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Auspicious gratulates the bark which, now
His banks forsaking, her adventurous wings
Yields to the breeze, with Albion's happy gifts
Extremest isles to bless. And oft at morn,
When Hermes, from Olympus bent o'er Earth
To bear the words of Jove, on yonder hill
Stoops lightly-sailing; oft intent your springs
He views and waving o'er some new-born stream
His blest pacific wand, "And yet," he cries,
"Yet," cries the son of Maia, "though recluse
And silent be your stores, from you, fair Nymphs,
Flows wealth and kind society to men.
By you, my function and my honor'd name
Do I possess; while o'er the Boetic vale,
Or through the towers of Memphis, or the palms
By sacred Ganges water'd, I conduct
The English merchant: with the buxom fleece
Of fertile Ariconium while I clothe
Sarmatian kings; or to the household gods
Of Syria, from the bleak Cornubian shore,
Dispense the mineral treasure which of old
Sidonian pilots sought, when this fair land
Was yet unconscious of those generous arts
Which wise Phoenicia from their native clime
Transplanted to a more indulgent Heaven."
Such are the words of Hermes: such the praise,
O Naiads, which from tongues celestial waits
Your bounteous deeds. From bounty issueth power:
And those who, sedulous in prudent works,
Relieve the wants of nature, Jove repays
With noble wealth, and his own seat on Earth,
Fit judgments to pronounce, and curb the might
Of wicked men. Your kind unfailing urns
Not vainly to the hospitable arts
Of Hermes yield their store. For, O ye Nymphs,
Hath he not won the unconquerable queen
Of arms to court your friendship? You she owns
The fair associates who extend her sway
Wide o'er the mighty deep; and grateful things
Of you she uttereth, oft as from the shore
Of Thames, or Medway's vale, or the green barks
Of Vecta, she her thundering navy leads
To Calpe's foaming channel, or the rough
Cantabrian surge; her auspices divine
Imparting to the senate and the prince
Of Albion, to dismay barbaric kings,
The Iberian, or the Celt. The pride of kings
Was ever scorn'd by Pallas: and of old
Rejoic'd the virgin, from the brazen prow
Of Athens o'er Ægina's gloomy surge,
To drive her clouds and storms; o'erwhelming all
The Persian's promis'd glory, when the realms
Of Indus and the soft Ionian clime,
When Libya's torrid champain and the rocks
Of cold Imaus join'd their servile bands,
To sweep the sons of Liberty from Earth.
In vain: Minerva on the bounding prow
Of Athens stood, and with the thunder's voice
Denounc'd her terrors on their impious heads,
And shook her burning ægis. Xerxes saw:
From Heracléum, on the mountain's height
Thron'd in his golden car, he knew the sign
Celestial; felt unrighteous hope forsake
His faltering heart, and turn'd his face with shame.
Hail, ye who share the stern Minerva's power;
Who arm the hand of Liberty for war;
And give to the renown'd Britannic name
To awe contending monarchs: yet benign,
Yet mild of nature; to the works of peace
More prone, and lenient of the many ills
Which wait on human life. Your gentle aid
Hygeia well can witness; she who saves
From poisonous cates and cups of pleasing bane
The wretch devoted to the entangling snares
Of Bacchus and of Comus. Him she leads
To Cynthia's lonely haunts. To spread the toils,
To beat the coverts, with the jovial horn
At dawn of day to summon the loud hounds,
She calls the lingering sluggard from his dreams:
And where his breast may drink the mountain breeze,
And where the fervor of the sunny vale
May beat upon his brow, through devious paths
Beckons his rapid courser. Nor when ease,
Cool ease and welcome slumbers have becalm'd
His eager bosom, does the queen of health
Her pleasing care withhold. His decent board
She guards, presiding; and the frugal powers
With joy sedate leads in and while the brown
Ennæan dame with Pan presents her stores;
While changing still, and comely in the change,
Vertumnus and the Hours before him spread
The garden's banquet; you to crown his feast,
To crown his feast, O Naiads, you the fair
Hygeia calls: and from your shelving seats,
And groves of poplar, plenteous cups ye bring,
To slake his veins: till soon a purer tide
Flows down those loaded channels; washeth off
The dregs of luxury, the lurking seeds
Of crude disease; and through the abodes of life
Sends vigor, sends repose. Hail, Naiads: hail,
Who give, to labor, health; to stooping age,
The joys which youth had squander'd. Oft your
Will I invoke; and, frequent in your praise,
Abash the frantic Thyrsus with my song.
