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Forgive, ye proud, th' involuntary fault,
If memory to thele no trophies raise, Where through the long-drawn ille and fretted vault
The pealing anthem swells the notes of praise. Can storied urn, or animated bust,
Back to its mansion call the Aeeting breath ? Can honour's voice provoke the filent duft,
Or Aate'ry sooth the dull cold ear of death ? Perhaps in this neglected spot is laid
Some heart once pregnant with celestial fire,
Or wak'd to extasy the living lyre.
Rich with the spoils of time, did ne'er unro
And froze the genial current of the soul. Full many a gem of pureft 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 breaft
The little tyrant of his fields with stood ; Sɔme mute inglorious Milton here may reft,
Some Cromwell guiltless of his country's blood. Th' applause of lift'ning 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 forbad ; nor circumscrib'd alone
Their growing virtues, but their crimes. confin'd; Forbad to wade through Naughter to a throne,
And Mut the gates of mercy on mankind, The ftruggling pangs of conscious truth to hide,
To quench the blushes of ingenuous shame, Or heap the shrine of luxury and pride
With incense, kindled at the muse's fame.
Far from the madding crowd's ignoble ftrife,
Their sober wilhes never learn'd to stray; Along the cool fequefter'd vale of life
They kept the noiseless tenor of their way. Yet e'en these bones from insult to protect,
Some frail memorial ftill erected nigh, With uncouth rhymes and fhapeless sculpture deck'd,
Implores the paffing 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 ruftic moralift to die. For who to dumb forgetfulness a prey,
This pleasing anxious being e'er resign'd, Left the warm precincts of the chearful day,
Nor cast one longing, ling'ring look behind ? On some fond breaft the parting foul relies,
Some pious drops the closing eye requires ;
Awake and faithful to her wonted fires.
Doft in these lines their artless tale relate ;
Some kindred spirit shall inquire thy fate, Haply, some hóary-headed swain may fay,
i Oft have we seen him at the peep of dawn • Brushing with hafty steps the dews away,
• To meet the sun upon the upland lawn. • There at the foot of yonder nodding beech
• That wreathes its old fantastic roots so high, • His listless length at noon-tide 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 bill,
• Alor 3 the heath, and near his fav’rite 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. Approach and read (for thou can'It read) the lay,
• Gravid on the stone beneath yon aged thorn. • There scatter'd oft, the earliest of the year,
By hands unseen, are show'rs of violets found ; • The red-breast loves to build and warble there,
• And little foosteps lightly print the ground.
The EPIT A P H.
. Here rests his head upon the lap of earth
• A youth to fortune and to fame unknown: • Fair fcience frown'd not on his humble birth,
• And melancholy mark'd him for her own. • Large was his bounty, and his soul Gincere,
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.'
We have already observed that any dreadful catastrophe is a proper subject for Elegy ; and what can be more so than a civil war, where the fathers and children, the dearest relations and friends, meet each other in arms ? We have on this subject a most affecting Elegy, intituled the Tears of Scotland, ascribed to Dr. Smollet, and set to music by Mr. Ofwald, just after the late rebellion. The Tears of ScoTLAND. Written in the Year 1746.
Thy fons, for valour long renown'd,
war ; Bethinks him of his babes and wife, Then smites his breast, and curses life. Thy swains are familh'd on the rocks, Where once they fed their wanton flocks: Thy ravish'd virgins fhriek in vain ; Thy infants perilh on the plain.
III. What bouts it then, in every clime, Thro’ the wide spreading waste of time, Thy martial glory, crown’d with praise, Still fhone with undiminish'd blaze? Thy tow'ring spirit now is broke, Thy neck is bended to the yoke. What foreign arms could never quell, By civil rage, and rancour fell.
The rural pipe, and merry lay, No more shall chear the happy day: No social scenes of gay delight Beguile the dreary winter night: No strains but those of sorrow flow, And nought be heard but sounds of woe ; While the pale phantoms of the slain Glide nightly o'er the filent plain.
Oh baneful cause, oh ! fatal morn,
Yet, when the rage of battle ceas'd,
Thy banish'd peace, thy laurels torn."
Love as we have already observed, is likewise one of the proper subjects for this kind of poem. An example of which we shall give from the love Élegies lately publish'd by Mr. Hammond.
A LOV E ELE GY.
And view their fields with waving plenty crown'd, Whom neighb’ring foes in constant terror hold, And trumpets break their slumbers, never found :
Enjoy sweet, leisure by my chearful fire,
But cheaply bless’d i'll scorn each vain desire.