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: ELEGIAC AND FUNEREAL. INCLUDING MONODIES AND EPITAPHS.
ELEGY TO THE MEMORY OF AN UNFORTUNATE
LADY. WHAT beck’ning ghost along the moon-light shade Invites my steps and points to yonder glade ? 'Tis she!-but why that bleeding bosom gord? Why dimly gleams the visionary sword ? Oh ever beauteous, ever friendly ! tell, Is it in Heaven a crime to love too well? To bear too tender, or too firm a heart? To act a lover's or a Roman's part ? Is there no bright reversion in the sky For those who greatly think, or bravely die
Why bade ye else, ye powers ! her soul aspire Above the vulgar flight of low desire ! Ambition first sprung from your blest abodes, The glorious fault of angels and of gods; vol. ill. :
Thence to their images on earth it flows,
From these, perhaps, (ere Nature bade her die)
But thou, false guardian of a charge too good,
What can atone (oh, ever-injur'd shade !)
No friend's complaint, no kind domestic tear,
So peaceful rests, without a stone, a name,
Poets themselves must fall like those they sung ;
ELEGY WRITTEN IN A COUNTRY CHURCH-YARD. The curfew tolls the knell of parting day,
The lowing herd 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 glimmering landscape on the sight,
And all the air a solemn stillness holds ;
And drowsy tinklings lull the distant folds ;
The moping owl does to the inoon complain Of such as, wandering near her secret bower,
Molest her ancient solitary reign. Beneath those rugged elms, that yew tree's shade, 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 enviod kiss to share. Oft did the harvest to their sickle yield;
Their harrow oft their 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 th' 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; Hands, that the rod of empire might have sway'd,
Or wak'd to ecstasy the living lyre :
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 :
And waste its sweetness on the desert air.