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For thee, who mindful of th' unhonoured dead
If chance," by lonely contemplation led,
Haply some hoary-beaded swain may say,
Crushing with hasty steps the dews away
"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, woeful wan, like one forlorn, Or crazed with care, or crossed in hopeless love.
"One morn I missed him on the customed 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 thro' the church-way path we s:iw him borne.
Approach and read (for thou canst read) the lay,
Graved on the stone beneath yon aged thorn."
THE PROGRESS OK 1'OESY
Awake, jEolian lyre, awake,
Oh! sovereign of the willing soul, Parent of sweet and solemn-breathing airs. Enchanting shell D the sullen cares, And frantic passions hear thy soft control. | On Tracia's hills the Lord of WarHas curbed the fury of his car, .' iid dropped his thirsty lance at thy command. Perching on the sceptred hand Of Jove, thy magic lulls the feathered kingWith ruffled plumes, and flagging wing: Quenched in dark clouds of slumber lie The terror of his beak, anil lightnings of his eve.
Thee the voice, the dance, obey,
Here rests his hi ad upon the lap of earth
Fair science frowned not on his humble birth.
Large was his bounty, and his soul .sincere. Heaven did a recompense as largely send:
77.' (/are to misery all lie had, a tear, He gained from Heaven ('twas all he wished) a friend.
Xo farther seel his merits to disclose,
Or draw his frailties from their dread abode,
(There they alike in trembling hope repose)
9 perc hance
i The lyre, said lo have ?Mars
been made by Her- 3 Jove's eagle
mes from a tor- 4 In Cyprus, sacred to
tolse shell. Venus (Cytherea).
* The odes of I'lndar. the most renowned lyric poet of ancient Greece, were mostly constructed In symmetrical triads, each triad containing a strophe, antistrophe, and epode. or turn, counter-turn, and after-song. Metrically the strophes and antlstrophes all corresponded exactly throughout, and likewise the epodcu. Tie* livelier odes were written In what was known ns the .Kollan mood. In contrast to the graver Dorian mood and the more tender I.ydian measures. Gray hits borrowed freely from I'lndar. even translating a portion of the first I'ythlan Ode. The following Is a condensation of Gray's notes to his own poem:
I. 1. The various sources of poetry, which gives life and lustre to all It touches.—I, 1\ 1'nwer of harmony to calm the turbulent sallies of the soul.—I. .1. Power of harmony to produce all the graces of motion In the body.
II. 1. Poetry given to mankind to compensate the real and imaginary Ills of life. — II. 2. Kxlenslve influence of poetic ixcnius over the remotest and most nnHvili/od nations. II. X Progress of Portrv from Greece to Italy, and from Italy to England.—III. 1. 1>. 3. Shakespeare, Milton. Dryden.
The rosy-crowned Loves are seen
With antic Sports, an.l blue-eyed Pleasures,
Where'er she turns the Graces homage pay.
Man's feeble race what ills await,
In climes beyond the solar road, Where shaggy forms o 'er ice-built mountains roam,
The Muse has broke the twilight-gloom
Woods, that wave o'er Delphi's steep,
* uplifted n foolish
Every shade and hallowed fountain
Far from the sun and summer-gale, In thy green lap was nature's darling laid, What time, where lucid Avon strayed, To him the mighty mother did unveil Her awful face: the dauntless child Stretched forth his little arms, and smiled. This pencil take (she said) whose colours clear Richly paint the vernal year: Thine too these golden keys, immortal boy! This can unlock the gates of joy; Of horror that, and thrilling fears, Or ope the sacred source of sympathetic tears.
Nor second he, that rode sublime
The living throne, the sapphire-blaze,"
Hark, his hands the lyre explore! Rright-eyed Fancy hovering o'er Scatters from her pictured urn Thoughts that breathe, and words that hum.
But ah! 'tis heard no more
O lyre divine, what daring spirit
Wakes thee now? tho' he inherit
Nor the pride, nor ample pinion,
That (he Theban Eaglei" bear
Sailing with supreme dominion
Thro' the azure deep of air:
Yet oft before his infant eyes would run
Such forms, as glitter in the Muse's ray
With orient hues, unborrowed of the sun:
7 Ezellel 1. 26
s "Meant to express the stately march and sounding energy of Dryden's rhymes." t Gray). ojob xxxlx, 10 10 Pindar
Yet shall he mount, and keep hia distant way
As flies the inconstant sun, over Larmon's grassy hill, so pass the tales of old, along my soul by night! When bards are removed to their place: when harps are hung in Selma's hall;' then comes a voice to Ossian, and awakes his soul! It is the voice of years that are gone! they roll before me, with all their deeds! I seize the tales as they pass, and pour them forth in soug. Nor a troubled stream is the song of the king, it is like the rising of music from Lutha of the strings. Lutha of many strings, not silent are thy streamy rocks, when the white hands of Malvina move upon the harp! Light of the shadowy thoughts, that fly across my soul, daughter of Toscar of helmets, wilt thou not hear the song? We call back, maid of Lutha, the years that have rolled away!
