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Hard fate! but often to this blissful day,
Thro' the dull glooms of time, his wishes stray :
His gladden'd heart forgets its load of woes.
Again, to prove the fad allusion true,
The grate-like windows of our prison view.
Does the full day-light hurt a school-boy's brain, That thus it struggles thro' th' encrusted pane? Why do those * envious walls the light exclude ? Why—truth and day-light wou'd too much intrude ;
Then would the tell-tale sun, or curious eye,
This scene of shame, and fear, and grief descry.
Frown not, my worthy audience, at my prating :
This phrase of gaol-deliv'ry, tho' so grating,
* Many of the school windows have been reduced to less than half
of their original size.
I'll hold it valid beyond all denial ;
No inmate knows, fave innocence and truth.
If put on their defence, they foon wou'd say,
That honest fears, which this dread court imparts,
Blanch their young cheeks, and Autter at their hearts.
Hear them, however : for they'll come before ye,
Imploring mercy from their + judge and jury.
Ε Ρ Ι.
* Bishop Porteus, who was present.
E P I L OG U E,
SPOKEN BY A YOUNG GENTLEMAN, WHO
WAS GOING TO COLLEGE, 1787.
IND friends! I come to pay my last adieu :
For much I owe to you, and I you, and $ you.
No more I sportive tread this well-worn floor,
Or con in order prim the learned lore;
Careful to prove, with anatomic art,
How grammar-concords fit each little part;
And climb with measur'd feet Parnassus' hill.
Hard task, I ween, to step with native ease
* The audience. The master. § The boys.
Yet have the beauties of the classic page
Oft charm’d the wand'rings of my thoughtless age,
Rapt me from Deva's banks to Mantuan plains,
To hear in becchen shades the loves of fwains;
Oft too, by Homer and by fancy led,
I join'd with heroes at the battle's head,
demi-hero as I read.
Sweet bards, I charge on you no irksome toil :
Your magic strains e’en school-boy-cares beguile :
And when in Cambria, or by Ifis' stream
I rove, your praises be my constant theme.
Yet, ere I haste these hallow'd seats to leave,
Ye, gen'rous partners of my toil, receive,
What my warm heart will ever aim to prove,
A brother's wishes, and a brother's love.
Go on in virtue's paths; dare to be wise,
So Horace fays, and well does he advise :
Mind not the Syren Ease ; her promis’d joy
No more with you I take my station here,
Who erewhile in fprightly numbers fung,
Now tune my notes to elegiac woe;