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Such was old Chaucer. Such the placid mien
Of him who first with harmony informed
The language of our fathers. Here he dwelt
For many a cheerful day. These ancient walls
Have often heard him, while his legend blithe
He sang; of love, or knighthood, or the wiles
Of homely life: through each estate and age,
The fashions and the follies of the world, -
With cunning hand pourtr, wing. Though perchance
From Blenheim's towers, stranger, thou art come,
Glowing with Churchill's trophies; yet in vain
Dost thou applaud them, if thy breast be cold
To him, this other hero; who, in times
Dark and untaught, began with charming verse
To tame the rudeness of his native land.


Ask the faithful youth, Why the cold urn of her whom long he loved, So often fills his arms; so often draws His lonely footsteps at the silent hour, To pay the mournful tribute of his tears? O! he will tell thee that the wealth of worlds Should ne'er seduce his bosom to forego That sacred hour, when stealing from the noise Of care and envy, sweet remembrance soothes With virtue's kindest looks his aching breast And turns his tears to rapture. Ask the crowd Which flies impatient from the village walk, To climb the neighbouring cliffs, when far below The cruel winds have hurled upon the coast Some helpless bark; while sacred pity melts The general eye, or terror's icy hand Smites their distorted limbs and horrent hair, While every mother closer to her breast Catches her child, and pointing where the waves Foam through the shattered vessel, shrieks aloud, As some poor wretch that spreads his piteous arms For succour, swallowed by the roaring surge, As now another, dashed against the rock, Drops lifeless down. O, deemest thou indeed . No kind endearment here by nature given To mutual terror and compassion's tears? No sweetly melting softness which attracts, O'er all that edge of pain, the social powers, To this their proper action and their end ?


Oh! blest of heaven, whom not the languid songs Of luxury, the Syren | not the bribes Of sordid wealth, nor all the gaudy spoils Of pageant honour can seduce to leave Those ever blooming sweets, which from the store Of nature fair imagination culls To charin the enlivened soul! What though not all Of mortal offspring can attain the heights Of envied life; though only few possess Patrician treasures or imperial state; Yet nature's care, to all her children just, With richer treasures and an ampler state, Endows at large whatever happy man Will deign to use them. His the city's pomp, The rural honours his. Whate'er adorns The princely dome, the column and the arch, The breathing marble and the sculptured gold Beyond the proud possessor's narrow claim, His tuneful breast enjoys. For him, the spring Distils her dews, and from the silken gem Its lucid leaves unfolds: for him, the hand Of autumn tinges every fertile branch With blooming gold, and blushes like the morn, Each passing hour sheds tribute from her wings; And still new beauties meet his lonely walk, And loves unfelt attract him. Not a breeze Flies o'er the meadow, not a cloud imbibes The setting sun's effulgence, not a strain From all the tenants of the warbling shade

Ascends, but whence his bosom can partake
Fresh pleasure, unreproved. Northence partakes
Fresh pleasure only; for the attentive mind,
By this harmonious action on her powers,
Pecomes herself harmonious: wont so oft
In outward things to meditate the charm
Of sacred order, soon she seeks at home
To find a kindred order, to exert
Within herself this elegance of love,
This fair inspired delight: her tempered powers
Refine at length, and every passion wears
A chaster, milder, more attractive mien.


Thou, who the verdant plain doth traverse here,
While Thames among his willows from thy view
Retires; O stranger, stay thee, and the scene
Around contemplate well. This is the place
Where England's ancient barons, clad in arms,
And stern in conquest, from their tyrant king
(Then rendered tame) did challenge and secure
The charter of thy freedom. Pass not on,
Till thou hast blessed their memory, and paid
Those thanks which God appointed the reward
Of public virtue, and if chance thy home
Salute thee with a father's honoured name,
Go, call thy sons: instruct them what a debt
They owe their ancestors; and make them swear
To pay it, by transmitting down entire
Those sacred rights to which themselves were born.


O youths and virgins: O declining eld: O pale misfortune's slaves: O ye who dwell Unknown with humble quiet; ye who wait In courts, or fill the golden seat of kings: O sons of sport and pleasure: O thou wretch That weepest for jealous love, or the sore wounds Of-conscious guilt, or death's rapacious hand Which left thee void of hope: O ye who roam In exile; ye who through the embattled field Seek bright renown; or who for nobler palms Contend, the leaders of a public cause; Approach, behold this marble. Know ye not The features 1 Hath not oft his faithful tongue Told you the fashion of your own estate, 'l he secrets of your bosom Here then, round His monument with reverence while ye stand, Say to each other, “this was Shakespeare's form; Who walked in every path of human life; Felt every passion : and to all mankind }}oth now, will ever, that experience yield, Which his own genius only could acquire.'

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