« PreviousContinue »
A solemn, strange, and mingled air;
But Thou, O Hope, with eyes so fair,
And bade the lovely scenes at distance hail !
And from the rocks, the woods, the vale, She call'd on Echo still thro' all the song;
And, where her sweetest theme she chose,
A soft responsive voice was heard at ev'ry close,
Revenge impatient rose :
He threw his blood-stain'd sword in thunder down,
And with a with'ring look
The war-denouncing trumpet took,
And blew a blast so loud and dread,
Were ne'er prophetic sounds so full of woe.
Pale Melancholy sate retir'd,
And from her wild sequester'd seat,
In notes by distance made more sweet,
And, dashing soft from rocks around,
Thro' glades and glooms the mingled measure stole,
Love of peace and lonely musing,
In hollow murmurs died away.
The doubling drum with furious heat;
And tho' sometimes, each dreary pause between,
Her soul-subduing voice applied,
Yet still he kept his wild unalter'd mien,
While each strain'd ball of sight seem'd bursting from his head.
Thy numbers, Jealousy, to nought were fix'd,
Sad proof of thy distressful state;
Of diff'ring themes the veering song was mix'd ;
And now it courted Love, now raving call'd on Hate.
With eyes up-rais'd, as one inspir'd,
But, O, how alter'd was its sprightlier tone,
The oak-crowned sisters and their chast-eyed queen,
Peeping from forth their alleys green;
And Sport leapt up and seiz'd his beechen spear. Last came Joy's ecstatic trial:
He, with viny crown advancing,
First to the lively pipe his hand addrest,
Whose sweet entrancing voice he lov'd the best;
To some unwearied minstrel dancing,
While, as his flying fingers kiss'd the strings,
As if he would the charming air repay,
Than all which charms this laggard age,
WRITTEN IN A COUNTRY CHURCHYARD.
THE curfew tolls the knell of parting day,
The lowing herd winds slowly o'er the lea,
And leaves the world to darkness and to me.
Save that, from yonder ivy-mantled tow'r,
The moping owl does to the moon complain Of such as, wand'ring near her secret bow'r, Molest her ancient solitary reign.
Beneath those rugged elms, that yew-tree's shade,
The rude forefathers of the hamlet sleep.
The breezy call of incense-breathing Morn,
The swallow twitt'ring from the straw-built shed,
No more shall rouse them from their lowly bed.
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!
Let not Ambition mock their useful toil,
The paths of glory lead but to the grave.
Nor you, ye Proud, impute to these the fault,
If Mem'ry o'er their tomb no trophies raise, Where thro' the long-drawn isle 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 Flatt'ry sooth the dull cold ear of Death? Perhaps in this neglected spot is laid
Some heart once pregnant with celestial fire; Hands, that the rod of empire might have sway'd, Or wak'd to extasy the living lyre.
But Knowledge to their eyes her ample page
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 on the desert air.
Some village-Hampden, that, with dauntless breast,
Some Cromwell guiltless of his country's blood.
Th' applause of list'ning senates to command,
And read their hist'ry in a nation's eyes,