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Alonz with Pleasure close ally'd,
Ever by each other's side ;
And often, by the murm’ring rill,
Hears the thrush while all is still,
Within the groves of Grongar Hill.
ON A PILE OF RUINS.
In the full prospect yonder hill commands,
O'er forest, fields, and vernal-coated plains,
The vestige of an ancient Abbey stands,
Close by a ruin's Castle’s rude remains.
Half bury'd there lie many a broken bust,
And obelisk, and urn, o’erthrown by Time ;
And many a cherub there descends in dust
From the rent roof and portico sublime.
The rivulets, oft' frighted at the found
Of fragments tumbling from the tow'rs on high,
Plunge to their fource in secret caves profound,
Leaving their banks and pebbly bottoms dry.
Where rev’rend shrines in Gothic grandeur stood,
The nettle or the noxious nightshade spreads ;
And alhlings, wafied from the neighb‘ring wood,
Thro' the worn turrets ware their trembling heads.
There Contemplution, to the crowd unknown, Her attitude compos’d, and aspect sweet,
Sits musing on a monumental stone,
And points to the memento at her feet.
Soon as fage Ev’ning check'd Day's funny pride,
I left the mantling shade in moral mood,
And, feated by the maid’s fequefter'd fide,
Mourn' wigshades, as the mould’ring monuments I view’d.
Inexorably calm, with filent pace,
Here time has pass’d-What ruin marks his way !
This Pile, now crumbling o'er its hallow'd base,
Turn'd not his step, nor could his course delay,
Religion rais'd her supplicating eyes
In vain, and Melody her song sublime ;
In vain Philosophy, with maxims wife,
Would touch the cold unfeeling heart of Time.
Yet the hoar tyrant, tho' not mov’d to spare,
Relented when he struck its finish'd pride;
And partly the rude ravage to repair,
The tott'ring towr's with twisted ivy ty'd.
How solemn is the cell, o'ergrown with moss,
That terminates the view yon' cloister'd way!
In the crushid wall a time-corroded cross,
Religion like, stands mould'ring in decay.
Where the mild run through saint-encypher'd glafs,
Illum'd with mellow light you dusky aisle,
Many rapt hours might Meditation pass,
Slow moving 'twixt the pillars of the Pile.
And Piety, with myftic-meaning beads,
Bowing to saints on ev'ry side inurn'd,
Trod oft'the folitary path that leads
.Where now the sacred altar lies o'erturn'd!
Thro' the grey grove, between those with’ring trees,
'Mongit a rude group of monuments, appears
A marble-imag'd matron on her knees,
Half-wasted, like a Niobe, in tears :
Low level'd in the dust her darling's laid !
Death pity'd nor the pride of youthful bloom ;
Nor could maternal piety diffuade
Or soften the fell tyrant of the tomb.
The relics of a mitred saint may rest
Where mould’ring in the niche his ftatue stands,
Now nameless as the crowd that kiss'd his veít,
And cray'd the benediction of his hands.
Near the brown arch, redoubling yonder gloom,
The bones of an illustrious chieftain lie;
As trac'd among the fragments of his tomb,
The trophies of a broken Fame imply.
Ab! what avails that o'er the vafal-plain
His rights and rich demesnes extended wide ?
That Honour and her knights compos'd his train,
And Chivalry stood marshall'd by his fide ?
Tho' to the clouds his castle seem'd to climb,
And frown'd defiance on the desp’rate foe;
Tho' deem'd invincible, the conq'ror Time
Levell'd the fabric as the founder low.
Where the light lyre gave many a soft’ning found,
Ravens and rooks, the birds of Disord, dwell;
And where Society fat sweetly crown'd
Eternal Solitude has fix'd her cell.
The lizard and the lazy lurking bat Inbabit now, perhaps, the painted room,
Where the sage matron and her maidens fat,
Sweet singing at the filver-working loom.
The trav’ller is bewilder'd on a waste ;
And the rude winds inceffant seem to roar,
Where in his groves, with arching arbours grac'd,
Young lovers often figh'd in days of yore.
His aqueducts, that led the limpid tide To pure canals, a crystal cool supply ! In the deep dust their barren beauties hide : Time's thirst, unquenchable, has drain'd them dry.
Tho' his rich hours in revelry were spent
With Comus and the laughter. loving crew,
And the sweet brow of Beauty, ftill unbent,
Brighten'd his fleecy moments as they flew :
Fleet are the fleecy moments ! fly they must;
Not to be stay'd by mask or midnight roar;
Nor shall a pulse among that mould'ring dust
Beat wanton at the smiles of Beauty more,
Can the deep Statesman, skill'd in great deagn,
Protract but for a day precarious breath ?
Or the tun'd foll'wer of the sacred Nine
Soothe with his melody insatiate Death ?
No.--Tho' the palace bar her golden gate,
Or monarchs plant ten thousand guards around,
Unerring ar.d unseen, the shaft of Fate
Strikes the devoted victim to the ground.
What then avails, Ambition's wide stretch'd wing, The Schoolman's page, or pride of Beauty's bloom The crape-clad hermit, and the rich rob'd king, Levell’d, lie mix'd promisc'ous in the tomb.
The Micedonian monarch, wife and good, Bad, when the Morning's rosy reign began, Courtiers should call, as round his couch they stood, “ Philip! remember thou’rt no more than man!
“ Tho' Glory spread thy name from pole to pole; “ Tho'thou art merciful, and brave, and just; “ Philip! reflect thou’rt posting to the goal “ Where mortais mix in undistinguish'd dust !".
So Saladin, for arts and arms renown'd,
(Egypt and Syria's wide domains subdu’d,)
Returning with imperial triumphs crown'd,
Sigh’d when the perishable pomp he view'd:
And as he rode high in his regal car,
In all the purple pride of conquest drest,
Conspicuous o'er the trophies gain'd in war,
Plac'd pendent on a spear his burial vest;
While thus the herald cry'd, -"This son of Pow's, “ This Saladin to whom the nations bow'd,
May in the space of one revolving hour, "Boast of no other spoil but yonder shroud !"
Search where Ambition rag'd, with rigour steel'd, Where Slaughter like the rapid lightning ran, And say, while Mem'ry weeps the blood-stain'd field, Where lies the chief, and where the common man?
Vain then are pyramids and motto'd stones, And monumental trophies rais'd on high ; For 'Time confounds them with the crumbling bones "I hat mix'd in haliy graves unnotic'd lie.
Ro?s not beneath the turf the peasant's head Soft as the lord's beneath the labour'd tomb?