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Their lot forbad: nor circumscrib'd alone

Their growing virtues, but their crimes confin'd;
Forbad to wade through 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 ev'n these bones from insult to protect
Some frail memorial still erected nigh,
With uncouth rhimes and shapeless sculpture deck'd,
Implores the passing tribute of a sigh.

Their name, their years, spelt by th' unletter'd Muse,
The place of fame 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, Left the warm precincts of the chearful day,

Nor cast one longing ling'ring 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,
Ev'n in our ashes live their wonted fires.
For thee, who mindful of th' unhonour'd Dead'
Dost in these lines their artless tales relate;
If chance, by lonely Contemplation led,

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.

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"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 love. "One morn I miss'd him on the custom'd hill, Along the heath and near his fav'rite 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 born.Approach and read (for thou canst read) the lay Grav'd on the stone beneath yon aged thorn."

THE EPITAPH.

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,

Heav'n did a recompense as largely send: He gave to Mis'ry all he had, a tear,

He gained 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,) The bosom of his Father and his God.

THE PROGRESS OF POESY.

I. I.

AWAKE, Æolian lyre, awake,

And give to rapture all thy trembling strings.
From Helicon's harmonious springs
A thousand rills their mazy progress take :
The laughing flowers, that round them blow,
Drink life and fragrance as they flow.
Now the rich stream of music winds along,
Deep, majestic, smooth, and strong,
Thro' verdant vales, and Ceres' golden reign:
Now rowling down the steep amain,

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Headlong, impetuous, see it pour ;

The rocks and nodding groves rebellow to the roar.

I. 2.

Oh! Sovereign of the willing soul, Parent of sweet and solemn-breathing airs, Enchanting shell! the sullen Cares

And frantic Passions hear thy soft controul. On Thracia's hills the Lord of War

Has curb'd the fury of his car,

And drop'd his thirsty lance at thy command.
Perching on the scept'red hand

Of Jove, thy magic lulls the feather'd king
With ruffled plumes, and flagging wing:
Quench'd in dark clouds of slumber lie
The terror of his beak, and light'ning of his eye.

I. 3.

Thee the voice, the dance, obey,
Temper'd to thy warbled lay.

O'er Idalia's velvet-green

The rosy-crowned Loves are seen
On Cytherea's day

With antic Sport, and blue-eyed Pleasures,
Frisking light in frolic measures;
Now pursuing, now retreating,

Now in circling troops they meet :
To brisk notes in cadence beating,

Glance their many-twinkling feet.

Slow melting strains their Queen's approach declare:
Where'er she turns, the Graces homage pay:
With arms sublime, that float upon the air,

In gliding state she wins her easy way:
O'er her warm cheek, and rising bosom, move
The bloom of young Desire, and purple light of Love.

II. I.

Man's feeble race what ills await! Labour and Penury, the racks of Pain, Disease, and Sorrow's weeping train,

And Death, sad refuge from the storms of Fate !

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The fond complaint, my song, disprove,

And justify the laws of Jove.

Say, has he giv'n in vain the heav'nly Muse?

Night and all her sickly dews,

Her spectres wan, and birds of boding cry,

He gives to range the dreary sky;

Till down the eastern cliffs afar

Hyperion's march they spy, and glitt'ring shafts of war.

II. 2.

In climes beyond the solar road,

Where shaggy forms o'er ice-built mountains roam,
The Muse has broke the twilight-gloom

To chear the shiv'ring native's dull abode. And oft, beneath the od'rous shade

Of Chili's boundless forests laid,

She deigns to hear the savage youth repeat,
In loose numbers wildly sweet,

Their feather-cinctur'd chiefs, and dusky loves.
Her track, where'er the Goddess roves,

Glory pursue, and generous Shame,

Th' unconquerable Mind, and Freedom's holy flame.

II. 3.

Woods, that wave o'er Delphi's steep,
Isles, that crown th' Egean deep,
Fields, that cool Ilissus laves,

Or where Mæander's amber waves
In lingering lab'rinths creep,

How do your tuneful echos languish,
Mute, but to the voice of Anguish !
Where each old poetic mountain
Inspiration breath'd around;
Ev'ry shade and hallow'd fountain
Murmur'd deep a solemn sound:
Till the sad Nine, in Greece's evil hour,
Left their Parnassus for the Latian plains.
Alike they scorn the pomp of tyrant-Power,

And coward Vice, that revels in her chains.
When Latium had her lofty spirit lost,
They sought, oh Albion! next thy sea-encircled coast.

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III. I.

Far from the sun and summer-gale,
In thy green lap was Nature's Darling laid,
What time, where lucid Avon stray'd,

To him the mighty Mother did unveil
Her aweful face: The dauntless Child
Stretch'd forth his little arms, and smil'd.
"This pencil take (she said), whose colours clear

Richly paint the vernal year:

Thine too these golden keys, immortal Boy!

This can unlock the gates of Joy;

Of Horror that, and thrilling Fears,

Or ope the sacred source of sympathetic Tears."

III. 2.

Nor second He, that rode sublime Upon the seraph-wings of Extasy, The secrets of th' Abyss to spy.

He pass'd the flaming bounds of Place and Time:
The living Throne, the sapphire blaze,
Where Angels tremble, while they gaze,
He saw; but, blasted with excess of light,

Clos'd his eyes in endless night.
Behold, where Dryden's less presumptuous car

Wide o'er the fields of Glory bear

Two Coursers of ethereal race,

With necks in thunder cloath'd, and long-resounding pace.

III. 3.

Hark, his hands the lyre explore!

Bright-ey'd Fancy, hovering o'er,
Scatters from her pictur'd urn

Thoughts that breathe, and words that burn.

But ah! 'tis heard no more

Oh! Lyre divine, what daring Spirit
Wakes thee now? Tho' he inherit

Nor the pride, nor ample pinion,

That the Theban Eagle bear,
Sailing with supreme dominion

Thro' the azure deep of air :
Yet oft before his infant eyes would run

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