« PreviousContinue »
Now falling with soft flambrous weight, inclines
Our eyelids. Other creatures all day long
Rove idle, unemploy'd, and less need reft;
Man hath his daily work of body or mind
Appointed, which declares his dignity,
And the regard of Heav'n on all his ways;
While other animals unactive range,
And of their doings God takes no account.
To-morrow, ere fresh morning ftreak the east
With first approach of light, we must be ris'n,
And at our pleasant labour, to reform
Yon flow'ry arbours, yonder alleys green,
Our walk at noon, with branches overgrown,
That mock our fcant manuring, and require
More hands than ours to lop their wanton growth:
Those blofsoms also, and those dropping gums,
That tie bestrown, unsightly and unfmooth,
Ask riddance, if we mean to tread withi eares
Meanwhile, as Nature wills, night bids us reft.
To whom thus Eve, with perfect beauty adorn'.
My author and disposer ! what thơu bidit
Unargu'd I obey, fo God ordains:
God is thy law, thou mine : to know no more
Is woman's bappiest knowledge, and her praise.
With thee conversing, I forget all time;
All seasons, and their change ; all please alike.
Sweet is the breath of morn, her rising sweet,
With charm of earliest birds ; pleafant the fun,
When first on this delightful land he spreads
His orient beams, on herb, tree, fruit, and flow'r';
Glift'ring with dew; fragrant the fertile earuh
After fost show'rs; and sweet the coming on
Of grateful evening mild ; then filent night,
With this her folemn bird, and this fair moon,
And these the gems of heav'n, her starry train :
But neither breath of morn, when she ascends
With charm of earliest birds ; nor rising sun
On this delightful land ; nor herb, fruit, flow'r,
Glift'ring with dew; nor fragrance after flow'rs;
Nor grateful evening mild; nor filent night,
With this her folemn bird ; nor walk by moon,
Or glitt'ring star-light--without thee is sweet.
Thus at their shady lodge arriv'd, both stody
Both turn’d, and under open sky ador’d
'The God that made both ky, air, earth, and beav'n,
Which they beheld ; the moon's refplendery globe,
And Itarry pole : Thou also mad'It the night,
Maker omnipotent, and then the day,
Which we, in our appointed work enployed,
Have finish'd ; happy in our mutual help
And mutual love, the crown of all our bliss,
Ordain'd by thee; and this delicious place,
For Ús too large; where thy abundance wants
Partakers, and uncropt falls to the ground:
But thou liaft promis'd from us two a race
To fill the earin, who Thall with us extol
Thy goodness infinite, buth when we walce,
And when we feek as now, iby gift of sleep.
X. Elegy written in a country Ghair chuarda
HE curfew tolls the 'kneil of parting day ;
The lowing herd wind Nowly o'er the lea ;
The ploughman homeward plods his weary way.,
And leaves the world to darkness and to me.
Now fades the glimm'ring landseape on the sight,
And all the air a folemn ftülness holds ;
Save where the beetle wheels his droning flight,
And drowsy tinklings lül the distant folds ;
Save, that, from yonder ivy-mantled tow'r,
The moping owl does to the moon complain
Of such, as wand'ring near her secret boxy'r,
Moleft brer ancient folitary reign.
Beneath these rugged elms, that yew-tree's fhade,
Where heaves the turf in many a mould'ring heap,
Each in his narrow cell for ever laid;
The rude forefathers of the hamlet sleep.
The breezy call of incenfe-breathing morn,
The swallow twite'ring from the straw-built thed,
The cock's drill, clarion, or the echoing horn,
No more shall roule them from their lowly bed.
For them no more the blazing hearth shall-burn, .
@r busy boufewife ply lier evening-care ;
No children run to lisp their fire's return,
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 obfcure;
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;s
Await, alike, th' inevitable hour :
The paths of glory lead--but to the grave.
Nor you, ye proud, impate to these the fault,
If mem'ry o'er their tomb no trophies raise,
Where, through the long-drawn aille and fretted vault,-
The pealing anthem swells the note of praise :
Can story'd urn, or animated bust,
Back to its manfion call the feering breath?
Can honour's voice provoke the filent dust,
Or flatt'ry footh the dull cold ear of death?
Perhaps, in this neglected fpot, is laid
Some heart once pregnant with celestial fire ;
Hands, that the rod of empire might have sway?d,
Or wak'd to çcstacy the living tyre:
But knowledge to their eyes her ample page,
Rich with the spoils of time, did ne'er unroll},
Clsill 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 flow'r is born to blush unseen,
And walte its sweetness on the desert air.
some village Hampden, that, with dauntless breast,
The little tyrant of his fields withstood;
Some mute inglorious Milton, here may reft;
Some Cropiwell, guiltless of his country's blood,
Th' applause of lift’ning senates to command, 'The threats of pain and ruin to despise, To scatter plenty o'er a smiling land, And read their history in a nation's eyes, Their lot forbade: nor circumscrib'd alone": Their growing virtues, but their crimes confin'd ;; Forbade to wade through Naughter to a throne, And shut the gates of mercy on mankind ; 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 frife, Their fober wishes never learn'd to ftray ; Along the cool fequefter'd vale of life They kept the noiseless tenour of their way. Yet even these bones, from insult to protect, Some frail memorial Itill epected nigh, With uncouth rhimes and shapeless Iculpture deck'd, Implores the passing tribute of a figh. Their name, their years, spelt by the unletter'd muse; , The place of fame and elegy kipply ; : And many a holy text around the firews,, That teach the ruftic moralist to die.. For who, to dumb Forgetfulness a prey; This pleasing anxious being eler relign'd, Left the warm precincts of the cheerful day. No cast one longing ling'ring look behind? On some fond breast the parting foul relies, . Seme pious drops the closing eye requires ;Ev'n from the tomb the voice of nature cries, . Ev’n in our ashes live their wonted fires. For thee, who, mindful of the unhonour'd dead, Dost in these lines their artless tale relate, If, chance, by lonely Contemplation led, Some kindred spirit fhall inquire thy fate, Haply, somerhoary-headed fwain may saya • Oft have, we seen him, at the peep of dawn,
Brushing, with hafty steps, the dews away, • To meet the sun upon the upland lawn. "There, at the foot of yonder nodding beech, That wreathes its old fantastic roots to high, His liftlefs length at noontide would he stretch, And
pore upon the brook that babbles by. Hard by yon wood, now smiling as in scorn, Muttering his wayward fancies, he would rove; 6-Now drooping, woful wan, like one. forlorn, “Or craz'd with care, or crois’d in hopless love. One morn I'miss'd him on the 'custom'd hill, " Along the heath, and near his fav’rite tree; 'Another came, nor yet beside the rill, "Nor
ор the lawn, nor at the wood was he : "The next, with dirges due, in fad array, • Slow through the church-way path we saw him borne * Approach, and read (for thou canst read) the lay, "Gravid 01 the stone beneath yon aged thorn.'
HERE'refts 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 : :
Heav'n did a recompense as largely sendi.
gave to mis'ry all he had--a tear; He gain'd from heav'n ('twas all he will’d)-a friend, No farther seek his merits to disclote, Or draw his frailties from their dread abode, (There they, alike, in trembling hope repose) The bosom of his Father and-h s God.
XI. Scipio restoring the Captive Lady to her Lover. WHEN, to his glorious first essay in war,
New Carthage fell; there, all the flower of Spain Were kept in hoftage; a foll field prefenting For Scipio's generosity to shine.-A noble virgin, Conspicuous far o'er all the captive dames,