Page:Elegia scritta in un cimitero campestre.djvu/12

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XII


The boast of heraldry, the pomp of pow'r,
And all that beauty, all that wealth e'er gave,
Awaits alike th'inevitable hour.

36
The paths of glory lead but to the grave.


Nor you, ye proud, impute to these the fault,
If mem'ry o'er their tomb no trophies raise,
Where thro' the long-drawn isle and fretted vault,

40
The pealing anthem swells the note of praise.


Can storied urn or animated bust
Back to its mansion call the fleeting breath?
Can honour's voice provoke the silent dust,

44
Or flatt'ry sooth the dull cold ear of death?


Perhaps in this neglected spot is laid
Some heart once pregnant with celestial fire;
Hands, that the rod of empire might have sway'd,

48
Or wak'd to extasy the living lyre.


But knowledge to their eyes her ample page
Rich with the spoils of time did ne'er unroll;
Chill penury repress'd their noble rage,

52
And froze the genial current of the soul.