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War's deadly crimson had forsook the place,
And Freedom fondly lov'd the chosen feat.
No wild ambition fir'd their tranquil breast,
To fwell with empty sounds a spotless name;
If foitring skies, the sun, the show'r were blest,
Their bounty spread, their fields' extent the fame,
Those fields, profuse of raiment, food, and fire,
They scorn'd to lessen, careless to extend;
Bade Luxury to lavilh courts aspire,
And Avarice to city breasts descend.
None to a virgin's mind preferr'd her dow'r,
To fire with vicious hopes a modest heir:
The fire, in place of titles, wealth, or pow'r
Allign'd him virtue, and his lot was fair.
They spoke of Fortune as some doubtful dame,
That sway'd the natives of a distant sphere;
From Lucre's vagrant fons had learn'd her fame,
But never wish'd to place her banners here.
Here youth's free spirit, innocently gay,
Enjoy'd the most that Innocence can give;
Those wholesome sweets that border Virtue's
way; Those cooling fruits, that we may taste and live.
Their board no strange ambiguous viand bore;
From their own streams their choicer fare they drew;
To lure the scaly glutton to the shore
The fole deceit their artless bosom knew!
Sincere themselves, ah! too secure to find
The common bofom, like their own, fincere!
, 'Tis its own guilt alarms the jealous mind;
'Tis her own poison bids the viper fear.
Sketch'd on the lattice of th' adjacent fane
Their suppliant busts implore the reader's pray'r;
Shenstone. Ah! Gentle fouls! enjoy your blissful reign,
And let frail mortals claim your guardian care.
For sure! to blisful realms the souls are flown
That never flatter'd, injur'd, censur'd, strove;
The friends of science! music all their own;
Music, the voice of Virtue and of Love!
The journeying peasant, thro’ the secret í hade
Heard their soft lyres engage his list'ning ear.
And haply deem'd some courteous angel play'd;
No angel play'd -- but might with transport hear.
For thele the sounds that chase unholy strife!
Solve Envy's charm, Ambition's wretch release
Raise him to fpurn the radiant ills of life,
To pity pomp, to be content with peace.
Farewell, pure spirits! vain the praise we give,
The praise you fought from lips angelic flows;
Farewell! the virtues which deserve to live
Deserve an ampler bliss than life bestows,
Last of his racë, Palemon, now no more,
The modest merit of his line display'd;
The pious Hough Vigornia's mitte wore -
Soft sleep the duft of each deserving fhade,
Nur burch einige wenige, aber in ihrer Art fehr meis fterhafte Gedichte erwarb sich Thomas Gray bei seiner Nas tion sehr großen Ruhm, ein Mann von vielem Geschmack und mannichfaltigen feinen Stenntnissen, geb. 1716; geft. 1771. Von ihm gilt, was Quintilian vom Persius sagt: Mulsum et verae gloriae, quamvis uno libro, meruit. Schon diese eins zige, mit Recht so allgemein bewunderte, fo häufig åbersette, aber nie ganz erreichte, Elegie auf einen Dorfkirchhof würde immer ein dußerst rühmliches Denkmal seines dichtes rischen Talents, feines edeln und tiefen Gefühls bleiben. Selbft Dr. Johnson, dessen Urtheil über diesen Dichter ges wiß zu ftrenge und mit zu vieler kritischen Stalte abgefaßt ift, fühlte sich doch durch diese Elegie zu sehr erwärmt, that seis ner Strenge nun Einhalt, und gestand, daß sie reich an Bils dern sen, die einen Spiegel in jeder Seele finden, und an Gedanken und Empfindungen, die jede Bruft wiederhallt.
AN ELEGY, WRITTÉN IN A COUN.
The curfew tolls the knell of parting day
The lowing herd wind flowly o'er the lea,
The plowman homeward plods his weary way,
And leaves the world to darkness and to me,
Now fades the glimmering landscape on the fight,
And all the air a solemn stillness holds,
Save where the beetle wheels his droning flight
And drowsy tinklings lull the diftant folds;
Save that from yonder ivy-mantled tower,
The mopeying owl does to the moon complain
Of such as, wand'ring near her secret bower,
Moleft her ancient folitary reign.
Beneath those rugged elms, that yew - tree's shade,
Where heaves the turf in many a mould'ring heape!
Each in his narrow cell for ever laid,
The rude Forefathers of the hamlet sleep.
The breezy call of incense-breathing Morn
The swallow twittring from the straw-built shed
The cock's Thrill clarion, or the echoing horn
No more shall roule them from their lowly bed.
For them no more the blazing hearth shall burn,
Or busy housewife ply her 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 fickle 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,
Their homely joys, and destiny obscure,
Nor Grandeur hear with a disdainful Imile
The short and simple annals of the poor.
The boast of heraldry, the pomp of power,
And all that beauty, all that wealth e'er gave,
Await alike th' inevitable hour.
The paths of glory lead but to the grave.
Nor you, ye proud, impute to These the fault,
If Memory o'er their tomb no trophies raise,
Where thro' the long-drawn isle and fretted vault
The pealing Anthem swells the note of praise.
Can storied Urn or animated Bust
Back to its manfion call the fleeting breath?
Can Honour's voice provoke the filent duft,
Or Flatt'ry sooth the dull cold eas 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,
Or wak'd to extafy the living lyre.
But knowledge to their eyes her ample page,
Rich with the spoils of Time, did ne'er unroll;
Chill Penury repress'd their noble rage,
And froze the genial current of the foul.
Full many a gem of purest ray serenie,
The dark unfathom'd caves of ocean bear:
Full many a flower is born to blush unseen,
And waste its sweetness on the desert air,
Some villageHampden, that with dauntless breast
The little Tyrant of his fields withstood;
Some mute inglorious Milton here may rest,
Some Cromwell guiltless of his country's blood.
Their lot forbad: nor circumscrib'd alone
Their growing virtues, but their crimes confin'd;
Forbad to wade through slaughter 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 strife,
Their fober wil hes never learn'd to stray;
Along the cool fequefter'd vale of life
They kept the noiseless tenor of their way.