Page:Gray - Le Cimetière de campagne, 1805.djvu/19

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Yet e’en these bones from insuit to protect,
Some frail memorial still erected nigh,
With uncouth rhymes and shapeless sculpture deck’d,
Implores the passing tribute of a sigh
Their name, their years, spelt by th’unletter’d muse,
The place of fame and elegy supply :
And many a holy text around she strews,
That teach the rustic moralist to die.
For who to dumb forgetfulness a prey
This pleasing anxious being e’er resign’d,
Left the warm precincts of the chearful day,
Nor cast one longing, ling’ring 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 th’unhonour’d dead
Dost in these lines their artless tale relate ;
If chance, by lonely contemplation led,
Some kindred spirit shall enquire thy fate,
Haply some hoary-headed swain raay 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 Iawn.
« There, at the foot of yonder nodding beech,
« That wreathes its old fantastic roots so high,
» His listless length at noon-tide would he stretch,
» And pore upon the brook that babbles by.