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BORN 1700-DIED 1748.
EXTRACT FROM THE CASTLE OF
INDOLENCE. O MORTAL man! who livest here by toil, Do not complain of this thy hard estate ; That like an emmet thou must ever moil, Is a sad sentence of an ancient date; And, certes, there is for it reason great ; For, though sometimes it makes thee weep and
wail, And curse thy star, and early drudge and late,
Withouten that would come an heavier bale, Loose life, unruly passions, and diseases pale.
In lowly dale, fast by a river's side,
imbrown'd, A listless climate made, where, sooth to say, No living wight could work, ne cared even for
Was nought around but images of rest :
green, Where never yet was creeping creature seen. Meantime unnumber'd glittering streamlets
play'd, And hurled everywhere their waters sheen ; That, as they bicker'd through the sunny
glade, Though restless still themselves, a lulling mur
Join'd to the prattle of the purling rills,
And still a coil the grasshopper did keep ; Yet all these sounds yblent inclined all to sleep.
Full in the passage of the vale, above,
And where this valley winded out, below, The murmuring main was heard, and scarcely
heard, to flow.
A pleasing land of drowsy-head it was,
But whate'er smack’d of noyance, or unrest, Was far, far off expell’d from this delicious
The landskip such, inspiring perfect ease,
Was placed ; and to his lute, of cruel fate, And labour harsh, complain’d, lamenting man's
Thither continual pilgrims crowded still,
Till clustering round the enchanter false they
hung, Ymolten with his syren melody ; While o'er the enfeebling lute his hand he
flung, And to the trembling chords these tempting
verses sung :
“ Behold! ye pilgrims of this earth, behold !
From flower to flower on balmy gales to fly,
“ Behold the merry minstrels of the morn, The swarming songsters of the careless grove, Ten thousand throats ! that from the flowering
thorn, Hymn their good God, and carol sweet of love, Such grateful kindly raptures them emove : They neither plough, nor sow : ne, fit for flail, E'er to the barn the nodding sheaves they THOMAS GRAY.
drove ; Yet theirs each harvest dancing in the gale, Whatever crowns the hill, or smiles along the
BORN 1716-DIED 1771.
THE BARD: A PINDARIC ODE. Ruin seize thee, ruthless king ! Confusion on thy banners wait, Though fann'd by conquest's crimson wing, They mock the air with idle state. Helm, nor hauberk's twisted mail, Nor e'en thy virtues, tyrant, shall avail To save thy secret soul from nightly fears, From Cambria's curse, from Cambria's tears !" Such were the sounds that o'er the crested pride Of the first Edward scatter'd wild dismay, As down the steep of Snowdon's shaggy side He wound with toilsome march his long array. Stout Glo'ster stood aghast in speechless trance : To arms! cried Mortimer, and couch'd his quiver
On a rock, whose haughty brow