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Thomas Gray was born in Cornhill, London, in 1716, and died in 1771. His Elegy, The Progress of Poesy, and The Bard, secure him undying fame.

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:

Save that, from yonder ivy-mantled tower,
The moping owl does to the moon complain
Of such as, wandering near her secret bower,
Molest her ancient solitary reign.

Beneath these rugged elms, that yew-tree's shade,
Where heaves the turf in many a mouldering heap,
Each in his narrow cell for ever 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!

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 bowed the woods beneath their sturdy stroke!

Let not ambition mock their useful toil,
Their homely joys, and destiny obscure;
Nor grandeur hear with a disdainful smile,
The short and simple annals of the poor.-

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!

Nor you, ye proud, impute to these the fault,

If memory o'er their tombs no trophies raise, Where, through the long-drawn aisle and fretted vault,

The pealing anthem swells the note of praise.

Can storied urn, or animated bust,

Back to its mansion call the fleeting breath?
Can honour's voice provoke the silent dust?
Or flattery soothe the dull cold ear of death?

Perhaps, in this neglected spot, is laid

Some heart once pregnant with celestial fire; Hands that the rod of empire might have swayed, Or waked to ecstasy the living lyre:

But knowledge to their eyes her ample page,
Rich with the spoils of time, did ne'er unroll;

Chill penury repressed their noble rage,
And froze the genial current of the soul!

Full many a gem of purest ray serene,

The dark unfathomed caves of ocean bear; Full many a flower is born to blush unseen, And waste its sweetness on the desert air!

Some village Hampden, that, with dauntless breast, The little tyrant of his fields withstood;

Some mute inglorious Milton here may rest

Some Cromwell, guiltless of his country's blood.

The applause of listening senates to command,

The threats of pain and ruin to despise, To scatter plenty o'er a smiling land,

And read their history in a nation's eyes,

Their lot forbade: nor circumscribed alone

Their glowing virtues, but their crimes confined,— Forbade to wade through slaughter to a throne, And shut the gates of mercy on mankind;

The struggling pangs of conscious truth to hide;
To quench the blushes of ingenuous shame;
Or heap the shrine of luxury and pride

With incense kindled at the muse's flame.

Far from the madd'ning crowd's ignoble strife,
Their sober wishes never learned to stray;
Along the cool sequestered vale of life

They kept the noiseless tenor of their way!

Yet even these bones from insult to protect,
Some frail memorial, still erected nigh,
With uncouth rhymes and shapeless sculpture decked,
Implores the passing tribute of a sigh.

Their name, their years, spelled by the unlettered


The place of fame and elegy supply; And many a holy text around she strews, To teach the rustic moralist to die.

For who, to dumb Forgetfulness a prey,

This pleasing, anxious being e'er resignedLeft the warm precincts of the cheerful day, Nor cast one longing, lingering look behind?

On some fond breast the parting soul relies,
Some pious drops the closing eye requires:
E'en from the tomb the voice of Nature cries,—
E'en in our ashes live their wonted fires!

For thee, who mindful of the unhonoured 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 bubbles by.

Hard by yon wood, now smiling as in scorn, Muttering his wayward fancies, he would rove; Now drooping, woful, wan, like one forlorn,

Or crazed with care, or crossed in hopeless love!

One morn I missed him on the accustomed hill,
Along the heath, and near his favourite tree:
Another came; nor yet beside the rill,

Nor 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 borne :

Approach, and read-for thou canst read-the lay, Graved on the stone beneath yon aged thorn."



АH! bury me deep in the boundless sea,
Let my heart have a limitless grave,
For my spirit in life was as fierce and free
As the course of the tempest wave;

And as far from the reach of mortal control
Were the depths of my fathomless mind,
And the ebbs and the flows of my single soul
Were tides to the rest of mankind.

Then my briny pall shall engirdle the world,
As in life did the voice of my fame,

And each mutinous billow that skyward curls
Shall to fancy re-echo my name :-

That name shall be storied in record sublime,
In the uttermost corners of earth;

And renowned till the wreck of expiring time,
Be the glorified land of my birth.

Yes, bury my heart in the boundless sea,-
It would burst from a narrower tomb;
Should less than an ocean my sepulchre be,
Or if wrapped in less horrible gloom.


Samuel Taylor Coleridge, one of the most profound of English thinkers, was born in Devonshire in 1772. He died in 1834.

HAST thou a charm to stay the morning star
In his steep course? So long he seems to pause
On thy bald awful head, O sovran Blanc!

The Arvé and Arveiron at thy base

Rave ceaselessly; but thou, most awful Form!
Risest from forth the silent sea of pines,
How silently! Around thee and above
Deep is the air, and dark, substantial, black,
An ebon mass: methinks thou piercest it
As with a wedge! But when I look again,
It is thine own calm home, thy crystal shrine,
Thy habitation from eternity!

O dread and silent Mount! I gazed upon thee,
Till thou, still present to the bodily sense,

Didst vanish from my thought: entranced in prayer
I worshipped the Invisible alone.

Yet, like some sweet beguiling melody,

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