Page images


But where shall recompense be found ?
Or how such arduous merit crown'd ?
For look on life's laborious scene;
What rugged spaces lie between
Adventurous Virtue's early toils
And her triumphal throne! The shade
Of Death, meantime, does oft invade

Her progress; nor, to us display'd,
Wears the bright heroine her expected spoils.

No cold or unperforming hand
Was arm'd by Heaven with this command,
The world soon felt it : and, on high,
To William's ear with welcome joy
Did Locke among the blest unfold
The rising hope of Hoadly's name,
Godolphin then confirm'd the fame;
And Somers, when from Earth he came,
id generous Stanhope the fair sequel told.
Then drew the lawgivers around,
Sires of the Grecian name renown'd,)
And listening ask'd, and wondering knew,
What private force could thus subdue
The vulgar and the great combin'd;
Could war with sacred Folly wage ;
Could a whole nation disengage
From the dread bonds of many an age,
d to new habits mould the public mind.

For not a conqueror's sword, Nor the strong powers to civil founders known, Were his : but truth by faithful search explor'd, d social sense, like seed, in genial plenty sown. Wherever it took root, the soul (restor'd Co freedom) freedom too for others sought. Not monkish craft, the tyrant's claim divine, Not regal zeal, the bigot's cruel shrine, Could longer guard from reason's warfare sage; Not the wild rabble to sedition wrought, Nor synods by the papal genius taught, r St. John's spirit loose, nor Atterbury's rage

Yet born to conquer is her power :

O Hoadly, if that favourite hour
On Earth arrive, with thankful awe
We own just Heaven's indulgent law.
And proudly thy success behold;
We attend thy reverend length of days
With benediction and with praise,

And hail thee in our public ways
Like some great spirit fam'd in ages old.

While thus our vows prolong
Thy steps on Earth, and when by us resign'd

Thou join'st thy seniors, that heroic throng Who rescued or preserv'd the rights of human kind,

0! not unworthy may thy Albion's tongue Thee still, her friend and benefactor, name: 0! never, Hoadly, in thy country's eyes, May impious gold, or pleasure's gaudy prize, Make public virtue, public freedom, vile; Nor our own manners tempt us to disclaim

That heritage, our noblest wealth and fame, Which thou hast kept entire from force and factious




HOMAS Gray, a distinguished poet, was the son laureat, vacant by the death of Cibber, was oor of a money-scrivener in London, where he was to Gray, but declined by him. In the same year born in 1716. He received his education at Eton-published two odes, “ On the Progress of Poes school, whence he was sent to the university of and “ The Bard," which were not so popular si, Cambridge, and entered as a pensioner at St. Pe- Elegy had been, chiefly, perhaps, because they we' ter's College. He left Cambridge in 1738, and less understood. The uniform life passed b1; occupied a set of chambers in the Inner Temple, eminent person admits of few details, but the tra for the purpose of studying the law. From this action respecting the professorship of modem bist intention he was diverted by an invitation to accom- at Cambridge, a place worth four hundred peen pany Mr. Horace Walpole, son of the celebrated a year, is worthy of some notice. When the s statesman, with whom he had made a connection at ation became vacant in Lord Bute's administrata. Eton, in a tour through Europe. Some disagree- it was modestly asked for by Gray, but had strese ment, of which Mr. Walpole generously took the been bespoken by another. On a second six blame, caused them to separate in Italy; and Gray. in 1768, the Duke of Grafton being now in po returned to England in September, 1741, two months it was, “ unsolicited and unsuspected," coafers before his father's death. Gray, who now depended upon him; in return for whicb he wrote his **le. chiefly upon his mother and aunt, left the law, and for Music," for the installation of that noblesa a returned to his retirement at Cambridge. In the chancellor of the university. This professors. next year he had the misfortune to lose bis dear though founded in 1724, had hitherto remaipai friend West, also an Eton scholar, and son to the perfect sinecure; but Gray prepared himself Chancellor of Ireland, which left a vacancy in his execute the duties of his office. Such, howed affections, that seems never to have been supplied. were the baneful effects of habitual indolence, s From this time his residence was chiefly at Cam- with a mind replete with ancient and modern fees bridge, to which he was probably attached by an in- ledge, he found himself unable to proceed for satiable love of books, which he was unable to gra- than to draw a plan for his inauguration pret tify from his own stores. Some years passed in this But his health was now declining; an intega! favourite indulgence, in which his exquisite learning hereditary gout made more frequent attacks tas ! and poetic talents were only known to a few friends; formerly; and at length, while he was dining in ti and it was not till 1747, that his “ Ode on a distant College-hall, he was seized with a complaint is s Prospect of Eton College” made its appearance stomach, which carried him off on July so. 1771,5 before the public. It was in 1751 that his cele- the fifty-fifth year of his age. His remains te brated “ Elegy written in a Country Church-yard,” deposited, with those of his mother and aunt, in bo chiefly composed some years before, and even now church-yard of Stoke-Pogis, Buckinghamshire sent into the world without the author's name, made It is exclusively as a poet that we record its way to the press. Few poems were ever so po- name of Gray; and it will, perhaps, be thous pular: it soon ran through eleven editions; was that we borrow too large a share from a single sina translated into Latin verse, and has ever since borne volume; yet this should be considered as indicats the marks of being one of the most favourite pro- of the high rank which he has attained, compare ductions of the British Muse.

