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DISTANT PROSPECT OF ETON COLLEGE.

[This was the first English production of Mr. Graythat appeared in print, and was published in folio, by Dodsley, in 1747. About the same time, at Mr. Walpole's request, Mr. Gray sat for his picture to Echart; in which, on a paper which he held in his hand, Mr. Walpole wrote the title of this Ode; and to intimate his own high and just opinion of it, as a first production, he added this line of Lucanby way of motto:

Nee licuit populis parvum te, Nile, videre.

Pharsalia, lib.x. 1.296.]

YE distant spires, ye antique towers,

That crown the wat'ry glade,
Where grateful Science still adores

Her Henry's holy shade e;
And ye, that from the stately brow
Of Windsor's heights th' expanse below

Of grove, of lawn, of mead survey,
Whose turf, whose shade, whose flowers among
Wanders the hoary Thames along

His silver-winding way:

e King Henry the Sixth, founder of the College.

Ah, happy hills! ah, pleasing shade!

Ah, fields belov'd in vain!
Where once my careless childhood stray'd,

A stranger yet to pain!
I feel the gales that from ye blow
A momentary bliss bestow,

As waving fresh their gladsome wing,
My weary soul they seem to sooth,
And, redolent of joy and youthyj

To breathe a second spring.

Say, Father Thames, for thou hast seen

Full many a sprightly race
Disporting on thy margent green

The paths of pleasure trace;
Who foremost now delight to cleave,
With pliant arm, thy glassy wave?

The captive linnet which enthral?
What idle progeny succeed
To chase the rolling circle's speed,

Or urge the flying ball?

While some on earnest business bent
Their murm'ring labours ply

fAnd, redolent of joy and youth.
And bees their honey redolent of spring.
Dry den's Fable on the Pythag. System,

'Gainst graver hours, that bring constraint

To sweeten liberty:
Some bold adventurers disdain
The limits of their little reign,

And unknown regions dare descry:
Still as they run they look behind,
They hear a voice in ev'ry wind,

And snatch a fearful joy.

Gay hope is theirs by Fancy fed,

Less pleasing when possest; The tear forgot as soon as shed,

The sunshine of the breast: Theirs buxom Health of rosy hue, Wild Wit, Invention ever-new,

And lively Cheer, of Vigour born; The thoughtless day, the easy night, The spirits pure, the slumbers light,

That fly th' approach of morn.

Alas! regardless of their doom

The little victims play!
No sense have they of ills to come,

Nor care beyond to-day:
Yet see, how all around 'em wait
The Ministers of human fate,

And black Misfortune's baneful tram I

Ah, show them where in ambush stand,
To seize their prey, the murd'rous band!
Ah, tell them they are men I

These shall the fury Passions tear,

The vultures of the mind,
Disdainful Anger, pallid Fear,

And Shame that sculks behind;
Or pining Love shall waste their youth,
Or Jealousy, with rankling tooth,

That inly gnaws the secret heart;
And Envy wap, and faded Care,
Grim-visag'd comfortless Despair,

And Sorrow's piercing dart.

Ambition this shall tempt to rise,
Then whirl the wretch from high,

To bitter Scorn a sacrifice,
And grinning Infamy.

The stings of Falsehood those shall try,

And hard Unkindness' alter'd eye [4],
That mocks the tear it forc'd to flow;

[4] And hard Unkindness' alter'd eye.

The elision here, observes Mr. Mason, is ungraceful,

and hurts this otherwise beautifulline: One of the same

kind in the second line of the first Ode makes the same

blemish; but I think they are the only two to be found in

And keen Remorse with blood defil'd,
And moody Madness laughing wild g
Amid severest woe.

Lo, in the Vale of Years beneath

A grisly troop are seen,
The painful family of Death,

More hideous thin their Queen:
This racks the joints, this fires the veins,
That every labouring sinew strains,

Those in the deeper vitals rage:
Lo, Poverty, to fill the band,
That numbs the soul with icy hand,

And slow-consuming Age.

To each his suff'rings: all are men,
Condemn'd alike to groan;

this correct writer; and I mention them here that succeeding Poets may not look upon them as authorities. The judicious reader will not suppose that I would condemn all elisions of the genitive case, by this stricture on those which are terminated by rough consonants. Many there are which the ear readily admits, and which use has made familiar to it.

g And moody Madness lavghing wild.
And Madness laughing in his ireful mood.
Dryden's Fable qfPalamon and Arcite.

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