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Exulting, trembling, raging, fainting,
Possess'd beyond the Muse's painting:
By turns they felt the glowing mind
Disturb’d, delighted, raised, refined;
Till once, 'tis said, when all were fired,
Fill'd with fury, rapt, inspired,
From the supporting myrtles round
They snatch'd their instruments of

And, as they oft had heard apart,
Sweet lessons of her forceful art,
Each (for Madness ruled the hour)
Would prove his own expressive power.
First, Fear, his hand, its skill to try,

Amid the chords bewilder'd laid, And back recoil'd, he knew not why,

E’en at the sound himself had made.

Next, Anger rush’d: his eyes on fire

In lightnings own'd his secret stings: In one rude clash he struck the lyre, And swept with hurried hand the

strings. With woeful measures wan Despair

Low, sullen sounds his grief beguiled; A solemn, strange, and mingled air,

'Twas sad by fits, by starts 'twas wild. But thou, O Hope, with eyes so fair,

What was thy delighted measure? Still it whisper'd promised pleasure, And bade the lovely scenes at distance

hail ! Still would her touch the strain prolong; And from the rocks, the woods, the

vale, She callid on Echo still, through all the

song: And, where her sweetest theme she

chose, A soft responsive voice was heard at

every close, And Hope enchanted smiled, and waved

her golden hair. And longer had she sung;

but with a frown,

Revenge impatient rose :
He threw his blood-stain'd sword, in

thunder, down;
And, with a withering look,
The war-denouncing trumpet took,

And blew a blast so loud and dread, Were ne'er prophetic sounds so full of

woe! And, ever and anon, he beat

The doubling drum, with furious heat; And though sometimes, each dreary

pause between, Dejected Pity, at his side,

Her soul-subduing voice applied, Yet still he kept his wild unalter'd mien, While each strain'd ball of sight seem'd

bursting from his head. Thy numbers, Jealousy, to nought were

fix'd; Sad proof of thy distressful state; Of differing themes the veering song

was mix'd; And now it courted Love, now raving

call'd on Hate, With eyes upraised, as one inspired, Pale Melancholy sate retired, And from her wild sequester'd seat, In notes by distance made more sweet, Pour'd through the mellow horn her

pensive soul : And, dashing soft from rocks around, Bubbling runnels join'd the sound; Through glades and glooms the mingled

measure stole,
Or o'er some haunted stream, with

fond delay,
Round an holy calm diffusing,
Love of peace, and lonely musing,

In hollow murmurs died away,
But O! how alter'd was its sprightlier

tone, When Cheerfulness, a nymph of heal

thiest hue, Her bow across her shoulder flung,

Her buskins gemm'd with morning Blew an inspiring air, that dale and

thicket rung, The hunter's call to Faun and Dryad

known ! The oak-crown'd sisters, and their

chaste-eyed Queen,' Satyrs and Sylvan Boys were seen, Peeping from forth their alleys green:

1 The Dryads and Diana.


DIRGE IN CYMBELINE. To fair Fidele's grassy tomb

Soft maids and village hinds shall bring Each opening sweet of earliest bloom,

And rifle all the breathing spring.

No wailing ghost shall dare appear

To vex with shrieks this quiet grove; But shepherd lads assemble here,

And melting virgins own their love.

No wither'd witch shall here be seen,

No goblins lead their nightly crew; But female fays shall haunt the green,

And dress thy grave with pearly dew.

The redbreast oft at evening hours

Shall kindly lend his little aid, With hoary moss and gather'd flowers To deck the ground where thou art


Brown Exercise rejoiced to hear;
And Sport leapt up and seized his

beechen spear.
Last came Joy's ecstatic trial :
He, with viny crown advancing,
First to the lively pipe his hand ad-

dress'd; But soon he saw the brisk-awakening

· viol. Whose sweet entrancing voice he

loved the best; They would have thought who heard

the strain They saw, in Tempé's vale, her native

maids, Amidst the festal sounding shades, To some unwearied minstrel dancing, While as his flying fingers kiss'd the

strings, Love fram’d with Mirth a gay fantas

tic round: Loose were her tresses seen, her zone

And he, amidst his frolic play,
As if he would the charming air repay,
Shook thousand odors from his dewy

O Music! sphere-descended maid,
Friend of Pleasure, Wisdom's aid !
Why, goddess, why, to us denied,
Lay'st thou thy ancient lyre aside?
As, in that loved Athenian bower,
You learn'dan all-commanding power,
Thy mimic soul, O Nymph endear’d,
Can well recall what then it heard;
Where is thy native simple heart,
Devote to Virtue, Fancy, Art?
Arise, as in that elder time,
Warm, energetic, chaste, sublime !
Thy wonders, in that god-like age,
Fill thy recording Sister's page
'Tis said, and I believe the tale,
Thy humblest reed could more prevail,
Had more of strength, diviner rage,
Than all which charms this laggard

E'en all at once together found,
Cecilia's mingled world of sound -
O bid our vain endeavor cease;
Revive the just designs of Greece:
Return in all thy simple state !
Confirm the tales her sons relate !

