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ON A DISTANT
PROSPECT OF ETON COLLEGE.
̓́Ανθρωπος, ἱκανὴ πρόφασις εἰς τὸ δυστυχεῖν.
Ye distant spires, ye antique towers,
And ye, that from the stately brow
Of grove, of lawn, of mead survey,
His silver-winding way:
Ah, happy hills! ah, pleasing shade!
Where once my careless childhood stray'd,
A stranger yet to pain!
I feel the gales that from ye blow
A momentary bliss bestow,
I King Henry the Sixth, founder of the College,
As waving fresh their gladsome wing, My weary soul they seem to sooth, And, redolent of joy and youth, To breathe a second spring.
Say, father Thames, for thou hast seen
While some on earnest business bent,
'Gainst graver hours that bring constraint
To sweeten liberty:
Some bold adventurers disdain
The limits of their little reign,
And unknown regions dare descry:
Still as they run they look behind,
Gay hope is theirs by fancy fed,
Theirs buxom health, of rosy hue,
And lively cheer, of vigour born;
Alas! regardless of their doom,
No sense have they of ills to come,
Nor care beyond to-day:
Yet see, how all around 'em wait
The ministers of human fate,
And black Misfortune's baleful train! Ah, show them where in ambush stand, To seize their prey, the murd'rous band! Ah, tell them they are men!
These shall the fury Passions tear,
And Shame that skulks behind;
Ambition this shall tempt to rise,
Then whirl the wretch from high,
To bitter Scorn a sacrifice,
And grinning Infamy.
The stings of Falsehood those shall try
That mocks the tear it forc'd to flow;
Lo! in the vale of years beneath,
More hideous than their queen:
Lo! Poverty, to fill the band,
To each his suff"rings: all are men,
Condemn'd alike to groan;
The tender for another's pain,
Th' unfeeling for his own.
Yet, ah! why should they know their fate,
And happiness too swiftly flies?
Τὸν φρονεῖν βροτοὺς ὁδώ:
Θέντα κυρίως ἔχειν.
DAUGHTER of Jove, relentless power,
With pangs unfelt before, unpitied and alone.
When first thy sire to send on earth
What sorrow was, thou bad'st her know,
And from her own she learn'd to melt at others' woe.
Scar'd at thy frown terrific, fly
Self-pleasing Folly's idle brood,
Wild Laughter, Noise, and thoughtless Joy,