Page:Gray - Le Cimetière de campagne, 1805.djvu/15

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8
THE COUNTRY CHURCHYARD.

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 envy'd 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 afield !
How bow’d the woods beneath their sturdy stroke !
Let not ambition mock their usesul 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 ail that beauty, ail that wealth e’er gave,
Await alike th’ inevitable hour :
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 trophîes raise,
Where thro’ the long-drawn isle 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 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 extacy the living lyre.