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HYMN TO ADVERSITY.
WRITTEN IN A COUNTRY CHURCH.YARD.
Æschylus, in Agamemnone.
The curfew tolls the knell of parting day,
The lowing herd winds slowly o'er the lea, The plowman homeward plods his weary way,
And leaves the world to darkness and to me.
Daughter of Jove, relentless power,
Now fades the glimmering landscape on the sight, Thou tamer of the human breast,
And all the air a solemn stillness holds, Whose iron scourge, and torturing hour,
Save where the beetle wheels his droning flight, The bad affright, afflict the best!
And drowsy tinklings lull the distant folds : Bound in thy adamantine chain The proud are taught to taste of pain,
Save that, from yonder ivy-mantled tower, And purple tyrants vainly groan
The moping owl does to the Moon complain With pangs unfelt before, unpitied, and alone. Of such as, wandering near her secret bower,
Molest her ancient solitary reign. When first thy sire to send on Earth
Beneath those rugged elms, that yew-tree's shade, Virtue, his darling child, design'd,
Where heaves the turf in many a mouldering heap, To thee he gave the heavenly birth,
Each in his narrow cell for ever laid,
The rude forefathers of the hamlet sleep.
The breezy call of incense-breathing Morn,
The swallow twittering from the straw-built shed,
No more shall rouse them from their lowly bed. Scar'd at thy frown terrific, fly Self-pleasing Folly's idle brood,
For them no more the blazing hearth shall burn, Wild Laughter, Noise, and thoughtless Joy,
Or busy housewife ply her evening care: And leave us leisure to be good.
No children run to lisp their sire's return, Light they disperse, and with them go
Or climb his knees the envied kiss to share. The summer friend, the flattering foe; By vain Prosperity receiv'd,
oft did the harvest to their sickle yield, To her they vow their truth, and are again believid. Their furrow oft the stubborn glebe has broke;
How jocund did they drive their team a-field !
How bow'd the woods beneath their sturdy stroke! Wisdom, in sable garb array'd.
Immers'd in rapturous thought profound, And Melancholy, silent maid,
Let not Ambition mock their useful toil, With leaden eye, that loves the ground,
Their homely joys, and destiny obscure ; Still on thy solemn steps attend :
Nor grandeur hear, with a disdainful smile,
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, (As by the impious thou art seen)
Where through the long-drawn aisleand fretted vault With thundering voice, and threatening mien, The pealing anthem swells the note of praise. With screaming Horror's funeral cry, Despair, and fell Disease, and ghastly Poverty. Can storied urn or animated bust
Back to its mansion call the fleeting breath? Thy form benign, oh, goddess! wear,
Can Honor's voice provoke the silent dust, Thy milder influence impart,
Or Flattery soothe the dull cold ear of Death? Thy philosophic train be there,
Perhaps irr this neglected spot is laid To soften, not to wound, my heart.
Some heart once pregnant with celestial tire ; The generous spark extinct revive,
Hands, that the rod of empire might have sway'd, Teach me to love and to forgive,
Or wak’d to ecstacy the living lyre.
But Knowledge to their eyes her ample page,
Rich with the spoils of time, did ne'er unroll;
Full many a gem of purest ray serene,
“One morn I miss'd him on the 'custom'd bill, The dark unfathom'd caves of ocean bear : Along the heath and near his favorite tree; Full many a flower is born to blush unseen, Another came; nor yet beside the rill, And waste its sweetness on the desert air.
Nor up the lawn, nor at the wood was he: Some village-Hampden, that with dauntless breast " The next with dirges due in sad array The little tyrant of his fields withstood ;
Slow through the church-way path we saw him Some mute inglorious Milton here may rest,
borne. Some Cromwell guiltless of his country's blood. Approach and read (for thou canst read) the lay,
Gray'd on the stone beneath yon aged thorn." Th' applause of listening senates to command,
The threats of pain and ruin to despise, To scatter plenty o'er a smiling land,
HERE rests his head upon the lap of Earth, And read their history in a nation's eyes,
A youth to fortune and to fame unknown,
Fair Science frown'd not on his humble birth, Their lot forbad: nor circumscrib'd alone
And Melancholy mark'd him for her own.
