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FROM THE CASTLE OF INDOLENCE* And still a coili the grasshopper did keep:
Yet all the sounds yblents inclined all to
A sable, silent, solemn forest stood;
move, and wail,
As Idless fancied in her dreaming mood: And curse thy star, and early druilge and late; And up the hills, on either side, a wood Withouten that would come a heavier bale, Of blackening pines, aye waving to and fro, Loose life, unruly passions, and diseases pale. Sent forth a sleepy horror through the blood;
And where this valley winded out below,
The murmuring main was heard, and scarcely In lowly dale, fast by a river's side
heard, to flow. With woody hill o'er bill encompassed round, A most enchanting wizard did abide, Than whom a fiend more fell is nowhere found. A pleasing land of drowsy-hed10 it was: It was, I ween, a lovely spot of ground; Of dreams that wave before the half-shut eye; And there a season atween June and May, And of gay castles in the clouds that pass, Half prankts with spring, with summer half Forever flushing round a summer-sky. imbrowned,
There eke the soft delights, that witchingly A listless climate made, where, sooth to say, Instil a wanton sweetness through the breast, No living wight could work, ne carèd even for And the calm pleasures, always hovered nigh; play.
But whate'er smackt of noyance, or unrest, 3
Was far, far off expelled from this delicious Was nought around but images of rest:
nest. Sleep-soothing groves, and quiet lawns be.
The landskip such, inspiring perfect ease, And flowery beds, that slumbrous influence Where INDOLENCE (for so the wizard hight11)
Close-hid his castle mid embowering trees, From poppies breathed; and beds of pleasant That half shut out the beams of Phæbus bright, green,
And made a kind of checkered day and night. Where never yet was creeping creature seen. Meanwhile, unceasing at the massy gate, Meantime unnumbered glittering streamlets Beneath a spacious palm, the wicked wight played,
Was placed; and to his lute, of cruel fate
Thither continual pilgrims crowded still,
From all the roads of earth that pass there by: Were heard the lowing herds along the vale,
For, as they chanced to breathe on neighbourAnd flocks loud-bleating from the distant hills, ing hill, And vacant) shepherds piping in the dale:
The freshness of this ralley smote their eye,
While o'er the enfeebling lute his hand he 2 Genesis iii., 19.
fung, 3 adorned * "This poem being writ in the manner of Spenser,
And to the trembling chords these temptin? the obsolete words, and the simplicity of dic
verses sung: tion in some of the lines, which borders on the ludicrous, were necessary to make the imitation more perfect." (Thomson's note.) The Ta noise, a stir
10 drowsiness influence of the poem in turn upon Tennyson's 8 blended The Loto8-Eaters is also to be observed.
11 was named
RULE, BRITANNIA “Behold! ye pilgrims of this earth, behold!
FROM THE MASQUE OF "ALFRED." See all but man with unearned pleasure gay: See her bright robes the butterfly unfold, Broke from her wintry tomb in prime of May! When Britain first, at Heaven's command, What youthful bride can equal her array?
Arose from out the azure main, Who can with her for easy pleasure viei This was the charter of the land, From mead to mead with gentle wing to stray, And guardian angels sang this strain: From lower to flower on balmy gales to fly, Rule, Britannia, rule the waves,
Is all she has to do beneath the radiant sky. Britons never will be slaves.
“Behold the merry minstrels of the morn, The nations not so blest as thee, The swarming songsters of the careless grove; Must in their turns to tyrants fall, Ten thousand throats that, from the flowering Whilst thou shalt flourish great and free, thorn,
The dread and envy of them all. Hymn their good God, and carol sweet of love, Rule, Britannia, rule the waves, Such grateful kindly raptures them emove!
Britons never will be slaves. They neither plough, nor sow; ne, fit for flail,
3 E'er to the barn the nodding sheaves they drove;
Still more majestic shalt thou rise, Yet theirs each harvest dancing in the gale,
More dreadful from each foreign stroke; Whatever crowns the hill, or smiles along the As the loud blast that tears the skies vale.
Serves but to root thy native oak.
Rule, Britannia, rule the waves,
Britons never will be slaves. “Outcast of Nature, man! the wretched thrall Of bitter-dropping sweat, of sweltry13 pain,
4 Of cares that eat away thy heart with gall,
Thee haughty tyrants ne'er shall tame; And of the vices, an inhuman train,
All their attempts to bend thee down That all proceed from savage thirst of gain:
Will but arouse thy generous flame, For when hard-hearted Interest first began
But work their woe and thy renown. To poison earth, Astræalt left the plain;
Rule, Britannia, rule the waves, Guile, Violence, and Murder, seized on man,
Britons never will be slaves. And, for soft milky streams, with blood the rivers ran.