When howling winds and beating rain

In tempests shake the sylvan cell, Or ’midst the chase upon the plain,

The tender thought on thee shall dwell.

Each lonely scene shall thee restore,

For thee the tear be duly shed; Beloved till life can charm no more,

And mourn’d till Pity's self be dead.


STROPHE. O THOU, who sit'st a smiling bride By Valor's arm’d and awful side, Gentlest of sky-born forms, and best

adored; Who oft with songs, divine to hear,

Win'st from his fatal grasp the spear, And hid'st in wreaths of flowers his

bloodless sword ! Thou who, amidst the deathful field,

By god-like chiefs alone beheld, Oft with thy bosom bare art found, Pleading for him the youth who sinks to


See, Mercy, see, with pure and loaded Remembrance oft shall haunt the shore hands,

When Thames in summer wreaths is Before thy shrine my country's genius drest, stands,

And oft suspend the dashing oar And decks thy altar still, though pierced To bid his gentle spirit rest ! with many a wound !

And oft as ease and health retire

To breezy lawn, or forest deep,
When he whom ev'n our joys provoke,

The friend shall view yon whitening The fiend of nature join'd his yoke,

spire, And rush'd in wrath to make our isle his

And 'mid the varied landscape weep. prey; Thy form, from out thy sweet abode, But thou, who own'st that earthy bed, O’ertook him on his blasted road,

Ah! what will every dirge avail? And stopp'd his wheels, and look'd his Or tears with love and pity shed, rage away.

That mourn beneath the gliding sail! I see recoil his sable steeds,

That bore him swift to savage deeds, Yet lives there one, whose heedless eye Thy tender melting eyes they own;

Shall scorn thy pale shrine glimmering O maid, for all thy love to Britain shown, near?

Where Justice bars her iron tower, With him, sweet bard, may fancy die,

To thee we build a roseate bower, And joy desert the blooming year. Thou, thou shalt rule our queen, and share our monarch's throne !

But thou, lorn stream, whose sullen

No sedge-crown'd sisters now attend,
Now waft me from the green hill's side
Whose cold turf hides the buried

IN yonder grave a Druid lies

And see, the fairy valleys fade, Where slowly winds the stealing wave ! Dun night has veil'd the solemn view! The year's best sweets shall duteous rise, Yet once again, dear parted shade, To deck its poet's sylvan grave !

Meek nature's child, again adieu ! In yon deep bed of whispering reeds

The genial meads assign'd to bless
His airy harp shall now be laid,
That he whose heart in sorrow bleeds,

Thy life, shall mourn thy early doom!

Their hinds and shepherd girls shall dress May love through life the soothing

With simple hands thy rural tomb. shade. Then maids and youths shall linger here, Long, long, thy stone, and pointed clay

And, while its sounds at distance swell, Shall melt the musing Briton's eyes, Shall sadly seem in pity's ear

0! vales, and wild woods, shall he say; To hear the woodland pilgrim's knell. In yonder grave your Druid lies !



1716–1771. [THOMAS GRAY was born in London on the 26th of December, 1716. His father is described

a citizen and money-scrivener”; we should say nowadays, he was on the stock-exchange. He appears to have been a selfish, extravagant, and violent man. Mr. Antrobus, Gray's uncle on the mother's side, was one of the assistant masters at Eton, and at Eton, under his care, Gray was brought up: At Eton he formed a friendship with Horace Walpole, and with Richard West, whose father was Lord Chancellor of Ireland. At Cambridge Gray did not read mathematics and took no degree. He occupied himself with classical literature, history, and modern languages; several of his translations and Latin poems date from this time. He intended to read law; but a few months after his leaving Cambridge, Horace Walpole invited him to be his companion on a tour through France and Italy. The friends visited Paris, Florence, and Rome, and remained abroad together more than two years. Gray saw and noted much; on this journey were produced the best of his Latin poems. Walpole, however, the son of the Prime Minister, and rich, gave himself airs; a difference arose which made Gray separate from him and return alone to England. He was reconciled with Walpole a year or two later; but meanwhile his father died, in 1741; his mother went to live at Stoke, near Windsor; and Gray, with a narrow income of his own, gave up the law and settled himself in college at Cambridge. In 1742 he lost his friend West; the Ode to the Spring was written just before West's death; the Ode on the Prospect of Eton, the Hymn to Adversity, and the Elegy written in a Country Churchyard, were written not long after. The first of Gray's poems which appeared in print was the Ode on the Prospect of Eton, published in folio by Dodsley in 1747; "little notice,” says Warton, was taken of it.

