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Visions of glory, spare my aching sight !

Ye unborn ages, crowd not on my soul !
No more our long-lost Arthur 1 we bewail,
All hail, ye genuine kings, Britannia's issue, hail ! 2

“ Girt with many a baron bold
Sublime their starry fronts they rear ;

And gorgeous dames, and statesmen old,
In bearded majesty appear.
In the midst a form divine !
Her eye proclaims her of the Briton-line ;
Her lion-port, her awe-commanding face,3
Attempered sweet to virgin grace.
What strings symphonious tremble in the air,

What strains of vocal transport round her play!
Hear from the grave great Taliessin, hear;4

They breathe a soul to animate thy clay. Bright rapture calls, and soaring aş she sings, Waves in the eye of heaven her many-coloured wings.

III. III. " The verse adorn again

Fierce War and faithful Love,5
And Truth severe by fairy picture drest.

I The celebrated King Arthur of the Cymri. For ages the Welsh could not reconcile themselves to the idea that he was dead, but believed that he had been translated to Faëryland, from which he would return to avenge their wrongs.

2 Both Merlin and Taliessin had prophesied that the Welsh should regain their sovereignty over this island, which seemed to be accomplished in the House of Tudor.

3 Speed, relating an audience given by Queen Elizabeth to Paul Dzialinski, ambassador of Poland, says: “And thus she, lion-like rising, daunted the malapert orator no less with her stately and majestical deporture, than with the tartnesse of her princelie cheekes."

4 Taliessin (shining forehead), chief of the Bards, fourished in the sixth century. His works are still preserved, and his memory held in high veneration among his countrymen.

5 “Fierce wars and faithful loves shall moralise my song."-Spenser.


In buskined measures move,
Pale Grief and pleasing Pain,
With Horror, tyrant of the throbbing breast.

A voice as of the cherub choir,2
Gales from blooming Eden bear;
And distant warblings lessen in my ear,

That lost in long futurity expire.
Proud impious man, think'st thou yon sanguine cloud,

Raised by thy breath, has quenched the orb of day? To-morrow he repairs the golden flood,

And warms the nations with redoubled ray. Enough for me ; with joy I see

The different doom our fates assign ; Be thine Despair and sceptred Care,

To triumph and to die are mine."
He spoke, and headlong from the mountain's height,
Deep in the roaring tide he plunged to endless night.

1 Shakespeare.
3 The succession of poets after Milton's time.

? Milton.


["NOONTIDE” was the original title of this ode in the author's M.S. It is supposed to be the first of a projected series of three idyls, the two meditated, but never written, being Morning and Evening. The title, Ode on the Spring, was attached to the piece at the suggestion of the author's friend and biographer, Mason. The ode was composed at Stoke in the June of 1742, and a copy of it was at once despatched by Gray to his soul-fellow West. In due time the letter, with the ode en. closed, was returned unopened ; West was dead: the eyes that should have looked upon the ode were blinded in the dust of the grave.]

Lo!1 where the rosy-bosomed 1 Hours, ?

Fair Venus' train, appear ;
Disclose the long-expecting flowers,

And wake the purple year ! 2
The Attic warbler 3 pours

her throat,
Responsive to the cuckoo's note,
The untaught harmony of Spring :

While, whispering pleasure as they fly,
Cool zephyrs through the clear blue sky

Their gathered fragrance fling.

1 A.-8. 10, an abbreviation of look. Rosy-bosomed, evidently a translation of poobkolmos, an ephithet applied to Eunomia. Hours, the divisions of the ancient year being spring, summer, and winter, these three seasons became identified with the "Npal, with three sisters, the daughters of Themis. Their names were respectively, Eunomia, Diké, and Eiréné.

2 Gray evidently uses the word purple in the sense in which Virgil speaks of the ver purpureum-i.e., in the sense of bright or glistering, which seems to have been a common acceptation of the word among the Latin poets. Horace speaks of purple swans, and Albinoranus of purple snow.

3 The nightingale, called by the Latin poets philomela or Attica avis, from the bird's frequenting the groves around Athens. Pours her throat :

" Is it for thee the linnet pours her throat ?"-Pope. Equivalent to pours all the music of her throat.


Where'er the oak's thick branches stretch

A broader, browner shade,
Where'er the rude 1 and moss-grown beech

O'er-canopies the glade ;
Beside some water's rushy brink
With me the Muse shall sit, and think
(At ease reclined 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 ; 3

The panting herds repose :
Yet hark, how through the peopled air

The busy murmur glows !
The insect youth are on the wing,
Eager to taste the honied spring,
And float amid the liquid noon : 4

Some lightly o'er the current skim,

Some show their gaily-gilded trim
Quick-glancing to the sun.

To Contemplation's sober eye

Such is the race of man :
And they that creep, and they that fly,

Shall end where they began.
Alike, the busy and the gay
But 5 flutter through life's little day,
In Fortune’s varying colour drest :

Brush'd by the hand of rough Mischance,

Or chill’d by Age, their airy dance
They leave, in dust to rest.

1 Equivalent to the Latin rudis, signifying untrained.
2 An opening among trees.
3 Not personified—those whose lot is toiling care.
4 The nare per æstatem liquidam of the Georgics.
5 But, an adverb = only. A.S., be-utam.


Methinks I hear, in accents low, 1

The sportive kind reply :
Poor moralist ! and what art thou ?

A solitary fly!
Thy joys no glittering female meets,
No hive hast thou of hoarded sweets,
No painted plumage to display:

On hasty wings thy youth is flown;

Thy sun is set, thy spring is gone-
We frolic while 'tis May.


[THis hymn was suggested by an ode of Dionysius to Nemesis, and, in common with all the productions of Gray, presents many evidences of classical affinity. The hymn, as also the Ode to Eton College, was composed in the August of 1742. The memory of West, who had died so recently, seems to cast a shadow of affecting melancholy over both productions.)

Ζήνα ...
τον φρονείν βρoτους οδώ-
σαντα, τον πάθει μάθος

Oévta Kuplws &XELV.- Æsch. AGAM. 173-177.
DAUGHTER of Jove, relentless Power,

Thou tamer of the human breast, Whose iron scourge 4 and torturing hour

The bad affright, afflict the best ! 1 It seems to me. A.S., Thincan, to seem. Compare German, mit scheint; Latin, mihi videtur; Greek, palvetal Mol. The poet-moralist Dow makes his own life and aims the subject of his moralising, and the estimate formed of himself is put to the credit of the human insects which metaphorically “creep” or “fly," and which he has previously commented upon with pitying contempt,

2 Gray was never married.

3 Daughter of Jove. The IIá os of the text, suffering tending toward wisdom.

4 “Amictions iron flail.”-Fletcher.

" When the scourge
Inexorably, and the torturing hour."-Milton.

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