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Ah happy hills! ah pleafing fhade! Ah fields belov'd in vain!
Where once my careless childhood stray'd,
A ftranger yet to pain!
I feel the gales that from you blow
A momentary blifs bestow;
As, waving fresh their gladfome wing,
My weary foul they feem to footh,
And, redolent of joy and youth,
To breathe a fecond fpring.
Say, father Thames, for thou haft feen
Full many a fprightly race,
Difporting on thy margent green,
The paths of pleasure trace;
Who foremost now delight to cleave,
With pliant arms, thy glaffy wave?
The captive linnet which enthrall?
What idle progeny fucceed
To chafe the rolling circle's fpeed,
urge the flying ball?
While fome on earnest business bent
Their murmuring labours ply
'Gainft graver hours that bring constraint
To fweeten liberty:
Some bold adventurers difdain
The limits of their little reign,
And unknown regions dare defcry:
Still as they run they look behind,
They hear a voice in ev'ry wind,
And fnatch a fearful joy.
Gay hope is theirs, by fancy fed,
Lefs pleafing when poffeft;
The tear forgot as foon as fhed,
The funfhine of the breaft:
Theirs buxom health of rofy hue,
Wild wit, invention ever new,
And lively cheer, of vigour born;
The thoughtless day, the eafy night,
The fpirits pure, the flumbers light,
That fly th' approach of morn.
Alas! regardless of their doom,
The little victims play!
No fenfe have they of ills to come,
Nor care beyond to-day:
Yet fee, how all around 'em wait
The minifters of human fate,
And black Misfortune's baleful train!
Ah, fhew them where in ambush stand,
To feize their prey, the murd'rous band!
Ah, tell them they are men!
Thefe fhall the fury paffions tear,
The vultures of the mind,
Difdainful anger, pallid fear,
And fhame that skulks behind;
Or pining love fhall waste their youth,
Or jealoufy with rankling tooth,
That inly gnaws the fecret heart;
And envy wan, and faded care,
Grim-vilag'd comfortiefs defpair,
And forrow's piercing dart.
§ 76. Ode to Adverfity. GRAY. AUGHTER of Jove, relentless pow'r, Thou tamer of the human breast, Whofe iron fcourge and tort'ring hour The bad affright, afflict the beft! Bound in thy adamantine chain, The proud are taught to taste of pain; And purple tyrants vainly groan With
pangs unfelt before, unpitied and alone. When first thy Sire to fend on earth Virtue, his darling child, defign'd, To thee he gave the heavenly birth, And bade to form her infant mind. Stern rugged nurfe! thy rigid lore With patience many a year the bore; What forrow was, thou bad'ft her know, And from her own fhe learnt to melt at others woe.
Scar'd at thy frown terrific, fly
Self-pleafing Folly's idle brood, Wild laughter, noife, and thoughtless joy, And leave us leifure to be good. Light they difperfe; and with them go The fummer-friend, the flatt'ring foe; By vain profperity receiv'd, To her they vow their truth, and are again beWifdom in fable garb array'd,
Immers'd in rapt'rous thought profound,
And Melancholy, filent maid,
With leaden eye that loves the ground,
Still on thy folemn steps attend;
Warm Charity, the general friend,
With Juftice, to herself fevere,
And Pity, dropping foft the fadly-pleafing tear.
Oh, gently on thy fuppliant's head,
Dread Goddefs, lay thy chaft'ning hand!
Not in thy Gorgon terrors clad,
Nor circled with the vengeful band
(As by the impious thou art feen)
With thund'ring voice, and threat'ning mien,
With fcreaming Horror's fun'ral cry,
Defpair, and fell Difeafe, and ghaftly Poverty.
§ 77. The Progrefs of Poely. A Pindaric Ode.
AWAKE, Eolian lyre, awake,
And give to rapture all thy trembling ftrings.
From Helicon's harmonious fprings
A thousand rills their mazy progrefs take:
The laughing flow'rs that round them blow,
Drink life and fragrance as they flow.
Now the rich stream of mufic winds along,
Deep, majestic, fmooth, and ftrong,
Thro' verdant vales, and Ceres' golden reign:
Now rolling down the fteep amain,
Headlong, impetuous, fee it pour; [roar.
