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(At ease reclin'd in rustic state) How vain the ardour of the crowd, How low, how little are the proud,
How indigent the great!
Still is the toiling hand of Care;
The panting herds repose:
Var. V. 19. “ How low, how indigent the proud,
How little are the great !” So these lines appeared in Dodsley. The variation, as Mason informs us, was subsequently made to avoid the point “ little and great."
imbrown'd the noontide bowers.” " And breathes a browner horror o’er the woods,” Pope. Eloisa, 170. W.—Thomson. Cast. of Ind. i. 38: “ Or Autumn's varied shades imbrown the walls."
V. 13. “A bank . o’ercanopied with luscious woodbine.” Mids. N. Dr. act ii. sc. 2. Gray.
“ The beech shall yield a cool safe canopy. Fletcher. Purpl. Is. i. v. 30. And T. Warton's note on Milton's Comus, v. 543.
V. 15. “ The rushy-fringed bank.” Comus. Luke.
V. 22. “ Patula pecus omne sub ulmo est.”. Pers. Sat. iii. 6. W.- But Gray seems to have imitated Pope. Past. ii. 86:
“ The lowing herds to murmuring brooks retreat,
To closer shades the panting flocks remove: “ Jam pastor umbras cum grege languido
Rivumque fessus quærit.” Hor. lib. III. Od. xxix. 21. V. 23. Thomson. Autumn, 836: “ Warn’d of approaching winter, gather’d, play the swallow-people.' And Walton. Complete Angler, p. 260: “ Now the wing'd people of the sky shall sing." Add Beaumont. Psyche, st. lxxxviii. p. 46: “ Every tree empeopled was with birds of softest throats.” 80 Alciphr. Ep. p. 341. Sruov @lov õpvewv. and Max. Tyr. See Reiske's note, p. 82.
The busy murmur glows !
And float amid the liquid noon :
Quick-glancing to the sun.
To Contemplation's sober eye
Such is the race of Man :
Shall end where they began.
In Fortune's varying colors drest:
V. 24. Thus Milton. Par. R. iv. 248: “ The sound of bees' industrious murmur." Wakefield quotes Thomson. Spr. 506: “ Thro' the soft air the busy nations fly.” And, 649: “ But restless hurry thro' the busy air.” Compare also Pope. T. of Fame, 294.
V. 25. “ Some to the sun their insect-wings unfold.” Pope. Rape of the Lock, ii. 59. W. This expression may have been suggested by a line in Green’s Hermitage, quoted in Gray's Letter to Walpole: (see note at ver. 31.)
“ From maggot-youth thro' change of state
They feel, like us, the turns of fate.” V. 26. See Milton, as quoted by Wakefield: Il Pen. 142, Lycid. 140, Sams. Ag. 1066.
V. 27. “ Nare per æstatem liquidam,” Georg. iv. 59. Gray. – To which, add Georg. i. 404; and Æn. v.525; x. 272. “ There I suck the liquid air.” Milton. Comus, v. 980.
V. 30. “ Sporting with quick glance, shew to the sun their wav'd coats dropp'd with gold,” Par. L. vii. 410. Gray. — See also Pope, Hom. Il. ii. 557; and Essay on Man, iii. 55.
V. 31. “ While insects from the threshold preach,” Green, in the Grotto. Dodsloy, Misc. v. p. 161. Gray. —Gray, in a
Brush'd by the hand of rough Mischance,
They leave, in dust to rest.
Methinks I hear, in accents low,
The sportive kind reply:
A solitary fly!
No painted plumage to display:
We frolic while 'tis May.
letter to H. Walpole, says: (see Walpole's Works, vol. v. p. 395.) “ I send you a bit of a thing for two reasons; first, because it is one of your favorites, Mr. M. Green; and next, because I would do justice: the thought on which my second Ode turns, (The Ode to Spring, afterwards placed first, by Gray,) is manifestly stole from thence. Not that I knew it at the time, but having seen this many years before; to be sure it imprinted itself on my memory, and forgetting the author, I took it for my own." Then follows the quotation from Green's Grotto. Wakefield seems to have discovered the original of this stanza in some lines in Thomson. Summer, 342. V. 37. 66 The varied colours run,
," Thoms. Spring. Luke.
Solac'd the woods, and spread their painted wings.”
V. 49. Távo' ancov äųui dedúkelv. Theocrit. Idyll. i. 102. W. Alexis ap. Stobæum. lib. cxv.: 'Hån ydp • Bios dýmòs 'Eonépav üyel. Plato has the same metaphorical expression :
II.* ON THE DEATH OF A FAVOURITE CAT,
DROWNED IN A TUB OF GOLD FISHES.
[On a favourite cat called Selima, that fell into a China Tub
with gold fishes in it, and was drowned, MS. Wharton. Walpole, after the death of Gray, placed the China Vase on a pedestal at Strawberry Hill, with a few lines of the Ode for its inscription.]
'Twas on a lofty vase's side,
The azure flowers, that blow;
Var. V. 4. In the first edition the order of these lines was reversed:
6 The pensive Selima reclin'd,
Demurest of the tabby kind.”
nueīs d'Év dvouals toŨ Biov, de Legib. tom. ii. p. 770, ed. Serrani; and Aristotelis Poetica, cap. 35: kai tò yñpas 'Eonépav Biov. Add Catull. ad Lesb. c. 5. v. 5. “ Nobis, cum semel occidet brevis lux.” Twining, in his translation of the Poetics, together with this line from Gray, has quoted Com. of Err. (last scene): “ Yet hath my night of life some memory,” see p. 108. It is a phrase very common among the old English poets. — Herrick has,
« Sunk is my sight, set is my sun,
And all the loom of life undone." and “ My sun begins to set,” Rowley's All's lost by Lust, p. 63, 4to. with many others.
* This Ode first appeared in Dodsley. Col. vol. ii. p. 274, with some variations; only one of which is given by Mason. They are all noticed in this edition, as they occur.
V. 3. This ession has been accused of redundance by
Demurest of the tabby kind,
Gaz'd on the lake below.
Her conscious tail her joy declar'd;
The velvet of her paws,
She saw; and purr'd applause.
Still had she gaz'd; but ’midst the tide
The Genii of the stream:
Var. V. 14. First edit. - Two beauteous forms;
a reading that appears to me preferable to the one now in the text.
Dr. Johnson and Wakefield. See Todd's Ed. of Comus, p. 139. Gray, however, could have defended it by the usage of the ancient poets. See Ovid. Metam. ix. 98: “ Hunc tamen ablati domuit jactura decoris.” And Statii Silv. II. v. 30: “ Unius amissi tetigit jactura leonis.” Ovid ad Liv. 185: “ Jura silent, muteque tacent sine vindice leges." In Jortin's Tracts, vol. i. p. 269, some examples of such redundant expressions are collected from the Greek and Latin poets. See on this subject also the notes of Burmann on Propertius, lib. iv. El. vii. v. 69; on Ovid. Met. ii. 66, and on Poem. Lotichii, lib. i. el. 8. 27. In the Prog. of Poesy, I. i. 5: “ The laughing flowers that round them blow." “ Azure flowers, v. Drummond. Mæliades. Luke.
V. 15. Thomson, in his Spring, v. 400, with equal beauty, speaking of fish:
in whose ample wave The little Naiads love to sport at large.”