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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 learned to stray;
Along the cool, sequestered vale of life
They kept the noiseless tenor of their way.
Yet e'en these bones from insult to protect
Some frail memorial still erected nigh,
With uncouth rhymes and shapeless
sculpture decked, Implores the passing tribute of a sigh.
Their name, their years, spelt by the
unlettered Muse, The place of fame and elegy supply: And many a holy text around she
That teach the rustic moralist to die.
For who, to dumb forgetfulness a prey,
This pleasing anxious being e er resigned,
Left the warm precincts of the cheerful day,
Nor cast one longing, lingering 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
For thee, who, mindful of the un
honored dead, Dost in these lines their artless tale
relate; [led, If chance, by lonely contemplation Some kindred spirit shall inquire thy
Haply some hoary-headed swain may
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;
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,
Muttering his wayward fancies he
would rove; Now drooping, woful-wan, like one
Or crazed with care, or crossed in hopeless love.
One morn I missed him on the 'customed hill,
Along the heath, and near his favorite 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 canst
read) the lay Graved on the stone beneath yon
Here rests his head upon the lap of earth
A youth, to fortune and to fame unknown;
Fair Science frowned not on his humble birth,
And Melancholy marked him for her own.
Large was his bounty, and his soul sincere;
Heaven did a recompense as largely send:
He gave to misery all he had, a tear, He gained from Heaven, 't was all he wished, a friend.
No farther seek his merits to disclose, Or draw his frailties from their
dread abode, (There they alike in trembling hope
The bosom of his Father and his God.
Ode on The sprria.
Lo! where the rosy-bosomed hours
Fair Venus' train, appear, Disclose the long-expecting flowers
And wake the purple year! The Attic warbler pours her throat Responsive to the cuckoo's note,
The untaught harmony of spring: Whi le,whispering pleasure as they fly, Cool zephyrs through the clear blue sky
Their gathered fragrance fling.
Where'er the oak's thick branches
stretch A broader, browner shade, Where'er the rude and moss-grown
O'er canopies the glade, Beside some water's rushy brink With me the Muse shall sit, and think
(At ease reclined in rustic state) How vain the ardor of the crowd, How low, how little are the proud,
How indigent the great;
Still is the toiling hand of Care;
The panting herds repose:
The busy murmur glows:
And float amid the liquid noon: Some lightly o'er the current skim, Some show their gaily-gilded trim
Quick-glancing to the sun.
To Contemplation's sober eye
Such is the race of man:
Shall end where they began.
In fortune's varying colors drest: Brushed by the hand of rough mischance
Or chilled by age, their airy dance
Methinks I hear in accents low
The sportive kind reply: Poor moralist! and what art thou?
A solitary fly! Thy joys no glittering female meets, No hive hast thou of hoarded sweets.
No painted plumage to display: On hasty wings thy youth is flown; Thy sun is set, thy spring is gone,—
We frolic while 'tis May.
THE PLEASURE ARISING FROM
Smiles on past Misfortune's brow
And o'er the cheek of Sorrow throw
While hope prolongs our happier hour,
Or deepest shades, that dimly lower And blacken round our weary way, Gilds with a gleam of distant day.
Still, where rosy Pleasure leads,
See a kindred Grief pursue; Behind the steps that Misery treads
Approaching Comfort view: The hues of bliss more brightly glow Chastised by sabler tints of woe," And blended form, with artful strife, The strength and harmony of life.
See the wretch that long has tost
On the thorny bed of pain, At length repair his vigor lost
And breathe and walk again: The meanest floweret of the vale, The simplest note that swells the gale, The common sun, the air, the skies, To him are opening Paradise.
ODE ON A DISTANT PROSPECT OF ETON.
Ye distant spires, ye antique towers,
Where grateful Science still adores
And ye, that from the stately brow
Of Windsor's heights the expanse below
Of grove, of lawn, of mead survey, Whose turf, whose shade, whose
flowers among Wanders the hoary Thames along
His silver winding way.
Ah, happy hills! ah, pleasing shade!
Ah, fields beloved in vain!
My weary soul they seem to sooth,
Say, Father Thames (for thou hast
Full many a sprightly race, Disporting on thy margent green,
The paths of pleasure trace), Who foremost now delight to cleave With pliant arm thy glassy wave?
The captive linnet which enthral? What idle progeny succeed To chase the rolling circle's speed,
Or urge the flying ball?
While some, on earnest business bent,
Their murm'ring labors ply
Still as they run they look behind,
Gay hope is theirs by fancy fed,
Less pleasing when possest; The tear forgot as soon as shed,
The sunshine of the breast: Theirs buxom health, of rosy hue, Wild wit, invention ever new,
And lively cheer, of vigor born; The thoughtless day, the easy night, The spirits pure, the slumbers light
That fly the approach of morn.
