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Hark, his hands the lyre explore !
O ! lyre divine, what daring spirit
That the Theban eagle bear,
Through the azure deep of air :
Such forms as glitter in the Muse's ray
Yet shall he mount, and keep his distant way Beyond the limits of a vulgar fate, Beneath the good how far!-but far above the great.
ON A DISTANT PROSPECT OF ETON COLLEGE. Ye distant spires, ye antique towers,
That crown the wat’ry glade,
Her HENRY's holy shade ;*
Of grove, of lawn, of mead survey,
Ah, happy hills ! ah, pleasing shade!
Ah, fields belov'd in vain !
A stranger yet to pain !
As waving fresh their gladsome wing
To breathe a second spring.
Say, father THAMES, for thou hast seen
Full many a sprightly race
The paths of pleasure trace;
The captive linnet which enthral ?
Or urge the flying ball ?
Their murm’ring labours ply 'Gainst graver hours, that bring constraint
To sweeten liberty :
And unknown regions dare descry:
And snatch a fearful joy.
Gay hope is theirs by fancy fed,
Less pleasing when possess'd; The tear forgot as soon as shed,
The sunshine of the breast : Theirs buxoni 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!
Nor care beyond to-day:
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 sculks 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,
And grinning Infamy:
That mocks the tear it forc'd to flow;
Amidst severest wo.
Lo, in the Vale of Years beneath
A grisly troop are seen,
More hideous than their queen!
Those in the deeper vitals rage :
And slow-consuming Age.
To each his sufferings : all are inen,
Condemn'd alike to groan;
Th' unfeeling for his own.
And happiness too swiftly flies ?
'Tis folly to be wise.
When now on Britain's sea-girt shore,
Resounds the threat'ning voice of war;
And glares the ensign from afar ;
Where sacred Science loves to rest,
Pours all his influence o'er the breast:
In philosophic leisure fled along.
There Education, power divine !
Her favourite temple long has plann'd;
To guard her laws, a chosen band.
The harsher emblems of Control,
And bend the rude and stubborn soul: