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Forgive, ye proud, th' involuntary fault,
Back to its manfion call the fleeting breath?
Or flatt'ry footh the dull cold ear of death?
Perhaps in this neglected spot is laid
Some heart once pregnant with celeftial fire, Hands that the reins of empire might have fway'd, Or wak'd to extasy the living lyre.
But knowledge to their eyes her ample page,
And froze the genial current of the foul.
Full many a gem of pureft ray serene,
The dark unfathom'd caves of ocean. bear: Full many a flower is born to blush unseen,
And wafte its fweetnefs on the defert air. Some village-Hampden, that with dauntless breaft The little tyrant of his fields with stood; Some mute inglorious Milton here may rest, Some Cromwell guiltlefs of his country's blood. Th' applause of lift'ning fenates to command, The threats of pain and ruin to defpife, To scatter plenty o'er a fmiling land,
And read their history in a nation's eyes Their lot forbad; nor circumfscrib'd alone
Their growing virtues, but their crimes confin'd; Forbad to wade through flaughter to a throne, And shut the gates of mercy on mankind,
The ftruggling pangs of confcious truth to hide,
With incenfe, kindled at the mufe's flame.
Far from the madding crowd's ignoble ftrife,
Yet e'en these bones from infult to protect,
Their name, their years, fpelt by th' unletter'd muse,
For who to dumb forgetfulness a prey,
This pleafing anxious being e'er refign'd, Left the warm precincts of the chearful day, Nor caft one longing, ling'ring look behind? On fome fond breaft the parting foul relies,
Some pious drops the clofing eye requires ; Ev'n from the tomb the voice of nature cries, Awake and faithful to her wonted fires.
For thee, who mindful of th' unhonour'd dead
Some kindred spirit fhall inquire thy fate,
Oft have we seen him at the peep of dawn
• There at the foot of yonder nodding beech
• Hard by yon wood, now fmiling as in fcorn, Mutt'ring his wayward fancies he would rove, Now drooping, woeful wan, like one forlorn, • Or craz❜d with care, or crofs'd in hopeless love,
One morn I miss'd him on th' accuftom'd hill, • Alorg the heath, and near his fav'rite tree ; • Another came; nor yet befide the rill,
• Nor up the lawn, nor at the wood was he.
• The next with dirges due in fad array,
Slow through the church-way path we faw him borne. Approach and read (for thou can't read) the lay, Grav'd on the ftone beneath yon aged thorn.
• There fcatter'd oft, the earliest of the year,
By hands unfeen, are fhow'rs of violets found;
Here refts his head upon the lap of earth
A youth to fortune and to fame unknown: Fair fcience frown'd not on his humble birth, • And melancholy mark'd him for her own.
Large was his bounty, and his foul fincere,
He gave to mis'ry (all he had) a tear :
He gain'd from heav'n ('twas all he wifh'd) a friend.
No farther feek his merits to disclose,
• Or draw his frailties from their dread abode,
The bofom of his father and his God.'
We have already obferved that any dreadful catastrophe is a proper fubject for Elegy; and what can be more fo than a civil war, where the fathers and children, the dearest relations and friends, meet each other in arms? We have on this fubject a most affecting Elegy, intituled the Tears of Scotland, afcribed to Dr. Smollet, and set to music by Mr. Ofwald, juft after the late rebellion.
The Tears of SCOTLAND. Written in the Year 1746.
Mourn, hapless CALEDONIA, mourn
Thy banish'd peace, thy laurels torn
Thy fons, for valour long renown'd,
The wretched owner fees afar His all become the prey of war; Bethinks him of his babes and wife, Then fmites his breast, and curfes life. Thy fwains are famish'd on the rocks, Where once they fed their wanton flocks: Thy ravish'd virgins fhriek in vain; Thy infants perish on the plain.
What boots it then, in every clime, Thro' the wide spreading waste of time, Thy martial glory, crown'd with praise, Still fhone with undiminish'd blaze? Thy tow'ring spirit now is broke, Thy neck is bended to the yoke. What foreign arms could never quell, By civil rage, and rancour fell.
The rural pipe, and merry lay, No more fhall chear the happy day : No focial scenes of gay delight Beguile the dreary winter night : No ftrains but those of sorrow flow, And nought be heard but founds of woe; While the pale phantoms of the flain Glide nightly o'er the filent plain.
Oh baneful caufe, oh! fatal morn,
Yet, when the rage of battle ceas'd,
The pious mother, doom'd to death,
Whilft the warm blood bedews my veins
Love as we have already observed, is likewife one of the proper fubjects for this kind of poem. An example of which we shall give from the love Elegies lately publish'd by Mr. Hammond.
A LOVE ELEGY.
Let others boaft their heaps of fhining gold,
And view their fields with waving plenty crown'd, Whom neighb'ring foes in conftant terror hold, And trumpets break their slumbers, never found: II. While, calmly poor, I trifle life away,
Enjoy fweet, leifure by my chearful fire, No wanton hope my quiet fhall betray,
But cheaply blefs'd i'll fcorn each vain defire.