« EdellinenJatka »
In pain to see the whole. Thrice happy meeting !
Nor time, nor death, shall ever part them more.
'Tis but a nigbt, a long and moonless night,
We make the grave our bed, and then are gone.
Thus, at the shut of ev'n, the weary bird
Leaves the wide air, and in some lonely brake
Cow'rs down, and dozes till the dawn of day ;
Then claps his well-fledg'd wings, and bears away.
WRITTEN IN A COUNTRY CHURCH-YARD.
THE curfew tolls, the knell of parting day,
The lowing berd winds slowly o'er the lea, The ploughman homeward plods his weary way, And leaves the world to darkness, and to me. Now fades the glimm’ring landscape on the sight, And all the air a solemn stillness holds, Save where the beetle wheels his drony flight, And drowsy tinklings lull the distant folds ; 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, Where heaves the turf in many a mould'ring heap, Each in his narrow cell for ever laid, The rude forefathers of the bamlet sleep. The breezy call of incense-breathing morn, The swallow twittring from the straw-built shed, The cock's shrill clarion, or the echoing born, No more shall rouse them from their lowly bed. For them no more the blazing hearth shall burn, Or busy housewife ply her ev'ning care ; Nor children run to lisp their sire's return, Or climb his knees the envy'd 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 teams a-field ! .
How bowd 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 pow'r,
And all that beauty, all that wealth e'er gave, .
Await alike th’inevitable hour; '
The paths of glory, lead-but to the grave.
Nor you, ye proud, impute to these the fault,
lf mem'ry o'er their tomb no trophies raise,
Where thro' 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 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 ecstacy the living lyre.
But knowledge to their eyes her ample page,
Rich with the spoils of time, did ne'er unrol ;
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 untathom'd caves of ocean bear ;
Full many ä flower is born to blush unseen,
And waste its sweetness on the desert air,
Some village-Hampden, that, with dauntless breast,
The little tyraut of his fields withstood ;
Some mute inglorious Milton here may rest ;
Some Cromwell guiltless of bis country's blood.
Th’applause of listning senates to cominand,
The threats of pain and ruin to despise,
To scatter plenty o'er a smiling land,
And read their history in a nation's eyes.
Their lot forbade ; nor circumscrib'd alone
Their growing virtues, but their crimes confin'd:
Forbade 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 muses' flame.
Far from the madding crowd's ignoble strife,
Their sober wishes never learnt 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 rhymes 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 cheerful 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' unbonour'd dead, Dost 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 have we seen him, at the peep of dawn, “ Brushing, with haşty steps, the dews away, “ To meet the sun upon the upland lawo. “ 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 bubbles by. “ Hard by yon wood, now smiling as in scorn, “ Mutt'ring his wayward fancies, he would roye ; “ Now drooping, woful wan, like one forlorn, “ Or craz'd with care, or crossd in hopeless love. « One morn I miss'd him on th' accustom'd hill, 66 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. 66 The next, with dirges due, in sad array, " Slow thro’ the churchway path we saw him borne : " Approach, and read (for thou canst read) the lay, 6 Grav'd on the stone, beneath yon aged thoro.”