« ÎnapoiContinuați »
Oft did the harvest to their sickle yield, | The struggling pangs of conscious truth to hide,
Their furrow oft the stubborn glebe has broke; To quench the blushes of ingenuous shame, How jocund did they drive their team afield ! Or heap the shrine of luxury and pride How bowed the woods beneath their sturdy With incense kindled at the muse's flame. stroke !
Far from the madding crowd's ignoble strife, Let not ambition inock their useful toil,
Their sober wishes never learned to stray ; Their homely joys, and destiny obscure; Along the cool sequestered vale of life Nor grandeur hear with a disdainful smile They kept the noiseless tenor of their way. The short and simple annals of the poor.
Yet even these bones from insult to protect, The boast of heraldry, the pomp of power, Some frail memorial still erected nigh,
And all that beauty, all that wealth e'er gave, With uncouth rhymes and shapeless sculpture Awaits alike the inevitable hour.
decked, The paths of glory lead but to the grave. Implores the passing tribute of a sigh.
Nor you, ye proud, impute to these the fault,
If Memory o'er their tomb no trophies raise, Where, through the long-drawn aisle and fretted
vault, The pealing anthem swells the note of praise.
Their name, their years, spelt by th' unlettered
That teach the rustic moralist to die.
('an storied urn or animated bust
For who, to dumb forgetfulness a prey, Back to its mansion call the fleeting breath?
This pleasing anxious being e'er resigned, ('an honor's voice provoke the silent dust, Or Hattery soothe the dull, cold ear of death ? Left the warm precincts of the cheerful day,
Nor cast one longing lingering look behind Perhaps in this neglecied spot is laid Some heart once pregnant with celestial fire ;
On some fond breast the parting soul relies, Hands, that the rod of empire might have swayed, Een from the tomb the voice of Nature cries,
Some pious drops the closing eye requires ; Or waked to ecstasy the living lyre :
E'en in our ashes live their wonted fires. But knowledge to their eyes her ample page,
Rich with the spoiis of time, did ne'er unroll; For thee, who, mindful of th' unhonored dead, Chill penury repressed their noble rage,
Dost in these lines their artless tale relate, And froze the genial current of the soul. If chance, by lonely contemplation led,
Some kindred spirit shall inquire thy fate, Full many a gem of purest ray serene The dark, unfathomed caves of ocean bcar;
Haply some hoary-headed swain may say, Full many a flower is born to blush unseen, “Oft have we seen him at the peep of dawn And waste its sweetness on the desert air. Brushing with hasty steps the dews away,
To meet the sun upon the upland lawn. Some village Hampden, that, with dauntless breast,
" There at the foot of yonder nodding heech, The little tryant of his fields withstood,
That wreathes its old, fantastic roots so high, Some mute, inglorious Milton here may rest, His listless length at noontide would he stretch,
Some Cromwell, guiltless of his country's blood. And pore upon the brook that babbles by.
Th' applause of listening senates to command, “Hard by yon wood, now smiling as in scorn,
The threats of pain and ruin to despise, Muttering his wayward fancies he would rove; To scatter plenty o'er a smiling land,
Now drooping, woeful-wani, like one forlorn, And read their history in a nation's eyes,
Or crazed with care, or crossed in hopeless
love. Their lot forbade: nor circumscribed alone Their growing virtues, but their crimes con- “One morn I missed him on the customed hill, fined ;
Along the heath, and near his favorite tree; Forbade to wade through slaughter to a throne, Another came; nor yet beside the rill,
And shut the gates of merey on mankind, Nor up the lawn, nor at the wood was he;
The next, with dirges due in sad array, Thy growth, to be resolved to earth again ; Slow through the church-way path we saw him And, lost each human trace, surrendering up borne.
Thine individual being, shalt thou go Approach and read (for thou canst read) the lay To mix forever with the elements ; Graved on the stone beneath yon aged thorn." To be a brother to the insensible rock,
And to the sluggish clod, which the rude swain
Turns with his share, and treads upon. The oak THE EPITAPH.
Shall send his roots abroad, and pierce thy mould. Here rests his head upon the lap of Earth
Yet not to thine eternal resting place A youth to Fortune and to Fame unknown;
Shalt thou retire alone, nor couldst thou wish Fair Science frowned not on his humble birth, And Melancholy marked him for her own.
Couch more magnificent. Thou shalt lie down
With patriarchs of the infant world, with Large was his bounty, and his soul sincere,
kings, Heaven did a recompense as largely senil ;
The powerful of the earth, — the wise, the good,
Fair forms, and hoary seers of ages past,
Rock-ribbed, and ancient as the sun ; the vales
Stretching in pensive quietness between ; So farther seek his merits to disclose,
The venerable woods ; rivers that move Or draw his frailties from their dread abode,
In majesty, and the complaining brooks, (There they alike in trembling hope repose)
That make the meadows green ; and, poured The bosom of his Father and his God.
