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HYMN TO IGNORANCE.

A FRAGMENT.

Supposed to have been written about 1742, when the

Author returned to Cambridge.

Hail, horrors, hail! ye ever gloomy bowers,
Ye gothic fanes, and antiquated towers,
Where rushy Camus' slowly winding flood
Perpetual draws his humid train of mud :
Glad I revisit thy neglected reign,
Oh take me to thy peaceful shade again.
But chiefly thee, whose influence breathed from

high
Augments the native darkness of the sky;
Ah, Ignorance ! soft salutary power !
Prostrate with filial reverence I adore.
Thrice hath Hyperion roll’d his annual race,
Since weeping I forsook thy fond embrace.
Oh say, successful dost thou still oppose
Thy leaden ægis 'gainst our ancient foes?
Still stretch, tenacious of thy right divine,
The massy sceptre o'er the slumbering line ?
And dews Lethean through the land dispense
To steep in slumbers each benighted sense ?
If any spark of wit’s delusive ray
Break out, and flash a momentary day,

With damp, cold touch forbid it to aspire,
And huddle up in fogs the dangerous fire.

Oh say--she hears me not, but careless grown,
Lethargic nods upon her ebon throne.
Goddess ! awake, arise, alas my fears !
Can powers immortal feel the force of years ?
Not thus of old, with ensigns wide unfurl'd,
She rode triumphant o'er the vanquished world;
Fierce nations own'd her unresisted might,
And all was ignorance, and all was night.

Oh! sacred age ! Oh! times for ever lost! (The schoolman's glory, and the churchman's

boast.)
For ever gonem yet still to fancy new,
Her rapid wings the transient scene pursue,
And bring the buried ages back to view.

High on her car, behold the grandam ride
Like old Sesostris with barbaric pride ;

a team of harness'd monarch's bend

THE ALLIANCE

OF

EDUCATION AND GOVERNMENT.

A FRAGMENT

“ Instead of compiling tables of Chronology and

natural history, why did not Mr Gray apply the powers of his genius to finish the philosophic poem of which he has left such an exquisite specimen?”

GIBBON,

ESSAY I. • Ποταγ’ & γαθέ ταν

γας

άοιδας Ουτι πω εις Αίδαν γε τον εκλελάθοντα φυγαξεις. .

THEOCRITUS, ID. 1. 63. As sickly plants betray a niggard earth, Whose barren bosom starves her generous birth, Nor genial warmth, nor genial juice retains, Their roots to feed, and fill their verdant veins : And as in climes, where Winter holds his reign, The soil, though fertile, will not teem in vain, Forbids her gems to swell, her shades to rise, Nor trust her blossoms to the churlish skies :

So draw mankind in vain the vital airs, Unform’d, unfriended, by those kindly cares, Tbat health and vigour to the soul impart, Spread the young thought, and warm the open

ing heart : So fond instruction on the growing powers Of nature idly lavishes her stores, If equal justice with unclouded face Smile not indulgent on the rising race, And scatter with a free, though frugal hand, Light golden showers of plenty o'er the land : But tyrandy has fix'd her empire there, To check their tender hopes with chilling fear, And blast the blooming promise of the year.

The spacious animated scene survey,
From where the rolling orb, that gives the day,
His sable sons with nearer course surrounds
To either pole, and life's remotest bounds,
How rude soe'er the exterior form we find,
Howe'er opinion tinge the varied mind,
Alike to all the kiud, impartial heaven
The sparks of truth and happiness has given :
With sense to feel, with memory to retain,
They follow pleasure, and they fly from pain;
Their judgment mends the plan their fancy

draws,
The event presages, and explores the cause;
The soft returns of gratitude they know,
By fraud elude, by force repel the foe;
While mutual wishes, mutual woes endear,
The social smile and sympathetic tear.

Say, then, through ages by what fate confined, To different climes seem different souls assign'd? Here measured laws and philosophic ease Fix, and improve the polish'd arts of peace ; There industry and gain the vigils keep, Command the winds and tame the unwilling

deep : Here force and hardy deeds of blood prevail ; There languid pleasures sigh in every gale. Oft o'er the trembling nations from afar Has Scythia breathed the living cloud of war ; And, where the deluge burst, with sweepy sway Their arms, their kings, their gods, were rollid

away. As oft have issued, host impelling host, The blue-eyed myriads from the Baltic coast. The prostrate south to the destroyer yields Her boasted titles, and her golden fields : With grim delight the brood of winter view A brighter day, and beavens of azure hue; Scent the new fragrance of the breathing rose, And quaff the pendent vintage as it grows. Proud of the yoke, and pliant to the rod, Why yet does Asia dread a monarch's nod, While European freedom still withstands Tho' encroaching tide that drowns her lessen

ing lands? And sees far off, with an indignant groan, Her native plains, and empires once her own! Can opener skies and suns of fiercer flame O’erpower the fire that animates our frame;

H

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