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Deign, condescend.

The sooth, the truth.

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Audience, permission to be heard ; also means an assembly of hearers.

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Security, being sure,
certainty.
Wildering, perplex.
ing, bewildering, con-
fusing.
Chime, a sweet sound,
Gave him heart, en-
couraged him.
According, agreeing.

And gave

*

And, would the noble Duchess deign
To listen to an old man's strain,

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Though stiff his hand, his voice though weak,
He thought e’en yet, the sooth * to speak,
That if she loved the harp to hear,
He could make music to her ear.
The humble boon was soon obtained ; 60
The aged Minstrel audience * gained.
But, when he reached the room of state,
Where she, with all her ladies, sate,
Perchance he wished his boon denied ;
For, when to tune his harp he tried,
His trembling hand had lost the ease,
Which marks security * to please ;
And scenes, long past, of joy and pain,
Came wildering * o'er his aged brain-
He tried to tune his harp in vain.

70 The pitying Duchess praised its chime,*

him heart,* and gave him time,
Till every string's according * glee
Was blended into harmony.
And then, he said, he would full fain 75
He could recall an ancient strain
He never thought to sing again.
It was not framed for village churls,*
But for high dames and mighty earls ;
He had played it to King Charles * the Good 80
When he kept court in Holyrood ;
And much he wished, yet feared, to try
The long-forgotten melody.
Amid the strings his fingers strayed,
And an uncertain warbling made-

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And oft he shook his hoary * head :
But when he caught the measure wild,
The old man raised his face, and smiled ;
And lightened up his faded eye
With all a poet's ecstasy!

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In varying cadence,* soft or strong,
He swept the sounding chords * along:
The present scene, the future lot,
His toils, his wants, were all forgot ;
Cold diffidence,* and age's frost,

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In the full tidé of song were lost;
Each blank * in faithless memory void,
The poet's glowing thought supplied ;
And, while his harp responsive * rung,
'Twas thus the LATEST MINSTREL sung.

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Churl, an ill-bred,
surly fellow.
Charles, Charles I, of
England.
Holyrood, a royal
palace at Edinburgh,
began in 1528; but
the greater portion of
the present building
belongs to the reign
of Charles II.
Melody, an air or
tune.
Hoary, being of a
whitish colour.

*

Ecstasy, very great
joy.
Cadence, the tone or
sound of the voice.
Chord, the string of a
musical instrument.
Diffidence, want of
confidence, mistrust.
Each blank, &c., he
supplied his Own
words and music in
places where he had
forgotten the original.
Responsive, answer-
ing.

100

*

*

*

ences,

*

ODE ON A DISTANT PROSPECT OF ETON COLLEGE. *

Gray. THOMAS GRAY (1716–1771) was born in London. He was educated at Eton and Cambridge, where he became Professor of Modern History. Gray left few works, but these are of the most perfect finish. Chief poems: The Elegy, Ode to Eton College, The Bard, and the Ode to Adversity. YE distant spires, ye antique * towers,

Antique, ancient.
That crown the watery glade,*

Glade, an open space.
Where grateful science still adores
Her Henry's * holy shade;

Henry's, Henry VI.

was founder of the 5 And ye that from the stately brow

college. Of Windsor's * heights th' expanse below Windsor Castle, one Of grove, of lawn, of mead survey,

of the royal residWhose turf, whose shade, whose flowers among, Wanders the hoary * Thames * along,

Hoary, being of a IO

whitish colour. His silver-winding way.

Thames, the chiet

river in England, Ah, happy hills, ah, pleasing shade,

rises in the Cotswold Ah, fields beloved in vain,

Hills, and flows into

the German Ocean, Where once my careless childhood strayed,

A stranger yet to pain ! 15 I feel the gales that from you blow A momentary bliss * bestow,

Momentary bliss, As waving fresh their gladsome wing,

great happiness last

ing for a very short My weary soul they seem to soothe,

time.
And, redolent * of joy and youth,

Redolent, full of.
To breathe a second spring.
Say, Father Thames, for thou hast seen

Full many a sprightly race,
Disporting on thy margent * green,

Margent, the border
The paths of pleasure trace,

or edge; here it means

the banks of the river. 25 Who foremost now delight to cleave,

With pliant arm thy glassy wave ?
The captive linnet which enthral ?

