Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

Along the cool fequefter'd vale of life
They kept the noiseless tenor of their way.

Yet ev’n these bones from insult to protect
Some frail memorial ftill erected nigh,
With uncouth rhymes and shapeless sculpture deck'd
Implores the passing tribute of a sigh.

Their name, their years, fpelt by th' unletter'd Muse,
The place of fame and elegy supply ;
And many a holy text around the strews,
That teach the rustic moralist to die.

For who to dumb forgetfulness a prey,
This pleasing anxious being e'er refign’d,
Left the warm precincts of the cheerful day,
Nor cast one longing ling'ring look behind ?

On some fond breast the parting foul relies,
Some pious drops the closing eye requires :
Even from the tomb the voice of Nature cries,
Ev’n in our ashes live their wonted fires.

For thee, who mindful of the 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 fome hoary-headed swain may fay,
• Oft have we seen him at the peep of dawn,
“ Brushing with hafty steps the dew away
To meet the fun upon the upland lawn.

• There

« 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,
“ 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 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 church-way path we saw him borne. “ And approach read (for thou canst read) the lay, Grav'd on the stone, beneath yon aged thorn.”

THE EPITAPH. HERE refts his head upon the lap of Earth, A Youih, 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 foul sincere,
Heav'n did a recompence as largely send :

all he had a tear ; He gain'd from Heav'n('twas all he will'd) a friend.

No

He gave

to Mis’ry

No farther seek his merits to disclose,
Or draw his frailties from their dread abode,
(There they alike in trembling hope repoje)
The Bofom of bis Father and bis God.

GRAY

CH A P: XỈ.

[ocr errors]

WARRINGTON ACADEMY
MARK where its simple front yon manfion rears,
The nursery of men for future years!
Here callow chiefs and embryo fcatermen lie,
And unfledg'd poets short excursions try:
While Mersey's gentle current, which too long
By Fame neglected, and unknown to Song,
Detween his rushy banks, (no poet's theme)
Had crept inglorious, like a vulgar stream,
Reflects th’ascending seats with conscious pride, -
And dares to emulate a claffic tide.
Soft music breathes along cach op'ning fade,
And fooths the dashing of his rough cascade..
With mystic lines his fands are figur'd o'er,
And circles trac'd upon the letter'd shore.
Beneath his willows rove th' inquiring youth,
And court the fair majestic form of Truth.
Here Nature opens all her secret springs,
And heav'o-born Science plumes her eagle-wings:
Too long had bigot Rage, with malice swellid,
Cruh'd her strong pinions, and her flight withheld;
Too long to check her ardent progress-strove:
So writhe's the serpent round the bird of Jove ;

Hangs

Hangs on her flight, restrains her tow'ring wing
Twists its dark folds, and points its venom'd sting.
Yet ftill (if aught aright the Muse divine)
Her rising pride thalt mock the vain defign;
On sounding pinions yet aloft ihall foar,
And thro’ the azure deep unravellid paths explore.
Where Science (miles, the Muses join the train ;'
And gentleft arts and pure manners reign.

Ye generous youth, who love this studious shade ?
How rich a field is to your hopes display'd !
Knowledge to you unlocks the claffic page;
And virtue blossoms for a better age.
Oh golden days ! oh bright unvalued hours !
What biss (did ye but know that bliss) were yours?
With richest stores your glowing bofoms fraught,
Perception quick, and Luxury of thought;
The high Defigns that heave the labouring foul,
· Panting for fame, impatient of controul :
And fond enthusiastic Thought, that feeds :
On pictur'd tales of vast heroic deeds :
And quick Affections, kindling into flame
At virtue's or their country's honour'd name ;
And spirits light, to every joy in tune ;
And Friendship, ardent as a summer's noon;
And

generous Scorn of Vice's venal tribe ;
And proud Disdain of Interest's fordid bribe ;
And conscious Honour's quick instinctive sense ;
And Smiles unforc'd; and easy Confidence
And vivid Fancy; and clear simple Truth;
And all the mental bloom of vernal Youth,

How bright the scene to Fancy's eye appears,
Thro' the long perspective of diftant years ;

When

When this, this little

group their country calls
From academic shades and learned halls,
To fix her laws, her spirit to sustain,
And light up glory thro' her wide domain !
Their various tastes in different arts display'd,
Like temper'd harmony of light and shade,
With friendly union in one mass shall blend,
And this adorn the state, and that defend;
These the fequefter'd shade shall cheaply please,
With learned Labour, and inglorious Ease :
While those, impellid by some refiftless force,
O'er feas and rocks shall urge their vent'rous course ;
Rich fruits matur'd by glowing fans behold,
And China's groves of vegetable gold ;-
From every land the various harvest spoil,
And bear the tribute to their native soil :
But tell each land (while every toil they share,
Firm to sustain, and resolute to dare,)
MAN is the nobler growth our realms fupply,
And SOULS are ripen'd in our northern sky.

Some pensive creep along the shelly shore,
Unfold the silky texture of a flower ;
With sharpen's eyes inspect a hornet's fting,
And all the wonders of an infe&t's wing.
Some trace, with curious search the hidden cause
Of Nature's changes, and her various laws ;
Untwift her beauteous web, disrobe her charms,
And hunt her to her elemental forms:
Or

prove what hidden powers in herbs are found
To quench Disease, and cool the burning wound;
With cordial drops the fainting head sustain,
Call back the flitting soul, and still the throbs of Pain,

The

« VorigeDoorgaan »