Alas! regardless of their doom
The little victims play!
Nor care beyond to-day:
And black misfortune's baleful train!
Ah, show them where in ambush stand,
To seize their prey, the murderous band!
Ah, tell them they are men!
These shall the fury passions tear,
Disdainful anger, pallid fear,
Or pining love shall waste their youth,
Or jealousy with rankling tooth
That inly gnaws the secret heart, And envy wan, and faded care, Grim-visaged comfortless despair, And sorrow's piercing dart.
Ambition this shall tempt to rise,
To bitter Scorn a sacrifice
The stings of falsehood those shall try,
And hard unkindness' altered eye, That mocks the tear it forced to flow;
And keen remorse with blood defiled, And moody madness laughing wild Amid severest woe.
Lo, in the Vale of Years beneath
A grisly troop are seen, The painful family of Death,
More hideous than their queen:
This racks the joints, this fires the veins.
That every laboring sinew strains,
To each his sufferings: all are men,
The tender for another's pain,
The unfeeling for his own. Yet, ah! why should they know their fate,
Since sorrow never comes too late, And happiness too swiftly flies? Thought would destroy their paradise!
No more,— where ignorance is bliss, 'Tis folly to be wise.
Zadel Barnes Gustafson.
LITTLE MARTIN CRAGHAN.
One reads to me Macaulay's " Lays"
The poet's fire, the vocal grace;
'Twere marvel if in human veins
Could beat a pulse so cold It would not quicken to the strains, The flying, fiery strains, that tell Bow Romans "kept the bridge so well
In the brave days of old."
The while I listened, till my blood, Plunged in the poet's martial mood,
Rushed in my veins like wine, I prayed,— to One who hears, I wis; "Give me one breath of power like this
To sing of Pittston mine!"
A child looks up the ragged shaft,
shrinks as he hears the roaring
He has a single chance; the stakes
Of life show death at bay One moment; then his comrade takes
The hope he casts away.
For while his trembling hand is raised,
There swells above the love of life
The thought of those unwarned, to whom
Death steals along the mine.
0 little Martin Craghan!
Like Porsena of ('lusium,
By gods of mythic lore;
Beat your small bosom sore.
And that your bare brown feet scarce felt
The way they bounded o'er.
I know you were a hero then, Whate'er you were before;
And in God's sight your flying feet Made white the cavern floor.
The while he speeds that darksome way,
Hope paints upon his fears Soft visions of the light of day;
Faint songs of birds he hears; In summer breeze his tangled curls
Are blown about his ears.
He sees the men; he warns; and now,
His duty bravely done, Sweet hope may paint the fairest scene
That spreads beneath the sun.
Back to the burning shaft he flies;
There bounding pulses fail; The light forsakes his lifted eyes;
The glowing cheek is pale.
With wheeling, whirling, hungry flame,
The seething shaft is rife:
To die with those he hoped to save, Back, back, through heat and gloom,
To find a wall,— and Death and he
He pleaded to be taken in
In deathful vapors they could hear
And they, with shaking voice, refused;
And then the young heart broke.
Oh love of life! God made it strong,
And knows how close it pressed; And death to those who love life least
Is scarce a welcome guest.
One thought of the poor wife, whose head
Last night lay on his breast: A quiver runs through lips that morn By children's lips caressed.
These things the sweet strong thoughts of home,—
Though but a wretched place, To which the sad-eyed miners come
With Labor's laggard pace,— Remembered in the cavern gloom,
Illume the haggard face,—
llhuued their faces, steeled each heart.
O God! what mysteries Of brave and base make sum and part
Of human histories!
To buy an hour of breath!
Above the fear of death!
He wept a little,— for they heard
That breathed of martyrdom complete
And then, no longer swift, his feet Passed down the galleries.
He crept and crouched beside his mule,
Led by its dying moan;
That shook like palsy's own. God grant the touch had power to make
The child feel less alone!
Who knoweth every heart, He knows What moved the boyish mind;
What longings grew to passion-throes For dear ones left behind;
How hardly youth and youth's desires
Their hold of life resigned.
Perhaps the little fellow felt
When for those dearer Roman lives
For how could boy die better
Than facing fearful fires
And helpless children's sires?
Death leaned upon him heavily;
But Love, more mighty still,— She lent him slender lease of life
To work her tender will.
He felt with sightless, sentient hand Along the wall and ground,
And there the rude and simple page For his sweet purpose found.
O'erwritten with the names he loved,
Clasped to his little side.
Hours after he had died.
Thus from all knowledge of his kind.
In darkness lone and vast, from life to death, from death to life.
The little hero passed.
And, while they listened for the feet
Far off they fell in music sweet