For not estrang'd from your benignant arts
Is he, the god, to whose mysterious shrine
My youth was sacred, and my votive cares
Belong; the learn'd Pæon. Oft, when all
His cordial treasures he hath search'd in vain ;
When herbs, and potent trees, and drops of balm
Rich with the genial influence of the Sun,
(To rouse dark Fancy from her plaintive dreams,
To brace the nerveless arm, with food to win
Sick appetite, or hush the unquiet breast
Which pines with silent passion,) he in vain
Hath prov'd; to your deep mansions he descends,
Your gates of humid rock, your dim arcades,
He entereth; where empurpled veins of ore
Gleam on the roof; where through the rigid mine
Your trickling rills insinuate. There the god
From your indulgent hands the streaming bowl
Wafts to his pale-ey'd suppliants; wafts the seeds
Metallic, and the elemental salts
Wash'd from the pregnant glebe. They drink and
Flies pain; flies inauspicious care: and soon
The social haunt or unfrequented shade
Hears Io, Io Paan; as of old,
When Python fell. And, Oh propitious Nymphs,
Oft as for helpless mortals I implore
Your salutary springs, through every urn
Oh shed your healing treasures. With the first
And finest breath, which from the genial strife
Of mineral fermentation springs like light
O'er the fresh morning's vapors, lustrate then
The fountain, and inform the rising wave.
My lyre shall pay your bounty. Scorn not ye That humble tribute. Though a mortal hand Excite the strings to utterance, yet for themes Not unregarded of celestial powers,
I frame their language; and the Muses deign
To guide the pious tenor of my lay.
The Muses (sacred by their gifts divine)
In early days did to my wondering sense
Their secrets oft reveal: oft my rais'd ear
In slumber felt their music: oft at noon,
Or hour of sun-set, by some lonely stream,
In field or shady grove, they taught me words
Of power, from death and envy to preserve
The good man's name. Whence yet with grateful
And offerings unprofan'd by ruder eye,
My vows I send, my homage, to the seats
Of rocky Cirrha, where with you they dwell:
Where you their chaste companions they admit
Through all the hallow'd scene: where oft intent,
And leaning o'er Castalia's mossy verge,
They mark the cadence of your confluent urns,
How tuneful, yielding gratefullest repose
To their consorted measure: till again,
With emulation all the sounding choir,
And bright Apollo, leader of the song,
Their voices through the liquid air exalt,
And sweep their lofty strings: those powerful strings
That charm the mind of gods: that fill the courts
Of wide Olympus with oblivion sweet
Of evils, with immortal rest from cares:
Assuage the terrors of the throne of Jove;
And quench the formidable thunderbolt
Of unrelenting fire. With slacken'd wings,
While now the solemn concert breathes around,
Incumbent o'er the sceptre of his lord
Sleeps the stern eagle; by the number'd notes,
Possess'd; and satiate with the melting tone:
Sovereign of birds. The furious god of war,
His darts forgetting, and the winged wheels
That bear him vengeful o'er the embattled plain,
Relents, and soothes his own fierce heart to ease,
Most welcome ease. The sire of gods and men,
In that great moment of divine delight,
Looks down on all that live; and whatsoe'er
He loves not, o'er the peopled earth, and o'er
The interminated ocean, he beholds
Curs'd with abhorrence by his doom severe,
And troubled at the sound. Ye Naiads, ye
With ravish'd ears the melody attend,
Worthy of sacred silence. But the slaves
Of Bacchus with tempestuous clamors strive
To drown the heavenly strains; of highest Jove
Irreverent, and by mad presumption fir'd
