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Visions of glory, spare my aching sight !
Ye unborn ages, crowd not on my soul !
And gorgeous dames, and statesmen old,
What strains of vocal transport round her play!
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
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,
A voice as of the cherub choir,2
That lost in long futurity expire.
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."
ODE ON THE SPRING.
["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 ;
And wake the purple year ! 2
While, whispering pleasure as they fly,
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,
O'er-canopies the glade ;
How vain the ardour of the crowd,
How low, how little are the proud,
Still is the toiling hand of Care ; 3
The panting herds repose :
The busy murmur glows !
Some lightly o'er the current skim,
Some show their gaily-gilded trim
To Contemplation's sober eye
Such is the race of man :
Shall end where they began.
Brush'd by the hand of rough Mischance,
Or chill’d by Age, their airy dance
1 Equivalent to the Latin rudis, signifying untrained.
Methinks I hear, in accents low, 1
The sportive kind reply :
A solitary fly!
On hasty wings thy youth is flown;
Thy sun is set, thy spring is gone-
HYMN TO ADVERSITY.
[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.)
Oévta Kuplws &XELV.- Æsch. AGAM. 173-177.
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