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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 i
Some heart once pregnant with celestial fire; Hands that the rod of empire might have sway'd,
Or wak'd to ecstacy the living lyre.
But Knowledge to their eyes her ample page
Rich with the spoils of Time did ne'er unroll; Chill Penury repress'd their noble rage,
And froze the genial current of the soul.
Full many a gem of purest ray serene,
The dark unfathom'd caves of Ocean bear: Full many a flower is born to blush unseen,
And waste its sweetness in the desert air.
Some vilage-Hampden, that with dauntless breast,
The little tyrant of his fields withstood, Some mute inglorious Milton here may rest,
Some Cromwell guiltless of his country's blood,
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 forbad; nor circumscrib'd alone
Their growing virtues, but their crimes confin'd; Forbad to wade thro' 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 e'en these bones, from insult to protect,
Some frail 'memorial still erected nigh, With uncouth rhymes and shapeless sculpture deck'u,
Implores the passing tribute of a sigh.
Their name, their years, spelt by th' unletter'd Muse,
The place of famc, and elegy supply; And many a holy text around she strews,
That teach the rustic moralist to die,
For who, to dumb forgetfulness a prey,
This pleasing anxious being e'er resign'd,',..
Cn some fond breast the parting soul relies,
Sone 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 th' unhonour'd Dead,
Dust in these lines their artless tale relate; If chance, by lonely Contemplation led,
Some kindred spirit shall inquire thy fate,
Haply some hoary- headed swain may say,
Oft havé 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 noon-tide would he stretch,
And pore upon the brook that babbles by.
• Hard by yon wood, now smiling as in scorn,
Mutt'ring his wayward fancies, he would rove; Now drooping, woeful wan! like one forlorn,
Or craz’d with care, or cross'd in hopeless lovo
One morn 1 miss'd him on the custom'd hill
• Along the heath and near his favourite 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 thro' the church-way path we saw him borne.. Approach and read (for thou canst read) the lay
Grav'd on the stone beneath yon aged thorn.
Here rests his head upon the lap of Earth
A Youth, 10 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, .
Heav'n did a recompence as largely send : He gave to Mis’ry all he had, a tear,
He gain'd from Heav'n, '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, ' ;.
The bosom of his Father and his God,
LAIL, sacred Fane! amidst whose stately shrines,
Her constant vigils Melancholy keeps ; (Whilst on her arm the grief-worn cheek reclinest
And o’er the spoils of human grandeur weeps.
Hail, ancient edifice! thine aisle along, ,
" In contemplation wrapt, now let me stray; a And stealing from the idly-busy throng,
Devoutly meditate ihe moral lay. : :::
What pleasing sadness fills my thoughtful breast . Whene'er my steps these gloomy mansions trace; · Where, in their sumptucus tombs, in silence rest,
The honour'd ashes of the British race.
Here terminate ambition's airy schemes,
The syren pleasure here allures no more; Here grov’ling av’rice drops her golden dreams,
And life's fantastic trifles all are o'er,