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The little tyrant of his fields withstood, Some mute inglorious Milton here may rest, 59
Some Cromwell guiltless of his country's blood.
Th' applause of list’ning senates to command,
The threats of pain and ruin to despise, To scatter plenty o'er a smiling land,
And read their history in a nation's eyes,
Their lot forbad: nor circumscrib'd alone
Their growing virtues, but their crimes confin'd;
Var. V. 58. Fields] Lands, erased in ms. M.
Pure gurgling rills the lonely desert trace,
And waste their music on the savage race.' Add Philip. Thule :
“ Like woodland flowers, which paint the desert glades, And waste their sweets in unfrequented shades."
For the expression “ desert air, Wakefield refers to Pindar. Ol. i. 10: Epñuas di aidépos. Also Fragm. Incert. cxvi. “Howl'd out into the desert air." Macbeth, act iv. sc. 3. Rogers. V. 58. °“ With open freedom little tyrants rag'd.”
Thoms. Winter. Luke. “ The tyrants of villages.” Johnson. Debates, i. 268.
V. 59. Só Philips, in his animated and eloquent preface to his Theatrum Poetarum, p. xiv. ed. Brydges : « Even the very names of some who having perhaps been comparable to Homer for heroic poesy, or to Euripides for tragedy; yet nevertheless sleep inglorious in the crowd of the forgotten vulgar.”
V. 60. Edwards, the author of “ The Canons of Criti. cism," here added the two following stanzas, to supply what he deemed a defect in the poem : “ Some lovely fair, whose unaffected charms
Shone with attraction to herself unknown;
Whose virtue cast a lustre on a throne,
Forbad to wade thro' 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, 70 Or heap the shrine of luxury and pride
With incense kindled at the Muse's flame.
Var. V. 68. And] Or. ms. M. and W.
V. 71. Shrine] Shrines. ms. W. V. 72. After this verse, in Gray's first MS. of the poem, were the four following stanzas :
“ The thoughtless world to majesty may bow,
Exalt the brave, and idolize success ;
" That humble beauty warm'd an honest heart,
And cheer'd the labours of a faithful spouse;
The healthful offspring that adorn'd their house."
Pope. Mor. Essays, i. 184.
Behn. Epilogue. .
Beau. and Fletch. vi. 135. Rogers.
Temple of Fame, 347. W.
His humble eyes, sighs, cries, and bruised breast,
Forc'd ope the gates of mercy, gave him rest.” Nath. Richards. Poems, Sacred and Satyrical, 12mo. 1641. p. 145. “ Lætitiæ janua clausa mea est,” Ovid. Pont. ii. 7. 38.
v. 70. “Quench your blushes,” Wint. Tale, act iv. 60. 3. Rogers.
Far from the madding crowd's ignoble strife,
Their sober wishes never learn'd to stray; Along the cool sequester’d vale of life
They kept the noiseless tenour of their way.
But more to innocence their safety owe,
Than pow'r or genius e'er conspir'd to bless.
Dost in these notes their artless tale relate,
To wander in the gloomy walks of fate :
Bids every fierce tumultuous passion cease;
A grateful earnest of eternal peace.
Give anxious cares and endless wishes room ;
Pursue the silent tenour of thy doom." And here the poem was originally intended to conclude, before the happy idea of the hoary-headed swain, &c. suggested itself to him. Mason thinks the third of these rejected stanzas equal to any in the whole elegy.
V.73. “ Far from the madding wordling's hoarse discords.” Drummond. Rogers. V. 75. “ Foe to loud praise, and friend to learned ease, Content with science, in the vale of peace.”
Pope. Ep. to Fenton, 6. W. “ Mollia per placidam delectant otia vitam.”
Manil. Astr. iv, 512. V. 87. “ Dias in luminis oras,” Lucretius, i. 23. W. “ E lascio mesta l'aure soave della vita e i giorni,” Tasso G. L. c. ix. st. xxxiii. V. 88. So Petrarch, Tr. l'Amore, iv. ver. ult.
« Che 'l piè va innanzi, e l'occhio torna indietro." Wakefield quotes a passage in the Alcestis of Euripides, ver, 201.
Yet ev’n these bones from insult to protect
Some frail memorial still erected nigh, With uncouth rhymes and shapeless 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,
This pleasing anxious being e'er resign’d, Left the warm precincts of the cheerful day,
Nor cast one longing ling'ring look behind ?
On some fond breast the parting soul relies,
Some pious drops the closing eye requires; 90
Var. V. 82. Elegy] Epitaph. ms. M.
V. 89. So Drayton in his “ Moses,” p. 1564. vol. iv. ed. 1753:
“ It is some comfort to a wretch to die
(If there be comfort in the way of death)
To be officious at the parting breath.”
“ No friend's complaint, no kind domestic tear
Pope. Elegy, 81. And, “Then from his closing eyes thy form shall part.” v. 80. And so Solon, ver. 5. ed. Brunck.:
Μηδ' εμοί ακλάυστος θάνατος μόλοι, αλλά φίλοισι
E'en from the tomb the voice of nature cries,
E'en in our ashes live their wonted fires.
Dost in these lines their artless tale relate;
Some kindred spirit shall enquire thy fate,Haply some hoary-headed swain may say,
“ Oft have we seen him at the peep of dawn Brushing with hasty steps the dews away,
To meet the sun upon the upland lawn: 100
Var. V. 92. E'en, live) And, glow, Ms. M. and W.
First and second editions.
V. 91. Some lines in the Anthologia Latina, p. 600. Ep. clii. have a strong resemblance to those in the text:
“ Crede mihi vires aliquas natura sepulchris
Adtribuit, tumulos vindicat umbra suos.” So also Auson. (Parentalia), ed. Tollii, p. 109 :
“ Gaudent compositi cineres sua nomina dici.”
Fredda una lingua, e due begli occhi chiusi
Petr. Son. clxix. Gray. " Yet in our ashen cold, is fire yreken,”
Chaucer. Reve. Prol. ver. 3880. " Quamvis in cinerem corpus mutaverit ignis, Sentiet officium mæsta favilla pium.”
Ovid. Trist. ii. 3. 83. “ Interea cave, sis nos adspernata sepultos, Non nihil ad verum conscia terra sapit."
Propert. ii. 13. 41. Wakefield cites Pope. Ep. to M. Blount, ver 72: “ By this e'en now they live, e'en now they charm, Their wit still sparkling, and their flame still warm.” V. 98. “The nice morn on the Indian steep From her cabin'd loophole peep.”
Comus, 140. see Todd. note.