Their own discordant raptures to advance
With hostile emulation. Down they rush
From Nysa's vine-empurpled cliff, the dames
Of Thrace, the Satyrs, and the unruly Fauns,
With old Silenus, reeling through the crowd
Which gambols round him, in convulsions wild
Tossing their limbs, and brandishing in air
The ivy-mantled thyrsus, or the torch
Through black smoke flaming, to the Phrygian pipe's
Shrill voice, and to the clashing cymbals, mix'd
With shrieks and frantic uproar. May the gods
From every unpolluted ear avert
Their orgies! If within the seats of men,
Within the walls, the gates, where Pallas holds
The guardian key, if haply there be found
Who loves to mingle with the revel-band
And hearken to their accents; who aspires
From such instructors to inform his breast
With verse; let him, fit votarist, implore
Their inspiration. He perchance the gifts
Of young Lyæus, and the dread exploits,
May sing in aptest numbers: he the fate
Of sober Pentheus, he the Paphian rites,
And naked Mars with Cytherea chain'd,
And strong Alcides in the spinster's robes,
May celebrate, applauded. But with you,
O Naiads, far from that unhallow'd rout,
Must dwell the man whoe'er to praised themes
Invokes the immortal Muse. The immortal Muse
To your calm habitations, to the cave
Corycian, or the Delphic mount, will guide
His footsteps; and with your unsullied streams
His lips will bathe: whether the eternal lore
Of Themis, or the majesty of Jove,
To mortals he reveal; or teach his lyre
The unenvied guerdon of the patriot's toils,
In those unfading islands of the bless'd,
Where sacred bards abide. Hail, honor'd Nymphs;
Thrice hail. For you the Cyrenaïc shell
Behold, I touch, revering. To my songs
Be present ye with favorable feet,
And all profaner audience far remove.
TO THE RIGHT REVEREND BENJAMIN, LORDBISHOP OF WINCHESTER.
FOR toils which patriots have endur'd, For treason quell'd and laws secur'd, In every nation Time displays The palm of honorable praise. Envy may rail; and Faction fierce May strive; but what, alas! can those (Though bold, yet blind and sordid foes) To gratitude and love oppose, To faithful story and persuasive verse!
O nurse of Freedom, Albion, say, Thou tamer of despotic sway, What man, among thy sons around, Thus heir to glory hast thou found? What page in all thy annals bright, Hast thou with purer joy survey'd Than that where Truth, by Hoadly's aid, Shines through Imposture's solemn shade, Through kingly and through sacerdotal night?
To him the Teacher bless'd, Who sent Religion, from the palmy field By Jordan, like the morn to cheer the west, And lifted up the veil which Heaven from Earth
To Hoadly thus his mandate he address'd:
"Go thou, and rescue my dishonor'd law
From hands rapacious, and from tongues impure
Let not my peaceful name be made a lure
Fell Persecution's mortal snares to aid:
Let not my words be impious chains to draw
The free-born soul in more than brutal awe,
To faith without assent, allegiance unrepaid."
No cold or unperforming hand
Was arm'd by Heaven with this command. The world soon felt it: and, on high, To William's ear with welcome joy Did Locke among the blest unfold The rising hope of Hoadly's name, Godolphin then confirm'd the fame; And Somers, when from Earth he came, And generous Stanhope the fair sequel told.
Then drew the lawgivers around,
(Sires of the Grecian name renown'd,)
And listening ask'd, and wondering knew,
What private force could thus subdue
The vulgar and the great combin'd;
Could war with sacred Folly wage;
Could a whole nation disengage
From the dread bonds of many an age, And to new habits mould the public mind.