Large was his bounty, and his soul sincere,
Heaven did a recompense as largely send :
He gave to Misery all he had, a tear; The struggling pangs of conscious truth to hide,
He gain'd from Heaven ('twas all he wish'd) a
No further seek his merits to disclose,
Or draw his frailties from their dread abode, Far from the madding crowd's ignoble strife,
(There they alike in trembling hope reposer) Their sober wishes never learn'd to stray;
The bosom of his Father and his God. Along the cool sequester'd vale of life
They kept the noiseless tenor of their way.
Yet ev'n these bones from insult to protect,
THE PROGRESS OF POESY.
A PINDARIC ODE.
Φωνάνα συνελοίσιν ες
. Their name, their years, spelt by th' unletter'd Muse,
Pindar. Olym. ii.
1. That teach the rustic moralist to die.
AWAKE, Æolian lyre, awake,
And give to rapture all thy trembling strings.
From Helicon's harmonious springs
The laughing flowers that round them blow,
Drink life and fragrance as they flow.
Now the rich stream of music winds along, On some fond breast the parting soul relies, Deep, majestic, smooth, and strong,
Some pious drops the closing eye requires ; Through verdant vales, and Ceres' golden reign : Ey'n from the tomb the voice of Nature cries, Now rolling down the steep amain, Ey'n in our ashes live their wonted fires. Headlong, impetuous, see it pour:
The rocks, and nodding groves, rebellow to the rvar For thee, who, mindful of th' unhonor'd dead,
Dost in these lines their artless tale relate; Oh! sovereign of the willing soul, If chance, by lonely Contemplation led,
Parent of sweet and solemn-breathing airs, Some kindred spirit shall inquire thy fate,
Enchanting shell! the sullen cares,
And frantic passions, hear thy soft control : Haply some hoary-headed swain may say, On Thracia's hills the lord of war
Oft have we seen him at the peep of dawn Has curb'd the fury of his car, Brushing with hasty steps the dews away And dropp'd his thirsty lance at thy command : To meet the Sun upon the upland lawn. Perching on the scepter'd hand
Of Jove, thy magic lulls the feather'd king " There at the foot of yonder nodding beech, With ruffled plumes, and flagging wing:
That wreathes its old fantastic roots so high, Quench'd in dark clouds of slumber lie His listless length at noontide would he stretch, The terror of his beak, and lightning of his eys. And pore upon the brook that bubbles by.
Thee the voice, the dance, obey, "Hard by yon wood, now smiling as in scorn, Temper'd to thy warbled lay,
Muttering his wayward fancies he would rove, O'er Idalia's velvet-green
Or craz’d with care, or cross'd in hopeless love. On Cytherea's day,
With antic sports and blue-ey'd pleasures, Thine too these golden keys, immortal boy!
This can unlock the gates of Joy ;
Of Horror that, and thrilling fears, Now in circling troops they meet:
Or ope the sacred source of sympathetic tears." To brisk notes in cadence beating Glance their many-twinkling feet.
Nor second het that rode sublime Slow-melting strains their queen's approach declare: Upon the sera ph-wings of Ecstasy, Where'er she turns, the Graces homage pay,
The secrets of th'abyss to spy. With arts sublime, that float upon the air,
He pass’d the flaming bounds of place and time : In gliding state she wins her easy way:
The living throne, the sapphire-blaze, O'er her warm cheek, and rising bosom, move
Where angels tremble, while they gaze,
Clos'd his eyes in endless night.
Behold, where Dryden's less presumptuous car, Man's feeble race what ills await,
Wide o'er the fields of Glory bare Labor and Penury, the racks of Pain,
Two coursers of ethereal race,I Disease, and Sorrow's weeping train,
With necks in thunder cloth'd, and long-resounding And Death, sad refuge from the storms of Fate!
pace. The fond complaint, my song, disprove,
Hark, his hands the lyre explore! And justify the laws of Jove.
Bright-ey'd Fancy, hovering o'er, Say, has he given in vain the heavenly Muse?
Scatters from her pictur'd urn Night, and all her sickly dews,
Thoughts that breathe, and words that burn. Her spectres wan, and birds of boding cry,
But ah! 'tis heard no moreHe gives to range the dreary sky:
Oh! lyre divine, what daring spirit Till down the eastern cliffs afar
Wakes thee now? though he inherit Hyperion's march they spy, and glittering shafts of
Nor the pride, nor ample pinion,
That the Theban eagle bear, In climes beyond the solar road,
Sailing with supreme dominion Where shaggy forms o'er ice-built mountains roam. Through the azure deep of air: The Muse has broke the twilight gloom
Yet oft before his infant eyes would run To cheer the shivering native's dull abode.
