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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.
Some village-Hampden, that with dauntless breast
Th' applause of listening senates to command,
And read their history in a nation's eyes,
Their lot forbad: nor circumscrib'd alone
The struggling pangs of conscious truth to hide, To quench the blushes of ingenuous shame, Or heap the shrine of Luxury and Pride
With incense kindled at the Muse's flame.
Far from the madding crowd's ignoble strife, Their sober wishes never learn'd to stray; Along the cool sequester'd vale of life
They kept the noiseless tenor of their way.
Yet ev'n these bones from insult to protect,
Their name, their years, spelt by th' unletter'd Muse,
For who, to dumb Forgetfulness a prey,
This pleasing anxious being e'er resign'd, Left the warm precincts of the cheerful day, Nor cast one longing, lingering look behind?
On some fond breast the parting soul relies,
Some pious drops the closing eye requires; Ev'n from the tomb the voice of Nature cries, Ev'n in our ashes live their wonted fires.
For thee, who, mindful of th' unhonor'd dead,
Haply some hoary-headed swain may say,
"Oft have we seen him at the peep of dawn Brushing with hasty steps the dews away
To meet the Sun upon the upland lawn.
"There at the foot of yonder nodding beech, That wreathes its old fantastic roots so high, His listless length at noontide would he stretch, And pore upon the brook that bubbles by.
"Hard by yon wood, now smiling as in scorn, Muttering his wayward fancies he would rove, Now drooping woful wan, like one forlorn,
Or craz'd with care, or cross'd in hopeless love.
"One morn I miss'd him on the 'custom'd hill, Along the heath and near his favorite tree; Another came; nor yet beside the rill,
Nor up the lawn, nor at the wood was he: "The next with dirges due in sad array
Slow through the church-way path we saw him borne.
Approach and read (for thou canst read) the lay, Grav'd on the stone beneath yon aged thorn."
HERE rests his head upon the lap of Earth,
Large was his bounty, and his soul sincere,
No further seek his merits to disclose,
Or draw his frailties from their dread abode, (There they alike in trembling hope repose,) The bosom of his Father and his God.
THE PROGRESS OF POESY.
A PINDARIC ODE. Φωνᾶνα συνελοῖσιν· ἐς Δὲ τὸ πᾶν ἑρμηνέων χαλίζει. Pindar. Olym. ii.
AWAKE, Æolian lyre, awake,
The rocks, and nodding groves, rebellow to the roar
Oh! sovereign of the willing soul,
And frantic passions, hear thy soft control:
And dropp'd his thirsty lance at thy command:
Of Jove, thy magic lulls the feather'd king
Thee the voice, the dance, obey,
With antic sports and blue-ey'd pleasures,
Slow-melting strains their queen's approach declare:
Man's feeble race what ills await,
And Death, sad refuge from the storms of Fate!
Say, has he given in vain the heavenly Muse?
Her spectres wan, and birds of boding cry,
Hyperion's march they spy, and glittering shafts of
In climes beyond the solar road,
Thine too these golden keys, immortal boy!
Or ope the sacred source of sympathetic tears."
Nor second he,† that rode sublime
Upon the seraph-wings of Ecstasy,
He pass'd the flaming bounds of place and time:
Behold, where Dryden's less presumptuous car,
Two coursers of ethereal race,
With necks in thunder cloth'd, and long-resounding
Hark, his hands the lyre explore!
Thoughts that breathe, and words that burn.
Oh! lyre divine, what daring spirit
Where shaggy forms o'er ice-built mountains roam, Through the azure deep of air:
The Muse has broke the twilight gloom
To cheer the shivering native's dull abode. And oft, beneath the odorous shade
Of Chili's boundless forests laid,
She deigns to hear the savage youth repeat,
In loose numbers wildly sweet,
Their feather-cinctur'd chiefs, and dusky loves.
Th' unconquerable mind, and Freedom's holy flame.