For not a conqueror's sword,
Nor the strong powers to civil founders known, Were his but truth by faithful search explor'd, And social sense, like seed, in genial plenty sown. Wherever it took root, the soul (restor'd To freedom) freedom too for others sought. Not monkish craft, the tyrant's claim divine, Not regal zeal, the bigot's cruel shrine, Could longer guard from reason's warfare sage; Not the wild rabble to sedition wrought, Nor synods by the papal genius taught, Nor St. John's spirit loose, nor Atterbury's rage.
But where shall recompense be found? Or how such arduous merit crown'd? For look on life's laborious scene; What rugged spaces lie between Adventurous Virtue's early toils And her triumphal throne! The shade Of Death, meantime, does oft invade Her progress; nor, to us display'd, Wears the bright heroine her expected spoils.
Yet born to conquer is her power:
-O Hoadly, if that favorite hour
On Earth arrive, with thankful awe
We own just Heaven's indulgent law.
And proudly thy success behold;
We attend thy reverend length of days
With benediction and with praise,
And hail thee in our public ways
Like some great spirit fam'd in ages old.
While thus our vows prolong
Thy steps on Earth, and when by us resign'd Thou join'st thy seniors, that heroic throng Who rescued or preserv'd the rights of human kind, O! not unworthy may thy Albion's tongue Thee still, her friend and benefactor, name: O! never, Hoadly, in thy country's eyes, May impious gold, or pleasure's gaudy prize, Make public virtue, public freedom, vile; Nor our own manners tempt us to disclaim That heritage, our noblest wealth and fame, Which thou hast kept entire from force and factious
THOMAS GRAY, a distinguished poet, was the son [laureate, vacant by the death of Cibber, was offered of a money-scrivener in London, where he was to Gray, but declined by him. In the same year he born in 1716. He received his education at Eton-published two odes, "On the Progress of Poesy,” school, whence he was sent to the university of and "The Bard," which were not so popular as his Cambridge, and entered as a pensioner at St. Peter's Elegy had been, chiefly, perhaps, because they were College. He left Cambridge in 1738, and occu- less understood. The uniform life passed by this pied a set of chambers in the Inner Temple, for eminent person admits of few details, but the transthe purpose of studying the law. From this inten-action respecting the professorship of modern history tion he was diverted by an invitation to accompany at Cambridge, a place worth four hundred pounds Mr. Horace Walpole, son of the celebrated states- a year, is worthy of some notice. When the situa man, with whom he had made a connexion at Eton, tion became vacant in Lord Bute's administration, in a tour through Europe. Some disagreement, it was modestly asked for by Gray, but had already of which Mr. Walpole generously took the blame, been bespoken by another. On a second vacancy caused them to separate in Italy; and Gray return-in 1768, the Duke of Grafton being now in power, ed to England in September, 1741, two months be- it was, "unsolicited and unsuspected," conferred fore his father's death. Gray, who now depended upon him; in return for which he wrote his "Ode chiefly upon his mother and aunt, left the law, and for Music," for the installation of that nobleman as returned to his retirement at Cambridge. In the chancellor of the university. This professorship, next year he had the misfortune to lose his dear though founded in 1724, had hitherto remained a friend West, also an Eton scholar, and son to the perfect sinecure; but Gray prepared himself to Chancellor of Ireland, which left a vacancy in his execute the duties of his office. Such, however, affections, that seems never to have been supplied. were the baneful effects of habitual indolence, that, From this time his residence was chiefly at Cam- with a mind replete with ancient and modern knowbridge, to which he was probably attached by an in- ledge, he found himself unable to proceed farther satiable love of books, which he was unable to grati- than to draw a plan for his inauguration speech. fy from his own stores. Some years passed in this But his health was now declining; an irregular favorite indulgence, in which his exquisite learning hereditary gout made more frequent attacks than and poetic talents were only known to a few friends; formerly; and at length, while he was dining in the and it was not till 1747, that his “Ode on a distant College-hall, he was seized with a complaint in the Prospect of Eton College" made its appearance be-stomach, which carried him off on July 30, 1771, in fore the public. It was in 1751 that his celebrated the fifty-fifth year of his age. His remains were Elegy written in a Country Church-yard," chiefly deposited, with those of his mother and aunt, in the composed some years before, and even now sent church-yard of Stoke-Pogis, Buckinghamshire. into the world without the author's name, made its way to the press. Few poems were ever so popular: it soon ran through eleven editions; was translated into Latin verse, and has ever since borne the marks of being one of the most favorite productions of the British Muse.
