« PreviousContinue »
as to the authorship of the ode, it is hoped that its introduction may not be unacceptable. The “ Masque of Alfred" was written by Thomson and Mallet. The ode, however, seems by general consent to be admitted to be Thomson's, and is here copied from his works. The music was composed by Dr. Arne.
From “Rule Britannia" the mind naturally reverts to the National Anthem ; and it perhaps may not be irrelevant to state that “God Save the King" was written by Dr. John Bull, who was chamber musician to James the First. Rosse in his “ Index of Dates," says," it was composed for a dinner given to James I., and his son, at Merchant Tailors' Hall, 1606." By some writers, the authorship is awarded to Henry Carey, who wrote the once popular ballad of “ Sally in our Alley," but Dr. Bull is generally admitted to have been the author.
ELEGY IN A COUNTRY CHURCHYARD.
Beneath those rugged elms, that yew-tree's shade,
Where heaves the turf in many a mouldering heap, Each in his narrow cell for ever laid,
The rude forefathers of the hamlet sleep.
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.
Ith e'er gave,
The boast of heraldry, the pomp of power,
, And all that beauty, all that Await alike th' inevitable hour,
The paths of glory lead but to the grave.
Can storied urn, or animated bust,
Back to its mansion call the fleeting breath? Can Honour's voice provoke the silent dust,
Or flattery soothe the dull cold ear of death.
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 breast,
The little tyrant of his fields withstood, Some mute inglorious Milton here may rest,
Some Cromwell guiltless of his country's blood.
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 tenor of their way.
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, lingering look behind ?
Even in our ashes live their wonted fires.
Yet, ah! why should they know their fate,
And happiness too swiftly flies ?
Ode on a distant Prospect of Eton College.
Hark, his hands the lyre explore !
The Progress of Poesy.
Dear lost companions of my tuneful art,
Dear as the light that visits these sad eyes, Dear as the ruddy drops that warm my heart. †
Weave the warp, and weave the woof,
The winding-sheet of Edward's race ; Give ample room, and verge enough,
The characters of hell to trace.
Fair laughs the morn, and soft the zephyr blows,
While proudly rising o'er the azure realm
Ye towers of Julius, London's lasting shame, I
* These lines refer to Dryden, forming a portion of a somewhat lengthened panegyric. + “ As dear to me as are the ruddy drops
That visit my sad heart."
Shakspere. Fulius Cæsar. Act ii. Scene 1. | The Tower of London, in which Henry Sixth and the two young princes are believed to have been privately murdered.
With many a foul and midnight murder fed,
Nor in these consecrated bowers Let painted Flattery hide her serpent train in flowers.
Ode for Music. A favourite has no friend.
On the Death of a Favourite Cat.