« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »
ELEGY WRITTEN IN A COUNTRY CHURCH-YARD.
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 :
Even from the tomb the voice of nature cries;
Even in our ashes live their wonted fires.
For thee, who, mindful of the unhonoured 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 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.
"Hard by yon wood, now smiling, as in scorn,
Muttering his wayward fancies, he would rove:
Now drooping, woful-wan, like one forlorn,
Or crazed with care, or crossed in hopeless love.
"One morn I missed him on the accustomed hill,
Along the heath, and near his favourite 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 churchway path we saw him borne ;
Approach and read (for thou canst read) the lay,
Graved on the stone beneath yon aged thorn."
Here rests his head upon the lap of earth
A youth, to fortune and to fame unknown :
Fair Science frowned not on his humble birth,
And Melancholy marked him for her own.
Large was his bounty, and his soul sincere :
Heaven did a recompense as largely send:-
He gave to misery all he had-a tear;
He gained from Heaven-'twas all he wished-a friend.
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.
F I had thought thou couldst have died,
I might not weep for thee;
But I forgot, when by thy side,
That thou couldst mortal be;
It never through my mind had pass'd
That time would e'er be o'er,
And I on thee should look my last,
And thou shouldst smile no more.
And still upon that face I look,
And think 'twill smile again,
And still the thought I will not brook
That I must look in vain.
But, when I speak, thou dost not say
What thou ne'er left'st unsaid,
And now I feel, as well I may,
Sweet Mary! thou art dead.
If thou wouldst stay even as thou art,
All cold and all serene,
I still might press thy silent heart,
And where thy smiles have been!
While e'en thy chill, bleak corse I have,
Thou seemest still mine own,
But there I lay thee in the grave—
And I am now alone.
I do not think, where'er thou art,
Thou hast forgotten me;
And I, perhaps, may soothe this heart
In thinking, too, of thee;
Yet there was round thee such a dawn
Of light ne'er seen before,
As fancy never could have drawn,
And never can restore.
WERE there one whose fires
True genius kindles, and fair fame inspires ;
Blest with each talent and each art to please,
And born to write, converse, and live with ease :
Should such a man, too fond to rule alone,
Bear, like the Turk, no brother near the throne,
View him with scornful, yet with jealous eyes,
And hate for arts that caused himself to rise;
Damn with faint praise, assent with civil leer,
And, without sneering, teach the rest to sneer;
Willing to wound, and yet afraid to strike,
Just hint a fault, and hesitate dislike;
Alike reserved to blame, or to commend,
A timorous foe, and a suspicious friend;
Dreading e'en fools, by flatterers besieged,
No further seek his merits to disclose
Or draw his frailties from their drea abie (There they, alike, in treming beng
The bosom of his Father and GA
Al Si qut that t
And think will smile again.
And still the thought I will not rock
That I must look in vain.
But, when I speak, thou dost not sa