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Exulting, trembling, raging, fainting,
Amid the chords bewilder'd laid, And back recoil'd, he knew not why,
E’en at the sound himself had made.
Next, Anger rush’d: his eyes on fire
In lightnings own'd his secret stings: In one rude clash he struck the lyre, And swept with hurried hand the
strings. With woeful measures wan Despair
Low, sullen sounds his grief beguiled; A solemn, strange, and mingled air,
'Twas sad by fits, by starts 'twas wild. But thou, O Hope, with eyes so fair,
What was thy delighted measure? Still it whisper'd promised pleasure, And bade the lovely scenes at distance
hail ! Still would her touch the strain prolong; And from the rocks, the woods, the
vale, She callid on Echo still, through all the
song: And, where her sweetest theme she
chose, A soft responsive voice was heard at
every close, And Hope enchanted smiled, and waved
her golden hair. And longer had she sung;
but with a frown,
Revenge impatient rose :
And blew a blast so loud and dread, Were ne'er prophetic sounds so full of
woe! And, ever and anon, he beat
The doubling drum, with furious heat; And though sometimes, each dreary
pause between, Dejected Pity, at his side,
Her soul-subduing voice applied, Yet still he kept his wild unalter'd mien, While each strain'd ball of sight seem'd
bursting from his head. Thy numbers, Jealousy, to nought were
fix'd; Sad proof of thy distressful state; Of differing themes the veering song
was mix'd; And now it courted Love, now raving
call'd on Hate, With eyes upraised, as one inspired, Pale Melancholy sate retired, And from her wild sequester'd seat, In notes by distance made more sweet, Pour'd through the mellow horn her
pensive soul : And, dashing soft from rocks around, Bubbling runnels join'd the sound; Through glades and glooms the mingled
In hollow murmurs died away,
tone, When Cheerfulness, a nymph of heal
thiest hue, Her bow across her shoulder flung,
Her buskins gemm'd with morning Blew an inspiring air, that dale and
thicket rung, The hunter's call to Faun and Dryad
known ! The oak-crown'd sisters, and their
chaste-eyed Queen,' Satyrs and Sylvan Boys were seen, Peeping from forth their alleys green:
1 The Dryads and Diana.
DIRGE IN CYMBELINE. To fair Fidele's grassy tomb
Soft maids and village hinds shall bring Each opening sweet of earliest bloom,
And rifle all the breathing spring.
No wailing ghost shall dare appear
To vex with shrieks this quiet grove; But shepherd lads assemble here,
And melting virgins own their love.
No wither'd witch shall here be seen,
No goblins lead their nightly crew; But female fays shall haunt the green,
And dress thy grave with pearly dew.
The redbreast oft at evening hours
Shall kindly lend his little aid, With hoary moss and gather'd flowers To deck the ground where thou art
Brown Exercise rejoiced to hear;
dress'd; But soon he saw the brisk-awakening
· viol. Whose sweet entrancing voice he
loved the best; They would have thought who heard
the strain They saw, in Tempé's vale, her native
maids, Amidst the festal sounding shades, To some unwearied minstrel dancing, While as his flying fingers kiss'd the
strings, Love fram’d with Mirth a gay fantas
tic round: Loose were her tresses seen, her zone
When howling winds and beating rain
In tempests shake the sylvan cell, Or ’midst the chase upon the plain,
The tender thought on thee shall dwell.
Each lonely scene shall thee restore,
For thee the tear be duly shed; Beloved till life can charm no more,
And mourn’d till Pity's self be dead.
ODE TO MERCY.
STROPHE. O THOU, who sit'st a smiling bride By Valor's arm’d and awful side, Gentlest of sky-born forms, and best
adored; Who oft with songs, divine to hear,
Win'st from his fatal grasp the spear, And hid'st in wreaths of flowers his
bloodless sword ! Thou who, amidst the deathful field,
By god-like chiefs alone beheld, Oft with thy bosom bare art found, Pleading for him the youth who sinks to
See, Mercy, see, with pure and loaded Remembrance oft shall haunt the shore hands,
When Thames in summer wreaths is Before thy shrine my country's genius drest, stands,
And oft suspend the dashing oar And decks thy altar still, though pierced To bid his gentle spirit rest ! with many a wound !
And oft as ease and health retire
To breezy lawn, or forest deep,
The friend shall view yon whitening The fiend of nature join'd his yoke,
spire, And rush'd in wrath to make our isle his
And 'mid the varied landscape weep. prey; Thy form, from out thy sweet abode, But thou, who own'st that earthy bed, O’ertook him on his blasted road,
Ah! what will every dirge avail? And stopp'd his wheels, and look'd his Or tears with love and pity shed, rage away.
That mourn beneath the gliding sail! I see recoil his sable steeds,
That bore him swift to savage deeds, Yet lives there one, whose heedless eye Thy tender melting eyes they own;
Shall scorn thy pale shrine glimmering O maid, for all thy love to Britain shown, near?
Where Justice bars her iron tower, With him, sweet bard, may fancy die,
To thee we build a roseate bower, And joy desert the blooming year. Thou, thou shalt rule our queen, and share our monarch's throne !
