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Page:The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero) - Volume 1.djvu/132

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92
HOURS OF IDLENESS.

In scatter'd groups, each favour'd haunt pursue,
Repeat old pastimes, and discover new;
Flush'd with his rays, beneath the noontide Sun,
In rival bands, between the wickets run,130
Drive o'er the sward the ball with active force,
Or chase with nimble feet its rapid course.
But these with slower steps direct their way,
Where Brent's cool waves in limpid currents stray,
While yonder few search out some green retreat,
And arbours shade them from the summer heat:
Others, again, a pert and lively crew.
Some rough and thoughtless stranger plac'd in view,
With frolic quaint their antic jests expose,
And tease the grumbling rustic as he goes;140
Nor rest with this, but many a passing fray
Tradition treasures for a future day:
"'Twas here the gather'd swains for vengeance fought,
And here we earn'd the conquest dearly bought;
Here have we fled before superior might,
And here renew'd the wild tumultuous fight."
While thus our souls with early passions swell,
In lingering tones resounds the distant bell;
Th' allotted hour of daily sport is o'er,
And Learning beckons from her temple's door.150
No splendid tablets grace her simple hall,
But ruder records fill the dusky wall:
There, deeply carv'd, behold! each Tyro's name

Secures its owner's academic fame;