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Haply some hoary-headed swain may say,

‘Oft have we seen him at the peep of dawn Brushing with hasty steps the dews away

To meet the sun upon the upland lawn.

There at the foot of yonder nodding beech

That wreathes its old fantastic roots so high, His listless length at noontide would he stretch,

And pore upon the brook that babbles by.

Hard by yon wood, now smiling as in scorn,

Muttering his wayward fancies he would rove; Now drooping, woeful-wan, like one forlorn,

Or crazed with care, or crossed in hopeless love.

‘One morn I missed him on the customed hill,

Along the heath, and near his favourite tree; Another came; nor yet beside the rill,

Nor up the lawn, nor at the wood was he;

"The next with dirges due in sad array

Slow through the church-way path we saw him borne, Approach and read (for thou canst read) the lay

Graved on the stone beneath yon agèd thorn.'


Here rests his head upon the lap of earth

A youth to fortune and to fame unknown; Fair Science frowned not on his humble birth,

And Melancholy marked him for her own.

Large was his bounty, and his soul sincere;

Heaven did a recompense as largely send: He gave to Misery (all he had) a tear,

He gained from Heaven ('twas all he wished) a friend.

No farther seek his merits to disclose,

Or draw his frailties from their dread abode, (There they alike in trembling hope repose,)

The bosom of his Father and his God.


I. 1
Awake, Æolian lyre, awake,
And give to rapture all thy trembling strings!

From Helicon's harmonious springs
A thousand rills their mazy progress take;

The laughing flowers that round them blow

Drink life and fragrance as they flow.
Now the rich stream of music winds along

Deep, majestic, smooth, and strong,
Through verdant vales and Ceres' golden reign:

Now rolling down the steep amain,

Headlong, impetuous, see it pour;
The rocks and nodding groves rebellow to the roar.

I. 2
Oh sovereign of the willing soul,
Parent of sweet and solemn-breathing airs,

Enchanting shell! the sullen Cares
And frantic Passions hear thy soft control.

On Thracia's hills the Lord of War

Has curbed the fury of his car
And dropped his thirsty lance at thy command.

Perching on the sceptred hand
Of Jove, thy magic lulls the feathered king

With ruffled plumes and flagging wing;

Quenched in dark clouds of slumber lie The terror of his beak and lightnings of his eye. .

I. 3
Thee the voice, the dance, obey,
Tempered to thy warbled lay.
O’er Idalia's velvet-green
The rosy-crowned Loves are seen,

On Cytherea's day,
With antic Sports and blue-eyed Pleasures
Frisking light in frolic measures :
Now pursuing, now retreating,

Now in circling troops they meet;
To brisk notes in cadence beating

Glance their many-twinkling feet.

Slow melting strains their Queen's approach declare:

Where'er she turns the Graces homage pay;
With arms sublime, that float upon the air,

In gliding state she wins her easy way;
O’er her warm cheek and rising bosom move
The bloom of young Desire and purple light of Love.

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II. 1
Man's feeble race what ills await:
Labour, and Penury, the racks of Pain,

Disease, and Sorrow's weeping train,
And Death, sad refuge from the storms of Fate!

The fond complaint, my song, disprove,

And justify the laws of Jove.
Say, has he given in vain the heavenly Muse?

Night, and all her sickly dews,
Her spectres wan, and birds of boding cry,

He gives to range the dreary sky;

Till down the eastern cliffs afar
Hyperion's march they spy, and glittering shafts of war.

II. 2
In climes beyond the solar road,
Where shaggy forms o’er ice-built mountains roam,

The Muse has broke the twilight-gloom
To cheer the shivering native's dull abode.

And oft, beneath the odorous shade

Of Chili's boundless forests laid,
She deigns to hear the savage youth repeat,

In loose numbers wildly sweet,
Their feather-cinctured chiefs and dusky loves.

Her track, where'er the goddess roves,

Glory pursue, and generous Shame,
Th' unconquerable Mind, and Freedom's holy flame.


II. 3
Woods that wave o'er Delphi's steep,
Isles that crown th' Ægean deep,
Fields that cool Ilissus laves,
Or where Mæander's amber waves

In lingering labyrinths creep,

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How do your tuneful echoes languish,
Mute but to the voice of Anguish?
Where each old poetic mountain

Inspiration breathed around,
Every shade and hallowed fountain

Murmured deep a solemn sound;
Till the sad Nine in Greece's evil hour

Left their Parnassus for the Latian plains:
Alike they scorn the pomp of tyrant Power,

And coward Vice that revels in her chains.
When Latium had her lofty spirit lost,
They sought, O Albion! next, thy sea-encircled coast.

III. 1

Far from the sun and summer-gale,
In thy green lap was Nature's darling laid,

What time, where lucid Avon strayed,
To him the mighty mother did unveil

Her awful face: the dauntless child

Stretched forth his little arms, and smiled.
‘This pencil take,' she said, “whose colours clear

Richly paint the vernal year.
Thine too these golden keys, immortal boy!

This can unlock the gates of Joy;

Of Horror that, and thrilling Fears,
Or ope the sacred source of sympathetic tears.'

III. 2

Nor second he that rode sublime
Upon the seraph-wings of Ecstasy,

The secrets of th' abyss to spy.
He passed the flaming bounds of Place and Time:

The living throne, the sapphire blaze,

Where angels tremble while they gaze,
He saw; but, blasted with excess of light,

Closed his eyes in endless night.
Behold where Dryden's less presumptuous car

Wide o'er the fields of glory bear

Two coursers of ethereal race,
With necks in thunder clothed, and long-resounding pace!
III. 3
Hark! his hands the lyre explore:
Bright-eyed Fancy, hovering o'er,
Scatters from her pictured urn
Thoughts that breathe and words that burn.

But, ah, 'tis heard no more!
O lyre divine, what daring spirit
Wakes thee now? Though he inherit
Nor the pride nor ample pinion

That the Theban Eagle bear,
Sailing with supreme dominion

Through the azure deep of air,
Yet oft before his infant eyes would run

Such forms as glitter in the Muse's ray,
With orient hues unborrowed of the sun:

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.


I. 1
'Ruin seize thee, ruthless king!
Confusion on thy banners wait;

Though fanned by conquest's crimson wing,
They mock the air with idle state.

Helm, nor hauberk’s twisted mail,
Nor even thy virtues, tyrant, shall avail
To save thy secret soul from nightly fears,

From Cambria's curse, from Cambria's tears!
Such were the sounds that o'er the crested pride

Of the first Edward scattered wild dismay,
As down the steep of Snowdon's shaggy side

He wound with toilsome march his long array. Stout Gloucester stood aghast in speechless trance; 'To arms! cried Mortimer, and couched his quivering lance.

I. 2
On a rock, whose haughty brow
Frowns o'er old Conway's foaming flood,

Robed in the sable garb of woe,
With haggard eyes the poet stood

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