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Some mute inglorious Milton here may rest,
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 his'try 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 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.

Yet even 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.

* Between this and the preceding stanza, in Mr. Gray's first MS. of the Poem, were the four following:

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The thoughtless world to Majesty may bow,
Exalt the brave, and idolize success;
But more to innocence their safety owe,
Than Pow'r or Genius e'er conspir'd to bless.


And thou who, mindful of th' unhonor'd Dead,
Dost in these notes their artless tale relate,
By night and lonely contemplation led

To wander in the gloomy walks of fate :

Hark! how the sacred calm that breathes around,
Bids every fierce tumultuous passion cease;
In still small accents whispering from the ground,
A grateful earnest of eternal peace.

No more, with reason and thyself a strife,

Give anxious cares and endless wishes room;
But through the cool sequester'd vale of life
Pursue the silent tenor 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.

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;
Even from the tomb the voice of Nature cries,
Even in our ashes live their wonted fires.

For thee, who, mindful of th' unhonor'd dead,
Dost in these lines their artless tale relate;
If chance, by lonely Contemplation led,
Some kindred spirit shall inquire 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.

"There at the foot of yonder nodding beech,
That wreathes its old fantastic roots so high,
His listless length at noon-tide would he stretch,
And pore upon the brook that babbles by.

"Hard by yon wood, now smiling as in scorn,
Muttering his wayward fancies he would rove;
Now drooping, woful-wan, like one forlorn,

Or craz'd with care, or cross'd in hopeless love.

"One morn I miss'd him on the custom'd hill,
Along the heath and near his fav'rite tree;
Another came; nor yet beside the rill,

Nor up the lawn, nor at the wood was he;

"The next with dirges due in sad array

Slow through the church-way path we saw him borne,
Approach and read (for thou can'st read) the lay
Grav'd on the stone beneath yon aged thorn."

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HERE rests his head upon the lap of Earth

A Youth to Fortune, and to Fame unknown:

* Before the Epitaph, Mr. Gray originally inserted a very beautiful stanza, which was printed in some of the first editions, but afterwards omitted because he thought that it was too long a parenthesis in this

Fair Science frown'd not on his humble birth,
And melancholy mark'd him for her own.

Large was his bounty, and his soul sincere,
Heav'n did a recompense as largely send:
He gave to Mis'ry all he had, a tear,

He gain'd from Heav'n ('t was all he wish'd) a friend

No farther seek his merits to disclose,

Or draw his frailties from their dread abode, (There they alike in trembling hope repose,) The bosom of his Father and his God.


Born 1721-Died 1756.

COLLINS was educated at Oxford University; and while at college he published a poetical epistle to Sir Thomas Han mer, and his Oriental Eclogues-both of them far superior to any poetry, which had appeared for many years. În 1744, he went to London as a literary adventurer, and formed various literary projects, which irresolution or immediate want hindered him from accomplishing. In 1746, he published a volumes of odes, now esteemed the finest lyrical productions in the English language, but which, at that time, found so few admirers, that their sale was not sufficient to pay for the printing. Collins, in the indignation with which he viewed their cold reception, burned all the remaining copies, and restored to the publisher the money he had received for the manuscript. Not long afterwards a legacy of two thousand pounds was left him by an uncle, which kept him in opulence during the remainder of his life.

This period was not long, and was clouded by a fearful depression of spirits, which at times amounted to actual madness. Collins," says Johnson, "who, while he studied to live, felt no evil but poverty, no sooner lived to study, than his life was assailed by more dreadful calamities, disease and insanity." Dr. Johnson visited him but a short time before his death, at an interval when the melancholy disorder of his mind was visible to no one but himself; found him "withdrawn from

place. The lines, however are, in themselves, exquisitely fine, and demand preservation.

There scatter'd oft, the earliest of the year,

By hands unseen are showers of violets found;
The redbreast loves to build and warble there,

study, and with no other book than an English Testament, such as children carry to the school; when his friend took it into his hand, out of curiosity to see what companion a man of letters had chosen, 'I have but one book,' said Collins, 'but that is the best."" He died at the age of thirtyfive.