The rocks and nodding groves rebellow to the
Thy form benign, O Goddess, wear,
Thy milder influence impart;
Thy philofophic train be there
To foften, not to wound, my heart.
The gen'rous fpark extinct revive;
Teach me to love, and to forgive;
Exact my own defects to fcan;
What others are, to feel; and know myself a man. Hyperion's march they py, and glitt'ring shafts
O fovereign of the willing foul,
Parent of fweet and folemn-breathing airs,
Enchanting fhell! the fullen cares
And frantic paffions hear thy foft controul.
On Thracia's hills the Lord of War
Has curb'd the fury of his car,
And dropp'd his thirfty lance at thy command.
Perching on the fceptred hand
Of Jove, thy magic lulls the feather'd king
With ruffled plumes, and flagging wing:
Quench'd in dark clouds of flumber lie
The terror of his beak, and lightning of his eye.
Slow melting ftrains their Queen's approach declare:
Thee the voice, the dance obey,
Temper'd to thy warbled lay.
O'er Idalia's velvet green
The rofy-crowned loves are seen
On Cytherea's day,
With antic fports, and blue-eyed pleasures,
Frifking light in frolic measures;
Now pursuing, now retreating,
Now in circling troops they meet;
To brifk notes in cadence beating,
Glance their many-twinkling feet,
Where'er the turns, the Graces homage pay.
With arms fublime, that float upon the air,
In gliding state she wins her eafy way:
O'er her warm cheek, and rifing bofom, move
The bloom of young defire, and purple light of love.
Man's feeble race what ills await!
Labour, and penury, the racks of pain,
Difeafe, and forrow's weeping train;
And death, fad refuge from the ftorms of fate!
The fond complaint, my fong, difprove,
And justify the laws of Jove.
Say, has he given in vain the heavenly Muse?
Night, and all her fickly dews,
Her fpectres wan, and birds of boding cry,
He gives to range the dreary fky:
Till down the eastern cliffs afar
Their feather-cinctur'd chiefs, and dusky loves.
Her track, where'er the goddefs roves,
Glory purfues, and gen'rous shame, [flame.
Th' unconquerable mind, and freedom's holy
Woods, that wave o'er Delphi's steep;
Ifles, that crown th' Egcan deep;
Fields, that cool Iliffus laves,
Or where Maander's amber waves
In ling'ring lab'rinths creep,
How do your tuneful echoes languish,
Mute but to the voice of anguish!
Where each old poetic mountain
Infpiration breath'd around;
Ev'ry fhade and hallow'd fountain
Murmur'd deep a folemn found:
Till the fad Nine, in Greece's evil hour,
Left their Parnaffus for the Latian plains.
Alike they fcorn the pomp of tyrant pow'r,
And coward vice, that revels in her chains.
When Latium had her lofty spirit loft, [coaft.
They fought, O Albion! next thy fea-encircled
Far from the fun and fummer gale,
In thy green lap was Nature's darling laid,
What time, where lucid Avon stray'd,
To him the mighty mother did unveil
Her awful face: the dauntless child
Stretch'd forth his little arms, and fmil'd.
This pencil take (fhe faid), whofe colours clear
Richly paint the vernal
Thine too thefe golden keys, immortal boy !
This can unlock the gates of joy;
Of horror, that, and thrilling fears,
Or ope the facred fource of fympathetic tears.
Nor fecond he, that rode fublime
Upon the seraph wings of ecstafy,
The fecrets of th' abyfs to fpy.
He pafs'd the flaming bounds of place and time.
The living throne, the fapphire blaze,
Where angels tremble while they gaze,
He faw: but, blafted with excefs of light,
Clos'd his eyes in endless night.
Behold, where Dryden's lefs prefumptuous car
Wide o'er the fields of glory bear
Two courfers of ethereal race, [founding pace.
With necks in thunder cloth'd, and long re-
Hark, his hands the lyre explore! Bright-eyed fancy, hov'ring o'er, Scatters from her pictur'd urn
Thoughts that breathe, and words that burn.
