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There, in her green drefs, Nature never roves,
Spreads the gay lawn, nor lifts the lordly pine;
They fee no melting clouds refresh the groves,
No living landscape drawn by Hands Divine:

But many a fathom from the funny breeze,

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Their painful way in central night they wear;
Heave the pik'd axes on their bended knees,
Or, fide-long, the rough quarry flowly tear.

Yet while damp vapours chill each reeking brow,
How loudly laughs the jovial voice of mirth;
Pleas'd that the wages of the day allow

A focial blaze to chear their evening hearth!

There the chafte housewife, with maternal care,
Her thrifty distaff plies, in grave attire;
Blefs'd to behold her ruddy offspring wear
The full refemblance of their sturdy fire.


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To spread with fuch coarse fare their homely board
As fits the genius of their little fate,
Free from thofe ills that haunt their pamper'd lord
To be unhappy, we must firft, be great.

In these dark caves, where Heav'n's paternal hand,
Far from the world their private cradle laid,,
They toil fecure; the ftorms that ftrike the land
With wild difmay, roll harmless o'er their head.

For who, the load of weary life to bear,


Wou'd from thefe murky manfions chafe the flave? Who cease to breathe Heav'n's pure and chearful air, To be but living tenants of the grave?

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Yet harass'd as they are, their face ftill wears

The reverend comeliness of green old age;

No ftains their mind from worldly science bears:
Their ray of knowledge gleams from Nature's page.

The few plain rules her fimple leffons give,

They still thro' life with pleas'd attention ply; Their helpless offspring bid them wish to live, Their breathless parents bid them learn to die.

And furely Heaven, whose penetrating fight
Pierces the foul, and reads it's inmoft groan,
Muft fee Content, with more fincere delight,

Toil in the mine, than triumph on the throne.

See Charles *, more pleas'd, within the convent's gloom,
Seeking the flaves calm nights, their temp'rate days,
And peaceful paffage to the private tomb,

Than diadem'd with glory's crimson rays.

E'en the proud fage, whofe deep mysterious brain.
Has reafon'd all the balm of hope away;
Convinc'd that learning's but ingenious pain,
Might hail their happier lot, and fighing say—

O had I thus, within the dark profound,

• By daily labour earn'd my daily food; • Or with yon feedman fow'd the quick'ning ground, Or cleav'd with ponderous axe the groaning wood!

Full many an hour, that now, tho' fped with art,
On flow and dufky pinions fullen flies;

Full many an anxious wish, or pang of heart,

• That Reafon's boafted anodyne defies,

* Charles V. of Spain, who in the full blaze of his glory refigned the throne

to his fon Philip, and retir'd to a convent in Eftremadura.

• Had

Had ne'er been born. Nor had th' uneafy mind, • Pent in the prison of this mortal mould, < Felt it's etherial energy confin'd,

It's brightest funshine in dark clouds enroll'd.

But native fenfe her modeft courfe had run ;

• Her faintly luftre untaught virtue spread;

• Health crown'd my toils; and, ere the day was done, • Sound fleep beneath fome alder's ruftling fhade.

• Then, as I ftole down life's declining hill,

• Here nature's gifts had furnish'd nature's needs; • The brook's cold beverage every latent ill

Had ftarv'd, that cloyfter'd Contemplation feeds.

Till in the peaceful shade of this lone bower, 'Or near yon fhatter'd tower, in filence laid, • The orient orb, that watch'd my natal hour, Had brightly glitter'd o'er my mouldering head.'



HOW blythe the flowery graces of the spring

From Nature's wardrobe come: and hark how gay

Each glittering infect, hovering on the wing,
Sings it's glad welcome to the fields of May!

They gaze with greedy eye each beauty o'er;
They fuck the sweet breath of the blushing rofe;

Sport in the gale, or fip the rainbow shower:
Their life's fhort day no paufe of pleasure knows.

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Like their's, dread Power, my chearful morn display'd
The flattering promise of a golden noon;
Till each gay cloud, that fportive Nature spread,
Died in the gloom of thy distemper'd frown.

Yes; ere I told my two and twentieth year,

Swift from thy quiver flew the deadly dart; Harmless it pafs'd 'mid many a blythe compeer, And found it's fated entrance near my heart,

Pale as I lay beneath thy ebon wand,

I saw them rove thro' Pleasure's flow'ry field : I faw Health paint them with her rofy hand, Eager to burst my bonds, but forc'd to yield.

Yet while this mortal cot of mouldering clay

Shakes at the ftroke of thy tremendous power, Ah, must the tranfient tenant of a day

Bear the rough blaft of each tempestuous hour!

Say, fhall the terrors thy pale flag unfolds,

Too rigid queen! unnerve the foul's bright powers; Till with a joyless fmile the eye beholds

Art's magick charms, and Nature's fairy bowers!

No; let me follow ftill, thofe bowers among,
Her flowery footsteps, as the goddess goes;
Let me, juft lifted 'bove th' unletter'd throng,
Read the few books the learned few compofe :

And fuffer, when thy awful pleasure calls

The foul to fhare her frail companion's fmart;

Yet fuffer me to taste the balm that falls

From Friendship's tongue, fo fweet upon the heart.


Then, tho' each trembling nerve confefs thy frown,
E'en till this anxious being fhall become
But a brief name upon a little stone,

Without one murmur I embrace my doom,

For many a virtue, fhelter'd from mankind,
Lives calm with thee, and lord o'er each defire;
And many a feeble frame, whose mighty mind
Each mufe has touch'd with her immortal fire.

E'en he *, fole terror of a venal age,

The tuneful bard, whofe philofophick foul,
With fuch bright radiance glow'd on Virtue's page,
Learn'd many a leffon from thy moral school.

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He too †, who mounts, and keeps his diftant way,'
His daring mind thy humanizing glooms

Have temper'd with a melancholy ray,

And taught to warble 'mid the village tombs.

Yes, goddefs; to thy temple's deep recefs

I come; and lay for ever at it's door

The fyren throng of Follies numberless,

Nor wish their flattering fongs fhould foothe me more.

Thy decent garb fhall o'er my limbs be fpread,
Thy hand shall lead me to thy fober train,
Who here retir'd, with penfive Pleasure tread
The filent windings of thy dark domain.

Hither the cherub Charity fhall fly

From her bright orb, and brooding o'er my mind, For mifery raise a fympathizing figh,

Pardon for foes, and love for human kind :

Mr. Pope. + Mr. Gray


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