn, Mutt'ring 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 the 'custom'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 churchyard 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.
AN ANGEL IN THE HOUSE.
Large was his bounty, and his soul sincere— Heaven did a recompense as largely send : gave to mis'ry (all he had) a tear;
He gain'd from heaven ('twas all he wish'd) a friend.
No farther seek his merits to disclose,
Nor draw his frailties from their dread abode(Where they alike in trembling hope repose) The bosom of his Father and his God.
AN ANGEL IN THE HOUSE.
How sweet it were, if without feeble fright,
At evening in our room, and bend on ours
His divine eyes,—and bring us from his bowers