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" Smiles on past misfortune's brow
his country should leave a memento of its regard to Soft reflection's hand can trace,
the merit of our poet, solicited his permission to print And o'er the cheek of sorrow throw
at the University of Glasgow, an elegant edition of his A melancholy grace :
works. Gray could not comply with his friend's reWhile bope prolongs our happier hour; quest, as he had given his promise to Mr. Dodsley. Our deepest shades, that dimly lower,
However, as a compliment to them both, he presented And blacken round our weary way,
them with a copy, containing a few notes, and the Gilds with a gleam of distant day.
imitations of the old Norwegian poetry, intended to “ Still where rosy pleasure leads,
supplant the Long Story, which was printed at first See a kindred grief pursue,
to illustrate Mr. Bentley's designs. Behind the steps that misery treads
In 1768, our author obtained that office without soApproaching comfort view:
licitation, for which he had before applied without The hues of bliss more brightly glow,
effect. The Professorship of Languages and History Chastis'd by sabler tints of woe;
again became vacant, and he received an offer of it
from the Duke of Grafton, who had succeeded Lord And blended form, with artfal strife, The strength and harmony of life.
Bute in office. The place was valuable in itself, the
salary being 4001. a year; but it was rendered pecu“ See the wretch that long has tost
liarly acceptable to Mr. Gray, as he obtained it withOn the thorny bed of pain,
out solicitation. At length repair his vigour lost,
Soon after he succeeded to this office, the impaired And breathe and walk again.
state of his health rendered another journey necessary; The meanest flow'ret of the vale,
and he visited, in 1769, the counties of Westmoreland The simplest note that swells the gale,
and Cumberland. His remarks on the wonderful The common sun, the air, the skies,
scenery which these northern regions display, he To him are opening Paradise.”
transmitted in epistolary journals to his friend, Dr. Our anthor's reputation as a poet, was so high, that Wharton, which abound, according to Mr. Mason's on the death of Colley Cibber, 1757, he had the honour elegant diction, with all the wiidness of Salvator, of refusing the office of Poet Laureat, to which he was and softness of Claude. probably induced by the disgrace brought upon it He appears to have been much affected by the through the inability of some who had filled it.
anxiety he felt at holding a place without discharging His curiosity some time after drew him away from the duties annexed to it. He had always designed Cambridge to a lodging near the British Museum, reading lectures, but never put it in practice; and a where he resided near three years, reading and tran consciousness of this neglect contributed not a little scribing.
to increase the malady under which he had long la. In 1762, on the death of Mr. Turner, Professor of boured ; nay, the office at length became so irksome, Modern Languages and History, at Cambridge, he that he seriously proposed to resign it. was, according to his own expression, " cockered and
Towards the close of May, 1771, he removed from spirited up” to apply to Lord Bute for the succession. Cambridge to London, after having suffered violent His Lordship refused him with all the politeness of a attacks of an hereditary gout, to which he had long courtier, the office having been previously promised | been subject, notwithstanding he had observed the most to Mr. Brocket, the tutor of Sir James Lowther.
rigid abstemiousness throughout the whole course of His health being on the decline, in 1765, he under his life. By the advice of his physicians, he removed took a journey to Scotland, conceiving he should de. from London to Kensington; the air of which place rive a benefit from exercise and change of situation. proved so salutary, that he was soon enabled to return His account of that country, as far as it extends, is to Cambridge, whence he designed to make a visit to curious and elegant ; for as his mind was comprehen. his friend Dr. Wharton, at Old Park, near Durham ; sive, it was employed in the contemplation of all the indulging a fond hope that the excursion would tend works of art, all the appearances of nature, and all the to the re-establishment of his health; but, alas! that monuments of past events.
hope proved delusive. On the 24th of July he was During his stay in Scotland, he contracted a friend seized, while at dinner in the College-hall, with a ship with Dr. Beattie, in whom he found, as he himself sudden nausea, which obliged him to retire to his expresses it, a poet, a philosopher, and a good man. chamber. The gout had fixed on his stomach in such Through the intervention of his friend the Doctor, the a degree, as to resist all the powers of medicine. On Marischal College of Aberdeen offered him the degree the 29th he was attacked with a strong convulsion, of Doctor of Laws, which he thought it decent to de which returned with increased violence the ensuing cline, having omitted to take it at Cambridge. day; and on the evening of the 31st of May, 1771, he
In December, 1767, Dr. Beattie, still desirous that departed this life in the 55th year of his age.
