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HYMN TO ADVERSITY.
Τὸν φρονεῖν βροζὺς ὁδώσανζα, τῶ πάθει μαθὼν Θέντα κυρίως έχειν.
Eschylus, in Agamemnone.
DAUGHTER of Jove, relentless power,
With pangs unfelt before, unpitied, and alone.
When first thy sire to send on Earth
Virtue, his darling child, design'd, To thee he gave the heavenly birth, And bade to form her infant mind. Stern rugged nurse; thy rigid lore With patience many a year she bore : What sorrow was, thou bad'st her know,
WRITTEN IN A COUNTRY CHURCH-YARD.
Now fades the glimmering landscape on the sight,
Save that, from yonder ivy-mantled tower,
The moping owl does to the Moon complain Of such as, wandering 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 mouldering heap, Each in his narrow cell for ever laid,
The rude forefathers of the hamlet sleep.
The breezy call of incense-breathing Morn,
And from her own she learn'd to melt at others' woe. The cock's shrill clarion, or the echoing horn,
Scar'd at thy frown terrific, fly
Self-pleasing Folly's idle brood,
Light they disperse, and with them go
To her they vow their truth, and are again believ'd.
Wisdom, in sable garb array'd,
Immers'd in rapturous thought profound,
With leaden eye, that loves the ground,
And Pity, dropping soft the sadly-pleasing tear.
Oh, gently on thy suppliant's head,
Dread goddess, lay thy chastening hand! Not in thy gorgon terrors clad,
Nor circled with the vengeful band, (As by the impious thou art seen,) With thundering voice, and threatening mien, With screaming Horror's funeral cry, Despair, and fell Disease, and ghastly Poverty.
Thy form benign, oh, goddess! wear,
Thy philosophic train be there,
To soften, not to wound, my heart.
The generous spark extinct revive,
What others are, to feel, and know myself a man.
No more shall rouse them from their lowly bed.
For them no more the blazing hearth shall burn,
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 their 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, Await alike th' inevitable hour,
The paths of glory lead but to the grave.
Nor you, ye proud, impute to these the fault,
Can storied urn or animated bust
Back to its mansion call the fleeting breath? Can Honor'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 sway'd, Or wak'd to ecstacy the living lyre.
But Knowledge to their eyes her ample page,
Chill Penury repress'd their noble rage,
With antic sports and blue-ey'd pleasures,
Slow-melting strains their queen's approach declare:
Man's feeble race what ills await, Labor and Penury, the racks of Pain, Disease, and Sorrow's weeping train,
And Death, sad refuge from the storms of Fate!
Say, has he given in vain the heavenly Muse?
Her spectres wan, and birds of boding cry,
Hyperion's march they spy, and glittering shafts of
In climes beyond the solar road,
Thine too these golden keys, immortal boy!
Or ope the sacred source of sympathetic tears."
Nor second he,† that rode sublime
Upon the seraph-wings of Ecstasy,
He pass'd the flaming bounds of place and time:
Behold, where Dryden's less presumptuous car,
Two coursers of ethereal race,t
With necks in thunder cloth'd, and long-resounding
Hark, his hands the lyre explore!
Thoughts that breathe, and words that burn.
Oh! lyre divine, what daring spirit
Where shaggy forms o'er ice-built mountains roam, Through the azure deep of air:
The Muse has broke the twilight gloom
To cheer the shivering native's dull abode. And oft, beneath the odorous shade
Of Chili's boundless forests laid,
She deigns to hear the savage youth repeat,
In loose numbers wildly sweet,
Their feather-cinctur'd chiefs, and dusky loves.
Th' unconquerable mind, and Freedom's holy flame.
Woods, that wave o'er Delphi's steep,
Or where Mæander's amber waves
How do your tuneful Echoes languish
Murmur'd deep a solemn sound:
Left their Parnassus, for the Latian plains.
And coward Vice, that revels in her chains. When Latium had her lofty spirit lost,
They sought, oh Albion! next thy sea-encircled coast.
Far from the Sun and summer-gale,
In thy green lap was Nature's darling* laid,
To him the mighty mother did unveil
Her awful face: the dauntless child
"This pencil take," she said, "whose colors clear Richly paint the vernal year:
Yet oft before his infant eyes would run
Beneath the good how far-but far above the great.
ODE ON THE SPRING.
Lo! where the rosy-bosom'd Hours,
The untaught harmony of Spring: While, whispering pleasure as they fly, Cool zephyrs through the clear blue sky Their gather'd fragrance fling.
