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Where is He?
ND where is he? Not by the side
Where sweetly lost, he oft would wend!
Those scenes admired no more shall seeThose scenes are lovely as before,
And she as fair-but where is he?
No, no, the radiance is not dim
That used to gild his favorite hill; The pleasures that were dear to him, Are dear to life and nature still : But ah! his home is not so fair,
Neglected must his garden be— The lilies droop and wither there,
And seem to whisper, where is he?
His was the pomp, the crowded hall!
But where is now the proud display? His riches, honors, pleasures, all
Desire could frame; but where are they? And he,-as some tall rock that stands
Protected by the circling sea,— Surrounded by admiring bands,
Seemed proudly strong-and where is he?
The churchyard bears an added stone,
And death displays his banner there;
And what has been no more shall be; The well-known form, the welcome tread, Oh! where are they? and where is he? HENRY NEELE.
ELEGY IN A COUNTRY CHURCHYARD. 283
WE watched her breathing through the night,
Her breathing soft and low,
As in her breast the wave of life
So silently we seemed to speak,
As we had lent her half our powers
Our very hopes belied our fears,
We thought her dying when she slept,
For when the morn came, dim and sad,
Elegy written in a Country Church
HE 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,
Save that from yonder ivy-mantled tower
Beneath those rugged elms, that yew-tree's shade, Where heaves the turf in many a mouldering heap, Each in his narrow cell forever laid,
The rude forefathers of the hamlet sleep.
The breezy call of incense-breathing morn,
The swallow twittering from the straw-built shed, The cock's shrill clarion, or the echoing horn,
No more shall rouse them from their lowly bed.
For them no more the blazing hearth shall burn,
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 afield!
How bowed 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,
The paths of glory lead but to the grave.
Nor you, ye proud, impute to these the fault,
ELEGY IN A COUNTRY CHURCHYARD. 285
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 swayed, Or waked to ecstasy the living lyre.
But Knowledge to their eyes her ample page,
And froze the genial current of the soul.
Full many a gem, of purest ray serene,
The dark, unfathomed 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
The applause of listening senates to command,
And read their history in a nation's eyes,
Their lot forbade : nor circumscribed alone
Their growing virtues, but their crimes confined; Forbade to wade through slaughter to a throne, And shut the gates of mercy on mankind;
The struggling pangs of conscious truth to hide,
With incense kindled at the Muse's flame.
Far from the madding crowd's ignoble strife,
They kept the noiseless tenor of their way.
Yet ev'n these bones, from insult to protect,
Their name, their years, spelt by the unlettered Muse, The place of fame and elegy supply;
And many a holy text around she strews,
For who, to dumb forgetfulness a prey,
This pleasing, anxious being e'er resigned, 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 the unhonored dead,
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 beech
That wreathes its old fantastic roots so high, His listless length at noontide would he stretch, And pore upon the brook that babbles by.