But, ah! tis heard no more-
Olvre divine! what daring fpirit
Wakes thee now? Tho' he inherit
Nor the pride nor ample pinion,
That the Theban eagle bear,
Sailing with fupreme dominion
Thro' the azure deep of air;
Yet oft before his infant eyes would run
Such forms as glitter in the Mufe's ray,
With orient hues, unborrow'd of the fun:
Yet fhall he mount, and keep his diftant way
Beyond the limits of a vulgar fate, [Great!
Beneath the Good how far-but far above the
§ 78. The Bard. A Pindaric Ode. GRAY. I. 1.
RUIN feize thee, ruthless king!
Confufion on thy banners wait!
• Tho' fann'd by conqueft's crimson wing,
They mock the air with idle ftate!
Helm, nor hauberk's twifted mail, Nor even thy virtues, Tyrant, fhall avail To fave thy fecret foul from nightly fears, From Cambria's curfe, from Cambria's tears!' Such were the founds that o'er the crested pride Of the firft Edward featter'd wild difmay, As down the fteep of Snowdon's fhaggy fide He wound with toilfome march his long array. Stout Glo'fter food aghaft in fpecchlefs trance: To arms cried Mortimer, and couch'd his quivering lance.
On a rock whofe haughty brow
Frowns o'er old Conway's foaming flood,
Rob'd in the fable garb of woe,
With haggard eyes the poet food
(Loofe his beard, and hoary hair
Stream'd, like a meteor, to the troubled air);
"Weave the warp, and weave the woof, "The winding-fheet of Edward's race. "Give ample room, and verge enough "The characters of hell to trace. "Mark the year, and mark the night, "When Severn fhall re-echo with affright "The fhrieks of death, thro' Berkley's roofs that "Shricks of an agonizing king! [ringi "She-wolf of France, with unrelenting fangs, "That tear'ft the bowels of thy mangled mate, "From thee be born, who o'er thy country hangs "The fcourge of Heaven. What terrors round "him wait!
Ye died amidst your dying country's cries—
No more I weep. They do not sleep.
"Amazement in his van with flight combin'd, "And Sorrow's faded form, and Solitude behind.
"Mighty Victor, mighty Lord, "Low on his fun'ral couch he lies! "No pitying heart, no eye, afford "A tear to grace his obfèquies. "Is the fable warrior fled?
Thy fon is gone. He refts among the dead. "The fwarm that in thy noon-tide beam were "Gone to falute the rifing morn.
[born? "Fair laughs the morn, and foft the zephyr blows, "While proudly riding o'er the azure realm "In gallant trim the gilded veffel goes;
"Youth on the prow, and pleasure at the helm; Regardless of the fweeping whirlwind's tway, That, hufh'd in grim repole, expects his even
"Edward, lo! to fudden fate "(Weave we the woof. The thread is fpun.) "Half of thy heart we confecrate. "(The web is wove. The work is done.)" Stay, oh stay! nor thus forlorn, 'Leave me unbleft, unpitied, here to mourn: In yon bright track, that fires the western fkics, They melt, they vanish from my eyes. But oh what folemn fcenes on Snowdon's
Defcending flow their glitt'ring skirts unroll Vifions of glory, fpare my aching fight! "Ye unborn ages, crowd not on my foul!
No more our long-loft Arthur we bewail. All-hail, ye genuine kings, Britannia's iffue, ' hail !
'With Horror, tyrant of the throbbing breast.
A voice, as of the cherub-choir,
Gales from blooming Eden bear;
And diftant warblings lessen on my ear, That loft in long futurity expire. (cloud, Fond impious man! think it thou yon fanguine Rais'd by thy breath, has quench'd the orb of 'To-morrow he repairs the golden flood, [day? And warms the nations with redoubled ray. Enough for me: with joy I fee
The diffrent doom our fates affign. Be thine Defpair, and fceptred Care; To triumph, and to die, are mine.' [height, He fpoke; and, headlong from the mountain's Deep in the roaring tide he plung'd to endless night.
$79. The Fatal Sifters. An Ode. GRAY. the ftorm begins to low'r (Hafte, the loom of hell prepare); Iron fleet of arrowy fhow'r Hurtles in the darken'd air.
Glitt'ring lances are the loom
Where the dufky warp we ftrain,
Weaving many a foldier's doom,
Orkney's woe, and Randver's bane.
See the grifly texture grow!
('Tis of human entrails made)
And the weights that play below,
Each a gasping warrior's head.
