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ON A DISTANT

PROSPECT OF ETON COLLEGE.

"Ανθρωπος, ικανή πρόφασις εις το δυστυχεϊν.

MENANDER.

Ye distant spires, ye antique towers,

That crown the wat’ry glade,
Where grateful Science still adores

Her Henry's ' holy shade;
And ye, that from the stately brow
Of Windsor's heights th' 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 belov'd in vain!
Where once my careless childhood stray'd,

A stranger yet to pain!
I feel the gales that from ye blow
A momentary bliss bestow,

! King Henry the Sixth, founder of the College,

As waving fresh their gladsome wing, My weary soul they seem to sooth, And, redolent of joy and youth,

To breathe a second spring.

Say, father Thames, for thou hast seen

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 murni’ring labours ply 'Gainst graver hours that bring constraint

To sweeten liberty:
Some bold adventurers disdain
The limits of their little reign,

And unknown regions dare descry:
Still as they run they look bebind,
They hear a voice in every wind,

And snatch a fearful joy.

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 vigour born ;
The thoughtless day, the easy night,
The spirits pure, the slumbers light,

That fly th’approach of morn.

Alas! regardless of their doom,

The little victims play ;
No sense bave they of ills to come,

Nor care beyond to-day:
Yet see, how all around 'em wait
The ministers of human fate,

And black Misfortune's baleful train! Ah, show them where in ambush stand, To seize their prey, the murd'rous band !

Ah, tell them they are men!

These shall the fury Passions tear,

The vultures of the mind, Disdainful Anger, pallid Fear,

And Shame that skulks behind; 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-visag'd comfortless Despair,

And Sorrow's piercing dart. Ambition this shall tempt to rise,

Then whirl the wretch from high, To bitter Scorn a sacrifice,

And grinning Infamy.

The stings of Falsehood those shall try
And hard Unkindness' alter'd eye,

That mocks the tear it forc'd to flow;
And keen Remorse, with blood defild,
And moody Madness laughing wild

Amid severest woe.

Lo! in the vale of years beneatli,

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 labouring sinew strains,

Those in the deeper vitals rage:
Lo! Poverty, to fill the band,
That numbs the soul with icy hand,

And slow-consuming Age.

To each his sufførings: all are men,

Condemu'd alike to groan ; The tender for another's pain,

Th’unfeeling for his own. Yet, ah! why should they know their fate, Since sorrow never comes too late,

And happiness too swiftly flies? Thonght would destroy their paradise. No more ;-where ignorance is bliss,

"Tis folly to be wise.

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DAUGHTER of Jove, relentless power,

Thou tamer of the human brcast,
Whose iron scourge and tort'ring hour

The bad affright, afflict the best!
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 send on earth

Virtue, his darling child, design’d, To thee he gave the heav'nly birth,

And bade to form her infant mind. Stern rugged nurse! thy rigid lore With patience many a year she bore:

What sorrow was, thou bad'st her know, And from her own she learn'd to melt at others' woe.

Scar'd at thy frown terrisic, fly

Self-pleasing Folly's idle brood,
Wild Laughter, Noise, and thoughtless Joy,
And leave us leisure to be good.

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