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The little victims play!
These shall the fury Passions tear,
Ambition this shall tempt to rise,
Lo, in the vale of
A grisly troop are seen,
To each his suff'rings : all are men,
Yard. The curfew tolls the knell of parting day, 'The lowing herd winds slowly o'er the lea; The ploughman homeward plods his weary way, And leaves the world to darkness and to me. Now fades the glimmering landscape on the sight, And all the air a solemn stillness holds ; Save where the beetle wheels his drony flight, And drowsy tinklings lull the distant folds; Save that from yonder ivy-mantled tow'r, The mopeing owl does to the moon complain Of such , as wand'ring near her secret bow'r, Molest her ancient solitary reign. Beneath those rugged elms, that yew-tree's shade,
, Where heaves the turf in niany a mould'ring heap, Each in his narrow cell for ever laid, The rude forefathers of the hamlet sleep. The breezy call of incense-breathing Morn, The swallow twittring from the straw-built shed, The cock's shrill clarion, or the echoing horn No
shall them from their lowly bed. For them no more the blazing hearth shall burn, Or busy housewife ply her evening care: No children run to lisp their sire's return,
Or climb his knees the envied kiss to share.
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 The little Tyrant of his fields withstood; Some mute inglorious Milton here may rest, Some Cromwell guiltless of his country's blood.
Th? applause of listning senates to command,
their years, spelt by th' unletter'd 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 resignd, Left the warm precincts of the cheerful day, Nor cast one longing ling’ring 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' unhonour'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 dew away • To meet the sun upon the upland lawn. · There at the foot of yonder nodding beech , · That wreaths 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,
Mutt'ringh is wayward fancies he would rove;
Now drooping, woeful wan, like one forlorn, 'Or craz'd with care, or crossd in hopeless love. ' One morn I miss'd him on th' accustom'd hill,
Along the heath, and near his favourite tree; ' Another came; nor yet beside the rill, ' Nor up
nor at the wood was · 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
The Epitaph. Hin rests his head upon the lap of Earth, A Youth to Fortune and to Fame unknown: Fair Science frown'd not on his humble birth, And Melancholy mark'd him for her own. Large was his bounty and his soul sincere, Heav'n did a recompence as largely send: 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 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. GRAT.
yon aged thorn.