THE POETICAL WORKS OF THOMAS GRAY.
HYMN TO ADVERSITY.
Thou tamer of the human breast,
Virtue, his darling child, design’d,
And bade to form her infant mind. Stern rugged nurse; thy rigid lore With patience many a year she bore: What sorrow was, thou bad'st her know, And from her own she learn'd to melt at others' woe. Scar'd at thy frown terrific, fly Self-pleasing Folly's idle brood, Wild Laughter, Noise, and thoughtless Joy,
And leave as leisure to be good.
Immers'd in rapturous thought profound,
Nor circled with the vengeful band,
Thy milder influence impart,
generous spark extinct revive; Teach me to love and to forgive;
my own defects to scan, What others are to feel, and know myself a man.
The breezy call of incense-breathing Morn,
The swallow twittering from the straw-built shed, The cock's shrill clarion, or the echoing horn,
No more shall rouse them from their lowly bed. For them no more the blazing hearth shall burn,
Or busy housewife ply her evening care: No children run to lisp their sire's return,
Or climb his knees the envied kiss to share.
And all the air a solemn stillness holds,
And drowsy tinklings lull the distant folds :
The moping owl does to the Moon complain
Molest her ancient solitary reign.
Their furrow oft the stubborn glebe has broke;
How bow'd the woods beneath their sturdy stroke ! Let not Ambition mock their useful toil,
Their homely joys and destiny obscure; Nor Grandeur hear with a disdainful smile
The short and simple annals of the poor. The boast of heraldry, the pomp of power,
And all that beauty, all that wealth, e'er gave, Await alike th' inevitable hour :
The paths of glory lead but to the grave. Nor you, ye Proud ! impute to these the fault,
If Mem'ry o'er their tomb no trophies raise, Where, thro' the long-drawn aisle and fretted vault,
The pealing anthem swells the note of praise. Can storied urn or animated bust
Back to its mansion call the fleeting breath? Can Honour's voice provoke the silent dust,
Or Flatt'ry soothe the dull cold ear of death? Perhaps in this neglected spot is laid
Some heart once pregnant with celestial fire;
Or wak'd to ecstacy the living lyre.
Rich with the spoils of Time, did ne'er unroll;
And froze the genial current of the soul. Full many a gem of purest ray serene
The dark unfathom'd caves of ocean bear :
And waste its sweetness on the desert air.
The little tyrant of his fields withstood;
Some Cromwell, guiltless of his country's blood. Th' applause of list'ning senates to command,
The threats of pain and ruin to despise, To scatter plenty o'er a smiling land,
And read their histry in a nation's eyes, Their lot forbad; nor circumscrib'd alone
Their growing virtues but their crimes contin'd; Forbad to wade thro' slaughter to a throne,
And shut the gates of mercy on mankind;
WRITTEN IN A COUNTRY CHURCH-YARD.
The lowing herd winds slowly o'er the lea,
And leaves the world to darkness and to me.
Where heaves the turf in many a mouldering heap, Each in his narrow cell for ever laid, The rude forefathers of the bamlet sleep.
The struggling pangs of conscious truth to hide,
THE PROGRESS OF POESY. To quench the blushes of ingenuous shame,
A PINDARIC ODE. Or heap the shrine of Luxury and Pride
1. With incense kindled at the Muse's flame.
AWAKE, Æolian lyre! awake, Far from the madding crowd's ignoble strife,
And give to rapture all thy trembling strings, Their sober wishes never learn'd to stray ;
From Helicon's harmonious springs Along the cool sequester'd vale of life
A thousand rills their mazy progress take; They kept the noiseless tenor of their way.