Woods, that wave o'er Delphi's steep,
Or where Mæander's amber waves
How do your tuneful Echoes languish
Murmur'd deep a solemn sound:
Left their Parnassus, for the Latian plains.
They sought, oh Albion! next thy sea-encircled coast.
Far from the Sun and summer-gale,
In thy green lap was Nature's darling* laid,
To him the mighty mother did unveil
Her awful face: the dauntless child
"This pencil take," she said, "whose colors clear
Yet oft before his infant eyes would run
Beneath the good how far-but far above the great.
ODE ON THE SPRING.
Lo! where the rosy-bosom'd Hours,
And wake the purple year!
The untaught harmony of Spring:
Where'er the oak's thick branches stretch
Beside some water's rushy brink
(At ease reclin'd in rustic state)
Still is the toiling hand of Care:
The panting herds repose:
Yet hark, how through the peopled air
The busy murmur glows!
Meant to express the stately march and sounding energy of Dryden's rhymes.
The insect youth are on the wing,
And float amid the liquid noon:
To Contemplation's sober eye
And they that creep, and they that fly,
Alike the busy and the gay
In Fortune's varying colors drest:
Methinks I hear in accents low
"Poor moralist! and what art thou? A solitary fly!
Thy joys no glittering female meets,
ODE FOR MUSIC.
PERFORMED IN THE SENATE-HOUSE AT CAMBRIDGE, JULY 1, 1769, AT THE INSTALLATION OF HIS GRACE AUGUSTUS-HENRY FITZROY, DUKE OF GRAFTON, CHANCELLOR OF THE UNIVERSITY.
"HENCE, avaunt, ('tis holy ground,)
Servitude that hugs her chain,
Ye brown o'er-arching groves, That Contemplation loves,
Where willowy Camus lingers with delight! Oft at the blush of dawn
I trod your level lawn,
Oft woo'd the gleam of Cynthia silver-bright
But hark! the portals sound, and pacing forth
High potentates and dames of royal birth,
And sad Chatillon,† on her bridal morn
That wept her bleeding love, and princely Clare,
The murder'd saint, and the majestic lord,
"What is grandeur, what is power?
*Edward the Third; who added the fleur-de-lis of France to the arms of England. He founded Trinity College.
† Mary de Valentia, Countess of Pembroke, daughter
Let painted Flattery hide her serpent-train in flowers. of Guy de Chatillon, Comte de St. Paul in France: of
Nor Envy base, nor creeping Gain,
Dare the Muse's walk to stain,
While bright-ey'd Science watches round: Hence, away, 'tis holy ground!"
From yonder realms of empyrean day
Bursts on my ear th' indignant lay:
There sit the sainted sage, the bard divine,
Through every unborn age and undiscover'd clime.
Yet hither oft a glance from high
To bless the place, where on their opening soul
"Twas Milton struck the deep-ton'd shell,
whom tradition says, that her husband, Audemar de Valentia, Earl of Pembroke, was slain at a tournament on the day of his nuptials. She was the foundress of Pembroke College or Hall, under the name of Aula Maria de Valentia.
Elizabeth de Burg, Countess of Clare, was wife of John de Burg, son and heir of the Earl of Ulster, and daughter of Gilbert de Clare, Earl of Gloucester, by Joan of Acres, daughter of Edward the First. Hence the poet gives her the epithet of princely. She founded Clare-Hall.
§ Margaret of Anjou, wife of Henry the Sixth, foundress of Queen's College. The poet had celebrated her con jugal fidelity in a former ode.
Elizabeth Widville, wife of Edward the Fourth (hence called the paler rose, as being of the house of York.) She added to the foundation of Margaret of Anjou.
T Henry the Sixth and Eighth. The former the founder of King's, the latter the greatest benefactor to Trinity College.
Her conscious tail her joy declar'd; The fair round face, the snowy beard, The velvet of her paws,
Her coat, that with the tortoise vies, Her ears of jet, and emerald eyes,
She saw; and purr'd applause..
Still had she gaz'd; but 'midst the tide
* Countess of Richmond and Derby; the mother of Henry the Seventh, foundress of St. John's and Christ's Colleges.
