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For who, to dumb forgetfulness a prey,

This pleasing anxious being e'er resign'd, 90 Left the warm precincts of the cheerful day,

Nor cast one longing lingering look behind ? On some fond breast the parting soul relies,

Some pious drops the closing eye requires ;
Ev'n from the tomb the voice of Nature cries, S3

Ev'n in our ashes live their wonted fires.
For thee, who, mindful of the unhonour'd Dead,

Dost in these lines their artless tale relate;
If chance, by lonely Contemplation led,

Some kindred spirit shall inquire thy fate, 100 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, 105

That wreathes its old fantastic roots so high, His listless length at noontide would he stretch,

And pore upon the brook that babbles by. “Him have we seen the greenwood side along,

While o'er the heath we hied, our labour done, 110 Oft as the woodlark piped her farewell song,

With wistful eyes pursue the setting sun. “Hard by yon wood, now smiling as in scorn,

Muttering his wayward fancies he would rove; Now drooping, woful-wan, like one forlorn, 115

Or crazed with care, or cross'd in hopeless love. Que morn I miss'd him on the 'custom'd hill,

Along the heath, and near his favourite tree:

Another came; nor yet beside the rill,

up the lawn, nor at the wood was he: 120 “The next, with dirges due in sad array

Slow through the church-yard path we saw him borne. Approach and read (for thou canst read) the lay,

Graved on the stone beneath yon aged thorn."



HERE rests his head upon the lap of Earth

A Youth, to Fortune and to Fame unknown: 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;
Heaven did a recompense as largely send :

130 He gave to Misery (all he had) a tear,

He gain'd from Heaven('twas 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,) 135 The bosom of his Father and his God.


Lo! where the rosy-bosom’d Hours,

Fair Venus' train, appear,
Disclose the long-expected flowers,

And wake the purple year!
The Attic warbler pours her throat,
Responsive to the cuckoo's note,

The untaught harmony of Spring :

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While, whispering pleasure as they fly,
Cool Zephyrs through the clear blue sky

Their gather'd fragrance fling.



Where'er the oak's thick branches stretch

A broader, browner shade,
Where'er the rude and moss-grown beech

O'er-canopies the glade,
Beside some water's rushy brink
With me the muse shall sit, and think

(At ease reclined in rustic state) How vain the ardour of the Crowd, How low, how little are the Proud,

How indigent the Great!



Still is the toiling hand of Care;

The panting herds repose :
Yet hark, how through the peopled air

The busy murmur glows !
The insect youth are on the wing,
Eager to taste the honeyd spring,

And float amid the liquid noon :
Some lightly o’er the current skim;
Some show their gaily-gilded trim

Quick glancing to the sun.


To Contemplation's sober eye

Such is the race of Man;
And they that creep, and they that fly,

Shall end where they began.
Alike the Busy and the Gay
But flutter through life's little day,

In Fortune’s varying colours drest :


Brush'd by the hand of rough mischance,
Or chill’d by age, their airy dance

They leave, in dust to rest.



Methinks I hear in accents low,

The sportive kind reply:
Poor moralist! and what art thou ?

A solitary fly!
Thy joys no glittering female meets,
No hive hast thou of hoarded sweets,

No painted plumage to display:
On hasty wings thy youth is flown;
Thy sun is set, thy spring is gone

We frolic while 't is May.

50 GRAY.



YE distant spires, ye antique towers,

That crown the watery glade, Where grateful Science still adores

Her HENRY'S * holy shade; And ye, that from the stately brow

5 Of Windsor's heights the expanse

Of grove, of lawn, of mead survey,
Whose turf, whose shade, whose flowers among
Wanders the hoary Thames along
His silver-winding way:

10 Ah happy rills ! ah pleasing shade!

Ah fields beloved in vain!

• King Henry the Sixth, founder of the College.



Where once my careless childhood stray'd,

A stranger yet to pain !
I feel the gales that from blow
A momentary bliss bestow,

As waving fresh their gladsome wing,
My weary soul they seem to soothe,
And, redolent of joy and youth,

To breathe a second spring.



Say, father Thames, (for thou hast seen

Full many a sprightly race,
Disporting on thy margent green,

The paths of pleasure trace,)
Who foremost now delight to cleave
With pliant arm thy glassy wave?

The captive linnet which enthrall ?
What idle progeny succeed
To chase the rolling circle's speed,

Or urge the flying ball ?



While some on earriest business bent,

Their murmuring labours ply
'Gainst graver hours, that bring constraint

To sweeten liberty;
Some bold adventurers disdain
The limits of their little reign,

And unknown regions dare descry:
Still as they run they look behind,
They hear a voice in every wind,

And snatch a fearful joy.


Gay hope is theirs, by Fancy fed,

Less pleasing when possest;

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