The laughing flow'rs that round them blow, Yet e'en these bones from insult to protect,
Drink life and fragrance as they flow. Some frail memorial still erected nigh,
Now the rich stream of music winds along With uncouth rhymes and shapeless sculpture deck's, Deep, majestic, smooth, and strong, Implores the passing tribute of a sigh.
Thro' verdant vales and Ceres' golden reign:
Now rolling down the steep amain, Their name, their years, spelt by th’ unletter'd Mase,
Headlong, impetuous see it pour;
The rocks and nodding groves re-bellow to the roar.
Oh! sovereign of the willing soul,
Parent of sweet and solemn-breathing airs, For who to dumb Forgetfulness a prey
Enchanting shell! the sullen cares, This pleasing anxious being e'er resign'd,
And frantic passions, hear thy soft control: Left the warm precincts of the cheerful day,
On Thracia's hills the lord of war Nor cast one longing ling'ring look behind ?
Has curb'd the fury of his car, On some fond breast the parting soul relies,
And dropp'd his thirsty lance at thy command: Some pious drops the closing eye requires ;
Perching on the scepter'd hand E'en from the tomb the voice of Nature cries,
Of Jove, thy magic lulls the feather'd king E'en in our ashes live their wonted fires.
With ruffled plumes, and flagging wing:
Quench'd in dark clouds of slumber lie
Dost in these lines their artless tale relate,
Thee the voice, the dance, obey, Some kindred spirit shall inquire thy fate,
Tenper'd to thy warbled lay!
O'er Idalia's velvet-green Haply some hoary-headed swain may say,
The rosy-crowned Loves are seen, “ Oft have we seen him, at the peep of dawn, On Cytherea's day, Brushing with hasty steps the dews away,
With antic sports and blue-ey'd pleasures, To meet the sun upon the upland lawn.
Frisking light in frolic measures; “There at the foot of yonder nodding beech,
Now pursuing, now retreating, That wreaths its old fantastic root so high,
Now in circling troops they meet:
To brisk notes in cadence beating
Glance their many-twinkling feet.
Slow-melting strains their queen's approach declare : “ Hard by yon wood, now smiling as in scorn, Where'er she turns, the Graces homage pay,
Mutt'ring his wayward fancies, he would rove; With arts sublime, that float upon the air,
In gliding state she wins her easy way:
The bloom of young Desire, and purple light of Love. “ One morn I miss'd him on the 'custom'd hill,
Along the heath, and near his fav'rite tree; Another came; nor yet beside the rill,
Man's feeble race what ills await, Nor up the lawn, nor at the wood was he:
Labour and Penury, the racks of Pain, “ The next, with dirges due, in sad array,
Disease, and Sorrow's weeping train,
And Death, sad refuge from the storms of Fate !
The fond complaint, my song, disprove,
And justify the laws of Jove.
Her spectres wan, and birds of boding cry,
He gives to range the dreary sky:
Till down the eastern cliffs afar Here rests his head upon the lap of earth,
Hyperion's march they spy,and glittering shafts of war. A youth to Fortune and to Fame unknown; Fair Science frown'd not on his humble birth,
In climes beyond the solar road, And Melancholy mark'd him for her own.
Where shaggy forms o'er ice-built mountains roam,
The Muse has broke the twilight gloom Large was his bounty, and his soul sincere;
To cheer the shivering native's dull abode. Heav'n did a recompence as largely send :
And oft, beneath the odorous shade He gave to mis’ry all he had, a tear;
Of Chili's boundless forests laid, He gain'd from Heav'n ('twas all he wish'd) a
She deigns to bear the savage youth repeat, friend.
In loose numbers wildly sweet, No farther seek his merits to disclose,
Their feather-cinctur'd chiefs, and dusky loves. Or draw his frailties from their dread abode, Her track, where'er the goddess roves, (There they alike in trembling hope repose)
Glory pursue, and generous Shame, The bosom of his Father and his God.
Th’ unconquerable mind, and Freedom's holy flame.