Enthral, to enslave.
What idle progeny * succeed

Progeny, race. To chase the rolling circle's speed, 30

Or

urge the flying ball ?
While some on earnest business bent,

Their murm'ring labours ply,
'Gainst graver hours that bring constraint* Constraint, confine.

ment. To sweeten liberty ;

*

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Eton College on the Thames, near Windsor, is a preparatory college for the Universities

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Keen, sharp, cutting Remorse, the gnawing pain of guilt, Moody, gloomy, angry.

80

years beneath

*

85

Racks, tortures,
strains,

That mocks the tear it forced to flow;
And keen * remorse,* with blood defiled,
And moody * madness laughing wild,

Amidst severest woe.
Lo, in the vale of

A grisly troop are seen,
The painful family of death,

More hideous than their queen :
This racks * the joints, this fires the veins,
That ev'ry labouring sinew strains,

Those in the deeper vitals rage ;
Lo, poverty, to fill the band,
That numbs the soul with icy hand ;

And slow-consuming * age.
To each his suffering ; all are men,

Condemned 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.

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Consuming, wasting away.

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THE DESERTED VILLAGE. -Goldsmith. OLIVER GOLDSMITH (1728–1774) was born in Ireland, and attended Trinity College, Dublin. After a roving life, for some time spent on the Continent, he settled in London, living at one time as usher in a school. He died in distress and debt. The union of perfect refinement with perfect simplicity is the chief characteristic of his works. Chief works: The Traveller, and The Deserted Village, among his poems; and The Citizen of the World, and The Vicar of Wakefield, among his prose writings.

SWEET Auburn ! * loveliest village of the plain, Auburn, the
Where health and plenty cheered the labouring

“ village"

here described

proswain ; *

bably is Lissoy, Where smiling Spring its earliest visit paid, in West Meath,

And parting Summer's lingering blooms delayed ; the poet spent his 5 · Dear lovely bowers * of innocence and ease, boyhood.

Seats of my youth, when every sport could please ; Swain, a peasant,
How often have I loitered o'er thy green,

Bower, a garded
Where humble happiness endeared each scene !

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How often have I paused on every charm ; Cot, a small The sheltered cot,* the cultivated farm, single house, The never failing brook,* the busy mill, such as

poor people in

the

The decent * church that topped the neighbouring country live in.

hill; Never-failing brook, there was

The hawthorn bush, with seats beneath the shade, water in it even For talking age and whispering lovers made ! hottest How often have I blessed the coming day,

15 pretty, When toil, remitting, lent its turn to play ; simple in struc- And all the village train,* from labour free, ture, becoming. Village train, a

Led up their sports beneath the spreading tree; number of people While many a pastime circled in the shade, straggling

one The young contending,* as the old surveyed ;* Contending,

And many a gambol frolicked o'er the ground, striring. And sleights * of art and feats of strength went Surveyed, looked

round;
Sleights, tricks, And still, as each repeated pleasure tired,

Succeeding sports the mirthful band inspired :-
Renown, praise, The dancing pair, that simply sought renown 25
Mistrustless, &c.,

By holding out to tire each other down;
unsuspicious. The swain, mistrustless * of his smutted face,
The young man While secret laughter tittered round the place;
is quite ignorant
that it is his dirty The bashful virgin's sidelong looks of love ;
face at which the The matron's * glance that would those looks re- 30
laughing.

prove ;-
Matron, mother. These were thy charms, sweet village ! sports like

these,
With sweet succession, taught e'en toil to please.
Sweet was the sound, when oft, at evening's

close,
The village mur Up yonder hill the village murmur rose ;
mur, the low con

1 here as I passed, with careless steps and slow, 35 many distant The mingling notes came softened from below :

The swain, responsive * as the milk-maid sung ; Responsive, swering.

The sober * herd, that lowed to meet their young ;
Sober, solemn. The noisy geese, that gabbled o’er the pool;
looking, grave. The playful children, just let loose from school; 40
Bayed, barked at.
Vacant, empty, The watch-dog's voice, that bayed * the whispering
silly, ignorant.
It may also mean And the loud laugh, that spoke the vacant *
from care, and These all, in sweet confusion, sought the shade,
consequently was
light and gay:

And filled each pause the nightingale had made.
Copse, a wood of Near yonder copse, * where once the garden smiled, 45
small trees.
Disclose, show,

And still where many a garden flower grows wild, point out. There, where a few torn shrubs the place disclose, Mansion, house. The village preacher's modest mansion *

lookers - on

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