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There let the shepherd's flute, the virgin's lay,
The prompting seraph, and the poet's lyre,
Still sing the God of seasons as they roll.
For me, when I forget the darling theme,
Whether the blossom blows, the summer ray
Russets the plain, inspiring Autumn gleams,
Or winter rises in the blackening east-
Be my tongue mute my fancy paint no more,
And, dead to joy, forget my heart to beat!
Should fate command me to the farthest verge Of the green earth, to distant barb'rous climes, Rivers unknown to song; where first the sun Gilds Indian mountains, or his setting beam Flames on the Atlantic isles; 'tis nought to meSince God is ever present, ever felt,
In the void waste as in the city full-
And where HE vital spreads, there must be joy.
When even at last the solemn hour shall come,
And wing my mystic flight to future worlds.
I Cheerful will obey-there with new powers,
Will rising wonders sing-I cannot go,
Where UNIVERSAL LOVE smiles not around.
Sustaining all yon orbs, and all their suns-
From seeming evil still educing good,
And better thence again, and better still,
In infinite progression-but I lose
Myself in HIM, IN LIGHT INEFFABLE!
Come then, expressive Silence, muse His praise.
Breathes in our soul, informs our mortal part,
As full, as perfect, in a hair as heart :
As full, as perfect, in vile man that mourns,
As the rapt seraph that adores and burns:
To him no high, no lo, no great, no small;
He fills, he bounds, connects and equals all.
Cease, then, nor ORDER, imperfection name:
Our proper bliss depends on what we blame.
Know thy own point ; this kind, this due degree
Of blindness, weakness, Heaven bestows on thee.
Submit-In this, or any other sphere,
Secure to be as blest as thou canst bear;
Safe in the hand of one disposing Power,
Or in the natal, or the mortal hour.
All Nature is but Art unknown to thee;
All Chance, Direction which thou canst not see;
All Discord, Harmony not understood;
All partial Evil, universal Good;
And, spite of Pride, unerring Reason's spite,
One truth is clear, "WHATEVER IS, IS RIGHT."
III-Description of a Country Alehouse.—
NEAR yonder thern that lifts its head on high,
Where once the signpost caught the passing eye;
Low lies that house, where nut brown draughts inspir'd;
Where gray beard mirth, and smiling toil retir'd;
Where village statesman talk'd, with looks profound,
And news, much older than their ale, went round.
Imagination fondly stoops to trace
The parlor splendors of that festive place;
The white wash'd wall; the nicely sanded floor;
The varnish'd clock, that click'd behind the door;
The chest, contriv'd a double debt to pay,
A bed by night, a chest of drawers by day;
The pictures plac'd for ornament and use,
The twelve good rules, the royal game of goose;
The hearth, except when winter chill'd the day,
With aspen boughs, and flowers and fennel gay:
While broken teacups, wisely kept for show,
Rang'd o'er the chimney glisten'd in a row.
Vain transitory splendors! could not all
Reprieve the tottering mansion from its fall!
Obscure it sinks; nor shall it more impart
An hour's importance to the poor man's heart.
Thither no more the peasant shall repair,
To sweet oblivion of his daily care;
No more the farmer's news, the barber's tale,
No more the wordman's ballad shall prevail;
No more the smith his dusky brow shall clear,
Relax his pond'rous strength, and lean to hear.
The host himself no longer shall be found Careful to see the mantling bliss go round; Nor the coy maid, half willing to be press'd, Shall kiss the cup, to pass it to the rest.
IV-Character of a Country Schoolmaster.—IB. BESIDE yon straggling fence that skirts the way, With blossom'd furze, unprofitably gay, There, in his noisy mansion, skill d to rule, The village master taught his little school. A man severe he was, and stern to view; I knew him well, and every truant knew. Well had the boding tremblers learn'd to trace The day's disasters in his morning face: Full well they laugh'd, with counterfeited glee, At all his jokes-for many a joke had he;" Full well the busy whisper, circling round, Convey'd the disinal tidings when he frown'd. Yet he was kind; or, if severe in aught, The love he bore to learning was in fault. The village all declar'd how much he knew, 'Twas certain he could write and cypher too; Lands he could measure, times and tides presage ; And e'en the story ran that he could guage. In arguing too the parson own'd his skill; For, e'en though vanquish'd he could argue still; While words of learned length and thund'ring sound, Amaz'd the gazing rustics, rang'd around ; And still they gaz'd-and still the wonder grew, That one small head could carry all he knew. V-Story of Palemon and Lavinia.-THOMSON.
