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What time the pea puts on the bloom,
Thou fliest thy vocal vale,
Another spring to hail.
Sweet bird ! thy bower is ever green,
Thy sky is ever clear ;
No Winter in thy year!
O could I fly, I'd fly with thee !
We'd make, with joyful wing, Our annual visit o'er the globe,
Companions of the spring.
THE curfew tolls the knell of parting day,
The lowing herds wind 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,
And all the air a solemn stillness holds, Save where the beetle wheels his droning flight,
And drowsy tinklings lull the distant fold:
Save that from yonder ivy-mantled tower,
The moping owl does to the moon complain Of such as, wand'ring near her secret bower,
Molest her ancient solitary reign.
Beneath those rugged elms, that yew-tree's shade,
Where heaves the turf in many a mould'ring 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,
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.
Oft did the harvest to their sickle yield,
Their furrow oft the stubborn glebe has broke; How jocund did they drive their team a-field !
How bow'd the woods beneath the r sturdy stroke !
Let not Ambition mock their useful toil,
Their homely joys, and destiny obscure; Nor Grandeur hear with a disdainful smile
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,
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
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 ; Hands that the rod of empire might have swayed,
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,
And froze the genial current of the soul.
Full many a gem, of purest ray serene,
The dark unfathom'd caves of ocean bear: 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 confin’d; 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 tenor of their way.
Yet e'en 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.
For who, to dumb Forgetfulness a prey,
This pleasing, anxious being e'er resign'd, Left the warm precincts of the cheerful day,
Nor cast one longing, lingering look behind ?
On some fond breast the parting soul relies,
Some pious drops the closing eye requires ; Even from the tomb the voice of nature cries,
Even in our ashes live their wonted fires.