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IN A COUNTRY CHURCHYARD
E'en from the tomb the voice of Nature cries,
E'en in our ashes live their wonted fires.
For thee, who, mindful of th' unhonour'd dead,
Dost in these lines their artless tale relate; If chance, by lonely contemplation led,
Some kindred spirit shall inquire thy fate,
Haply some hoary-headed swain may say,
“Oft have we seen him at the peep of dawn Brushing with hasty steps the dews away,
To meet the sun upon the upland lawn;
“There at the foot of yonder nodding beech
That wreathes its old fantastic roots so high, His listless length at noontide would he stretch,
And pore upon the brook that babbles by.
“Hard by yon wood, now smiling as in scorn,
Muttering his wayward fancies he would rove; Now drooping, woeful wan, like one forlorn,
Or crazed with care, or cross'd in hopeless love.
“One morn I miss'd him on the custom'd hill,
Along the heath, and near his favourite tree;
up the lawn, nor at the wood was he;
“The next with dirges due in sad array Slow through the church-way path we saw him Approach and read (for thou canst read) the lay
Graved on the stone beneath yon aged thorn."
A Youth, to Fortune and to Fame unknown;
And Melancholy mark'd him for her own.
Large was his bounty, and his soul sincere;
Heaven did a recompense as largely send: He gave to Misery all he had, a tear, He gain'd from Heaven, 't was all he wish'd, a
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.
I LOVE the fitful gust that shakes
The casement all the day,
The faded leaves away,
I love to see the shaking twig
Dance till the shut of eve, The sparrow on the cottage rig,
Whose chirp would make believe That Spring was just now flirting by In Summer's lap with flowers to lie.
I love to see the cottage smoke
Curl upwards through the trees,
On November days like these;
The feather from the raven's breast
Falls on the stubble lea,
Drop pattering down the tree;
How vainly men themselves amaze,
While all the flowers and trees do close,
Fair Quiet, have I found thee here,
No white nor red was ever seen So amorous as this lovely green. Fond lovers, cruel as their flame, Cut in these trees their mistress' name: Little, alas! they know or heed, How far these beauties hers exceed! Fair trees! wheres'e'er your bark I wound, No name shall but your own be found.
When we have seen our passion's heat, Love hither makes his best retreat. The gods, that mortal beauty chase, Still in a tree did end their race; Apollo hunted Daphne so, Only that she might laurel grow; And Pan did after Syrinx speed, Not as a nymph, but for a reed.
What wondrous life is this I lead! Ripe apples drop about my head;
The luscious clusters of the vine
Meanwhile the mind, from pleasure less, Withdraws into its happiness; The mind, that ocean where each kind Does straight its own resemblance find; Yet it creates, transcending these, Far other worlds, and other seas, Annihilating all that's made To a green thought in a green shade.
Here at the fountain's sliding foot,
Such was that happy garden-state,