It was in the days of the king, while yet my locks were young, that I marked Concathlin.- on high, from ocean's nightly wave. My course was towards the isle of Fuarfed, woody dweller of seas! Fingal had sent me to the aid of Mal-orchol, king of Fuarfed wild: for war was around him, and our fathers had met at the feast.
In Col-coiled, I bound my sails; I sent my sword to Mal-orchol of shells.3 He knew the signal of Albion, and his joy arose. He came from his own high hall, and seized my hand
1 The royal residence of 3 See note 1 to Oray's
Fingal. ode Just preceding.
2 A star, perhaps the
* The rbvthinical prose pieces published by James Macpherson In 1760-1763 as translations from the ancient Gaelic bard Ossian (Olsln), son of Fingal (Finn), were apparently based upon genuine Gaelic, though probably not Usslanlc. remains, wltb liberal additions by Macpherson himself. See Eng. Lit. 21'.'!. In the poem here given. Ossian. addressing his daughter-in-law Mnlvlna. "maid of Luthn," relates a generous deed of his youthful days. Sent by his father to the assistance of the king of Fuarfed, he defeated the foe, Ton-thormod. and was promised the king's daughter, Oina-morul. But discovering that she loved Ton-thormod. he yielded his claim and brought about a reconciliation of the foes. The rather excessive punctuation of the piece is meant to emphasize Its rhythmical character.
in grief. "Why comes the race of heroes to a falling king* Ton-thormod of many spears is the chief of wavy Sar-dronlo. He saw and loved my daughter, white-bosomed Oina-morul. He sought; I denied the maid! for our fathers had been foes. He came, with battle, to Fuarfed; my people are rolled away. Why conies the race of heroes to a falling king?"
"I come not," I said, "to look, like a boy, on the strife. Fingal remembers Mal-orchol, and his hall for strangers. From his waves, the warrior descended on thy woody isle. Thou wert no cloud before him. Thy feast was spread with songs. For this my sword shall rise; and thy foes perhaps may fail. Our friends are not forgot in their danger, though distant is our land."
"Descendant of the daring Trenmor, thy words are like the voice of Cruth-loda,4 when he speaks, from his parting cloud, strong dweller of the sky! Many have rejoiced at my feast; but they all have forgot Mal-orchol. I have looked towards all the winds; but no white sails were seen. But steel resounds in my hall; and not the joyful shells. Come to my dwelling, race of heroes! dark-skirted night is near. Hear the voice of songs, from the maid of Fuarfed wild."
We went. On the harp arose the white hands of Oina-morul. She waked her own sad tale, from every trembling string. I stood in silence; for bright in her locks was the daughter of many isles! Her eyes were two stars, looking forward through a rushing shower. The mariner marks them on high, and blesses the lovely beams. With morning we rushed to battle, to Tormul's resounding stream: the foe moved to the sound of Ton-thormod's bossy shield. From wing to wing the strife was mixed. I met Ton-thormod in flight. Wide flew his broken steel. I seized the king in war. I gave his hand, bound fast with thongs, to Mal-orchol, the giver of shells. Joy rose at the feast of Fuarfed, for the foe had failed. Ton-thormod turned his face away, from Oinamorul of isles!
"Son of Fingal," began Mal-orchol, "not forgot shalt thou pass from me. A light shall dwell in thy ship, Oina-morul of slow-rolling eyes. She shall kindle gladness, along thy mighty soul. Xor unheeded shall the maid move in Selma, through the dwelling of kings!"
In the hall I lay in night. Mine eyes were half-closed in sleep. Soft music came to mine ear: it was like the rising breeze, that whirls.
first, the thistle's beard; then flies, ilark iadowy, over the grass. It waa the maid of fuarfed wild! she raised the nightly song; she i knew that my soul was a stream, that flowed at pleasant sounds. "Who looks," she said, '' from his rock on oeean's closing mist? Ilis long locks, like the raven's wing, are wandering on the blast. Stately are his steps in grief! The tears are in his eyes! His manly breast is heaving over his bursting soul! Retire, I am distant far; a wanderer in lands unknown. Though the race of kings are around me, yet my soul is dark. Why have our fathers been foes, Ton-thormod, love of maids?"
'•Soft voice of the streamy isle," I said, "why dost thou mourn by night? The race of daring Trenmor are not the dark in soul. Thou shalt not wander, by streams unknown, blur-eyed Oina-morul! Within this bosom is a voice; it conies not to other ears: it bids Ossian hear the hapless, in their hour of woe. Retire, soft singer by night! Ton-thormod shall not mourn on his rock! ''
With morning 1 loosed the king. I gave the i long-haired maid. Mal-orchol heard my words, I in the midst of his echoing halls. "King of Fuarfed wild, why should Ton-thormod mourn? He is of the race of heroes, and a flame in war. i Your fathers have been foes, but now their' dim ghosts rejoice in death. They stretch their hands of mist to the same shell in Loda.s Forget their rage, ye warriors! it was the cloud of other years."
