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Say, can they taste the flavour high
Mark Ambition's march sublime
Up to Power's meridian height; While pale-ey'd Envy sees him climb, And sickens at the sight.
Phantoms of Danger, Death, and Dread, Float hourly round Ambition's head; While Spleen, within his rival's breast, Sits brooding on her scorpion nest.
Happier he, the Peasant, far,
From the pangs of Passion free, That breathes the keen yet wholesome air
Of rugged Penury.
He, when his morning task is done,
He, unconscious whence the bliss,
Feels, and owns in carols rude, That all the circling joys are his,
Of dear Vicissitude.
From toil he wins his spirits light,
In Heav'n's best treasures, Peace and Health.
A PASSAGE FROM STATIUS.
This was made by Mr. Gray while at Cambridge in the Year 1736, and at the age of 20.-It has place here as a curiosity; Mr. Mason having expressed his belief that it was Gray's first attempt in English Verse.]
Artful and strong he pois'd the well-known
By Phlegyas warn'd, and fir'd by Mnestheus' fate,
His vigorous arm he try'd before he flung,
The theatre's green height and woody wall
Cambridge, May 8, 1736.
[This was sent by Mr. Gray to his friend West, with a reference to the following passage in Sandys's Travels: "West of Cicero's Villa stands "the eminent Gaurus, a stony and desolate mountain, in which there "are diverse obscure caverns, choaked almost with earth, where "many have consumed much fruitless industry in searching for "treasure. The famous Lucrine Lake extended formerly from "Avernus to the aforesaid Gaurus: But is now no other than a little "sedgy plash, choaked up by the horrible and astonishing eruption "of the new mountain; whereof, as oft as I think, I am easy to cre"dit whatsoever is wonderful. For who here knows not, or who " elsewhere will believe, that a mountain should arise, (partly out of "a lake and partly out of the sea) in one day and a night, unto such "a height as to contend in altitude with the high mountains adjoin❝ing? In the year of our Lord 1538, on the 29th of September, when ❝for certain days foregoing the country hereabout was so vexed "with perpetual earthquakes, as no one house was left so entire as "not to expect an immediate ruin; after that the sea had retired "two hundred paces from the shore, (leaving abundance of fish, and "springs of fresh water rising in the bottom) this mountain visibly ❝ascended, about the second hour of the night, with an hideous "roaring, horribly vomiting stones and such store of cinders as over"whelmed all the building thereabout, and the salubrious baths of "Tripergula, for so many ages celebrated; consumed the vines to "ashes, killing birds and beasts: the fearful inhabitants of Puzzol "flying through the dark with their wives and children; naked, de"filed, crying out, and detesting their calamities. Manifold mis"chiefs have they suffered by the barbarous, yet none like this which "Nature inflicted.This new mountain, when newly raised, had "a number of issues; at some of them smoking and sometimes flaming; at others disgorging rivulets of hot waters; keeping