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Or fix this votive tablet, fair inscrib'd
With numbers worthy thee, for they are thine!
Why, if thou hear'st me still, these symbols sad
Of fond memorial? Ah! my pensive soul!
He hears me not, nor ever more shall hear
The theme his candour, not his taste approv'd.

“Oft, smiling as in scorn,' oft would he cry,
“ Why waste thy numbers on a trivial art,
“ That ill can mimic even the humblest charms
« Of all-majestic Nature ?” at the word
His eye would glisten, and his accents glow
With all the Poet's frenzy,“ Sov’reign queen!
“ Behold, and tremble, while thou view'st her state
« Thron'd on the heights of Skiddaw: call thy art

allude to a rustic alcove the author was then building in his garden, in which he placed a medallion of his friend, and an urn; a lyre over the entrance with the motto from Pindar, which Mr. Gray had prefixt to his Odes, and under it, on a tablet, this stanza, taken from the first edition of his Elegy written in a Country Church-yard.

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Here scatter'd oft, the loveliest of the year,
By hands unseen, are showers of violets found;
The redbreast loves to build and warble here,
And little footsteps lightly print the ground.

66 To build her such a throne ; that art will feel
“ How vain her best pretensions. Trace her march
“ Amid the purple craggs of Borrowdale ;
“ And try like those to pile thy range of rock
“ In rude tumultuous chaos. See! she mounts
“ Her Naiad car, and, down Lodore's dread cliff
“ Falls many a fathom, like the headlong bard
“ My fabling fancy plung'd in Conway's flood;
“ Yet not like him to sink in endless night :
“ For, on its boiling bosom, still she guides
“ Her buoyant shell, and leads the wave along;
“ Or spreads it broad, a river, or a lake,
« As suits her pleasure ; will thy boldest song

« E'er brace the sinews of enervate art
21" To such dread daring? will it ev'n direct

“ Her hand to emulate those softer charms

" That deck the banks of Dove, or call to birth 1 “The bare romantic craggs, and copses green, | “That sidelong grace her circuit, whence the rills,

“ Bright in their crystal purity, descend “ To meet their sparkling queen ? around each fount “ The hawthorns crowd, and knit their blossom'd

“sprays “ To keep their sources sacred. Here, even here, “ Thy art, each active sinew stretch'd in vain, “ Would perish in its pride. Far rather thou

“ Confess her scanty power, correct, controul, “ Tell her how far, nor farther, she may go ; “ And rein with reason's curb fantastic taste.”

Yes, I will hear thee, dear lamented shade, And hold each dictate sacred. What remains Unsung shall so each leading rule select As if still guided by thy judgment sage; While, as still modell’d to thy curious ear, Flow my melodious numbers; so shall praise, If aught of praise the verse I weave may claim, From just posterity reward my song,

FRAGMENT OF AN ODE

ON THE

DEATH OF MR. GRAY.
* * * * * * *

*

*

Fair are the gardens of the Aonian mount,

And sweet those blooming flow'rs

Which paint the Maiden's bow'rs. . And clear the waters of the gurgling fount:

Swift they wind through chequer'd allies;

Huddling down to th’ open vallies ; Where the quick ripple in the sunbeams plays, Turning to endless forms each glance of twinkling

blaze.

O’er the gay scene th' enamour'd inmates roam:
And gather fresh ideas as they rise
From Nature's manifold supplies.

Alas! for whom !
Many a gleam of sprightly thought,

Many a sad and sable mood,
Whether from dazzling lustre brought,
Or nurs’d by shades of darksome wood,

Keep death-like silence on their native shore,
Since he, that gave them speech, is heard no more.

Flown is the spirit of GRAY
Like common breath to mingle with the air :
Yet still those Goddesses peculiar care,

That to breathe harmonious lay. .
Retir’d to yonder grassy mound
In leaves of dusky hue encompass'd round,

They bid their plaintive accents fill
The covert hollows of the bosom'd kill:

With liquid voice and magic hand

Calliope informs the band : Hush'd are the warblers of the grove, attentive to

the sound.

Soft and slow

Let the melting measures flow,
“ Nor lighter air disturb majestic woe.
“ And thou, sage Priestess[62]of our holy fire,

“ Who saw'st the Poet's flame expire,
“ Thy precious drops profusely shed

« O’er his well-deserving head.
“ Thou nurtur’dst once a grateful throng,

[62]Cambridge University, where Gray died.

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