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Though fools spurn Hymen's gentle powers, 25
We, who improve his golden hours,

By sweet experience know,
That marriage, rightly understood,
Gives to the tender and the good

A paradise below.

30

Our babes shall richest comforts bring;
If tutor'd right, they 'll prove a spring

Whence pleasures ever rise;
We 'll form their minds with studious care
To all that is manly, good, and fair,

And train them for the skies.

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While they our wisest hours engage,
They 'll joy our youth, support our age,

And crown our hoary hairs ;
They 'll grow in virtue every day,
And thus our fondest love repay,

And recompense our cares.

40

No borrow'd joys! they 're all our own,
While to the world we live unknown,

Or by the world forgot:
Monarchs ! we envy not your state;
We look with pity on the great,

And bless our humble lot.

Our portion is not large, indeed,
But then how little do we need,

For Nature's calls are few !
In this the art of living lies,
To want no more than may suffice,

And make that little do.

We'll therefore relish with content
Whate'er kind Providence has sent,

Nor aim beyond our power; For if our stock be very small, 'Tis prudence to enjoy it all,

Nor lose the present hour.

To be resign'd when ills betide,
Patient when favours are denied,

And pleased with favours given;
Dear Chloe, this is wisdom's part,
This is that incense of the heart,

Whose fragrance smells to heaven.

We'll ask no long-protracted treat,
(Since winter-life is seldom sweet);

But when our feast is o’er,
Grateful from table we'll arise,
Nor grudge our sons, with envious eyes,

The relics of our store.

Thus hand in hand through life we'll go;
Its chequer'd paths of joy and woe

With cautious steps we'll tread;
Quit its vain scenes without a tear,
Without a trouble, or a fear,

And mingle with the dead :

80

While Conscience, like a faithful friend,
Shall through the gloomy vale attend,

And cheer our dying breath ;
Sball, when all other comforts cease,
Like a kind angel whisper peace,

And smooth the bed of death.

COTTON,

ELEGY
WRITTEN IN A COUNTRY CHURCHYARD.
The curfew tolls the knell of parting day,

The lowing herd winds slowly o'er the lea,
The ploughman homeward plods his weary way,

And leaves the world to darkness and to me.
Now fades the glimmering landscape on the sight, 5

And all the air a solemn stillness holds,
Save where the beetle wheels his droning flight,

And drowsy tinklings lull the distant folds :
Save that from yonder ivy-mantled tower,

The moping owl does to the moon complain 10 Of such, as wandering near her secret bower

Molest her ancient solitary reign.
Hark! how the sacred calm that breathes around

Bids every fierce tumultuous passion cease;
In still small accents whispering from the ground, 15

A grateful earnest of eternal peace.
Beneath those rugged elms, that yew-tree's shade,

Where heaves the turf in many a mouldering heap, Each in his narrow cell for ever laid,

The rude forefathers of the hamlet sleep. The breezy call of incense-breathing morn,

The swallow twittering from the straw-built shed, . The cock's shrill clarion, or the echoing horn,

No more shall rouse them from their lowly bed. For them no more the blazing hearth shall burn, 25

Or busy housewife ply her evening care; No children run to lisp their sire's return,

Or climb his knees the envied kiss to share.

20

Oft did the harvest to their sickle yield,

Their furrow oft the stubborn glebe has broke: 30 How jocund did they drive their team a-field !

How bow'd the woods beneath their sturdy stroke ! Let not Ambition mock their useful toil,

Their homely joys, and destiny obscure; Nor Grandeur hear with a disdainful smile 35

The short and simple annals of the poor. The boast of heraldry, the pomp of power,

And all that beauty, all that wealth e'er gave, Await alike the inevitable hour;

The paths of glory lead but to the grave. Nor you, ye Proud, impute to these the fault,

If Memory o’er their tomb no trophies raise, Where through the long-drawn aisle and fretted vault

The pealing anthem swells the note of praise. Can storied urn or animated bust,

45 Back to its mansion call the fleeting breath ? Can Honour's voice provoke the silent dust,

Or Flattery soothe the dull cold ear of Death ? Perhaps in this neglected spot is laid

Some heart once pregnant with celestial fire; 50 Hands, that the rod of empire might have sway'd,

Or waked to ecstasy the living lyre :
But Knowledge to their eyes her ample page,

Rich with the spoils of time, did ne'er unroll,
Chill penury repress'd their noble rage,

55 And froze the genial current of the soul. Full many a gem, of purest ray serene,

The dark unfathom'd caves of ocean bear:

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Full many a flower is born to blush unseen,

And waste its sweetness on the desert air. Some village Hampden, that with dauntless breast

The little tyrant of his fields withstood; Some mute inglorious Milton here may rest,

Some Cromwell, guiltless of his country's blood. The applause of listening senates to command,

The threats of pain and ruin to despise, To scatter plenty o'er a smiling land,

And read their history in a nation's eyes, Their lot forbade: nor circumscribed alone

Their growing virtues, but their crimes confined ; 70 Forbade to wade through slaughter to a throne,

And shut the gates of mercy on mankind;
The struggling pangs of conscious truth to hide,

To quench the blushes of ingenuous shame,
Or heap the shrine of Luxury and Pride

With incense kindled at the Muse's flame. Far from the madding crowd's ignoble strife,

Their sober wishes never learn'd to stray; Along the cool sequester'd vale of life

They kept the noiseless tenour of their way: 80 Yet ev'n these bones from insult to protect,

Some frail memorial, still erected nigh, With uncouth rhymes and shapeless sculpture deck'd,

Implores the passing tribute of a sigh. Their name, their years, spelt by the unletter'd Muse,

The place of fame and elegy supply; And many a holy text around she strews,

That teach the rustic moralist to die.

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