The Countess was a Beaufort, and married to a Tudor; hence the application of this line to the Duke of Grafton, who claims descent from both these families.
↑ Lord-treasurer Burleigh was chancellor of the University in the reign of Queen Elizabeth.
ON A DISTANT PROSPECT OF ETON COLLEGE "Ανθρωπος· ἱκανὴ πρόφασις εἰς τὸ δυσυχεῖν. Menander.
YE distant spires, ye antique towers,
And ye, that from the stately brow
Of grove, of lawn, of mead survey,
His silver-winding way.
Ah, happy hills, ah, pleasing shade,
Where once my careless childhood stray'd,
I feel the gales, that from ye blow,
As waving fresh their gladsome wing, My weary soul they seem to soothe, And, redolent of joy and youth,
To breathe a second spring.
Say, father Thames, for thou hast seen
The paths of pleasure trace,
The captive linnet which enthral?
§ King Henry the Sixth, founder of the college.
While some on earnest business bent
Their murmuring labors ply
'Gainst graver hours, that bring constraint
To sweeten liberty;
The limits of their little reign,
And unknown regions dare descry: Still as they run they look behind, They hear a voice in every wind, And snatch a fearful joy.
Gay Hope is theirs, by Fancy fed,
Less pleasing, when possest; The tear forgot as soon as shed,
The sun-shine of the breast; Their buxom health, of rosy hue; Wild wit, invention ever new,
And lively cheer of vigor born; The thoughtless day, the easy night, The spirits pure, the slumbers light, That fly th' approach of morn.
Alas, regardless of their doom,
The little victims play!
No sense have they of ills to come,
And black Misfortune's baleful train. Ah, show them where in ambush stand To seize their prey, the murderous band! Ah, tell them, they are men!
These sha. the fury passions tear,
And Shame that skulks behind;
Or pining Love, shall waste their youth, Or Jealousy, with rankling tooth,
That inly gnaws the secret heart, And Envy wan, and faded Care, Grim-visag'd comfortless Despair, And Sorrow's piercing dart.
Ambition this shall tempt to rise,
Then whirl the wretch from high, To bitter Scorn a sacrifice,
And grinning Infamy.
The stings of Falsehood those shall try, And hard Unkindness' alter'd eye,
That mocks the tear it forc'd to flow; And keen Remorse, with blood defil'd, And moody Madness laughing wild Amid severest woe.
Lo, in the vale of years beneath
The painful family of Death,
More hideous than their queen:
Those in the deeper vitals rage:
To each his sufferings: all are men,
Yet ah! why should they know their fate?
And happiness too swiftly flies.
A PINDARIC ODE.
"RUIN seize thee, ruthless king!
On a rock, whose haughty brow
Frowns o'er old Conway's foaming flood,
With haggard eyes the poet stood;
(Loose his beard, and hoary hair
Stream'd, like a meteor, to the troubled air,)
"Hark, how each giant-oak, and desert cave,
O'er thee, oh king! their hundred arms they wave, Revenge on thee in hoarser murmurs breathe; Vocal no more, since Cambria's fatal day,
To high-born Hoel's harp, or soft Llewellyn's lay.
"Cold is Cadwallo's tongue,
That hush'd the stormy main;
Brave Urien sleeps upon his craggy bed:
Modred, whose magic song
Made huge Plinlimmon bow his cloud-topp'd head. On dreary Arvon's shore they lie,
Smear'd with gore, and ghastly pale:
Far. far aloof th' affrighted ravens sail :
Dear lost companions of my tuneful art,
*The hauberk was a texture of steel ringlets, or rings interwoven, forming a coat of mail, that sat close to the body, and adapted itself to every motion.
† Gilbert de Clare, surnamed the Red, Earl of Glouces ter and Hertford, son-in-law to King Edward.
Edmond de Mortimer, Lord of Wigmore.
§ The shores of Caernarvonshire, opposite to the Isle of Anglesea.