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Poem by George Crabbe
[September, 1772.] Free from envy, strife and sorrow, Jealous doubts, and heart-felt fears; Free from thoughts of what to-morrow May o'er-charge the soul with cares-- Live I in a peaceful valley, By a neighbouring lonely wood; Giving way to melancholy, (Joy, when better understood). Near me ancient ruins falling From a worn-out castle's brow; Once the greatest [chiefs] installing, Where are all their honours now? Here in midnight's gloomy terror I enjoy the silent night; Darkness shews the soul her error, Darkness leads to inward light. Here I walk in meditation, Pond'ring all sublunar things, From the silent soft persuasion, Which from virtue's basis springs. What, says truth, are pomp and riches? Guilded baits to folly lent; Honour, which the soul bewitches, When obtain'd, we may repent. By me plays the stream meand'ring Slowly, as its waters glide; And, in gentle murmurs wand'ring, Lulls to downy rest my pride. Silent as the gloomy graves are Now the mansions once so loud; Still and quiet as the brave, or All the horrors of a croud. This was once the seat of plunder, Blood of heroes stain'd the floor; Heroes, nature's pride and wonder, Heroes heard of now no more. Owls and ravens haunt the buildings, Sending gloomy dread to all; Yellow moss the summit yielding, Pellitory decks the wall. Time with rapid speed still wanders, Journies on an even pace; Fame of greatest actions squanders, But perpetuates disgrace. Sigh not then for pomp or glory; What avails a heroe's name? Future times may tell your story, To your then disgrace and shame. Chuse some humble cot as this is, In sweet philosophic ease; With dame Nature's frugal blisses Live in joy, and die in peace. G. EBBARE.
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