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Fair are the gardens of the Aonian mount,
And sweet those blooming flow'rs
Which paint the Maidens' bow'rs.
And clear the waters of the gurgling fount:
Swift they wind through chequer'd allies;
Huddling down to th' open vallies;
Where the quick ripple in the sunbeams plays,
Turning to endless forms each glance of twinkling

O'er the gay scene th' enamour'd inmates roam:
And gather fresh ideas as they rise

From Nature's manifold supplies.
Alas! for whom?

Many a gleam of sprightly thought, Many a sad and sable mood, Whether from dazzling lustre brought,

Or nurs'd by shades of darksome wood, Keep death-like silence on their native shore, Since he, that gave them speech, is heard no more.

Flown is the spirit of GRAY

Like common breath to mingle with the air:
Yet still those Goddesses peculiar care,
That breathe harmonious lay.
Retir'd to yonder grassy mound

In leaves of dusky hue encompass'd round,
They bid their plaintive accents fill

The covert hollows of the bosom'd hill:

With liquid voice and magic hand
Calliope informs the band:

Hush'd are the warblers of the grove, attentive to

the sound.

"Soft and slow

"Let the melting measures flow, "Nor lighter air disturb majestic woe.

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"And thou, sage Priestess [1] of our holy fire, "Who saw'st the Poet's flame expire,

"Thy precious drops profusely shed

"O'er his well-deserving head.

"Thou nurtur'dst once a grateful throng,

"When Milton pour'd the sweets of song "On Lycidas funk low [2].

"Now wake that faithful lyre-mute Dulness "reigns:

"Your echoes waft no more the friendly theme; "Clogg'd with thick vapours from the neighb'ring


"Where old Cam hardly moves his sluggard

❝ stream.

"But when some public cause

"Claims festive song, or more melodious tear,
"Discordant murmurs grate mine ear.
"Ne'er model'd by Pierian laws,

[1] Cambridge University, where Gray died.

[2] In 1638 the University published a volume of poems to the memory of Mr. Edward King, Milton's Lycidas.

"Then idly glares full many a motley toy, "Anacreontic grief, and creeping strains of joy.

"Far other modes were thine,
"Victim of hasty fate,

"Whom now the powers of melody deplore;
"Whether in lofty state [3]

"Thou bad'st thy train divine

"Of raptures on Pindaric pinions soar:
"Or hoping from thyself to fly
"To childhood's careless scenes [4],
"Thou sent'st a warm refreshing eye
"On Nature's faded greens:

"Or when thy calm and steadfast mind
"With philosophic reach profound
"Self-pleasing vanities resign'd,

"Fond of the look, that loves the ground [5]; "Discern'd by Reason's equal light,

"How gaudy Fortune cheats the sight;

[3] See Gray's Pindaric Odes.

[4] Ode on a distant prospect of Eton College.
[5] Hymn to Adversity.

"While the coarse maid, inur'd to pain, "Supports the lab'ring heart, and Virtue's happiest "reign.

"But most the music of thy plaintive moan [6] "With lengthen'd note detains the list'ning ear, "As lost in thought thou wander'st all alone "Where spirits hover round their mansions drear.

"By Contemplation's eye serenely view'd,

"Each lowly object wears an awful mien: " 'Tis our own blindness veils the latent good: "The works of Nature need but to be seen.

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"Thou saw'st her beaming from the hamlet-sires "Beneath those rugged elms, that yew-tree's shade; "Where now, still faithful to their wonted fires [7], "Thy own dear ashes are for ever laid."

[6] Church-yard Elegy.

[7] Gray was buried at Stoke, the scene of the Elegy.

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