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A certain pasha, dead five thousand years,
And had this sentence on the city's gate
So these four words above the city's noise
And evermore from the high barbican,
Lost is that city's glory. Every gust
Lifts, with crisp leaves, the unknown pasha's
And all is ruin, save one wrinkled gate
Whereon is written, "Only God is great."
THOMAS BAILEY ALDRICH.
Elegy written in a Country Churchyard
The lowing herd winds slowly o'er the lea,
Now fades the glimmering landscape on the
And all the air a solemn stillness holds,
Save that from yonder ivy-mantled tow'r,
Beneath those rugged elms, that yew-tree's shade,
Where heaves the turf in many a mould'ring
Each in his narrow cell for ever laid,
The rude forefathers of the hamlet sleep.
The breezy call of incense-breathing morn,
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,
Oft did the harvest to their sickle yield,
Their furrow oft the stubborn glebe has broke:
How jocund did they drive their team afield! How bow'd the woods beneath their sturdy stroke!
Let not Ambition mock their useful toil,
Their homely joys, and destiny obscure;
The boast of heraldry, the pomp of pow'r,
The paths of glory lead but to the grave.
Nor you, ye proud, impute to these the fault,
If Mem❜ry o'er their tomb no trophies raise, Where through the long-drawn aisle and fretted vault,
The pealing anthem swells the note of praise.
Life Can storied urn or animated bust
Or Flatt'ry 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 sway'd,
Or wak'd to ecstasy the living lyre.
But Knowledge to their eyes her ample page,
And froze the genial current of the soul.
Full many a gem of purest ray serene
The dark unfathom'd 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
Th' applause of list'ning senates to command,
To scatter plenty o'er a smiling land,
And read their hist'ry in a nation's eyes
Their lot forbade: nor circumscribed alone
Forbade to wade through slaughter to a throne,
The struggling pangs of conscious truth to hide,
With incense kindled at the Muse's flame.
Far from the madding crowd's ignoble strife,
They kept the noiseless tenor of their way.
Yet ev❜n these bones from insult to protect
Implores the passing tribute of a sigh.
Their name, their years, spelt by th' unletter'd
The place of fame and elegy supply: