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ON The DEATH OF MP, GRAY.
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FAIR are the gardens of the Aonian mount,
And sweet those blooming flow’rs
Which paint the Maiden's bow’rs;
And clear the waters of the gurgling fount:
Swift they wind through chequer'd allies;
Huddling down to th’ open valleys;
Where the quick ripple in the sunbeams plays,
Turning to endless forms each glance of twinkling blaze.
O'er the gay scene th' enamour'd inmates roam;
And gather fresh ideas as they rise
From Nature's manifold supplies.
Alas! for whom
Many a gleam of sprightly thought,
Many a sad and sable mood,
Whether from dazzling lustre brought,
Or nursed by shades of darksome wood,
Keep death-like silence on their native shore,
Since he, that gave them speech, is heard no more.
Flown is the spirit of Gray
Like common breath to mingle with the air:
Yet still those Goddesses' peculiar care,
That breathe harmonious lay.
Retired to yonder grassy mound
In leaves of dusky hue encompass'd round,
They bid their plaintive accents fill *
The covert hollows of the bosom'd hill :
With liquid voice and magic hand , ...,
Calliope informs the band : a
Hush'd are the warblers of the grove, attentive to the
sound. - -
“Soft and slow -
Let the melting measures flow,
Nor lighter air disturb majestic woe.
And thou, sage Priestess* of our holy fire,
Who saw'st the Poet's flame expire,
Thy precious drops profusely shed
O'er his well-deserving head.
Thou nurtur'dst once a grateful throng,
When Milton pour'd the sweets of song
On Lycidas sunk low.”
“Now wake that faithful lyre mute Dulness reigns:
Your echoes waft no more the friendly theme;
Clogg'd with thick vapours from the neighb'ring plains,
Where old Cam hardly moves his sluggard stream.
But when some public cause
Claims festive song, or more melodious tear,
Discordant murmurs grate mine ear.
Ne'er model’d by Pierian laws,
Then idly glares full many a motley toy,
Anacreontic grief, and creeping strains of joy.
“Far other modes were thine,
Victim of hasty fate,
Whom now the powers of melody deplore;
Whether in lofty stater
Thou bad'st thy train divine
Of raptures on Pindaric pinions soar :
Or hoping from thyself to fly
To childhood’s careless scenes,f
Thou sent'st a warm refreshing eye
On Nature's faded greens:
“Or when thy calm and steadfast mind
With philosophic reach profound
Self-pleasing vanities resign'd,
Fond of the look, that loves the ground is
Discern’d by Reason's equal light,
How gaudy Fortune cheats the sight;
While the coarse maid, inured to pain,
Supports the lab’ring heart, and Virtue's happiest reign.
“But most the music of thy plaintive moan ||
With lengthen’d note detains the list'ning ear,
As lost in thought thou wander'stall alone -
Where spirits hover round their mansions drear.
“By Contemplation's eye-serenely view’d,
Each lowly object wears an awful mien :
'Tis our own blindness veils the latent good :
The works of Nature need but to be seen.
“Thou saw'st her beaming from the hamlet-sires
Beneath those rugged elms, that yew-tree's shade :
Where now, still faithful to their wonted fires,”
Thy own dear ashes are for ever laid.”
WHERE sleeps the Bard who graced Museus' hearse
With fragrant trophies by the Muses wove
Shall Gray's cold urn in vain demand the verse,
Oh! can his Mason fail in plaintive love
No ; with the Nine inwrapp'd in social woe,
His lyre unstrung, sad vigil he must keep;
With them he mourns, with them his eyes o'erflow,
For such a Bard immortal Maids can weep.
Their early pupil in the heav'nly lore
Of sacred poesy and moral song,
They taught the youth on eagle wing to soar,
And bore him through aerial heights along.
Fancy, obedient to their dread command,
With brilliant genius, marshall'd forth his way;
They lured his steps to Cambria's once-famed land,
And sleeping Druids felt his magic lay.
But vain the magic lay, the warbling lyre,
Imperious Death ! from thy fell grasp to save;
He knew, and told it with a Poet's fire,
“The paths of Glory lead but to the grave.”
And shall the Bard, whose sympathizing mind
Mourn'd o'er the simple Rustic's turfy cell,
To strew his tomb no grateful Mourner find,
No Village Swain to ring one parting knell ? -
Yes, honour’d shade the fringed brook I’ll trace,
Green rushes culling thy dank grave to strew;
With mountain flow’rs I’ll deck the hallow'd place,
And fence it round with osiers mix’d with yew.
“THE TEARS OF GENIUS:--AN ODE.
On Cam's fair banks, where Learning's hallow'd fame
Majestic rises on the astonish’d sight,
Where oft the Muse has led the favourite swain,
And warm'd his soul with Heaven's inspiring light,
Beneath the covert of the sylvan shade,
Where deadly cypress, mix'd with mournful yew,
Far o'er the vale a gloomy stillness spread,
Celestial Genius burst upon the view.
The bloom of youth, the majesty of years,
The soften’d aspect, innocent and kind,
The sigh of sorrow, and the streaming tears,
Resistless all, their various pow'r combined.
In her fair hand a silver harp she bore,
Whose magic notes, softwarbling from the string,
Give tranquil joy the breast ne'er knew before,
Or raise the soul on rapture's airy wing.
By grief impell'd, I heard her heave a sigh,
While thus the rapid strain resounded through the sky;
Haste, ye sister powers of song,
Hasten from the shady grove,
Where the river rolls along, *
Sweetly to the voice of love.
Where, indulging mirthful pleasures,
Light you press the flow'ry green.
And from Flora's blooming treasures
Cull the wreaths for Fancy's queen. i
Where your gently-flowing numbers,
Floating on the fragrant breeze,
Sink the soul in pleasing slumbers s
On the downy bed of ease.
For graver strains prepare the plaintive lyre,
That wakes the softest feelings of the soul;
Let lonely Grief the melting verse inspire,
Let deep'ning Sorrow's solemn accents roll. '
Rack'd by the hand of rude Disease
Behold our fav'rite Poet lies!
While every object form'd to please
Far from his couch ungrateful flies.
The blissful Muse, whose favouring smile
So lately warm'd his peaceful breast,
Diffusing heavenly joys the while,
In Transport's radiant garments drest,
With darksome grandeur and enfeebled blaze,
Sinks in the shades of night, and shuns his eager gaze.
The gaudy train, who wait on Spring*,
Tinged with the pomp of vernal pride,
The youths who mount on Pleasure's wing,'t
And idly sport on Thames's side,
With cool regard their various arts employ,
Nor rouse the drooping mind, nor give the praise of joy.
Ha! what forms, with port sublime,t
Glide along in sullen mood,
Scorning all the threats of time,
High above Misfortune's flood
They seize their harps, they strike the lyre,
With rapid hand, with freedom's fire.
Obedient Nature hears the lofty sound,
And Snowdon's airy cliffs the heavenly strains resound.
In pomp of state, behold they wait,
With arms outstretch'd, and aspects kind,
To snatch on high to yonder sky,
The child of Fancy left behind:
Forget the woes of Cambria's fatal day,
By rapture's blaze impell’d, they swell the artless lay.
But ah! in vain they strive to sooth,
With gentle arts, the tort’ring hours;
Adversity, Ś with rankling tooth,
Her baleful gifts profusely pours.