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The boast of heraldry, the pomp of power, Can storied urn, or animated bust,
And all that beauty, all that wealth e'er gave, Back to its mansion call the fleeting breath?
Await alike the inevitable hour; Can honor's voice provoke the silent dust,
The paths of glory lead but to the grave. Or flattery soothe the dull cold ear of death?
But Knowledge to their eyes her ample page Full many a flower is born to blush unseen,
Rich with the spoils of time did ne'er unroll; And waste its sweetness on the desert air.
"How jocund did they drive their team afield."
Chill penury repressed their noble rage. Some village Hampden, that, with dauntless breast,
And froze the genial current of the soul. The little tyrant of his fields withstood,
There at the foot of yonder nodding beech, Now drooping, woful-wan, like one forlorn,
That wreathes its old fantastic roots so high. Or crazed with care, or crossed in hopeless love.
His listless length at noontide would he stretch, One morn I missed him on the customed hill,
And pore upon the brook that babbles by. Along the heath, and near his favorite tree;
"Approach and read—for thou canst read—the lay
Hard by yon wood, now smiling as in scorn, Another came; nor yet beside the rill,
Muttering his wayward fancies he would rove; Nor up the lawn, nor at the wood was he: