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Embody'd, thick, perform their mystic rounds.
See yonder hallow'd fane---the pious work
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,
o'er the long flat stones
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 are the mighty thunderbolts of war?
How blank thy features, and how wan thy hue!
But see ! the well-plum'd herse comes nodding on,
Smells horrible :---Ye undertakers, tell us,
-'Tis wisely done :
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,