with the number of his compositions. With respect In the manners of Gray there was a degree of to his character as a man of learning, since bis aeffeminacy and fastidiousness which exposed him to quisitions were entirely for his own use, and prai the character of a fribble ; and a few riotous young duced no fruits for the public, it has no claim Inen of fortune in his college thought proper to particular notice. For though he has been call make him a subject for their boisterous tricks. He by one of his admirers “ perhaps the most learest made remonstrances to the heads of the society man in Europe," never was learning more thro3 upon this usage, which being treated, as he thought, away. A few pieces of Latin poetry are all that without due attention, he removed in 1756 to Pem- has to produce. broke-hall. In the next year, the office of poet

[blocks in formation]

The breezy call of incense-breathing Morn,

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

No more shall rouse them from their lowly bed. 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 stroke!

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.

car'd at thy frown terrific, fly

Self-pleasing Folly's idle brood,
Mild Laughter, Noise, and thoughtless Joy,

And leave us leisure to be good. ight they disperse, and with them go 'he summer friend, the flattering foe; iy vain Prosperity receiv'd, o her they vow their truth, and are again believ'd. Visdom, in sable garb array'd,

Immers'd in rapturous thought profound, ind Melancholy, silent maid,

With leaden eye, that loves the ground,
till on thy solemn steps attend :
Varm Charity, the general friend,
Vith Justice, to herself severe,
Ind Pity, dropping soft the sadly-pleasing tear.
Dh, gently on thy suppliant's head,

Dread goddess, lay thy chastening hand!
Not in thy gorgon terrours clad,

Nor circled with the vengeful band,
As by the impious thou art seen,)
With thundering voice, and threatening mien,
With screaming Horrour's funeral cry,
Despair, and fell Disease, and ghastly Poverty.
l'hy form benign, oh, goddess ! wear,

Thy milder influence impart, l'hy philosophic train be there,

To soften, not to wound, my heart. The generous spark extinct revive, Teach me to love and to forgive, Exact my own defects to scan, Wat others are, to feel, and know myself a man.

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 Memory o'er their tomb no trophies raise, Where through the long drawn aisle and fretted vault,

The peeling anthem swells the note of praise.

Gan storied urn or animated bust

Back to its mansion call the fleeting breath? Can Honour's voice provoke the silent dust,

Or Flattery soothe the dull cold ear of Death ?

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 wak'd 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.


[ocr errors]


Full many a gem of purest ray serene,

“ One morn I miss'd him on the 'custom'd Hi The dark unfathom’d caves of ocean bear :

Along the heath and near his favourite tree; FT Full many a flower is born to blush unseen, Another came; nor yet beside the rill, And waste its sweetness on the desert air.