Such were the deeds of Ossian, while yet his locks were young: though loveliness, with a robe of beams, clothed the daughter of many isles. We call back, maid of Lutha, the years that have rolled away!
Ossian's Address To The Sun
O thou that rollest above, round as the shield of my fathers! Whence are thy beams, 0 sun! thy everlasting light? Thou contest forth, in thy awful beauty; the stars hide themselves in the sky; the moon, cold and pale, sinks in the western wave. But thou thyself movest alone: who can be a companion of thy course? The oaks of the mountains fall: the mountains themselves decay with years; the ocean shrinks and grows again: the moon herself is lost in heaven; but thou art for ever the same; rejoicing in the brightness of thy course. When the world is dark with tempests; when thunder rolls, and lightning flies; thou lookest in thy
c The Hall of Odin.
beauty from the clouds, and laughest at the storm. But to Ossian, thou lookest in vain; for he beholds thy beams no more; whether thy yellow hair flows on the eastern clouds, or thou tremblest at the gates of the west. But thou art, perhaps, like me, for a season; thy years will have an end. Thou shalt sleep in thy clouds, careless of the voice of the morning. Exult then, 0 sun! in the strength of thy youth: Age is dark and unlovely; it is like the glimmering light of the moon, when it shines through broken clouds, ami the mist is on the hills; the blast of the north is on the plain, the traveler shrinks in the midst of his journey.
EPITAPH OX ROBERT CAXYXGE
Thys Morneynge Starre of Hadeleves rysynge Raie,
A True Man, Good of Mynde, and Canynge hyghte,1
Benethe thys Stone lies moltrynge ynto Claie, Untylle the darke Tom be sheene an aeterne Lyghte.
Thyrde from hys Loyns the present Canynge came ;t
Houton- are wordes for to telle his doe;'
Whan Mychael's Trompe shall sounde to rize the Sonlle,
I named 8 deeds
i hollow * no more
• The "Rowley poems" of Chatterton. ascribed by hlni to a fictitious priest called Itowley. of the fifteenth century, are written In a spurious archaic dialect, not a few of the forms heing pure Inventions, sometimes merely for convenience of rhyme. In the selections here given (except the Epitaph, which Is left unaltered) the spelling and some words are modernlzed. In accordance with Professor Skeat's edition, the better to show what genuine powers the youthful poet possessed. Chatter ton wrote after this fashion:
"In Vtrgyne the sweltrle sun gan sheene.
This Spenserian manner, as in the poetry of Thomson a generation earlier. Is In marked contrast to the prevailing classicism of the age. See Eng. Lit., p. 22.1. t William fanning, an actual mayor of Bristol in the time of Edward IV.. who with his grandfather rebuilt the beautiful church of St. Marv Redcllffe ("Radcleves rysynge Rale"). It does not appear that the great-grandfather. Robert, had any share In it. William fanning was asserted by Chatterton to have been Rowley's patron.
He'He wyngc toe heaven with kynne, and happie be ther dolle.5
AX EXCELENTE BALADE OF CHARITIE
(As Written By The Hood Priest Thomas Rowley, 1464)
In Virgo now the sultry sun did slieeno,
The sun was gleaming in the midst of day,
Beneath a holm,8 fast by a pathway-side.
Look in his gloomed face, his sprite there scan;
The gathered Btorm is ripe; the big drops fall. The sun-burnt meadows smoke, and drink the rain;
The coming ghastness10 doth the cattle 'pall," And the full flocks are driving o'er the plain: Dashed from the clouds, the waters fly again: The welkin opes; the yellow lightning flies. And the hot fiery steam in the wide flashings dies.
'• their dole Hot> s holm oak
« goldfinch •■> rustic In his dress
• Misused for "apparel"; 10 For "chasllinoss." properly "a purse." n appal
List! now the thunder's rattling noisy sound
Still on the frighted ear of terror hangs;
Spurring his palfrey o'er the watery plain.
With the poor alms-eraver near to the holm to bide.
His cope was all of Lincoln cloth so fine,
"An alms, sir priest!'' the drooping pilgrim said,
"Oh! let me wait within your convent-door,
"Varlet!" replied the Abbot, "cease your din;
This is no season alms and prayers to give.
And shot upon the ground his glaring ray; The Abbot spurred his steed, and eftsoons rode away.
Once more the sky was black, the thunder rolled,
Fast running o'er the plain a priest was seen;
12 small round hat n loose white robe
i i backward told his iiarrayed
beads, i. e.. cursed cross
i Cbatterton i