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178 ADDRESSED TO GRAY.
Great Nature's self upbraids thy stay,
And misses her accustom'd May.
See! all her works demand thy aid;
The labours of Pomona fade :
A plaint is heard from ev'ry tree ;
Each budding flow'ret calls for thee;
The birds forget to love and sing ;
With storms alone the forests ring.
Come then, with Pleasure at thy side,
Diffuse thy vernal spirit wide;
Create, where'er thou turn'st thine eye,
Peace, Plenty, Love, and Harmony ;
Till ev'ry being share its part,
And Heav'n and Earth be glad at heart.
Me quoque Musarum studium sub nocte silenti Artibus assuetis solicitare solet.
ENOUGH of fabling, and th’unhallow'd haunts
Of Dian' and of Delia, names profane,
Since not Diana nor all Delia's train
Are subjects that befit a serious song;
For who the bards among
May but compare with thee, lamented Gray!
Whose pensive solemn lay
Drew all the list’ning shepherds in a ring,
Well pleas’d to hear thee sing
Thy moving notes, on sunny hill or plain,
And catch new grace from thy immortal strain,
| O wood-hung Menas, and ye sacred groves
Of Delphi, we still venerate your names,
Whose awful shades inspir'd the Driud's dreams.
Your recess, tho' imagin'd, Fancy loves,
And thro' these long-lost scenes delighted roves :
So future bards perhaps shall sing of Thames,
And as they sing shall say,
'Twas there of old where mus'd illustrious Gray!
By Isis' banks his tuneful lays would suit
To Pindar's lofty lyre, or Sappho's Lesbian lute.
Oft would he sing, when the still Eve came on,
Till sable Night resum'd her ebon throne,
And taught us, in his melancholic mood,
To scorn the great, and love the wise and good;
Told us, 'twas virtue never dies,
And to what ills frail mankind open lies;
How safe throʻlife's tempestuous sea to steer,
Where dang’rous rocks and shelves and whirlpools
And when fair Morn arose again to view,
A fairer landscape still he drew, i
That blooms like Eden in his charming lays,
The hills and dales, and Heav'n's cerulean blue,
Brightend o'er all by Sol's resplendent rays.
The musky gale, in rosy vale,
And gilded clouds on azure hills,
The fragrant bow'rs, and painted flow'rs,
And tinklings of the silver rills;
The very insects, that in sun-beams play,
Turn useful monitors in his grave moral lay.
But, ah! sad Melancholy intervenes,
And draws a cloud o'er all these shining scenes.
'Tis her, alas! we often find,
The troubler of each great unbounded mind,
And leagu'd with her associate Fear,
Will tremble lest the turning sphere,
And sinking earth, and reeling planets run
In dire disorder with the falling sun.
But now, great Bard, thy life of pain is o'er;
'Tis we must weep, tho' thou shalt grieve no more.
Thro' other scenes thou now dost rové,
And cloth'd with gladness walk'st the courts above,
And listen'st to the heav'nly choir,
Hymning their God, while seraphs strike the lyre.
Safe with them in those radiant climes of bliss,
Thou now enjoy’st eternal happiness.
BY THE RIGHT HONOURABLE THE
WHAT spirit's that which mounts on high,
Borne on the arms of every tuneful Muse?
His white robes flutter to the gale:
They wing their way to yonder opening sky,
In glorious state through yielding clouds they sail, And scents of heavenly flowers on earth diffuse.
What avails the poet's art?
What avails his magic hand ? . .in
Can he arrest death's pointed dart,
Or charm to sleep his murderous band?
Well I know thee, gentle shade!
That tuneful voice, that eagle eye.-
Quick bring me flowers that ne'er shall fade,
The laurel wreath that ne'er shall die;