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Of good Evander, still where he was left
Fix'd motionless, and petrified with dread.
So on they far'd. Discourse on other themes
Ensuing, seem'd to obliterate the past;
And tamer far for so much fury shown,
(As is the course of rash and fiery men)
The rude companion smil'd, as if transform'd;
But 'twas a transient calm. A storm was near,
An unsuspected storm.
Th' impious challenger of powers divine
Was now to learn that Heaven, though slow to wrath,
Is never with impunity defied.
His horse, as he had caught his master's mood,
Snorting, and starting into sudden rage,
Unbidden, and not now to be controll❜d,
Rush'd to the cliff, and, having reach'd it, stood.
At once the shock unseated him: he flew
Sheer o'er the craggy barrier; and immers❜d
Deep in the flood, found, when he sought it not,
The death he had deserv'd; and died alone.
So God wrought double justice; made the fool
The victim of his own tremendous choice,
And taught a brute the way to safe revenge.
A BARKING Sound the shepherd hears,
A cry as of a dog or fox;-
He halts, and searches with his eyes
Among the scatter'd rocks:
And now, at distance, can discern
A stirring in a brake of fern,
From which immediately leaps out
A dog, and, yelping, runs about.
The dog is not of mountain breed ;
Its motions, too, are wild and shy;
With something-as the shepherd thinks-
Unusual in its cry:
Nor is there any one in sight,
All round, in hollow, or on height;
Nor shout, nor whistle, strikes his ear:-
What is the creature doing here?
It was a cove, a huge recess,
That keeps, till June, December's snow; A lofty precipice in front,
A silent tarn below!
Far in the bosom of Helvellyn,
Remote from public road or dwelling,
Pathway, or cultivated land,
From trace of human foot or hand.
There, sometimes, does a leaping fish
Send through the tarn a lonely cheer:
The crags repeat the raven's croak,
In symphony austere.
Thither the rainbow comes; the cloud;
And mists, that spread the flying shroud;
And sun-beams; and the sounding blast,
That, if it could, would hurry past:-
But that enormous barrier binds it fast.
Not knowing what to think, a while
The shepherd stood; then makes his way
Towards the dog, o'er rocks and stones,
As quickly as he may;
Nor far had gone, before he found
A human skeleton on the ground:
Sad sight! the shepherd, with a sigh,
Looks round, to learn the history.
From those abrupt and perilous rocks,
The man had fallen, that place of fear!—
At length, upon the shepherd's mind
It breaks, and all is clear.
He instantly recall'd the name,
And who he was, and whence he came;
Remember'd, too, the very day
On which the traveller pass'd this way.
But hear a wonder now, for sake
Of which this mournful tale I tell! A lasting monument of words
This wonder merits well :
The dog, which still was hovering nigh,
Repeating the same timid cry,
This dog had been, thro' three months' space,
A dweller in that savage place.
Yes, proof was plain, that, since the day
On which the traveller thus had died,
The dog had watch'd about the spot,
Or by his master's side:
How nourish'd here, through such long time,
He knows, who gave that love sublime,
And gave that strength of feeling, great
Above all human estimate!
ELEGY WRITTEN IN A COUNTRY
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 droning flight,
And drowsy tinklings lull the distant folds;
Save that, from yonder ivy-mantled tower,
The moping owl does to the moon complain
Of such as, wandering near her secret bower,
Molest her ancient solitary reign.
Beneath those rugged elms, that yew-tree's shade,
Where heaves the turf in many a mouldering 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 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 busy housewife ply her evening care;
No children run to lisp their sire's return,
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 bow'd 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,
And all that beauty, all that wealth, e'er gave, Await alike th' inevitable hour,—
The paths of glory lead but to the grave!
Nor you, ye proud, impute to these the fault,
If memory o'er their tomb no trophies raise,
Where thro' the long-drawn aisle, and fretted vault,
The pealing anthem swells the note of praise.
Can storied urn, or animated bust,
Back to its mansion call the fleeting breath?
Can honour'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 sway'd, Or wak'd to ecstacy the living lyre.
But knowledge to their eyes her ample page,
Rich with the spoils of time, did ne'er unroll;
Chill penury repress'd their noble rage,
And froze the genial current of the soul.
Full many a gem of 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 listening senates to command,
The threats of pain and ruin to despise,
To scatter plenty o'er a smiling land,
And read their history in a nation's eyes,
Their lot forbade: nor circumscrib'd alone
Their growing virtues, but their crimes confin'd;
Forbade to wade through slaughter to a throne,
And shut the gates of mercy on mankind ;