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On some fond breast the parting soul relies,
Some pious drops the closing eye requires;
E'en from the tomb the voice of nature cries,
E'en in our ashes live their wonted fires.°

For thee, who, mindful of the unhonored dead,
Dost in these lines their artless tale relate;
If chance, by lonely contemplation led,

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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 noontide would he stretch,
And pore upon the brook that babbles by.

"Hard by yon wood, now smiling as in scorn,°

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

Or crazed with care, or crossed in hopeless love.

"One morn I missed him on the customed hill, Along the heath, and near his favorite 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 churchway path we saw him borne:

Approach and read (for thou can'st read) the lay 115 '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 frowned not on his humble birth, And melancholy marked him for her own.

Large was his bounty, and his soul sincere,
Heaven did a recompense as largely send:

He gave to misery (all he had) a tear,

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He gained from heaven ('twas all he wished) 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.



Lo! where the rosy-bosomed Hours,°
Fair Venus' train, appear,
Disclose the long-expecting flowers,
And wake the purple year!

The Attic warbler° pours her throat,
Responsive to the cuckoo's note,

The untaught harmony of spring:
While, whispering pleasure as they fly,
Cool Zephyrs through the clear blue sky
Their gathered 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 ardor 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 honied spring,

And float amid the liquid noon:
Some lightly o'er the current skim,
Some show their gayly-gilded trim
Quick-glaneing to the sun.°

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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 colors drest:
Brushed by the hand of rough Mischance,
Or chilled 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 'tis May.



Ανθρωπος, ἱκανὴ πρόφασις εἰς τὸ δυστυχεῖν.

Menander. Incert. Fragm. ver. 382.

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
Of Windsor's heights the expanse below

Of grove, of lawn, of mead survey,

Whose turf, whose shade, whose flowers among Wanders the hoary Thames along

His silver-winding way:

Ah, happy hills! ah, pleasing shade!

Ah, fields beloved in vain!

Where once my careless childhood strayed,

A stranger yet to pain°!

I feel the gales that from ye 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 enthral?

What idle progeny succeed

To chase the rolling circle's speed,
Or urge the flying ball?

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