« ForrigeFortsett »
Tthe Curfew tolls the knell of parting day.,
The plowman homeward plods his weary way,,
Now fades the glimmering landscape on the sight,
.Save where the beetle wheels his droning flight,
'Save that from yonder ivy-mantled tower,
Of such, as Wandering near her secret hower,
Beneath those rugged elms, that yew-tree's sliacJe,
Where heaves the ti.rf in many a mouldering heapi, Each in his narrow cell for ever laid,
The.rude forefuthejs of the hamlet sleep.
The breezy call of incense-breathing Morn,
The swallow twittering from the straw-built shed,
The cock's shrill clarion, or the echoing horn,
For them no more the blazing hearth shall burn,
No children run to lisp their sire's return,
Oft did the harvest to their sickle yield,
Their furrow oft the stubborn glebe has broke:
How jocund did they drive their team afield!
How bow'd the woods beneath their sturdy stroke
Let not Ambition mock their useful toil,
Nor grandeur hear, with a disdainful smile,
The boast of herakly, the pomp of power,
And all that .beauty, all that wealth e'er gav?, 'Await alike th' inevitable hour:
J he paths of glory lead but to the grave.
Nor you, ye proud, impute to these the fault, .
If Memory «'cr their tomb no trophies raise, Where thro' 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 flattery sooth 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,
• But Knowledge to their eyes her ample page
Full many a gem of purest ray serene,
1 he dark unfathom'd caves of Ocean bear;
Full many a flower is born to blush unseen,
Some vilage-Hampden, that with dauntless breasr,
sSome mute inglorious Milton here may rest,
Some Cromwell guiltless of his country's blood.
Th* applause of list'ning senates to command,
To scatter plenty o'er a smiling land,
Their lot forbad; nor cfrcumscrib'd alone *'.'
Their growing virtues, but their crimes confin'd;
Forbad to wade thro' slaughter to a throne,
The (truggling pangs of conscious Truth to hide,
Or heap the Ihrine of Luxury and Pride
Far from the madding crowd's ignoble flrife,
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, "",.
Some frail memorial still erected nigh, With uncouth rhymes and (hapeless 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; 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,
On some fond breast the parting soul relies,
E'en from the tomb the voice of Nature cries,
For thee, who mindful of th' unhonour'd Dead,
If charice, by lonely Contemplation led,
Haply some hoary headed swain may say,
'Oft have we seen him at the peep of dawn,
'Brushing with hasty steps the dews away,
'There 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,
'Now drooping, woeful wan! like one forlorn,
♦One morn I miss'd him on the custom'd hill
«Another came; nor yet beside the rill,