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that at now being in that school, and seeing that very place where I sate when I was a boy, occasioned me to remember those very thoughts of my youth which then possessed me ; sweet thoughts indeed, that promised my growing years numerous pleasures without mixtures of cares; and those to be enjoyed when time (which I therefore thought slow-paced) had changed my youth into manhood. But age and experience have taught me, that these were but empty hopes ; for, I have always found it true, as my Saviour did foretel, sufficient for the day is the evil thereof. Nevertheless, I saw there a succession of boys using the same recreation, and questionless possessed with the same thoughts that then possessed me. Thus one generation succeeds another in their lives, recreations, hopes, fears, and death.”
ÆSCHYLUS, in Agamemnone.
[This Ode was originally published by Dodsley, together with “ The
Long Story," and three or four others, in a 4to Collection, bearing this title: “ Poems by Mr. Gray, with Designs by Mr. Bentley,” and was then called a “ Hymn to Adversity.” Dr. Johnson says, the hint of the Poem was first taken from “ O Diva, gratum quæ Regis Antium;" but Gray has excelled his original by the variety of his sentiments, and by their moral application. “ of this piece,” adds the rigid Censor, “ at once poetical and rational, I will not, by slight objec“tions violate the dignity.”-What is this, after all, but to “ damn “ with faint praise ?”]
DAUGHTER of Jove, relentless power,
Thou tamer of the human breast,
The bad affright, afflict the best!
And purple tyrants vainly groan
When first thy sire to send on earth
Virtue, his darling child, design'd, To thee he gave the heav'nly 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.
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 flatt'ring 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 rapt'rous thought profound, And Melancholy, silent maid,
With leaden eye that loves the ground,