But thou, lorn stream, whose sullen
And see, the fairy valleys fade, Where slowly winds the stealing wave ! Dun night has veil'd the solemn view! The year's best sweets shall duteous rise, Yet once again, dear parted shade, To deck its poet's sylvan grave !
Meek nature's child, again adieu ! In yon deep bed of whispering reeds
The genial meads assign'd to bless
Thy life, shall mourn thy early doom!
Their hinds and shepherd girls shall dress May love through life the soothing
With simple hands thy rural tomb. shade. Then maids and youths shall linger here, Long, long, thy stone, and pointed clay
And, while its sounds at distance swell, Shall melt the musing Briton's eyes, Shall sadly seem in pity's ear
0! vales, and wild woods, shall he say; To hear the woodland pilgrim's knell. In yonder grave your Druid lies !
THOMAS GRAY. .
1716–1771. [THOMAS GRAY was born in London on the 26th of December, 1716. His father is described
a citizen and money-scrivener”; we should say nowadays, he was on the stock-exchange. He appears to have been a selfish, extravagant, and violent man. Mr. Antrobus, Gray's uncle on the mother's side, was one of the assistant masters at Eton, and at Eton, under his care, Gray was brought up: At Eton he formed a friendship with Horace Walpole, and with Richard West, whose father was Lord Chancellor of Ireland. At Cambridge Gray did not read mathematics and took no degree. He occupied himself with classical literature, history, and modern languages; several of his translations and Latin poems date from this time. He intended to read law; but a few months after his leaving Cambridge, Horace Walpole invited him to be his companion on a tour through France and Italy. The friends visited Paris, Florence, and Rome, and remained abroad together more than two years. Gray saw and noted much; on this journey were produced the best of his Latin poems. Walpole, however, the son of the Prime Minister, and rich, gave himself airs; a difference arose which made Gray separate from him and return alone to England. He was reconciled with Walpole a year or two later; but meanwhile his father died, in 1741; his mother went to live at Stoke, near Windsor; and Gray, with a narrow income of his own, gave up the law and settled himself in college at Cambridge. In 1742 he lost his friend West; the Ode to the Spring was written just before West's death; the Ode on the Prospect of Eton, the Hymn to Adversity, and the Elegy written in a Country Churchyard, were written not long after. The first of Gray's poems which appeared in print was the Ode on the Prospect of Eton, published in folio by Dodsley in 1747; "little notice,” says Warton, was taken of it.
The Elegy was handed about in manuscript before its publication in 1750; it was popular instantly, and made Gray's reputation. In 1753 Gray lost his mother, to whom he owed everything, and whom he devotedly loved. In 1755 The Progress of Poesy was finished, and The Bard begun. The post of Poet-Laureate was offered to Gray in 1757, and declined by him. He applied to Lord Bute, in 1762, for the professorship of modern history at Cambridge, but in vain. Six years afterwards the professorship again became vacant, and the Duke of Grafton gave it to Gray without his applying for it. The year afterwards the Duke of Grafton was elected Chancellor of the University, and Gray composed for his installation the well-known Ode for Music. It was the last of his works. He talked of giving lectures as professor of history, but his health was bad, and his spirits were low; Gray was the most temperate of men, but he was full of hereditary gout. Travelling amused and revived him; he had made with much enjoyment journeys to Scotland, Wales, and the English Lakes, and in the last year of his life, 1771, he entertained a project of visiting Switzerland. But he was too unwell to make the attempt, and he remained at Cambridge. On the 24th of July, while at dinner in the College hall, he was seized with illness; convulsions came on, and on the 30th of July, 1771, at the age of fifty-four, Gray died. He was never married.]
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-cinctured chiefs, and
dusky loves. Her track, where'er the goddess roves, Glory pursue, and generous Shame, Th’unconquerable mind, and Freedom's
Thee the voice, the dance, obey,
proach declare. Where'er she turns the Graces hom
age pay, With arms sublime that float upon
the air; In gliding state she wins her easy
way : O’er her warm cheek and rising
bosom move The bloom of young Desire, and purple
light of Love.
Woods, that wave o'er Delphi's steep,
Inspiration breathed around: Every shade and hallow'd fountain
Murmur'd deep a solemn sound: Till the sad Nine, in Greece's evii
hour, Left their Parnassus, for the Latian
plains. Alike they scorn the pomp of tyrant
power, And coward Vice, that revels in
her chains. When Latium had her lofty spirit
lost, They sought, oh Albion! next thy sea
Man's feeble race what ills await, Labor and Penury, the racks of Pain, Disease, and Sorrow's weeping train, And Death, sad refuge from the
storms of Fate ! The fond complaint, my song, dis
prove, And justify the laws of Jove. Say, has he given in vain the heavenly
Muse? Night and all her sickly dews, Her spectres wan, and birds of boding
cry, He gives to range the dreary sky:
Till down the eastern cliffs afar Hyperion's march they spy, the glitter
ing shafts of war.
Far from the Sun and summer-gale, In thy green lap was Nature's darling
laid, What time, where lucid Avon stray'd, To him the mighty mother did un
veil Her awful face: the dauntless child Stretch'd forth his little arms, and
smiled. “This pencil take,” she said, “whose
In climes beyond the solar road, Where shaggy forms o’er ice-built
mountains roam, The Muse has broke the twilight