Nor up the lawn, nor at the wood was be:

T Some village-Hampden, that with dauntless breast “ The next with dirges due in sad array burno The little tyrant of his fields withstood ;

Slow through the church-way path we stas Some mute inglorious Milton here may rest, Approach and read (for thou canst read) the lay in Some Cromwell guiltless of his country's blood. Gravid on the stone beneath yon aged them."

lo Th' applause of listening senates to command,

The threats of pain and ruin to despise, To scatter plenty o'er a smiling land,

Here rests his head upon the lap of Earth, And read their history in a nation's eyes,

A youth to fortune and to fame unknown,

Fair Science frown'd not on his humble birth, Their lot forbad: nor circumscrib'd alone

And Melancholy mark'd him for her own. Their growing virtues, but their crimes confin'd; Forbad to wade through slaughter to a throne, Large was his bounty, and his soul sincere, And shut the gates of mercy on mankind. Heaven did a recompence as largely send :

He gave to Misery all he had, a tear ; The struggling pangs of conscious truth to hide, He gain'd from Heaven ('t was all he wish'd

To quench the blushes of ingenuous shame, Or heap the shrine of Luxury and Pride

No further seek his merits to disclose, With incense kindled at the Muse's flame.

Or draw his frailties from their dread sbale,

(There they alike in trembling hope repose) Far from the madding crowd's ignoble strife, The bosom of his Father and his God.

Their sober wishes never learn'd to stray;
Along the cool sequester'd vale of life
They kept the noiseless tenour of their way.

Yet ev'n these bones from insult to protect,

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

Φωνανία συνείοισιν ες Implores the passing tribute of a sigh.

Δι το σαν έρμηνέων χαμζει

L'indar. Olym.
Their name, their years, spelt by th' unletter'd Muse,
The place of fame and elegy supply:

And many a holy text around she strews,
That teach the rustic moralist to die.

AWAKE, Æolian lyre, awake,

And give to rapture all thy trembling strings For who, to dumb Forgetfulness a prey,

From Helicon's harmonious springs This pleasing anxious being e'er resign'd,

A thousand rills their mazy progress take ; Left the warm precincts of the cheerful day, The laughing flowers that round them blow, Nor cast one longing, lingering look behind ? Drink life and fragrance as they flow.

Now the rich stream of music winds along, On some fond breast the parting soul relies, Deep, majestic, smooth, and strong,

Some pious drops the closing eye requires ; Through verdant vales, and Ceres' golden reign. Ev'n from the tomb the voice of Nature cries, Now rolling down the steep amain, Ev’n in our ashes live their wonted fires. Headlong, impetuous, see it pour :

The rocks, and nodding groves, rebellow to the rear For thee, who, mindful of th' unhonour'd dead,

Dost in these lines their artless tale relate; Oh! sovereign of the willing soul, If chance, by lonely Contemplation led,

Parent of sweet and solemn-breathing air, Some kindred spirit shall inquire thy fate,

Enchanting shell ! the sullen cares,

And frantic passions, hear thy soft control: Haply some hoary-headed swain may say,

On Thracia's hills the lord of war “ Oft have we seen him at the peep of dawn

Has curb'd the fury of his car, Brushing with hasty steps the dews away

And dropp'd his thirsty lance at thy command: To meet the Sun upon the upland lawn. Perching on the scepter'd hand

Of Jove, thy magic lulls the feather'd king “ There at the foot of yonder nodding beech,

With ruffled pumes, and flagging wing: That wreathes its old fantastic roots so high, Quench'd in dark clouds of slumber lie His listless length at noontide would he stretch, The terrour of his beak, and lightning of his eye. And pore upon the brook that bubbles by.

Thee the voice, the dance, obes, “ Hard by yon wood, now smiling as in scorn, Temper'd to thy warbled lay,

Muttering his wayward fancies he would rove, O'er Idalia's velvet-green Now drooping woeful wan, like one forlorn,

The rosy-crowned Loves are seen, Or craz'd with care, or cross'd in hopeless love. On Cytherea's day,

Lith antic sports and blue-ey'd pleasures, Thine too these golden keys, immortal boy! risking light in frolic measures ;

This can unlock the gates of Joy; low pursuing, now retreating,

Of Horrour that, and thrilling fears, fow in circling troops they meet :

Or ope the sacred source of sympathetic tears.” 'o brisk notes in cadence beating lance their many-twinkling feet.

