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The blissful Muse, whose favouring smile

So lately warm’d his peaceful breast,
Diffusing heavenly joys the while,

In Transport's radiant garments drest,
With darksome grandeur and enfeeblid blaze,
Sinks in the shades of night, and shuns his eager

The gaudy train, who wait on Spring[69],

Ting'd with the pomp of vernal pride, -
The youths who mount on Pleasure's wing, [70],

And idly sport on Thames's side,
With cool regard their various arts employ,
Nor rouse the drooping mind, nor give the pause of

Ha! what forms, with port sublime[71],

Glide along in sullen mood,
Scorning all the threats of time,

High above Misfortune's flood?
They seize their harps, they strike the lyre,
With rapid hand, with freedom's fire.

[69] Ode on Spring.
[70] Ode on the Prospect of Eton College.
[71] The Bard, an Ode.

Obedient Nature hears the lofty sound,
And Snowdon's airy cliffs the heavenly strains re-

In pomp of state, behold they wait,

With arms outstretch'd, and aspects kind,
To snatch on high to yonder sky,

The child of Fancy left behind :
Forgot the woes of Cambria's fatal day,
By rapture's blaze impell’d they swell the artless lay.

But ah ! in vain they strive to sooth,

With gentle arts, the tort'ring hours ;
Adversity[72], with rankling tooth,

Her baleful gifts profusely pours.
Behold she comes, the fiend forlorn,

Array'd in Horror's settled gloom;
She strews the briar and prickly thorn,

And triumphs in th’ infernal doom.
With frantic fury and insatiate rage,
She gnaws the throbbing breast and blasts the glowing

No more the soft Æolian fute[73]

Breathes thro’ the heart the melting strain ;

[72]Hymn to Adversity.
[73] The Progress of Poesy.

The powers of Harmony are mute,

And leave the once-delightful plain ;
With heavy wing, I see them beat the air,
Damp'd by the leaden hand of comfortless Despair.

Yet stay, O! stay, celestial pow'rs,

And with a hand of kind regard
Dispel the boist’rous storm that lours

Destructive on the fav’rite bard;
O watch with me his last expiring breath,
And snatch him from the arms of dark, oblivious


Hark the fatal Sisters[74] join,

And with Horror's mutt’ring sounds, .
Weave the tissue of his line,
While the dreadful spell resounds.
“ Hail, ye midnight sisters, hail,

« Drive the shuttle swift along;
“ Let your secret charms prevail

“ O'er the valiant and the strong,
“ O'er the glory of the land,

« O'er the innocent and gay,
« O’er the Muse's tuneful band-

“ Weave the fun’ral web of Gray.

[74]The Fatal Sisters, an Ode.

"Tis done, 'tis done—the iron hand of pain,

With ruthless fury and corrosive force, Racks every joint, and seizes every

vein :
He sinks, he groans, he falls a lifeless corse.
Thus fades the flow'r nipp'd by the frozen gale,

Tho' once so sweet, so lovely to the eye:
Thus the tall oaks, when boist'rous storms assail,

Torn from the earth, a mighty ruin lie,
Ye sacred sisters of the plaintive verse,

Now let the stream of fond affection flow;
O pay your tribute o'er the slow-drawn hearse,

With all the manly dignity of woe.
Oft when the Curfew tolls its parting knell

With solem pause yon Church-yard's gloom survey, While Sorrow's sighs and tears of Pity tell

How just the moral of the Poet's lay[75].

O’er his green grave, in Contemplation's guise,

Oft let the pilgrím drop a silent tear : Oft let the shepherd's tender accents rise,

Big with the sweets of each revolving year: Till prostrate Time adore his deathless name,

Fix'd on the solid base of adamantine fame.

[75] Elegy in a Country Church-Yard.






NO more the Grecian Muse unrivall’d reigns,

To Britain let the nations homage pay ! She boasts a Homer's fire in Milton's strains,

A Pindar's rapture in the lyre of GRAY.


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