Where'er the oak's thick branches stretch
Beside some water's rushy brink
(At ease reclin'd in rustic state)
Still is the toiling hand of Care:
The panting herds repose:
Yet hark, how through the peopled air
The busy murmur glows!
Meant to express the stately march and sounding energy of Dryden's rhymes.
The insect youth are on the wing,
And float amid the liquid noon:
To Contemplation's sober eye
Such is the race of man:
And they that creep, and they that fly,
Alike the busy and the gay
In Fortune's varying colors drest:
Methinks I hear in accents low
"Poor moralist! and what art thou? A solitary fly!
Thy joys no glittering female meets,
ODE FOR MUSIC.
PERFORMED IN THE SENATE-HOUSE AT CAMBRIDGE, JULY 1, 1769, AT THE INSTALLATION OF HIS GRACE AUGUSTUS-HENRY FITZROY, DUKE OF GRAFTON, CHANCELLOR OF THE UNIVERSITY.
"HENCE, avaunt, ('tis holy ground,)
Comus and his midnight-crew, And Ignorance with looks profound, And dreaming Sloth of pallid hue,
Mad Sedition's cry profane,
Servitude that hugs her chain,
But hark! the portals sound, and pacing forth
High potentates and dames of royal birth,
And sad Chatillon,† on her bridal morn
That wept her bleeding love, and princely Clare,t
The murder'd saint, and the majestic lord,
"What is grandeur, what is power?
*Edward the Third; who added the fleur-de-lis of France to the arms of England. He founded Trinity College.
Mary de Valentia, Countess of Pembroke, daughter
Let painted Flattery hide her serpent-train in flowers. of Guy de Chatillon, Comte de St. Paul in France: of
Nor Envy base, nor creeping Gain,
Dare the Muse's walk to stain,
While bright-ey'd Science watches round: Hence, away, 'tis holy ground!"
From yonder realms of empyrean day
Bursts on my ear th' indignant lay:
There sit the sainted sage, the bard divine,
Through every unborn age and undiscover'd clime.
Yet hither oft a glance from high
To bless the place, where on their opening soul
'Twas Milton struck the deep-ton'd shell,
whom tradition says, that her husband, Audemar de Valentia, Earl of Pembroke, was slain at a tournament on the day of his nuptials. She was the foundress of Pembroke College or Hall, under the name of Aula Mariæ de Valentia.
Elizabeth de Burg, Countess of Clare, was wife of John de Burg, son and heir of the Earl of Ulster, and daughter of Gilbert de Clare, Earl of Gloucester, by Joan of Acres, daughter of Edward the First. Hence the poet gives her the epithet of princely. She founded Clare-Hall.
§ Margaret of Anjou, wife of Henry the Sixth, foundress of Queen's College. The poet had celebrated her con jugal fidelity in a former ode.
Elizabeth Widville, wife of Edward the Fourth (hence called the paler rose, as being of the house of York.) She added to the foundation of Margaret of Anjou.
¶ Henry the Sixth and Eighth. The former the founder of King's, the latter the greatest benefactor to Trinity College.
Foremost and leaning from her golden cloud
"Welcome, my noble son," she cries aloud,
"Lo, Granta waits to lead her blooming band.
Not obvious, not obtrusive, she
No vulgar praise, no venal incense flings;
With modest pride to grace thy youthful brow
While spirits blest above and men below
Join with glad voice the loud symphonious lay.
Nor fear the rocks, nor seek the shore:
The hapless nymph with wonder saw : A whisker first, and then a claw,
With many an ardent wish,
She stretch'd in vain to reach the prize; What female heart can gold despise? What cat's averse to fish?
Presumptuous maid! with looks intent
Eight times emerging from the flood,
From hence, ye beauties, undeceiv'd,
Not all, that tempts your wandering eyes,
ON THE DEATH OF A FAVORITE CAT, DROWNED
IN A TUB OF GOLD-FISHES.
"Twas on a lofty vase's side,
Her conscious tail her joy declar'd; The fair round face, the snowy beard, The velvet of her paws,
Her coat, that with the tortoise vies, Her ears of jet, and emerald eyes,
She saw; and purr'd applause.
Still had she gaz'd; but 'midst the tide
* Countess of Richmond and Derby; the mother of Henry the Seventh, foundress of St. John's and Christ's Colleges.
†The Countess was a Beaufort, and married to a Tudor; hence the application of this line to the Duke of Grafton, who claims descent from both these families.
Lord-treasurer Burleigh was chancellor of the University in the reign of Queen Elizabeth.