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Bound in thy adamantine chain
The proud are taught to taste of pain,

And purple tyrants 1 vainly groan
With pangs unfelt before, unpitied and alone.

When first thy sire to send on earth

Virtue, his darling 3 child, designed, To thee he gave the heavenly birth,

And bade to form her infant mind.
Stern, rugged nurse! thy rigid lore
With patience many a year she bore :

What sorrow was thou badst her know
And from her own she learned to melt at other's woe. 4

Scared at thy frown terrific, fly

Self-pleasing Folly's idle brood,
Wild Laughter, Noise, and thoughtless Joy,

And leave us leisure to be good.
Lights they disperse ; and with them go
The summer friend, the flattering foe;

By vain Prosperity received,
To her they vow their truth, 6 and are again believed.

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Wisdom in sable garb 7 arrayed,

Immersed in rapturous thought profound,

1 The purpurei tyranni of Horace. Purple is the emblem of imperial power.

2 “Strange horror seize thee, and pangs unfelt before.”-Mildon. 3 A.S. dearling. Diminutive of deor, dear.

4 "So perish all whose breast ne'er learned to glow

For others' good, or melt at others' woe.”—Pope. 5 An adverb. Frequently drops the affix ly in poetry, in common with words of this class.

6 Plight their troth. The A.8. trewth, and 0.E. trouth, if not ori. ginally identical, have come to be synonymous terms:

“And, to speak troth, I have forgot our way.”-Shakspeare. 7 Directly from the French garbe, but supposed to have an etymolo. gical connexion with gear.

And Melancholy, silent maid,

With leaden eye that loves the ground,
Still on thy solemn steps attend :
Warm Charity, the general friend,

With Justice, to herself severe,
And Pity, dropping soft the sadly-pleasing tear.

Oh! gently on thy suppliant's head,

Dread goddess, lay thy chastening 2 hand! Not in thy Gorgon 3 terrors clad,

Nor circled with the vengeful band * (As by the impious thou art seen) With thundering voice, and threatening mien,

With screaming Horror's funeral 6 cry Despair, and fell Disease, and ghastly Poverty.

Thy form benign,' oh goddess, wear,

Thy milder influence impart, Thy philosophic train be there

To soften, not to wound my heart.

1 Meas and xon-Black-bile, primarily a physical disorder, but which has come to signify the characteristic of temperament which the disorder involves.

2 Aflicting, literally making chaste.

8 The name applies to the three terrible sisters of classical mythology whose snaky hair and countenances of repulsive horror transformed into stone every one who beheld them. Medusa, one of the three, was slain by Perseus, by the artifice of a mirror upon his shield, which enabled him, without looking upon, to decapitate her. He presented Pallas with the petrifying head, which she afterwards wore in the centre of her shield.

Hence the poet's invocation, "Not in thy Gorgon terrors clad."

4 The three Furies-Alecto, Tisiphone, Megæra. 5 Expression of the countenance. French, mine; German, miene.

6 Funereal is the more usual adjective expression of the Latin funestus, fatal, deadly.

7 Bene-gigno, good-natured.

The generous spark extinct revive,
Teach me to love and to forgive,

Exact my own defects to scan, 1
What others are to feel, 2 and know myself a man.


ETON COLLEGE. [Tuis ode, which appeared in “Dodsley's Miscellany” in 1747, was the first of Gray's poetical productions which attained to the dignity of print. After his return from the Continent with Walpole, whom he set out to visit at Windsor, the poet passed once more through the play. grounds of Eton, where the youth of the college were enjoying the light-hearted and boisterous pastimes of boyhood. In his soul there was a commingling of the vanished past and the boding future, and his own studious and careworn life cast a shadow of melancholy over the anticipated manhood of the happy youths upon the college green. The ode is a reflex of the poet's thoughts and emotions on that special occasion, embodied in pleasing and artistically polished, if not very strikingly vigorous and original verse.]

"Ανθρωπος έκανή πρόφασις εις το δυστυχείν.


Ye distant spires, ye antique towers,

That crown the watery glade,
Where grateful Science still adores

Her Henry's holy 4 shade;

ye that from the stately brow
Of Windsor heights the expanse below
1 In the sense of to mark with accuracy.

2 An English paraphrase of the Homo sum ; humani nihil a me ali. enum puto of Terence.

3 Spira, a screw_usually a steeple; anything tapering to a point. Antique, from the Latin antiquus or anticus; hence the double form, antique and antic, which have, however, come to be quite different in signification.

4 Henry VI. founded Eton College, 1441. Holy, the same epithet is applied to the same personage in The Bard on account of his running a narrow escape of being elevated to the dignity of a saint.

Of grove, of lawn, 1 of mead 1

survey, Whose turf, whose shade, whose flowers among Wanders the hoary 2 Thames along

His silver-winding way.

Ah, happy hills ! ah, pleasing shade!

Ah, fields beloved in vain !
Where once my careless childhood strayed,

A stranger yet to pain !
I feel the gales that from ye blow
A momentary bliss bestow,

As waving fresh 3 their gladsome wing,
My weary soul they seem to sooth, 4
And, redolent 5 of joy and youth,

To breathe a second spring.

Say, father Thames,7 for thou hast seen

Full many a sprightly 8 race
Disporting 9 on thy margent green,

The paths of pleasure trace;
Who foremost now delight to cleave
With pliant arm thy glassy wave ?

1 Originally the enclosed ground around a country mansion. Mead, abbreviation of meadow; supposed to be the original participle of the verb to mow.

2 A.S. Har. In classic poetry the river personified is always paternal and aged.

3 Afresh (A.S. Ferse), once again. “Ye have crucified the Lord afresh.Usual acceptation as an adjective, new, untainted.

4 The old spelling of soothe, retained to meet the exigencies of rhyme.

5 Re-oleo, I smell back, emitting smell. 6 The days of boyhood back again.

7 On this invocation Dr Johnson remarks, with forced and spurious wit, rather than criticism, “Father Thames had no better means of knowing than the poet.”

8 Spirit-like, animated, lively.

9 Now nearly obsolete, except as a reflective verb. Margent green, “ Mæander's margent green."-Milton. From Latin margo, the brink. Modern form, margin.

The captive linnet which enthral ?
What idle

progeny succeed
To chase 1 the rolling circle's speed,

Or urge the flying ball ?

While some on earnest business bent

Their murmuring labours 2 ply
'Gainst graver hours that bring constraint

To sweeten liberty :
Some bold adventurers disdain
The limits of their little reign,3

And unknown regions dare descry : 4
Still as they run they look behind,
They hear a voice in every wind

And snatch a fearful joy.

Gay hope is theirs, by fancy fed,

Less pleasing when possest :
The tear forgot as soon as shed,

The sunshine of the breast :
Theirs buxom 5 health of rosy hue,
Wild 6 wit, invention ever new,

And lively cheer, of vigour born :
The thoughtless day, the easy night,
The spirits pure, the slumbers light,

That fly the approach of morn.

I The late Earl of Carlisle, an eminent pupil of Eton, objects to the hyper-puerility of the sports in which Gray represents the students as engaging. Certainly, to be depicted as trundling a hoop, a pastime of boys in the ante-breeches period of their life, is no special compliment to a Latin-cramming Etonian.

2 Reading half aloud.

3 Go beyond the boundaries of the play-ground. Reign, the space over which they hold dominion,

4 Discover.

5 A.-C. and 0. E., bocsum; German, biegsam, seems originally to have signified yielding, pliant. It is now an adjective, signifying abounding in lusty health.

6 Untutored, free from conventional etiquette.

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