Shafts for fhuttles, dipt in gore,
Shoot the trembling cords along:
Sword, that once a monarch bore,
Keep the tiffue clofe and strong.
Mifta, black terrific maid,
Sangrida, and Hilda, fee!
Join the wayward work to aid:
Tis the woof of victory.
Ere the ruddy fun be fet,
Pikes muft fhiver, jav'lins fing,
Blade with clatt'ring buckler meet,
Hauberk crash, and helmet ring.
(Weave the crimson web of war.
Let us go, and let us fly,
Where our friends the conflict share,
Where they triumph, where they die.
As the paths of fate we tread,
Wading thro' th' enfanguin'd field,
Gondula, and Geira, spread
O'er the youthful king your fhield.
We the reins to flaughter give,
Ours to kill, and ours to spare:
Spite of danger he fhall live.
(Weave the crimfön web of war.)
They, whom once the defert beach
Pent within its bleak domain,
Soon their ample sway shall stretch
O'er the plenty of the plain.
Horror covers all the heath,
Clouds of carnage blot the fun.
Sifters, weave the web of death.
Sifters, ceafe: the work is done.
Hail the task, and hail the hands!
Songs of joy and triumph fing:
Joy to the victorious bands;
Triumph to the younger king.
Mortal, thou that hear'ft the tale,
Learn the tenour of our fong.
Scotland, thro' each winding vale,
Far and wide the notes prolong.
Sifters, hence with fpurs of fpeed!
Each her thund'ring faulchion wield;
Each beftride her fable steed.
Hurry, hurry, to the field!
Right against the eastern gate,
By the mols-grown pile he fat,
Where long of yore to fleep was laid
The duft of the prophetic Maid.
Facing to the northern clime,
Thrice he trac'd the Runic rhyme;
Thrice pronounc'd, in accents dread,
The thrilling verfe that wakes the dead;
Till from out the hollow ground
Slowly breath'd a fullen found.
What call unknown, what charms, presume
To break the quiet of the tomb?
Who thus afflicts my troubled fprite,
And drags me from the realms of night?
Long on thefe mould'ring bones have beat
The winter's fnow, the fummer's heat,
The drenching dews, and driving rain!
Let me, let me fleep again.
Who is he, with voice unblest,
That calls me from the bed of rest?.
A traveller to thee unknown
Is he that calls, a warrior's fon.
Thou the deeds of light fhalt know;
Tell me what is done below,
For whom yon glitt'ring board is spread,
Dreft for whom yon golden bed?
Mantling in the goblet fee
The pure bev'rage of the bee;
O'er it hangs the field of gold:
'Tis the drink of Balder bold.
Balder's head to death is given.
Pain can reach the Sons of Heaven!
Unwilling I my lips unclofe:
Leave me, leave me to repofe.
In Hoder's hand the hero's doom;
His brother fends him to the tomb.
Now my weary lips I close :
§ 80. The Descent of Odin. An Ode. GRAY. Leave me, leave me to repose.
UPROSE the king of men with speed,
And faddled ftraight his coal-black ftced :
Down the yawning steep he rode,
That leads to Hela's drear abode.
Him the dog of darkness fpied:
His fhaggy throat he open'd wide;
While from his jaws, with carnage fill'd,
Foam and human gore diftill'd.
Iloarfe he bays with hideous din,
Eyes that glow, and fangs that grin;
And long purfues, with fruitlefs yell,
The father of the powerful spell.
Onward still his way he takes
(The groaning earth beneath him shakes),
Till full before his fearless eyes
The portals nine of hell arife.
Once again my call obey;
Prophetefs, arife, and fay
What dangers Odin's child await,
Who the author of his fate.
Prophetefs, my fpell obey;
Once again arife, and fay
Who th' avenger of his guilt,
By whom shall Hoder's blood be fpilt ?
In the caverns of the West,
By Odin's fierce embrace compreft,
A wondrous boy fhall Rinda bear,
Who ne'er thall comb his raven hair,
Nor wash his vifage in the ftream,
Nor fee the fun's departing beam,
Till he on Hoder's corfe fhall fmile
Flaming on the funeral pile.
Now my weary lips I close :
Leave me, leave me to repose.