120 The Chieftain's gripe his throat compressed,
His knee was planted on his breast;
His clotted locks he backward threw,
Across his brow his hand he drew,
From blood and mist* to clear his sight,
125 Then gleamed aloft * his dagger bright!—
But hate and fury* ill supplied

The stream of life's exhausted tide,
And all too late the advantage came
To turn the odds of deadly game;
130 For, while the dagger gleamed on high,
Reeled soul and sense, reeled brain and eye.
Down came the blow, but in the heath
The erring* blade found bloodless sheath!
The struggling foe may now unclasp
135 The fainting chief's relaxing grasp;-
Unwounded from the dreadful close,
But breathless all, Fitz-James arose.



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THE curfew* tolls the knell of parting* day,
The lowing herd winds slowly o'er the lea,*
The ploughman homeward plods* his weary

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Curfew, the evening bell rung in England

during Norman times to warn the people to

put out all fires and lights at eight o'clock. Parting, departing. Lea, grass-land, an

Now fades the glimmering * landscape on the untilled meadow. sight,

And all the air a solemn stillness holds, Save where the beetle wheels his droning* flight,

And drowsy tinklings* lull the distant


Save that from yonder ivy-mantled tower


as if

Plods, walks
very tired.
Glimmering, fading
Droning, humming
like a bee.
Drowsy tinklings, &c.,

the sound of bells
tied round the necks

of some of the sheep.

The moping owl does to the moon complain Moping, dull, gloomy.
Of such as, wandering near her secret bower,
Molest her ancient solitary reign.


Beneath those rugged* elms, that yew-tree's

Where heaves the turf in many a moulder-
ing heap,

15 Each in his narrow cell for ever laid,

Molest, injure, disturb.

Rugged, rough, of

uneven surface.

Hamlet, a small vil

The rude forefathers of the hamlet* sleep. lage.

sweet air of the morn

Breezy call, &c., fresh The breezy call* of incense-breathing morn, The swallow twittering from the straw-built shed,


Clarion, a narrow-
tubed trumpet.
Horn, the hunter's
horn heard early in
the morning.

Ply, &c., attend to household duties.

Furrow, the trench made by the plough. Glebe, land for cultivating.

Jocund, cheerful, merry.

Team, two or more horses, or other beasts of burden, harnessed together.

Afield, on towards the field.

Destiny, our state of life.

Annals, the account

The cock's shrill clarion,* or the echoing horn,*
No more shall rouse them from their lowly 20

For them no more the blazing hearth shall

Or busy housewife ply* her evening care:
No children run to lisp their sire's return,
Or climb his knees the envied kiss to share.


Oft did the harvest to their sickle yield,
Their furrow* oft the stubborn glebe * has
How jocund did they drive their team
How bowed the woods beneath their sturdy


Let not Ambition mock their useful toil,
Their homely joys, and destiny * obscure;
Nor Grandeur hear with a disdainful smile
The short and simple annals* of the poor.

of what takes place The boast of heraldry, the pomp of power,

from year to year.

Inevitable, sure to happen.

Impute, to blame. Anthem, a sacred song.

Storied urn, a vessel

containing the ashes

of a dead person,

with the story of his life written upon it. Bust, a representa

tion of the head and shoulders in some solid substance. Provoke, here means to call forth. Pregnant, full of. Celestial fire, the di


And all that beauty, all that wealth e'er

Await alike the inevitable hour:-

The paths of glory lead but to the grave.

Nor you, ye proud, impute* to these the fault,
If Memory o'er their tomb no trophies raise,
Where through the long-drawn aisle and fretted




The pealing anthem * swells the note of praise. 40

Can storied urn * or animated bust



Back to its mansion call the fleeting breath?
Can Honour's voice provoke the silent dust,
Or Flattery soothe the dull cold ear of

vine spirit of poetry. Perhaps in this neglected spot is laid
Some heart once pregnant with celestial

Rod of empire, the sceptre, marking the power given to sovereigns to rule govern.




or Hands that the rod of empire* might have

Ecstasy, great joy.
Lyre, a kind of harp.

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Full many a gem, of purest ray serene,

The dark unfathomed* caves of ocean bear: 55 Full many a flower is born to blush unseen, And waste its sweetness on the desert air.


Some village Hampden,* that with dauntless


The little tyrant of his fields withstood;
Some mute inglorious Milton,* here may

Some Cromwell,* guiltless of his country's

The applause * of listening senates * to com-

The threats of pain and ruin to despise,
To scatter plenty o'er a smiling land,

And read their history in a nation's eyes,

65 Their lot forbade : nor circumscribed* alone Their growing virtues, but their crimes confined ;


Forbade to wade through slaughter to

And shut the gates of Mercy on mankind;


The struggling pangs of conscious truth * to

To quench the blushes of ingenuous* shame,
Or heap the shrine of Luxury and Pride
With incense kindled at the Muse's flame.