Such forms as glitter in the Muse's ray And oft, beneath the odorous shade
With orient hues, unborrow'd of the Sun: Of Chili's boundless foresis laid,
Yet shall he mount, and keep his distani way She deigns to hear the savage youth repeat,
Beyond the limits of a vulgar fate, In loose numbers wildly sweet,
Beneath the good how far--but far above the great Their feather-cinctur'd chiefs, and dusky loves. Her track, where'er the goddess roves, Glory pursue, and generous Shame, Th' unconquerable wind, and Freedom's holy Name.
ODE ON THE SPRING. Woods, that wave o'er Delphi's steep,
Lo! where the rosy-bosom’d Hours, Isles, that crown th' Ægean deep,
Fair Venus' train appear, Fields, that cool Ilissus laves,
Disclose the long-expecting flowers, Or where Mæander's amber waves
And wake the purple year! In lingering labyrinths creep,
The attic warbler pours her throat, How do your luneful Echoes languish
Responsive to the cuckoo's note, Mute, but to the voice of Anguish?
The untaught harmony of Spring : Where each old poetic mountain
While, whispering pleasure as they fly, Inspiration breath'd around :
Cool zephyrs through the clear blue sky, Every shade and hallow'd fountain
Their gather'd fragrance fling.
Where'er the oak's thick branches stretch Left their Parnassus, for the Latian plains.
A broader, browner shade; Alike they scorn the pomp of tyrani-power,
Where'er the rude and moss-grown beech And coward Vice, that revels in her chains.
O'er-canopies the glade, When Latium had her lofty spirit lost,
Beside some water's rushy brink They sought, oh Albion! next thy sea-encircled coast.
With me the Muse shall sit, and think
(At ease reclin'd in rustic stale) III.
How vain the ardor of the crowd, Far from the Sun and summer-gale,
How low, how little are the proud, In ihy green lap was Nature's darling * laid,
How indigent the great! What time, where lucid Avon stray'd,
Still is the toiling hand of Care : To him the mighty mother did unveil
The panting herds repose : Her awful face: the dauntless child
Yet hark, how through the peopled air Streich'd forth his little arms, and smil'd.
The busy murmur glows! “This pencil take," she said, " whose colors clear Richly paint the vernal year:
1 Meant to express the stately march and sounding Shakspeare.
energy of Dryden's rhymes.
The insect youth are on the wing,
“ Ye brown o'er-arching groves, Eager to taste the honied spring,
That Contemplation loves,
Where willowy Camus lingers with delight!
Oft at the blush of dawn
I trod your level lawn,
Oft woo'd the gleam of Cynthia silver-bright
In cloisters dim, far from the haunts of Foily, To Contemplation's sober eye
With Freedom by my side, and soft-ey'd MelanSuch is the race of man :
choly." And they that creep, and they that fly,
Shall end where they began. Alike the busy and the gay
But hark! the portals sound, and pacing forth
With solemn steps and slow,
High potentates and dames of royal birth,
And mitred fathers, in long order go:
Great Edward,* with the lilies on his brow,
From haughty Gallia torn,
And sad Chatillon,t on her bridal morn
That wept her bleeding love, and princely Clare,I
And Anjou'sý heroine, and the paler rose,ll
The rival of her crown and of her woes, “ Poor moralist! and what art thou ?
And either Henry there,
The murder'd saint, and the majestic lord,
That broke the bonds of Rome. No hive hast thou of hoarded sweels,
(Their tears, their little triumphs o'er,
Their human passions now no more,
Save Charity, that glows beyond the tomb)
All that on Granta's fruitful plain
The liquid language of the skies.
What is grandeur, what is power?
Heavier toil, superior pain.
JULY 1, 1769, AT THE INSTALLATION HIS The grateful memory of the good.
The bee's collected treasure's sweet,
Sweet music's melting fall, but sweeter yet " Hence, avaunt, ('tis holy ground)
The still small voice of Gratitude."
