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Here rests his head upon the lap of Earth
A youth to Fortune and to Fame unknown: Fair Science frowned not on his humble birth, And Melancholy marked him for her own.
Large was his bounty, and his soul sincere;
Heav'n did a recompense as largely send: He gave to Mis'ry all he had, a tear;
He gained from Heav'n ('t was all he wished) a friend.
No farther seek his merits to disclose,
Or draw his frailties from their dread abode (There they alike in trembling hope repose), The bosom of his Father and his God.
THE PROGRESS OF POESY
Awake, Æolian lyre, awake,
And give to rapture all thy trembling strings!
A thousand rills their mazy progress take;
The rocks and nodding groves rebellow to the roar.
Oh sovereign of the willing soul,
Parent of sweet and solemn-breathing airs,
And frantic Passions hear thy soft control.
And dropped his thirsty lance at thy command.
Of Jove, thy magic lulls the feathered king With ruffled plumes and flagging wing; Quenched in dark clouds of slumber lie The terror of his beak and lightnings of his eye.
Thee the voice, the dance, obey,
The rosy-crownèd Loves are seen,
With antic Sports and blue-eyed Pleasures
Now in circling troops they meet;
Glance their many-twinkling feet.
In gliding state she wins her easy way;
Man's feeble race what ills await: Labour, and Penury, the racks of Pain,
Disease, and Sorrow's weeping train,
And Death, sad refuge from the storms of Fate!
Say, has he giv'n in vain the heav'nly Muse?
Her spectres wan, and birds of boding cry,
Hyperion's march they spy, and glitt'ring shafts of war.
In climes beyond the solar road,
Where shaggy forms o'er ice-built mountains roam, 55 The Muse has broke the twilight-gloom
To cheer the shiv'ring native's dull abode.
She deigns to hear the savage youth repeat,
Their feather-cinctured chiefs and dusky loves.
Woods that wave o'er Delphi's steep,
Inspiration breathed around,
Left their Parnassus for the Latian plains:
And coward Vice that revels in her chains.
Far from the sun and summer-gale,
Her awful face: the dauntless child
Stretched forth his little arms, and smiled. "This pencil take," she said, "whose colours clear Richly paint the vernal year.
Thine too these golden keys, immortal boy:
This can unlock the gates of Joy;
Of Horrour that, and thrilling Fears,
Or ope the sacred source of sympathetic tears."
Nor second he that rode sublime
He passed the flaming bounds of Place and Time:
Two coursers of ethereal race,
With necks in thunder clothed, and long-resounding pace!
Hark! his hands the lyre explore:
Thoughts that breathe and words that burn.
But, ah, 't is heard no more!
That the Theban Eagle bear,
Through the azure deep of air,
Yet shall he mount, and keep his distant way
"Ruin seize thee, ruthless king! Confusion on thy banners wait;
Though fanned by Conquest's crimson wing,
Helm, nor hauberk's twisted mail,
From Cambria's curse, from Cambria's tears!"
He wound with toilsome march his long array. Stout Glo'ster stood aghast in speechless trance; "To arms!" cried Mortimer, and couched his quiv'ring lance.
On a rock whose haughty brow
Sighs to the torrent's awful voice beneath!
"Cold is Cadwallo's tongue,
That hushed the stormy main;
Brave Urien sleeps upon his craggy bed;
Mountains, ye mourn in vain
Modred, whose magic song
Made huge Plinlimmon bow his cloud-topped head:
The famished eagle screams, and passes by.
Dear as the light that visits these sad eyes,