The lovely young Lavinia once had friends,
And fortune smil'd, deceitful, on her birth.
For, in her helpless years, depriv'd of all,
Of every stay, save Innocence and Heaven,
She, with her widow'd mother, feeble, old
And poor, liv'd in a cottage, far retir'd
Among the windings of a woody vale;
By solitude and deep surrounding shades,
But more by bashful modesty conceal'd.
Together thus they shun'd the cruel scorn,
Which virtue, sunk to poverty, would meet
From giddy passion and low minded pride:
Almost on nature's common bounty fed;
Like the gay birds that sung them to repose,
Content, and careless of tomorrow's fare.
Her form was fresher than the morning rose, When the dew wets its leaves; unstain'd and pure, As is the lilly, or the mountain snow,
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 e'en these bones from insult to protect,
Some frail memorial still erected nigh,
With uncouth rhymes and shapeless sculpture deck'd,
Implores the passing tribute of a sigh.
Their name, their years, spelt by th' unletter'd muse,
The place of fame and elegy supply:
And many a holy text around she strews,
That teach the rustic moralist to die.
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, lingʻring look behind?
On some fond breast the parting soul relies;
Some pious drops the closing eye requires;
E'en from the tomb the voice of nature cries,
E'en in our ashes live their wonted sires.
For thee, who, mindful of the unhonor'd dead,
Dost in these lines their artless tale relate,
If chance, by lonely contemplation led,
Some kindred spirit shall inquire thy fate,
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 beach,
That wreathes its old fantastic roots so high,
His listless length at noontide would he stretch,
And pore upon the brook that babbles by.
Hard by yon wood, now smiling, as in scorn,
Mutt'ring his wayward fancies he would rove;
Now drooping, woeful wan, like one forlorn,
Or craz'd with care, or cross'd in hopeless love,
One morn I miss'd him on th' accustom'd hill,
Along the heath, and near his fav'rite 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,
A youth to fortune and to fame unknown:
Bid them be chaste, be innocent like thee;
Bid them in duty's sphere, as meekly move:
And if as fair, from vanity as free.
As firm in friendship, and as fond in love;
Tell them, though 'tis an awful thing to die,
('Twas e'en to thee) yet the dread path once trod,
Heaven lifts its everlasting portals high,
And bids the "pure in heart behold their God."
X-Extract from the Temple of Fame -POPE.
AROUND these wonders as I cast a look,
The trumpet sounded and the temple shook ;
And all the nations summon'd at the call,
From different quarters fill the spacious Hall.
Of various tongues the mingled sounds were heard ;
In various garbs promiscuous throngs appear'd:
Millions of suppliant crowds the shrine attend,
And all degrees before the goddess bend;
The poor, the rich, the valiant and the sage,
And boasting youth, and narrative old age.
First, at the shrine, the learned world appear,
And to the goddess thus prefer their prayer:
Long have we sought t'instruct and please mankind, With studies pale, and midnight vigils blind : But thank'd by few. rewarded yet by none, We here appeal to thy superior throne ; On wit and learning the just prize bestow, For Fame is all we must expect below." The goddess heard, and bid the muses raise The golden trumpet of eternal praise. From pole to pole the winds diffuse the sound, And fill the circuit of the world around : Not all at once, as thunder breaks the cloud, The notes at first were rather sweet than loud : By just degrees they every moment rise, Spread round the earth, and gain, upon the skies. Next these, the good and just, an awful train, Thus, on their knees, address the sacred fane : "Since living virtue is with envy curs'd, And the best men are treated as the worst, Do thou, just goddess, call our merits forth, And give each deed the exact intrinsic worth."
Not with bare justice shall your acts be crown'd
(Said Fame) but high above desert renown'd
Let fuller notes th' applauding world amaze,
And the loud clarion tabour in your praise."
A troop came next, who crowns and armor wore, And proud defiance in their looks they bore.