صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني

Embody'd, thick, perform their mystic rounds.
No other merriment, dull tree, is thine.

See yonder hallow'd fane---the pious work
Of names once fam’d, now dubious or forgot,
And bury'd midst the wreck of things which were :
There lie interr'd the more illustrious dead.
The wind is up : hark ! how it howls ! methinks
Till now I never heard a sound so dreary :
Doors creak, and windows clap, and night's foul

bird, Rook'd in the spire, screams loud: the gloomy aisles Black plaster'd, and hung round with shreds of

'scutcheons And tatter'd coats of arms, send back the sound Laden with heavier airs, from the low vaults, The mansions of the dead.Rous'd from their

slumbers, in grim array the grisly spectres rise, Grin horrible, and obstinately sullen, Pass and repass, hush'd as the foot of night. Again the screech-owl shrieks : ungracious sound ! 1'11 hear no more ; it makes one's blood run chill.

Quite round the pile, a row of reverend elms, (Coeval near with that) all ragged show, Long lash'd by the rude winds. Some rift half down Their branchless trunks; others so thin a-top, That scarce two crows could lodge in the same tree. Strange things, the neighbours say, have happen'd

here : Wild shrieks have issued from the hollow tombs : Dead men have come again, and walk'd about ; And the great bell has toll’d, unrung, untouch'd. (Such tales their cheer at wake or gossiping, When it draws near to witching time of night.)

Oft in the lone church-yard at night I've seen, By glimpse of moon-shine chequering through the

trees, he school-boy, with his satchel in his hand,

Whistling aloud to bear his courage up,
And lightly tripping

o'er the long flat stones
(With nettles skirted, and with moss o'ergrown)
That tell in homely phrase who lie below.
Sudden he starts, and hears, or thinks he hears,
The sound of something purring at his heels ;
Full fast he flies, and dares not look behind him,
Till out of breath he overtakes his fellows;
Who gather round, and wonder at the tale
Of horrid apparition, tall and ghastly,
That walks at dead of night, or takes his stand
O'er some new.

r-open'd grave ; and (strange to tell :) Evanishes at crowing of the cock.

The new-made widow too, I've sometimes spy'd, Sad sight! slow moving o'er the prostrate dead : Listless, she crawls along in doleful black, Whilst bursts of sorrow gush from either eye, Fast falling down her now untasted cheek, Prone on the lowly grave of the dear man She drops ; whilst busy meddling memory, In barbarous succession, musters up The past endearments of their softer hours, Tenacious of its theme.-Still, still she thinks She sees him, and indulging the fond thought, Clings yet more closely to the senseless turf, Nor heeds the passenger who looks that way. Invidious grave! how dost thou rend in sunder Whom love has knit, and sympathy made one ! A tie more stubborn far than nature's band. Friendship ! mysterious cement of the soul ; Sweet'ner of life, and solder of society, I owe thee much. Thou hast deserv'd from me Far, far beyond what I can ever pay. Oft have I prov'd the labours of thy love, And the warm efforts of thy gentle heart, Anxious to please.-Oh ! when my friend and I In some thick wood have wander'd heedless on, Hid from the vulgar eye, and sat us down

Upon the sloping cowslip-cover'd bank,
Where the pure limpid stream has slid along
In grateful errors through the under-wood,
Sweet murmuring; methought the shrill-tongu'd

Mended his song of love ; the sooty blackbird
Mellow'd his pipe, and soften'd every note :
The oglantine smelld sweeter, and the rose
Assum'd a dye more deep; whilst ev'ry flower
Vied with its fellow plant in luxury
Of dress.- -Oh ! then the longest summer's day
Seem'd too, too much in haste : still the full heart
Had not imparted half : 'twas happiness
Too exquisite to last. Of joys departed,
Not to return, how painful the remembrance !
Dull grave—thou spoil'st the dance of youthful

Strik'st out the dimple from the cheek of mirth,
And ev'ry smirking feature from the face ;
Branding our laughter with the name of madness.
Where are the jesters now? the man of health
Complexionally pleasant ? Where the droll,
Whose ev'ry look and gesture was a joke
To clapping theatres and shouting crowds,
And made ev’n thick-lipp'd musing Melancholy
To gather up her face into a smile
Before she was aware : Ah! sullen now,
And dumb as the green turf that covers them.

Where are the mighty thunderbolts of war?
The Roman Cæsars, and the Grecian chiefs,
The boast of story? Where the hot-brain’d youth,
Who the tiara at his pleasure tore
From kings of all the then discover'd globe ;
And cryd, forsooth, because his arm was hamperd,
And had not room enough to do its work ?
Alas'ı how slim, dishonourably slim,
And cramm'd into a space we blush to name!
Proud royalty ! how alter'd in thy looks !

How blank thy features, and how wan thy hue!
Son of the morning! whither art thou gone !
Where hast thou hid thy many-spangled head,
And the majestic menace of thine eyes
Felt from afar > Pliant and powerless now,
Like new-born infant bound up in his swathes,
Or victim tumbled flat upon his back,
That throbs beneath the sacrificer's knife :
Mute must thou bear the strife of little tongues,
And coward insults of the base-born crowd,
That grudge a privilege thou never hadst,
But only hop'd for in the peaceful grave,
Of being unmolested and alone.
Arabia’s gums and odoriferous drugs,
And honours by the heralds duly paid
In mode and form, ev'n to a very scruple ;
Oh, cruel irony! these come too late ;
And only mock, whom they were meant to honour.
Surely there's not a dungeon slave that's bury'd
In the high-way, unshrouded and uncoffin'd,
But lies as soft, and sleeps as sound as he.
Sorry pre-eminence of high descent,
Above the vulgar born, to rot in state.

But see ! the well-plum'd herse comes nodding on,
Stately and slow; and properly attended
By the whole sable tribe, that painful watch
The sick man's door, and live upon the dead,
By letting out their persons by the hour,
To mimic sorrow, when the heart's not sad.
How rich the trappings, now they're all unfurld
And glittering in the sun I triumphant entries
Of conquerors, and coronation-pomps,
In glory scarce exceed. Great gluts of people
Retard th' unwieldy show ; whilst from the casements
And houses’ tops, ranks behind ranks close wedg’d
Hang bellying o'er. But tell us, why this waste,
Why this ado in earthing up a carcass
That's fall’n into disgrace, and in the nostril

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Smells horrible :---Ye undertakers, tell us,
Midst all the gorgeous figures you exhibit,
Why is the principal conceal’d, for which
You make this mighty stir ?

-'Tis wisely done :
What would offend the eye in a good picture,
The painter casts discreetly into shades.

Proud lineage, now how little thou appearst Below the envy of the private man. Honour, that meddlesome officious ill, Pursues thee even to death ; nor there stops short : Strange persecution ! when the grave itself is no protection from rude sufferance.

Absurd to think to over-reach the grave, And from the wreck of names to rescue ours. The best concerted schemes men lay for fame, Die fast away : only themselves die faster, The far-fam'd sculptor, and the laureld bard, Those bold insurers of eternal fame, Supply their little feeble aids in vain. The tapering pyramid, the Egyptian's pride, And wonder of the world, whose spiky top Has wounded the thick cloud, and long out-liv’d The angry shaking of the winter's storm ; Yet spent at last by th' injuries of heaven, Shatter'd with age, and furrow'd o’er with years, Thy mystic cone with hieroglyphics crusted, At once gives way. Oh! lamentable sight : The labour of whole ages lumbers down, A hideous and mishapen length of ruins. Sepulchral columns wrestle, but in vain, With all-subduing time : his cauk’ring hand With calm delib'rate malice wasteth them : Worn on the edge of days the brass consumes, The busto moulders, and the deep-cut marble, Unsteady to the steel, gives up its charge. Ambition, half convicted of her folly, Hangs down the head, and reddens at the tale.

Here all the mighty troublers of the earth,


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