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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 hist’ry in a nation's eyes,
Their lot forbade; nor circumscribed alone
Their growing virtues, but their crimes confined; 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 tenor of their way.
Yet ev’n 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.
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.