The untaught harmony of Spring: While, whispering pleasnre as they fiy, Cool Zephyrs through the clear blue sky
Their gather'd fragrance fling. Where'er the oak's thick branches stretch
A broader, browner shade;
O'er-canopies the glade,
(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!
The panting herds repose :
The busy murmur glows !
And float amid the liquid noon :
Quick-glancing to the Sun.
Such is the race of man:
Shall end where they began.
In Fortune's varying colours drest : Brush'd by the hand of rough Mischance ; Or chilld by Age, their airy dance
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 't is May."
Woods, that wave o'er Delphi's steep,
Inspiration breath'd around:
Murmur'd deep a solemn sound:
Lèft their Parnassus, for the Latian plains.
And coward Vice, that revels in her chains.
pencil take," she said, " whose colours clear
the sacred source of sympathetic tears.
ON A DISTANT PROSPECT OF ETON COLLEGR. Ye distant spires, ye antique towers,
That crown the wat'ry glade,
Her Henry's* holy shade ;
Of grove, of lawn, of mead survey,
His silver-winding way.
Ah, fields belov'd in vain,
A stranger yet to pain!
As waving fresh their gladsome wing,
To breatbe a second spring.
* King Henry the Sixth, founder of the college.
To each his sufferings: all are men,
Condemn'd alike to groan; The tender for another's pain,
The unfeeling for his own. Yet ah! why should they know their fate? Since sorrow never comes too late,
And happiness too swiftly flies. Thought would destroy their Paradise. No more; where ignorance is bliss,
'T is folly to be wise.
Say, father Thames, for thou hast seen
Full many a sprightly race
The paths of pleasure trace,
The captive linnet which enthral?
Or urge the flying ball ?
Their murmuring labours ply 'Gainst graver hours, that bring constraint
To sweeten liberty ;
And unknown regions dare descry :
And snatch a fearful joy.
Less pleasing, when possest
The sunshine of the breast: Theirs buxom health, of rosy hue; Wild wit, invention ever new,
And lively cheer of vigour born; The thoughtless day, the easy night, The spirits pure, the slumbers light,
That fly th' approach of morn.
The little victims play!
Nor care beyond to-day.
And black Misfortune's baleful train, Ah, show them where in ambush stand To seize their prey, the murderous band!
Ah, tell them, they are men ! These shall the fury passions tear,
The vultures of the mind, Disdainful Anger, pallid Fear,
And Shame that skulks behind ; Or pining Love, shall waste their youth, Or Jealousy, with rankling tooth,
That inly gnaws the secret heart, And Envy wan, and faded Care, Grim-visag'd comfortless Despair,
And Sorrow's piercing dart. Ambition this shall tempt to rise,
Then whirl the wretch from higb,
And grinning Infamy.
That mocks the tear it forc'd to flow;
Amid severest woe.
A grisly troop are seen,
More hideous than their queen :
Those in the deeper vitals rage :
And slow-consuming Age.
ODE ON THE DEATH OF A FAVOURITE CAT, DROWNED
IN A TUB OF GOLD FISHES.
The azure flowers that blow;
Gaz'd on the lake below.
The velvet of her paws,
She saw; and parr'd applause.
The Genii of the stream:
Betray'd a golden gleam.
With many an ardent wish,
What cat 's averse to fish?
Nor knew the gulf between.
She tumbled beadlong in.
Some speedy aid to send.
A favourite has no friend!
And be with caution bold.
Not all that glisters, gold.
TRANSLATION FROM STATIUS. Third in the labours of the disk came on, With sturdy step and slow, Hippomedon ; Artful and strong he pois’d the well-known weight, 1 By Phlegyas warn’d, and fir'd by Mnestheus' fate, That to avoid and this to emulate. His vigorous arm he try'd before he flung, Brac'd all his nerves and ev'ry sinew strung, Then with a tempest's whirl and wary eye, Parsu'd his cast, and hurl'd the orb on high ; The orb on high, tenacious of its conrse, True to the mighty arm that gave it force,