Of the great tomb of man! The golden sun, INSCRIPTION ON MELROSE ABBEY. The planets, all the infinite host of heaven,
Are shining on the sad abodes of death,
Of morning, pierce the Barcan wilderness,
Where rolls the Oregon, and hears no sound
Save his own dashings, - yet the dead are there!
And millions in those solitudes, since first To him who, in the love of Nature, holds The flight of years began, have laid them down Communion with her visible forms, she speaks In their last sleep, — the dead reign there alone ! A various language : for his gayer hours So shalt thou rest; and what if thou withdraw She has a voice of gladness, and a smile In silence from the living, and no friend And eloquence of beauty ; and she glides Take note of thy departure? All that breathe Into his darker musings with a mild
Will share thy destiny. The gay will laugh And healing sympathy, that steals away When thou art gone, the solemn brood of care Their sharpness, ere he is aware. When thoughts Plod on, and each one, as before, will chase Of the last bitter hour come like a blight His favorite phantom ; yet all these shall leave Over thy spirit, and sad images
Their mirth and their employments, and shall Of the stern agony, and shroud, and pall, And breathless darkness, and the narrow house, And make their bed with thee. As the long train Make thee to shudder, and grow sick at heart, Of ages glide away, the sons of men Go forth under the open sky, and list
The youth in life's green spring, and he who goes To Nature's teachings, while from all around In the full strength of years, matron and maid, Earth and her waters, and the depths of air And the sweet babe, and the gray-headed man Comes a still voice : – Yet a few days, and thee Shall, one by one, be gathered to thy side The all-beholding sun shall see no more
By those who in their turn shall follow them. In all his course ; nor yet in the cold ground, Where thy pale form was laid, with many tears, So live, that when thy summons comes to join Nor in the embrace of ocean, shall exist
The innumerable caravan that moves Thy image. Earth, that nourished thee, shall To the pale realms of shade, where each shall take claim
His chanıber in the silent halls of death,
That joy and grief, and hope and fear,
Alternate triumphed in his breast : His bliss and woe -- a smile, a tear !
- Oblivion hides the rest. The bounding pulse, the languid limb,
The changing spirit's rise and fall, -
For these are felt by all.
Enjoyed, – but his delights are fled ;
And foes, — his foes are dead.
He loved, but whom he loved, the grave
Hath lost in its unconscious womb : O, she was fair, but naught could save
Her beauty from the tomb.
While man is growing, life is in decrease ;
DR. E. YOUNG
He saw whatever thou hast seen ;
Encountered all that troubles thee; He was — whatever thou hast been;
He is - what thou shalt be.
Our days begin with trouble here,
Our life is but a span,
New England Primer.
The rolling seasons, day and night,
Sun, moon, and stars, the earth and main, Erewhile his portion, life and light,
To him exist in vain.
The clouds and sunbeams, o'er his eye
That once their shades and glory threw, Have left in yonder silent sky
No vestige where they flew.
Their ruins, since the world began,
Of no distemper, of no blast he died,
Edipus, Activ. Sc. 1.
Happy they! Thrice fortunate! who of that fragile mould, The precious porcelain of human clay, Break with the first fall.
Don Juan, Cant. iv. Hark! to the hurried question of despair : “Where is my child ?" an echo answers,
“ Where?” Bride of Abydos, Cant. ii.
BYRON. Oh! when a Mother meets on high
The Babe she lost in infancy,
The day of woe, the watchful night,
An over-payment of delight ?
R. SOUTHEY. What, all my pretty chickens, and their dam, At one fell swoop?
Macbeth, dctiv. Sc. 3.
Let guilt, or fear,
nothing can we call our own but death, Disturb man's rest, Cato knows neither of them ; And that small model of the barren earth Indifferent in his choice, to sleep or die.
Which serves as paste and cover to our bones.
Ruchard II., Act ii. Sc. 2.
The Grave, dread thing!
Men shiver when thou 'rt named ; Nature, apFor oh ! it goes against the mind of man To be turned out from its warm wonted home,
Shakes off her wonted firmness.
Cruel as death, and hungry as the grave. The sense of death is most in apprehension ;
The Seasons: Winter.
THOMSON, And the poor beetle, that we tread upon, In corporal sufferance finds a pang as great
Brave Percy, fare thee well! As when a giant dies.
Ill-weaned ambition, how much art thou shrunk: Measure for Measure, Act iii. Sc. 1.
When that this body did contain a spirit,
A kingdom for it was too small a bound; Cowards die many times before their deaths ;
two paces of the vilest earth The valiant never taste of death but once. Is room enough. Fulius Cæsar, Actii Sc. 2
Henry VI., Part I. Act v. Sc. 4.