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Gay Hope is theirs, by Fancy fed,
Lefs pleasing when poffess'd;
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 Numbers light,
That fly th' approach of morn.
Alas! regardless of their doom,
The little victims play!
No sense have they of ills to come,
No care beyond to-day:
Yet, see! how all around them wait,
The Ministers of human fate,
And black Misfortune's baleful train !
Ah! shew them where in ambush stand
To seize their prey the murth'rous band !
Ah! tell them, they are men !
These shall the fury Passions tear,
The vultures of the mind,
Disdainful Anger, pal'id Fear,
And Shame that skulks behind ;
Or pining Love shall waste their youth,
Or Jealousy with rankiing tooth,
That inly gnaws the secret heart,
And Envy wan, 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,
That mocks the tear it forc'd to flow;
And keen Remorse with blood defil'd,
And moody Madness laughing wild
Amidst severest woe.
Lo, in the vale of
A grisly troop are seen,
The painful family of Death,
More hideous than their queen :
This racks the joints, this fires the veins,
That every labouring finew strains,
Those in the deeper vitals rage;
Lo! Poverty, to fill the band,
That numbs the soul with icy hand,
And flow-consuming Age.
To each his suff'rings: all are men,
Condemn'd alike to groan ;
The tender for another's pain,
Th' unfeeling for his own.
Yet, ah! why should they know their fate!
Since Sorrow never comes too late,
And happiness too swiftly flies:
Thought would destroy their paradise.-
No more! where ignorance is bliss,.
'Tis folly to be wise.
WRITTEN IN A COUNTRY CHURCH-YARD.
The curfew tolls the knell of parting day,
The lowing herd wind slowly o'er the lea,
The ploughman 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 stilness holds,
Save where the beetle wheels his droning flight,
And drowsy tinklings lull the distant folds;
Save that from yonder ivy-mantled tow'r,
The moping owl does to the moon complain
Of such, as wand'ring near her secret bow'r,
Moleft her ancient solitary reign.
Beneath those rugged elms, that yew tree's shade,
Where heaves the turf in many a mould'ring heap,
Each in bis narrow cell for ever laid,
The rude forefathers of the hamlet sleep.
The breezy call of incense-breathing Morn,
The swallow twitt’ring from the straw built Thed,
The cock's fhrill clarion, or the echoing horn,
No more shall rouse them from their lowly bed.
For them no more the blazing hearth Mall barn,
Or busy housewife ply her evening care :
No children run to lisp their fire's return,
Or climb his knees the envied kils 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 a. field!
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 smile,
The short and simple annals of the poor.
The boaft of Heraldry, the pomp of Pow'r,
And all that Beauty, all that Wealth 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 Mem'ry o'er their tomb no trophies raise,
Where thro' the long-drawn aisle and fretted vault,
The pealing anthem swells the note of praise.
Can storied urn or animated bust,
Back to its mansion call the fieeting breath?
Can Honour's voice provoke the filent duft,
Or Flatt’ry footh the dull cold ear 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 ecstasy the living lyre.
But Knowledge to their eyès 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 serene;
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 village Hampden, that with dauntless breaft,
The little tyrant of his fields with tood;
Some mute inglorious Milton here may rest,
Some Cromwell guiltless of his country's blood.
Th’applause of lift'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 forbade; nor circumscrib'd alone
Their growing virtues, but their crimes confin'd
Forbade 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 ftrife,
Their sober wishes never learn’d to stray: