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Who, with ancestral feeling, can perceive
What in those structures ye possess
Of ornamental interest, and the charm
Of pious sentiment diffus’d afar,
And human charity, and social love.

Thus never shall the indignities of time
Approach their reverend graces unoppos’d;
Nor shall the elements be free to hurt
Their fair proportions ; nor the blinder rage
Of bigot zeal madly to overturn.
And if the devastating hand of war
Spare them, they shall continue to bestow
Upon the throng'd abodes of busy men
(Deprav'd, and ever prone to fill their minds
Exclusively with transitory things)
An air and mien of dignified pursuit ;
Of sweet civility on rustic wilds.

The poet, fostering for his native land
Such hope, entreats that servants may abound
Of those pure altars worthy; ministers
Detach'd from pleasure ; to the love of gain
Superior ; unsusceptible of pride,
And by ambitious longings undisturb'd :
Men whose delight is where their duty leads
Or fixes them ; whose least distinguish'd day
Shines with some portion of that heav'nly lustre
Which makes the Sabbath lovely in the sight
Of blessed angels, pitying human cares.



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, wand'ring near her secret bower,

Molest her ancient solitary reign. Hark! how the sacred calm that breathes around

Bids ev'ry fierce tumultuous passion cease, In still small accents whisp'ring from the ground

A grateful earnest of eternal peace. Beneath those rugged elms, that yew-tree's shade, Where heaves the turf in many a mould’ring

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 twitt'ring from the straw-built shed, The cock's shrill clarion, or the echoing horn,

No more shall rouse them from their lowly bed.

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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 a-field ! How bow'd the woods beneath their sturdy


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 mem'ry o'er their tomb no trophies raise, Where through 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 flatt'ry soothe the dull cold ear of death ?

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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 waked to ecstasy 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.




fined ;

Th’ applause of list’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 eyesTheir lot forbade: nor circumscrib'd alone

Their growing virtues, but their crimes conForbade to wade through slaughter to a throne,

And shut the gates of mercy on mankind; The struggling 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 flame. Far from the madding crowd's ignoble strife,

Their sober wishes never learn’d to stray ;

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Along the cool sequester'd vale of life

They kept the noiseless tenour of their way. Yet e'en these bones from insult to protect,

Some frail memorial still erected nigh, With uncouth rhymes and shapeless sculpture

deck'd, Implores the passing tribute of a sigh. Their name, their years, spelt by th' unletter'd

The place of fame and elegy supply;
And many a holy text around she strews,

That teach the rustic moralist to die.
For who, to dumb forgetfulness a prey,

This pleasing anxious being e'er resign'd, Left the warm precincts of the cheerful day,

Nor cast one longing ling'ring look behind? On some fond breast the parting soul relies ;

Some pious drops the closing eye requires : E'en from the tomb the voice of nature cries;

E'en in our ashes live their wonted fires. For thee, who, mindful of th' 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 some hoary-headed swain shall say,

“Oft have we seen him, at the peep of dawn, Brushing with hasty steps the dews away,

To meet the sun upon the upland lawn.

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