To thee belongs the rural reign; who still the cumbrous load of life
Thy cities shall with commerce shine; Push hard up-hill; but as the farthest steep
All thine shall be the subject main, You trust to gain, and put an end to strife,
And every shore it circles thine. Down thunders back the stone with mighty Rule, Britannia, rule the waves, sweep,
Britons never will be slaves.
The Muses, still with freedom found, Your cares, your toils; will steep you in a sea
Shall to thy happy coast repair; Of full delight: O come, ye weary wights, | Blest isle, with matchless beauty crowned, to me!"
And manly hearts to guard the fair! 13 sultry
Rule, Britannia,' rule the waves, 1+ The goddess of justice, who in the golden age
Britons never will be slaves. lived among men.
LATER EIGHTEENTH CENTURY
WILLIAM COLLINS (1721-1759)
Or midst the chase on every plain,
The tender thought on thee shall dwell. A SONG FROM SHAKESPEARE'S
Each lonely scene shall thee restore, 1
For thee the tear be duly shed: To fair Fidele's grassy tomb
Beloved, till life could charm no more; Soft maids and village hindsi shall bring And mourned, till Pity's self be dead. Each opening sweet, of earliest bloom, And rifle all the breathing spring.
ODE † 2
1 No wailing ghost shall dare appear,
How sleep the brave who sink to rest To vex with shrieks this quiet grove;
By all their country's wishes blest ! But shepherd lads assemble here,
When Spring, with dewy fingers cold, And melting virgins own their love.
Returns to deck their hallowed mold,
She there shall dress a sweeter sod
Than Fancy's feet have ever trod.
2 The female fays shall haunt the green,
By fairy bands their knell is rung, And dress thy grave with pearly dew.
By forms unseen their dirge is sung;
There Honour comes, a pilgrim grey, 4
To bless the turf that wraps their clay; The redbreast oft at evening hours
And Freedom shall awhile repair,
To dwell a weeping hermit there!
ODE TO EVENING I
1 When howling winds, and beating rain,
If ought of oaten stop,? or pastoral song, In tempests shake the sylvan cell,
May hope, chaste Eve, to soothe thy modest ear, i rustics, peasants
Like thy own solemn springs, * This song, which flows almost like an improvi.
sation, Collins constructed from the scene in Thy springs and dying gales,
2 sister Imogen, who is disguised its Fidele and O nymph reserved, while noir the bright-haired whom they suppose to be dead :
Why, he but sleeps : If he be gone, he'll make his grave a bed :
Sits in yon western tent, whose cloudy skirts,
O'erhang his wavy bed:
Written," says Collins. “in the beginning of the The flower that's like thy face, pale prim.
The British troops had lately rose, nor
suffered losses in the War of Austrian The azured harebell, like thy veins, no, nor
Succession, e. g., at Fontenoy in 174.5, and The leaf of eglantine. whom not to slander,
Falkirk, January, 1746. Out-sweetened not thy breath: the ruddock "Although less popular than The Deserted lil. would.
lage and Gray's Elegy. the ode to Erening is With charitable bill,
bring ther all yet like them in embodying in exquisite form this:
Sights, sounds, and feelings of such permanent Yea, and furr'd moss besides, when flowers beauty that age cannot wither them nor (usare none,
tom stale." - W. C. Bronson. See also Eng. To winter-ground thy corse.
And bathe thy breathing tresses, meekest Eve; Now air is hushed, save where the weak-eyed While Summer loves to sport bat,
Beneath thy lingering light; With short shrill shriek, flits by on leathern
wing, Or where the beetle winds
While sallow Autumn fills thy lap with leaves; His small but sullen horn,
Or Winter, yelling thro' the troublous air,
Affrights thy shrinking train, 4
And rudely rends thy robes; As oft he rises 'midst the twilight path,
13 Against the pilgrim borne in heedless hum: Now teach me, maid composed,
So long, sure-found beneath the sylvan shed, To breathe some softened strain,
Shall Faney, Friendship, Science, rose-lipped
Thy gentlest influence own, Whose numbers, stealing thro' thy darkening And hymn thy favourite name!
vale May not unseemly with its stillness suit, As, musing slow, I hail
THOMAS GRAY (1716-1771) Thy genial loved return!
ELEGY WRITTEN IN A COUNTRY 6
CHURCHYARD For when thy folding-start arising shows
1 His paly circlet, at his warning lamp
The curfew tolls the knell of parting day, The fragrant Hours, and elves
The lowing herd wind slowly o'er the lea, Who slept in flowers the day,
The plowman homeward plods his weary way, 7
And leaves the world to darkness and to me. And many a nymph who wreathes her brows
2 with sedge, And sheds the freshening dew, and, lovelier Now fades the glimmering landscape on the
sight, still, The pensive Pleasures sweet,
And all the air a solemn stillness holds,
Save where the beetle wheels his droning flight, Prepare thy shadowy car.
And drowsy tinklings lull the distant folds; 8
3 Then lead, calm votaress, where some sheety lake
Save that from yonder ivy-mantled tower Cheers the lone heath, or some time-halloweil
The moping owl does to the moon complain pile
Of such, as wandering near her secret bower, Or upland fallows grey
Molest her ancient solitary reign. Reflect its last cool gleam.
Beneath those rugged elms, that yew-tree's But when chill blustering winds, or driving shade, rain,
Where heaves the turf in many a mouldering Forbid my willing feet, be mine the hut
heap, That from the mountain's side
Each in his narrow cell for ever laid, Views wilds, and swelling floods,
The rude forefathers of the hamlet sleep. 10
5 And hamlets brown, and dim-discovered spires, The breezy call of incense-breathing morn, And hears their simple bell, and marks o’er all The swallow twittering from the straw-built Thy dewy fingers draw
shed, The gradual dusky veil.
The cock's shrill clarion, or the echoing horn,
No more shall rouse them from their lowly 11
bed. While Spring shall pour his showers, as oft he
For them no more the blazing hearth shall burn, Marking the time for folding the flocks.
Or busy housewife ply her evening care:
No children run to lisp their sire's return, 1 The little tyrant of his fields withstood; Or climb his knees the envied kiss to share. Some mute inglorious Milton here may rest,
Some ('romwell guiltless of his country's 7
blood.* Oft did the harvest to their siekle yield,
16 Their furrow oft the stubborn glebe has Th’ applause of listening senates to command, broke;
The threats of pain and ruin to despise, Blow joeund vil they drive their team afield! To seatter plenty o’er a smiling land, How bowed the woods beneath their sturdy And reall their history in a nation's eyes, stroke! 8
17 Let not ambition mock their useful toil, Their lot forbade: nor circumscribed alone Their homely joys, and destiny obscure;
Their growing virtues, but their crimes conNor grandeur hear with a diselainful smile,
fined; The short and simple annals of the poor.
Forbade to wade through slaughter to a throne,
And shut the gates of mercy on mankind, 9
18 The boast of heraldry, the pomp of power, And all that beauty, all that wealth e'er gave,
The struggling pangs of conscious truth to hide, Alnits alike th' inevitable hour.1
To quench the blushes of ingenuous shame, The paths of glory lead but to the grave.
Or heap the shrine of luxury and priile
With incense kindled at the Muse's flame.c 10
19 Vor you, ye proud, impute to these the fault, It memory o'er their tomb no trophies raise, Fari from the madding crowd 's ignoble strife,
Their sober wishes never learned to stray; Where thro' the long-drawn aisle and fretted vault
Along the cool sequestered vale of life The pealing anthem swells the note of praise.
They kept the noiseless tenor of their way.
20 11 Can storied urna or animated bust
Yet even these bones from insult to protect,
Some frail memorial still erected nigh, Back to its mansion call the fleeting breath? (an honour's voice provoke the silent dust,
With unconth rhymes and shapeless sculpture
decked, Or flattery soothe the dull cold ear of death?
Implores the passing tribute of a sigh. 12
21 Perhaps in this neglected spot is laid
their Some heart once pregnant with celestial fire;
years, spelt by th' unlettered
Muse, 8 Ilands, that the rod of empire might have swayed,
The place of fame anıl elegy supply: Or waken to ecstasy the living lyre.
And many a holy text around she strews,
That teach the rustie moralist to die. 13
22 But knowleilge to their eyes her ample page
For who to dumb forgetfulness a prey, Rich with the spoils of time did ne'er unroll;
This pleasing anxious being e'er resigned, Chill pemury repressed their noble rage, And froze the genialt current of the soul.
Left the warm precincts of the cheerful day,
Vor cast one longing lingering look behind? 14
23 Full many a gem of purest ray serene The dark unfathomeal caves of ocean bear:
On some fond breast the parting soul relies,
Some pious drops the closing eye requires; Full many a flower is born to blush unseen, And waste its streetness on the desert air,
Even from the tomb the voice of nature cries,
Even in our ashes live their wonted fires. 15 Some village Hampden, that with dauntless el. e. write fattering i i.e., being far
verses to win favor 8 untaught port breast
* U'nul a comparatively recent time Cromwell was
very generally regarded as a man who sacri. 1 Subject of "awaits." 4 natural
ficed everything to his own inordinate ambi2. burial uirn, pictori
Puritan leader who
tion. In the first draft of this stanza. Giras ally decorated.
resisted Charles I.
Romans--tato, 3 call forth
Tully (Cicero), and t'aesar.