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C.N. Douglas, comp.  Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical.  1917.
 
Gray
 
        Alas! regardless of their doom,
  The little victims play;
No sense have they of ills to come,
  Nor care beyond to-day.
  1
        And many a holy text around she strews
  That teach the rustic moralist to die.
  2
        And to hie him home, at evening’s close,
To sweet repast, and calm repose.
*        *        *        *        *
From toil he wins his spirits light,
From busy day the peaceful night;
Rich, from the very want of wealth,
In heaven’s best treasures, peace and health.
  3
        Beneath those rugged elms, that yew-tree’s shade,
Where heaves the turf in many a mouldering heap,
Each in his narrow cell forever laid,
The rude forefathers of the hamlet sleep.
The breezy call of incense-breathing morn,
The swallow twittering from the straw-built shed,
The cock’s shrill clarion, or the echoing horn,
No more shall rouse them from their lowly bed.
For them no more the blazing hearth shall burn,
Or busy housewife ply her evening care;
No children run to lisp their sire’s return,
Or climb his knees the envied kiss to share.
  4
        Bright-eyed fancy, hovering o’er,
Scatters from her pictured urn,
Thoughts that breathe, and words that burn.
  5
        Chill penury repress’d their noble rage,
And froze the genial current of the soul.
  6
        Dear as the light that visits these sad eyes;
Dear as the ruddy drops that warm my heart.
  7
        E’en from the tomb the voice of nature cries,
E’en in our ashes live their wonted fires.
  8
        Fair laughs the morn, and soft the zephyr blows,
  While proudly rising o’er the azure realm
In gallant trim the gilded vessel goes,
  Youth on the prow, and Pleasure at the helm.
  9
        Full many a flower is born to blush unseen,
And waste its sweetness on the desert air.
  10
        Full many a gem of purest ray serene
  The dark unfathom’d caves of ocean bear.
  11
        Hard unkindness’ alter’d eye,
That mocks the tear it forced to flow.
  12
        Here rests his head, upon the lap of earth,
A youth to fortune and to fame unknown;
Fair Science frown’d not on his humble birth,
And Melancholy mark’d him for her own.
Large was his bounty, and his soul sincere;
Heav’n did a recompense as largely send:
He gave to Mis’ry (all he had) a tear,
He gain’d from Heav’n (’twas all he wish’d) a friend,
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.
  13
        Oft did the harvest to their sickle yield:
  Their furrow oft the stubborn glebe has broke:
How jocund did they drive their team a-field!
  How bow’d the woods beneath their sturdy stroke!
  14
        Since sorrow never comes too late,
And happiness too swiftly flies.
  15
        Some bold adventurers disdain
The limits of their little reign,
And unknown regions dare descry.
  16
        The boast of heraldry, the pomp of power,
And all that beauty, all that wealth e’er gave,
Await alike the inevitable hour,
The paths of glory lead but to the grave.
  17
        The curfew tolls the knell of parting day;
The lowing herd winds slowly o’er the lea;
The ploughman homeward plods his weary way,
And leaves the world to darkness and to me.
Now fades the glimmering landscape on the sight,
And all the air a solemn stillness holds,
Save where the beetle wheels his droning flight,
And drowsy tinklings lull the distant folds.
  18
        The insect-youth are on the wing,
Eager to taste the honied spring,
And float amid the liquid noon!
  19
                    Tho’ he inherit
Nor the pride, nor ample pinion,
  That the Theban eagle bear,
Sailing with supreme dominion
  Thro’ the azure deep of air.
  20
 
 
        Thou tamer of the human breast,
Whose iron scourge and tort’ring hour
The bad affright, afflict the best!
  21
            To brisk notes in cadence beating
Glance their many-twinkling feet.
  22
        To contemplation’s sober eye,
Such is the race of man;
And they that creep, and they that fly,
Shall end where they began,
Alike the busy and the gay,
But flutter through life’s little day.
  23
        To each his suff’rings; all are men,
  Condemn’d alike to groan;
  The tender for another’s pain,
  Th’ unfeeling for his own.
Yet ah! why should they know their fate.
Since sorrow never comes too late,
And happiness too swiftly flies?
Thought would destroy their paradise.
  24
        Visions of glory, spare my aching sight!
Ye unborn ages, crowd not on my soul.
  25
        Where ignorance is bliss
’Tis folly to be wise.
  26
  And weep the more because I weep in vain.  27
  Can honor’s voice provoke the silent dust, or flattery soothe the dull, cold ear of death?  28
  Each in his narrow cell forever laid, the rude forefathers of the hamlet sleep.  29
  Fair laughs the morn, and soft the zephyr blows.  30
  Far from the madding crowd’s ignoble strife.  31
  Full many a flower is born to blush unseen, and waste its sweetness on the desert air.  32
  Happy are they who can create a rose tree or erect a honeysuckle.  33
  Her ample page rich with the spoils of time.  34
  If the best man’s faults were written on his forehead, he would draw his hat over his eyes.  35
  Implores the passing tribute of a sigh.  36
  Loose his beard and hoary hair streamed, like a meteor, to the troubled air.  37
  Moody madness laughing wild.  38
  Ope the sacred source of sympathetic tears.  39
  Rich with the spoils of time.  40
  Slow, consuming age.  41
  Sorrow’s faded form, and solitude behind.  42
  The breezy call of incense-breathing morn.  43
  The curfew tolls the knell of parting day.  44
  The path of glory leads but to the grave.  45
  The still small voice of gratitude.  46
  They had finished her own crown in glory, and she couldn’t stay away from the coronation.  47
  Thoughts that breathe and words that burn.  48
  To him the mighty mother did unveil her awful face.  49
  Truth, severe by fairy fiction drest.  50
  While bright-eyed Science watches round.  51
 
 
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