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And only serves to make thy night more irksome.
See yonder hallow'd fane! the pious work Of names once fam’d, now dubious or forgot, And buried 'midst the wreck of things which were, There lie intere'd the more illustrious dead. The wind is up: hark! how it howls! Methinks, Till now, I never heard a sound so dreary! Doorscreek, and windows clap, and night's foulbird Rook'd in the spire, screams loud; the gloomy aisles Black plaister'd, and hung round with shreds of
'scutcheons, And tatter'd coats of arms, send back the sound, Laden with heavier airs, from the low vaults, The mansions of the dead. Rous'd from their
slumbers, In grim array the grisly spectres rise, Grin horrible, and, obstinately sullen, Pass and repass, hush'd at the foot of night. Again the screech-owl shrieks--ungracious sound! I'll hear no more; it make's one's blood run chill,
Quite round the pile, 'a row of rev'rend elms; (Coëval near with that) all ragged 'shew, Long lash'd by the rude winds. Some rift half down Their branchless' trúnks; 'others so thin at top, That scarce two crows can lodge on the same tree: Strange things, the neighbours say, have hrappen’d
here; Wild shrieks have issued from the hollow tombs; Dead men have come again and walk'd about; And the great bell has tolld, unrung, untouch'd. (Such tales their cheer at wake or gossipping, When it draws near to witching time of night.)
Oft in the lone church-yard at night I've seen, By glimpse of moonshine chequering thro'the trees, The school-boy with his satchel in his hand, Whistling aloud, to bear his courage up; And lightly tripping o'er the long flat stones, (With nettles skirted, and with möss o'ergrown,) That tell in homely phrase who lies below, Sudden he starts, and hears,' or 'ihinks he hears, The sound of sonething purring at his heels; Full fast he flies, and dares not look behind him, Till, out of breath, he overtakes his fellows, Who gather round, and wonder at the tale Of horrid apparition, tall and ghastly, "That walks af dead of night, or takes its stand
O'er some new-open'd grave; and (strange to tell!) Evanishes at crowing of the cock.
Thenew-made widow, too, I've sometimes spy'd, Sad sight! slow moving o'er the prostrate dead: Listless, she crawls along in doleful black, While bursts of sorrow gush from either eye, Fast falling down her now untasted cheek. Prone on the lowly grave of the dear man She drops; whilst busy meddling Memory, In barbarous succession, musters up The past endearments of their softer hours, Tenacious of its theme. Still, still she thinks She sees him, and indulging the fond thought, Clings yet more closely to the senseless turf, Nor heeds the passenger who looks that way.
Invidious Grave!-how dost thou rend in sunder Whom love has knit, and sympathy made one? A tie more stubborn far than nature's band, Friendship! mysterious cement of the soul; Sweet'ner of life, and solder of society, I owe thee much. Thou hast deservd from me, Far, far beyond what I can ever pay. Oft have I prov'd the labours of thy love, And the warm efforts of the gentle heart, Anxious to please. Oh! when my friend and I
In some thick wood have wander'd heedless on,
Dull Grave!--thou spoil'st the dance of youth
ful blood, Strik'st out the dimple from the cheek of Mirth, And ev'ry smirking feature from the face; Branding our laughter with the name of madness, Where are the Jesters now? the men of health, Complexionally pleasant? Where's the droll, Whose ev'ry look and gesture was a joke To clapping theatres and shouting crowds,
And made ev'n thick-lip'd musing Melancholy
Where are the mighty thunderholts of war?