Far from the madding* crowd's ignoble strife,
Their sober wishes never learned to stray;
7 Along the cool sequestered * vale of life
They kept the noiseless tenor* of their way.



Yet even these bones from insult to protect,
Some frail memorial still erected nigh,

Spoils, things taken from an enemy, here means knowledge acquired through prede


Penury, poverty. Repressed, stopped, checked.

Genial, gay, cheerful. Full, &c., very many. Unfathomed, unsounded, depth not known.

Hampden (John)

lived in the reign of Charles I. He would not pay the tax of "ship money," and became one of the leaders of the insur


Milton (John) was one the greatest English poets who ever lived.

Cromwell, the great leader in the rebellion against Charles I.; afterwards became Lord Protector. Applause, praise. Senate, an assembly for managing the affairs of a country.. Lot forbade, denied this privilege from their position in life. Circumscribe, to put boundaries round about a thing, to confine.

Conscious truth, what

one knows and feels to be true.

Ingenuous, frank,

open, straightforward.

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With uncouth * rhymes and shapeless sculpture Uncouth, rough.


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Tribute, something given or paid.

Unlettered, not



Elegy here praise of the dead.

Moralist, one who tries to learn lessons

from what happens

around us.

Their name, their years, spelt by the un-
lettered* 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 resigned;
Precinct, an enclos d Left the warm precincts of the cheerful day,
Nor cast one longing, lingering look behind?


Parting, departing. Pious, loving, affectionate.

Artless, simple, without harm.

Kindred spirit, one having the same habits and ideas. Haply, perhaps. Swain, a peasant.

Lawn, a smooth piece of grass-land.

Fantastic, odd, curi


Listless, heedless, careless.

Pore, to look at steadily, as a student.

Hard by, close to,


Wan, pale, faint.
Forlorn, forsaken.
Crazed, one who is
deranged in mind.

Heath, uncultivated land.


On some fond breast the parting * soul relies,
Some pious* drops the closing eye requires; 90
Even from the tomb the voice of Nature

Even in our ashes live their wonted fires.

For thee, who, mindful of the unhonoured

Dost in these lines their artless * tale relate;
If chance, by lonely Contemplation led,

Some kindred spirit * shall inquire thy fate,

Haply* some hoary-headed swain * may 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 lawn.

"There, at the foot of yonder nodding beech,
That wreathes its old fantastic * roots so

His listless length at noontide would he

And pore* upon the brook that babbles by.



"Hard by * yon wood, now smiling as in scorn, 105 Muttering his wayward fancies he would


Now drooping, woful, wan,* like one forlorn,* Or crazed with care, or crossed in hopeless love.

"One morn I missed him on the accustomed


Along the heath* and near his favourite 110

Rill, a small running Another came, nor yet beside the rill,*
Nor up the lawn, nor at the wood was he;


“The next, with dirges * due, in sad array,*
Slow through the church-way path we saw
him borne:

115 Approach and read (for thou canst read) the



lay Graved thorn."

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on the stone beneath yon aged mscription.


Here rests his head upon the lap of Earth,
A youth to Fortune and to Fame unknown;
Fair Science frowned not on his humble birth,
And Melancholy * marked him for her own.
Large was his bounty,* and his soul sincere ;*
Heaven did a recompense as largely send :
He gave to Misery (all he had), a tear;
He gained from Heaven ('twas all he wished),
a friend.

125 No further seek his merits * to disclose,

Or draw his frailties* from their dread

(There they alike in trembling hope repose),-
The bosom of his Father and his God.

Graved, carved on stone.

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BREATHES there the man, with soul so dead,
Who never to himself hath said,


"This is my own, my native land!"
Whose heart hath ne'er within him burned,
As home his footsteps he hath turned,
From wandering on a foreign strand!
If such there breathe, go, mark him well;
For him no Minstrel-raptures swell:
High though his title, proud his name,
10 Boundless his wealth as wish can claim;
Despite those titles, power, and pelf,*
The wretch, concentred * all in self,
Living, shall forfeit fair renown,*
And, doubly dying, shall go down

15 To the vile dust, from whence he sprung,
Unwept, unhonoured, and unsung.

Foreign strand, countries other than one's own native land.

Pelf, riches.

Concentred, &c., thinking of no one but himself, being selfish.

Renown, respect, honour, fame.

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