All that Collins ever wrote, exhibits a poetical genius of the highest and purest order. Campbell's remarks upon this exquisite poet, are written in a strain of refined and discriminating criticism, equally rare and delightful.

"Collins published his Oriental Eclogues while at college, and his lyrical poetry at the age of twenty-six. These works will abide comparison with whatever Milton wrote under the age of thirty. If they have rather less exuberant wealth of genius, they exhibit more exquisite touches of pathos. Like Milton, he leads us into the haunted ground of imagination; like him he has the rich economy of expression halved with thought, which, by single or few words, often hints entire pictures to the imagination. In what short and simple terms, for instance, does he open a wide and majestic landscape to the mind, such as we might view from Benlomond or Snowden, when he speaks of the hut,

'That from some mountain's side

Views wilds and swelling floods.'

And in the line, 'Where faint and sickly winds forever howl around,' he does not merely seem to describe the sultry desert, but brings it home to the senses.

"A cloud of obscurity sometimes rests on his highest conceptions, arising from the fineness of his associations, and the daring sweep of his allusions; but the shadow is transitory, and interferes very little with the light of his imagery, or the warmth of his feelings. The absence of even this speck of mysticism from his Öde on the Passions, is perhaps the happy circumstance that secured its unbounded popularity. Nothing is commonplace in Collins. The Pastoral Eclogue, which is insipid in all other English hands, assumes in his, a touching interest and a picturesque air of novelty.

"Had he lived to enjoy and adorn existence, it is not easy to conceive his sensitive spirit and harmonious ear descending to mediocrity in any path of poetry; yet it may be doubted if his mind had not a passion for the visionary and remote forms of imagination, too strong and exclusive for the general purposes of the drama. His genius loved to breathe, rather in the preternatural and ideal element of poetry, than in the atmosphere of imitation, which lies closest to real life; and his notions of poetical excellence, whatever vows he might address to the manners, were still attending to the vast, the undefinable, and the abstract. Certainly, however, he carried sensibility and tenderness into the highest regions of abstracted thought: his enthusiasm spreads a glow even amongst 'the shadowy tribes of mind,' and his allegory is as sensible to the heart, as it is visible to the fancy."

The moral character of Collins's poetry is as pure as his fancy is elevated. It could hardly have been farther removed from every thing like earthliness or sensuality, if the subjects, which exercised his genius, had been even exclusively devotional.


YE Persian maids, attend your poet's lays,

And hear how shepherds pass their golden days.
Not all are bless'd whom Fortune's hand sustains
With wealth in courts; nor all that haunt the plains:
Well may your hearts believe the truths I tell;
"T is virtue makes the bliss, where'er we dwell.

Thus Selim sung, by sacred Truth inspir'd:
Nor praise, but such as Truth bestow'd, desir'd:
Wise in himself, his meaning songs convey'd
In forming morals to the shepherd maid;

Or taught the swains that surest bliss to find,
What groves nor streams bestow, a virtuous mind!

When sweet and blushing, like a virgin bride,
The radiant morn resum'd her orient pride;
When wanton gales along the valleys play,
Breathe on each flower, and bear their sweets away;
By Tigris' wandering waves he sat, and sung
This useful lesson for the fair and young.

“Ye Persian dames,' he said, 'to you belong-
Well may they please the morals of my song:
No fairer maids, I trust, than you are found,
Grac'd with soft arts, the peopled world around!
The morn that lights you, to your loves supplies
Each gentler ray delicious to your eyes:
For you those flowers her fragrant hands bestow;
And yours the love that kings delight to know.
Yet think not these, all beauteous as they are,
The best kind blessings Heaven can grant the fair;
Who trust alone in beauty's feeble ray,
Boast but the worth Bassora's pearls display:
Drawn from the deep we own their surface bright;
But, dark within, they drink no lustrous light:

Such are the maids, and such the charms they boast,
By sense unaided, or to virtue lost.

Self-flattering sex! your hearts believe in vain
That love shall blind, when once he fires the swain!
Or hope a lover by your faults to win,

As spots on ermine beautify the skin:

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