It is exclusively as a poet that we record the name of Gray; and it will, perhaps, be thought that we borrow too large a share from a single small volume; yet this should be considered as indicative of the high rank which he has attained, compared with the number of his compositions. With respect to his character as a man of learning, since his ac quisitions were entirely for his own use, and produced no fruits for the public, it has no claim to
In the manners of Gray there was a degree of effeminacy and fastidiousness which exposed him to the character of a fribble; and a few riotous young men of fortune in his college thought proper to particular notice. For though he has been called make him a subject for their boisterous tricks. He by one of his admirers "perhaps the most learned made remonstrances to the heads of the society man in Europe," never was learning more thrown upon this usage, which being treated, as he thought, away. A few pieces of Latin poetry are all that he without due attention, he removed in 1756 to Pem- has to produce. broke-hall. In the next year, the office of poet
Τὸν φρονεῖν βροζὺς ὁδώ-
σαν]α, τῶ πάθει μαθὼν
θέν]α κυρίως ἐχειν.
DAUGHTER of Jove, relentless power,
Thou tamer of the human breast,
Whose iron scourge, and torturing hour,
The bad affright, afflict the best!
Bound in thy adamantine chain
The proud are taught to taste of pain,
And purple tyrants vainly groan
With pangs unfelt before, unpitied, and alone.
Scar'd at thy frown terrific, fly
Self-pleasing Folly's idle brood,
Wild Laughter, Noise, and thoughtless Joy,
And leave us leisure to be good.
Light they disperse, and with them go
The summer friend, the flattering foe;
By vain Prosperity receiv'd,
To her they vow their truth, and are again believ'd.
Wisdom, in sable garb array'd,
Immers'd in rapturous thought profound,
And Melancholy, silent maid,
With leaden eye, that loves the ground,
Still on thy solemn steps attend:
Warm Charity, the general friend,
With Justice, to herself severe,
And Pity, dropping soft the sadly-pleasing tear.
Oh, gently on thy suppliant's head,
Dread goddess, lay thy chastening hand!
Not in thy gorgon terrors clad,
Nor circled with the vengeful band,
(As by the impious thou art seen,)
With thundering voice, and threatening mien,
With screaming Horror's funeral cry,
Despair, and fell Disease, and ghastly Poverty.
When first thy sire to send on Earth
Virtue, his darling child, design'd, To thee he gave the heavenly birth,
And bade to form her infant mind.
Stern rugged nurse; thy rigid lore
With patience many a year she bore :
What sorrow was, thou bad'st her know,
And from her own she learn'd to melt at others' woe. The cock's shrill clarion, or the echoing horn,
The breezy call of incense-breathing Morn,
The swallow twittering from the straw-built shed,
No more shall rouse them from their lowly bed.
Thy form benign, oh, goddess! wear,
Thy milder influence impart,
Thy philosophic train be there,
To soften, not to wound, my heart.
The generous spark extinct revive,
Teach me to love and to forgive,
Exact my own defects to scan,
What others are, to feel, and know myself a man.
WRITTEN IN A COUNTRY CHURCH-YARD.
THE Curfew tolls the knell of parting day,
The lowing herd winds slowly o'er the lea, The plowman 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 Moon 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.
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 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 a-field!
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 Honor's voice provoke the silent dust,
Or Flattery soothe 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 unroll;
Chill Penury repress'd their noble rage,
And froze the genial current of the soul.