The Elegy was handed about in manuscript before its publication in 1750; it was popular instantly, and made Gray's reputation. In 1753 Gray lost his mother, to whom he owed everything, and whom he devotedly loved. In 1755 The Progress of Poesy was finished, and The Bard begun. The post of Poet-Laureate was offered to Gray in 1757, and declined by him. He applied to Lord Bute, in 1762, for the professorship of modern history at Cambridge, but in vain. Six years afterwards the professorship again became vacant, and the Duke of Grafton gave it to Gray without his applying for it. The year afterwards the Duke of Grafton was elected Chancellor of the University, and Gray composed for his installation the well-known Ode for Music. It was the last of his works. He talked of giving lectures as professor of history, but his health was bad, and his spirits were low; Gray was the most temperate of men, but he was full of hereditary gout. Travelling amused and revived him; he had made with much enjoyment journeys to Scotland, Wales, and the English Lakes, and in the last year of his life, 1771, he entertained a project of visiting Switzerland. But he was too unwell to make the attempt, and he remained at Cambridge. On the 24th of July, while at dinner in the College hall, he was seized with illness; convulsions came on, and on the 30th of July, 1771, at the age of fifty-four, Gray died. He was never married.]

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To cheer the shivering native's dull

abode. And oft, beneath the odorous shade Of Chili's boundless forests laid, She deigns to hear the savage youth

repeat, In loose numbers wildly sweet, Their feather-cinctured chiefs, and

dusky loves. Her track, where'er the goddess roves, Glory pursue, and generous Shame, Th’unconquerable mind, and Freedom's

holy flame.

Thee the voice, the dance, obey,
Temper'd to thy warbled lay,
O’er Idalia's velvet-green
The rosy-crowned Loves are seen,
On Cytherea's day,
With antic Sports and blue-eyed

Frisking light in frolic measures;
Now pursuing, now retreating,
Now in circling troops they meet :
To brisk notes in cadence beating,
Glance their many-twinkling feet.
Slow-melting strains their queen’s ap-

proach declare. Where'er she turns the Graces hom

age pay, With arms sublime that float upon

the air; In gliding state she wins her easy

way : O’er her warm cheek and rising

bosom move The bloom of young Desire, and purple

light of Love.

Woods, that wave o'er Delphi's steep,
Isles, that crown'd th' Ægean deep,
Fields, that cool Ilissus laves,
Or where Mæander's amber waves
In lingering labyrinths creep,
How do your tuneful Echoes lan.

Mute, but to the voice of anguish ?
Where each old poetic mountain

Inspiration breathed around: Every shade and hallow'd fountain

Murmur'd deep a solemn sound: Till the sad Nine, in Greece's evii

hour, Left their Parnassus, for the Latian

plains. Alike they scorn the pomp of tyrant

power, And coward Vice, that revels in

her chains. When Latium had her lofty spirit

lost, They sought, oh Albion! next thy sea

encircled coast.


Man's feeble race what ills await, Labor and Penury, the racks of Pain, Disease, and Sorrow's weeping train, And Death, sad refuge from the

storms of Fate ! The fond complaint, my song, dis

prove, And justify the laws of Jove. Say, has he given in vain the heavenly

Muse? Night and all her sickly dews, Her spectres wan, and birds of boding

cry, He gives to range the dreary sky:

Till down the eastern cliffs afar Hyperion's march they spy, the glitter

ing shafts of war.


Far from the Sun and summer-gale, In thy green lap was Nature's darling

laid, What time, where lucid Avon stray'd, To him the mighty mother did un

veil Her awful face: the dauntless child Stretch'd forth his little arms, and

smiled. “This pencil take,” she said, “whose

colors clear

In climes beyond the solar road, Where shaggy forms o’er ice-built

mountains roam, The Muse has broke the twilight


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