* Edward the Third; who added the fleur-de-lis of Mad Sedition's cry profane,
France to the arms of England. He founded Trinity Servitude that hugs her chain,
College. Nor in these consecrated bowers
† Mary de Valentia, Countess of Pembroke, daughter Let painted Flattery hide her serpent-train in flowers. of Guy de Chatillon, Comte de St. Paul in France: of Nor Envy base, nor creeping Gain,
whom tradition says, that her husband, Audemar de Dare the Muse's walk to stain,
Valentia, Earl of Pembroke, was slain at a tournament While bright-ey'd Science watches round: on the day of his nuptials. She was the foundress of Hence, away, 'tis holy ground!"
Pembroke College or Hall, under the name of Aula Mariæ de Valentia.
1 Elizabeth de Burg, Countess of Clare, was wife of From yonder realms of empyrean day
John de Burg, son and heir of the Earl of Ulster, and Bursts on my ear th' indignant lay:
daughter of Gilbert de Clare, Earl of Gloucester, by Joan There sit the sainted sage, the bard divine, of Acres, daughter of Edward the First. Hence the poet The few, whom genius gave to shine
gives her the epithet of princely. She founded Clare. Hall Through every unborn age and undiscover'd clime. Rapt in celestial transport they,
& Margaret of Anjou, wife of Henry the Sixth, found
ress of Queen's College. The poet had celebrated her con Yet hither oft a glance from high
jugal fidelity in a former ode. They send of tender sympathy To bless the place, where on their opening soul || Elizabeth Widville, wife of Edward the Fourth (hence First the genuine ardor stole.
called the paler rose, as being of the house of York.) She 'Twas Milion struck the deep-ton'd shell,
added to the foundation of Margaret of Anjou. And, as the choral warblings round him swell, | Henry the Sixth and Eighth. The former the founder Meek Newton's self bends from his state sublime, of King's, the latter the grcalest benefactor to Trinity And nods his hoary head, and listens to the rhyme. College.
The hapless nymph with wonder saw : A whisker first, and then a claw,
With many an ardent wish, She stretch'd in vain to reach the prize; What female heart can gold despise ?
What cat's averse to fish?
Foremost and leaning from her golden cloud
Presumptuous maid! with looks intent Again she stretch'd, again she bent,
Nor knew the gu between. (Malignant Fate sate by, and smil'de) The slippery verge her feet beguild,
She tumbled headlong in.
Some speedy aid to send.
A favorite has no friend!
“Lo, Granta waits to lead her blooming band.
From hence, ye beauties, undeceivid,
And be with caution bold.
Not all that glisters, gold.
ON THE DEATH OF A FAVORITE CAT DROWNED
ODE ON A DISTANT PROSPECT OF ETON COLLÈGE "Ανθρωπος έκανή πρόφασις εις το δυσυχείν. .
Menander. Ye distant spires, ye antique towers,
That crown the wat'ry glade, Where grateful Science still adores Her Henry's holy shade;
ye, that from the stately brow Of Windsor's heights ib' expanse below
Of grove, of lawn, of mead survey, Whose lurf, whose shade, whose flowers among Wanders the hoary Thames along
His silver-winding way.
IN A TUB OF GOLD-FISHES.
"Twas on a lofty vase's side, Where China's gayest art had dy'd
The azure flowers that blow; Demurest of the tabby kind, The pensive Selima reclin'd,
Gaz'd on the lake below.
Her conscious tail her joy declar'd; The fair round face, the snowy beard,
The velvet of her paws, Her coat, that with the tortoise vies, Her ears of jet, and emerald eyes,
She saw; and purr'd applause.
Ah, happy hills, ah, pleasing shade,
Ah, fields belov'd in vain,
A stranger yet to pain!
As waving fresh their gladsome wing,
To breathe a second spring.
Still had she gaz'd; but 'midst the tide
The Genii of the stream:
Betray'd a golden gleam.
* Countess of Richmond and Derby; the mother of Henry the Seventh, foundress of St. John's and Christ's Colleges.
The Countess was a Beaufort, and married to a Tudor; hence the application of this line to the Duke of Grafton, who claims descent from both these families.
I Lord-treasurer Burleigh was chancellor of the Uni. versity in the reign of Queen Elizabeth.
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 ?
§ King Henry the Sixth, founder of the college.