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ELEGANT EXTRACTS,

FROM THE
MOST EMINENT POETS.

BOOK VÍ.

: 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. :

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Thence to their images on earth it flows,
And in the breasts of kings and heroes glows.
Most souls, 'tis true, but peep out once an age,
Dull sullen prisoners in the body's cage ;
Dim lights of life, that burn a length of years
Useless, unseen, as lamps in sepulchres;
Like eastern kings, a lazy state they keep,
And, close confin'd to their own palace, sleep.'

From these, perhaps, (ere Nature bade her die)
Fate snatch'd her early to the pitying sky.
As into air the purer spirits flow,
And separate from their kindred dregs below;
So flew the soul to its congenial place,
Nor left one virtue to redeem her race.

But thou, false guardian of a charge too good,
Thou, mean deserter of thy brother's blood !
See on those ruby lips the trembling breath,
These cheeks now fading at the blast of death ;
Cold is that breast which warm’d the world before,
And those love-darting eyes must roll no more.
Thus, if eternal justice rules the ball,
Thus shall your wives, and thus your children fall:
On all the line a sudden vengeance waits,
And frequent hearses shall besiege your gates ;
There passengers shall stand, and pointing say,
(While the long funerals blacken all the way)
Lo! these were they whose souls the furies steel'd,
And curg'd with hearts unknowing how to yield.
Thus unlamented pass the proud away,
The gaze of fools, and pageant of the day!
So perish all, whose breast ne'er learn'd to glow
For other's good, or melt at other's wo.

What can atone (oh, ever-injur'd shade !)
Tby fato unpitied, and thy rites unpaid?

XVI.

No friend's complaint, no kind domestic tear,
Pleas'd thy pale ghost, or grac'd thy mournful bier.
By foreign hands thy dying eyes were clos'd,
By foreign hands thy decent limbs compos'd,
By foreign hands thy humble grave adorn'd,
By strangers honour'd and by strangers mourn'd!
What though no friends in sable weeds appear,
Grieve for an hour, perhaps, then mourn a year;
And bear about the moekery of wo
To midnight dances, and the public show?
What though no weeping loves thy ashes grace,
Nor polish'd marble emulate thy face?
What though no sacred earth allow thée room,
Nor hallow'd dirge be mutter'd o'er thy tomb ?
Yet shall thy grave with rising flowers be dress'd,
And the green turf lie lightly on thy breast;
There shall the morn her earliest tears bestow,
There the first roses of the year shall blow ;
While angels with their silver wings o'ershade
The ground, now sacred by thy relics made.

So peaceful rests, without a stone, a name,
That once had beauty, titles, wealth, and fame.
How lov'd, how honour'd once, avails thee not,
To whom related, or by whom begot:
A heap of dust alone remains of thee:
'Tis all thou art, and all the proud shall be !

Poets themselves must fall like those they sung ;
Deaf the prais'd ear, and mute the tuneful tongue.
Ev'n he, whose soul now melts in mournful lays,
Shall shortly want the generous tear he pays;
Then from his closing eyes thy forin shall part, -
And the last pang shall tear thee from his heart;
Life's idle business at one gasp be o'er;
The Muse forgot, and thou belov'd no more,

Pope.

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 ;
Save where the beetle wheels his droning flight,

And drowsy tinklings lull the distant folds ;
Save that from yonder ivy-mantled tower,

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 :
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 on the desert air.
VOL. III.

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