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IN A COUNTRY CHURCHYARD.
The curfew tolls the knell of parting day,
The lowing herd wind slowly o’er the lea,
And leaves the world to darkness and to me.
And all the air a solemn stillness holds,
And drowsy tinklings lull the distant folds :
The moping owl does to the moon complain
Molest her ancient solitary reign.
fierce tumultuous passion cease ;
A grateful earnest of eternal peace.
Where heaves the turf in many a mouldering heap, Each in his narrow cell for ever laid,
The rude forefathers of the hamlet sleep.
The breezy call of incense-breathing morn,
The swallow twittering from the straw-built shed, The cock's shrill clarion, or the echoing horn,
No more shall rouse them from their lowly bed. For them no more the blazing hearth shall burn,
Or busy housewife ply her evening care; No children run to lisp their sire's return,
Or climb his knees the envied kiss to share.
Oft did the harvest to their sickle yield,
Their furrow oft the stubborn glebe has broke: How jocund did they drive their team afield!
How bow'd the woods beneath their sturdy stroke!
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. The boast of heraldry, the pomp of power,
And all that beauty, all that wealth e'er gave, Await alike the' inevitable hour:
The paths of glory lead but to the grave. Nor you, ye proud, impute to these the fault,
If memory o'er their tomb no trophies raise, Where through the long-drawn aisle and fretted vault
The pealing anthem swells the note of praise.
Can storied urn, or animated bust,
Back to its mansion call the fleeting breath? Can honour's voice provoke the silent dust,
Or flattery sooth the dull cold ear of death?
Perhaps in this neglected spot is laid
Some heart once pregnant with celestial fire;
Or waked to ecstasy the living lyre:
Rich with the spoils of time did ne'er unroll;
And froze the genial current of the soul.
many a gem of purest ray serene
many a flower is born to blush unseen,
Some village-Hampden, that, with dauntless breast,
The little tyrant of his fields withstood,
Some Cromwell guiltless of his country's blood.
The threats of pain and ruin to despise,
And read their history in a nation's eyes,
Their growing virtues, but their crimes confined ;
And shut the gates of mercy on mankind,
To quench the blushes of ingenuous shame,
With incense kindled at the Muse's flame.
The His li
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 tenour of their way.
Some frail memorial still erected nigh,
Implores the passing tribute of a sigh.
The place of fame and elegy supply:
That teach the rustic moralist to die.
M Nov 0
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 ? On some fond breast the parting soul relies,
Some pious drops the closing eye requires ;
E'en in our ashes live their wonted fires.
Dost in these lines their artless tale relate;
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,