Nor second he t, that rode sublime low-melting strains their queen's approach declare : Upon the seraph-wings of Ecstasy, Vhere'er she turns, the Graces homage pay,

The secrets of th' abyss to spy. Vith arts sublime, that float upon the air,

He pass'd the flaming bounds of place and time: n gliding state she wins her easy way :

The living throne, the sapphire-blaze,
V'er her warm cheek, and rising bosom, move Where angels tremble, while they gaze,
"he bloom of young Desire, and purple light of Love. He saw; but, blasted with excess of light,

Clos'd his eyes in endless night.

Behold, where Dryden's less presumptuous car,

Wide o'er the fields of Glory bear Man's feeble race what ills await,

Two coursers of ethereal racet, ing pace. abour and Penury, the racks of Pain,

With necks thunder cloth’d, and long-resoundDisease, and Sorrow's weeping train,

And Death, sad refuge from the storms of Fate! Hark, his hands the lyre explore ! the fond complaint, my song, disprove,

Bright-ey'd Fancy, hovering o'er, And justify the laws of Jove.

Scatters from her pictur'd urn ay, has he given in vain the heavenly Muse ?

Thoughts that breathe, and words that burn. Nig ht, and all her sickly dews,

But ah! 't is heard no more — Ier spectres wan, and birds of boding cry,

Oh! lyre divine, what daring spirit le gives to range the dreary sky:

Wakes thee now ? though he inherit will down the eastern cliffs afar


Nor the pride, nor ample pinion,
Hyperion's march they spy, and glittering shafts of That the Theban eagle bear,

Sailing with supreme dominion
In climes beyond the solar road,
Where shaggy forms o'er ice-built mountains roam, Yet oft before his infant eyes would run

Through the azure deep of air : l'he Muse has broke the twilight gloom

Such forms as glitter in the Muse's ray To cheer the shivering native's dull abode.

With orient hues, unborrow'd of the Sun : And oft, beneath the odorous shade

Yet shall he inount, and keep his distant way of Chili's boundless forests laid, She deigns to hear the savage youth repeat,

Beyond the limits of a vulgar fate, In loose numbers wildly sweet,

Beneath the good how far - but far above the great.
Their feather-cinctur'd chiefs, and dusky loves
Her track, where'er the goddess roves,
Glory pursue, and generous Shame,

Th’ unconquerable mind, and Freedom's holy flame.
Woods, that wave o'er Delphi's steep,

Lo! where the rosy-bosom’d Hours,

Fair Venus' train appear, Isles, that crown th' Ægean deep,

Disclose the long-expecting flowers, Fields, that cool Ilissus laves,

And wake the purple year! Or where Mæander's amber waves

The attic warbler pours her throat, In lingering labyrinths creep,

Responsive to the cuckoo's note, How do your tuneful Echoes languish

The untaught harmony of Spring : Mute, but to the voice of Anguish ?

While, whispering pleasure as they fly, Where each old poetic mountain

Cool Zephyrs through the clear blue sky Inspiration breath'd around : Every shade and hallow'd fountain

Their gather'd fragrance fling. Murmur'd deep a solemn sound :

Where'er the oak's thick branches stretch Till the sad Nine, in Greece's evil hour,

A broader, browner shade ; Left their Parnassus, for the Latian plains.

Where'er the rude and moss-grown beech Alike they scorn

of tyrant-power,

O'er-canopies the glade,
And coward Vice, that revels in her chains.
When Latium had her lofty spirit lost,

Beside some water's rushy brink

With me the Muse shall sit, and think They sought, oh Albion! next thy sea-encircled coast.

(At ease reclin'd in rustic state)

How vain the ardour of the crowd,

How low, how little are the proud,
Far from the Sun and summer-gale,

How indigent the great !
In thy green lap was Nature's darling * laid,
What time, where lucid Avon stray'd,

Still is the toiling hand of Care :
To him the mighty mother did unveil

The panting herds repose : Her aweful face : the dauntless child

Yet hark, how through the peopled air Stretch'd forth his little arms, and smild.

The busy murmur glows! " This pencil take,” she said, “ whose colours clear Richly paint the vernal year :

+ Milton.

# Meant to express the stately march and sound. ins energy of Dryden's rhymes.

# Shakeneare

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »