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MID these mould’ring walls, this marble round,
Where slept the Heroes of the Julian name, Say, shall we linger still in thought profound,
And meditate the mournful paths to fame?
What though no cypress shades, in funeral rows,
No sculptur’d urns, the last records of Fate, O’er the shrunk terrace wave their baleful boughs,
Or breathe in storied emblems of the great ;
Yet not with heedless eye will we survey
The scene though chang'd, nor negligently tread; These variegated walks, however
• It is now a garden belonging to Marchefe di Corré.
In every shrub, in every fow'ret's bloom
That paints with different hues yon smiling plain, Some Hero's alhes issue from the tomb,
And live a vegetative life again.
For matter dies not, as the Sages say,
But shifts to other forms the pliant mass, When the free spirit quits its cumbrous clay,
And sees, beneath, the rolling Planets pass.
Perhaps, my Villiers, for I sing to Thee,
Perhaps, unknowing of the bloom it gives, In yon
fair scion of Apollo's tree The sacred duft of young Marcellus lives.
Pluck not the leaf – 'twere sacrilege to wound
Th’ideal memory of so sweet a shade; In these sad seats an early grave he found,
And the first rites to gloomy Dis convey'd.
Witness thou Field of Mars, that oft hadst known
His youthful triumphs in the mimic war,
When o'er thy bosom rolld the funeral car.
Witness d thou Tuscan stream, where oft he glow'd
In sportive strugglings with th' opposing wave, Fast by the recent tomb thy waters flowd
While wept the wise, the virtuous, and the brave.
O lost too soon !- yet why lament a fate
By thousands envied, and by Heaven approv'd. Rare is the boon to those of longer date
To live, to die, admir'd, esteemid, belov'd.
Weak are our judgments, and our passions warm,
And Nowly dawns the radiant morn of truth, Our expectations hastily we form,
And much we pardon to ingenuous youth.
Too oft we satiate on th' applause we pay
To rising Merit, and resume the Crown; Full many a blooming genius, snatch'd away,
Has fallen lamented who had liv'd unknown.
For hard the task, O Villiers, to sustain
Th' important burthen of an early fame;
Vel quæ, Tyberine, videbis
Be thou Marcellus, with a length of days !
But remember, whatsoe'er thou art, The most exalted breath of human praise
To please indeed muft echo from the heart.
Though thou be brave, be virtuous, and be wise,
By all, like him, admir’d, esteemid, belov'd, 'Tis from within alone true Fame can rife,
The only happy is the Self-approv'd.
E L EGY III.
To the Right Honourable
Written at Rome, 1756.
ES, noble Youth, 'tis true; the softer arts,
The sweetly-sounding string, and pencil's pow'r, Have warm’d to rapture even heroic hearts,
And taught the rude to wonder, and adore.
For Beauty charms us, whether she appears
In blended colours; or to foothing sound Attunes her voice; or fair proportion wears
In yonder swelling dome's harmonious round.
All, all she charms; but not alike to all
'Tis given to revel in her blissful bower ; Coercive ties, and Reason's powerful call
Bid some but taste the sweets, which fome devour.
When Nature govern'd, and when Man was young,
Perhaps at will th' untutord Savage rov'd, Where waters murmur'd, and where clusters hung
He fed, and Nept beneath the shade he lov'd.
But since the Sage's more fagacious mind,
By Heaven's permission, or by Heaven's command, To polish'd states has social laws assign'd,
And general good on partial duties plann'd,
Not for ourselves our vagrant steps we bend
As heedless Chance, or wanton Choice ordain; On various stations various tasks attend,
And Men are born to trifle or to reign.