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His liftless length at noontide would he ftretch, • And pore upon the brook that babbles by.

• Hard by yon wood, now smiling as in fcorn, 105


Mutt'ring his wayward fancies he would rove, Now drooping, woeful wan, like one forlorn, • Or craz❜d with care, or crofs'd in hopeless love. One morn I mifs'd him on the cuftom'd hill,

Along the heath, and near his fav'rite tree; • Another came; nor yet befide the rill,

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Nor up the lawn, nor at the wood was he; • The next with dirges due in fad array

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Slow thro' the church-way path we faw him born.

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Approach and read (for thou can't read) the lay, Grav'd on the ftone, beneath yon aged thorn.' *


HERE refts his head upon the lap of Earth
A Youth to Fortune and to Fame unknown:

Between this line and the Epitaph, Mr. Gray originally inferted a very beautiful ftanza, which was printed in fome of the first editions, but afterwards omitted; becaufe be thought fand in my own opinion very july) that it was too Jong a parenthefis in this place. The lines however, are, in themselves, exquifitely fine, and demand prefervation.

There fcatter'd oft, the earliest of the year,
By hands unfeen are fhow'rs of violets found;
The redbreaft loves to build and warble there,
And little footsteps lightly print the ground.


Fair Science frown'd not on his humble birth,
And Melancholy mark'd him for her own.
Large was his bounty, and his foul fincere,
Heav'n did a recompence as largely fend:
He gave to Mis'ry all he had, a tear,
He gain'd from Heav'n ('twas all he wish'd) a friend.
No farther feek his merits to disclose,


Or draw his frailties from their dread abode, (There they alike in trembling hope repofe,) The bofom of his Father and his God.







N concert with the curfew bell,

An Owl was chaunting Vespers in his cell ;
Upon the outfide of the wall,

A Black Bird, famous in that age,
From a bow window in the hall,
Hung dangling in a wicker cage;
Instead of pfalmody and pray❜rs,
Like thofe good children of St. Francis,
He fecularized all his airs,

And took delight in Wanton Fancies.
Whilft the bell toll'd, and the Owl chaunted,
Every thing was calm and ftill;

All nature feem'd rapp'd and enchanted,
Except the querelous, unthankfull rill;
Unawed by this impofing scene,
Our Black Bird the enchantment broke;
Flourish'd a sprightly air between,
And whistled the Black Joke.

* Born 1718; dyed 1785.

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This lively unexpected motion
Set nature in a gayer light;
Quite over-turn'd the Monks devotion,
And scatter'd all the gloom of night.
I have been taught in early youth,
By an expert Metaphyfician,
That ridicule's the teft of truth,
And only match for fuperftition.
Impofing rogues, with looks demure,
At Rome keep all the world in awe ;
Wit is profane, learning impure,
And reasoning against the Law.
Between two tapers and a book,
Upon a dreffer clean and neat,
Behold a facerdotal Cook,
Cooking a difh of heavenly meat!
How fine he curtfies! Make your
Thump your breaft foundly, beat your poll;
Lo! he has tofs'd up a Ragout,


To fill the belly of your foul.

Even here there are some holy men,
Would fain lead people by the nose;
Did not a Black Bird, now and then,
Benevolently interpofe.

My good Lord Bishop, Mr. Dean,
You shall get nothing by your spite;
Tristram shall whistle at your spleen,
And put Hypocrify to flight.







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HANKS to your wiles, deceitful fair,
The gods, fo long in vain implor'd,
At laft have heard a wretch's prayer;
At laft I find myself reftor'd,

From thy bewitching fnares and thee:
I feel for once this is no dream ;

I feel my captive foul is free;
And I am truly what I feem.

I cannot now, as heretofore,

Put on indifference or difdain,
To fmother flames, that burn no more,
To hide a paffion void of pain.

Without a blush your name I hear,

No tranfient glow my bofom heats; And, when I meet your eye, my dear, My fluttering heart no longer beats.

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