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While some on earnest business bent
Their murm’ring labours ply 'Gainst graver hours, that bring constraint
To sweeten liberty:
And unknown regions dare descry:
And snatch a fearful joy.
Gay hope is theirs by Fancy fed,
Less pleasing when possest; The tear forgot as soon as shed,
The sunshine of the breast : Theirs buxom Health, of rosy hue, Wild Wit, Invention ever-new,
And lively Cheer, of Vigour born; The thoughtless day, the easy night, The spirits pure, the slumbers light,
That fly th' approach of morn.
Alas! regardless of their doom
The little victims play!
Nor care beyond to-day:
And black Misfortune's baleful train ! Ah, show them where in ambush stand, To seize their prey, the murd'rous band!
Ah, tell them they are men!
These shall the fury Passions tear,
The vultures of the mind, Disdainful Anger, palid Fear,
And Shame that sculks behind; Or pining Love shall waste their youth, Or Jealousy, with rankling tooth,
That inly gnaws the secret heart; And Envy wan, and faded Care, Grim-visag’d comfortless Despair,
And Sorrow's piercing dart.
Ambition this shall tempt to rise,
Then whirl the wretch from high,
And grinning Infamy.
That mocks the tear it forc'd to flow;
Amid severest woe.
Lo, in the Vale of Years beneath
A grisly troop are seen, The painful family of Death,
More hideous than their Queen:
 And hard Unkindness' alter'd eye. The elision here, observes Mr. Mason, is ungraceful, and hurts this otherwise beautiful line: One of the same kind in the second line of the first Ode makes the same blemish; but I think they are the only two to be found in this correct writer; and I mention them here that succeeding Poets may not look upon them as authorities. The judicious reader will not suppose that I would condemn all elisions of the genitive case, by this stricture on those which are terminated by rough consonants. Many there are which the ear readily admits, and which use has made familiar to it.
(8) And moody Madness laughing wild.
Drydın's Fable of Palamon and Arcite.
This racks the joints, this fires the veins,
Those in the deeper vitals rage:
And slow-consuming Age.
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. No more;—where ignorance is bliss,
'Tis folly to be wise.
ÆSCHYLUS, in Agamemnone.
[This Ode was originally published in Dodeley's Miscellany, under the
title of a “ Hymn to Adversity.” Dr. Johnson says, the hint of the Poem was first taken from “ O Diva, gratum quæ Regis Antium;" but Gray has excelled his original by the variety of his sentiments, and by their moral application. “ of this piece,” adds the rigid Censor, “ at once poetical and rational, I will not by slight ob“ jections violate the dignity.”-What is this, after all, but to “ damn 6 with faint praise ?”]
DAUGHTER of Jove, relentless power,
Thou tamer of the human breast,
The bad affright, afflict the best!
And purple tyrants vainly groan