« ForrigeFortsett »
Can storied urn or animated bust,
Back to its mansion call the fleeting breath? Can Honour's voice provoke the silent dust,
Or flattery sooth the dull cold ear of Death?
Perhaps in this neg'ected spot is laid
Some heart once pregnant with celestial fire;
Hands that the rod of empire might have sway'd, Or wak'd toecstacy the living lyre.
But Knowledge to their eyes her ample page
Chill Penury repress'd their noble rage,
iFull many a gem of purest ray serene,
The dark u'nfathom'd caves of Ocean bear:
Full many a flower is born to blush unseen,
Some vilage-Hampden, that with dauntless breasi,
Some mute inglorious Milton here may rest,
Th' applause or list'ning senates to command,
To scatter plenty o'er a smiling land, ^ "*
Their lot forbad; nor circumscrib'd alone
Their growing virtues, but their crimes confin'd;
Forbad to wade thro' slaughter to a throne,
The ftruggling pangs of conscious Truth to hide*
Or heap the fhrine of Luxury and Pride
Far from the madding crowd's ignoble ftrife,
Along the cool sequefter'd vale of life
They kept the noiseless tenor of their way.
Yet e'en these bones, from insult to protect,
With uncouth rhymes and fliapeless sculpture deck'd,
Their name, their years, spell by th' unletter'd Muse
The place of fame, and elegy supply; And many a holy text around she strews,
That teach the rustic moralist to die.
For who, to dumb forgetfulness a prey,
Left the warm precincts of the cheerful day,
Cn some fond breast the parting soul relies,
E'en from the tomb the voice of Nature cries,
For thee, who mindful of thr unhonour'd Dead,
If chance, by lonely Contemplation led,
Haply some hoarj-headed swain may say,
* Crushing with hasty steps the dews away,
'1 here at the foot of yonder nodding beech,
'His listless length at noon-tide would he stretch,
'Hard by yon wood, now smiling as in scorn, 'Mutt'ring his wayward fancies, he would rove;
'Now drooping, woeful wan! like one forlorn,
'One morn I miss'd him on the custom'd hilt
'Another came 'y nor yet beside the rill,
'Nor up the lawn, nor at the wood was he:
«The next, with dirges due, in sad array.
•Slow thro' the church-way 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, 10 Fortune and to Fame unknowns
Fair Science frown'd not on his humble birth, . .
Large was his bounty, and his soul sincere,
He gave to Mis'ry 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,}
Jfjail^ sacred Fane! amidst whose stately shrines, Her constant vigils Melancholy keeps;
(Whilst on her arrn the grief-worn cheek reclines)1 And o'er the spoils of human grandeur weeps.
Hai!,„ancient edifice! thine aisle along, .
In contemplation wrapt, now let me stray \ And stealing from the idly-busy throng,
Devoutly meditate the moral lay. .: '. .. .'.
What pleasing sadness fills my thoughtful breast
Where, in their sumptuous tombs, in silence rest,
Here terminate ambit ion 'sHiry schemes,
Heie groveing av'rice drops hir golden dream?,