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"The Descent of Odin. An Ode"

"The Descent of Odin. An Ode"


(From the Norse-Tongue,) in Bartholinus,
de causis contemnendae mortis; Hafniae,
1689, Quarto.

Upreis Odinn allda gautr, &c.

1 Uprose the King of Men with speed,
2 And saddled straight his coal-black steed;
3 Down the yawning steep he rode,
4 That leads to Hela's drear abode.
5 Him the dog of darkness spied,
6 His shaggy throat he opened wide,
7 While from his jaws, with carnage filled,
8 Foam and human gore distilled:
9 Hoarse he bays with hideous din,
10 Eyes that glow and fangs that grin;
11 And long pursues with fruitless yell
12 The father of the powerful spell.
13 Onward still his way he takes,
14 (The groaning earth beneath him shakes,)
15 Till full before his fearless eyes
16 The portals nine of hell arise.

17 Right against the eastern gate,
18 By the moss-grown pile he sate,
19 Where long of yore to sleep was laid
20 The dust of the prophetic maid.
21 Facing to the northern clime,
22 Thrice he traced the runic rhyme;
23 Thrice pronounced, in accents dread,
24 The thrilling verse that wakes the dead;
25 Till from out the hollow ground
26 Slowly breathed a sullen sound.

27 Pr[ophetess]. What call unknown, what charms, presume
28 To break the quiet of the tomb?
29 Who thus afflicts my troubled sprite,
30 And drags me from the realms of night?
31 Long on these mouldering bones have beat
32 The winter's snow, the summer's heat,
33 The drenching dews, and driving rain!
34 Let me, let me sleep again.
35 Who is he, with voice unblest,
36 That calls me from the bed of rest?

37 O[din]. A Traveller, to thee unknown,
38 Is he that calls, a Warrior's son.
39 Thou the deeds of light shalt know;
40 Tell me what is done below,
41 For whom yon glittering board is spread,
42 Dressed for whom yon golden bed.

43 Pr. Mantling in the goblet see
44 The pure beverage of the bee,
45 O'er it hangs the shield of gold;
46 'Tis the drink of Balder bold:
47 Balder's head to death is given.
48 Pain can reach the sons of Heaven!
49 Unwilling I my lips unclose:
50 Leave me, leave me to repose.

51 O. Once again my call obey.
52 Prophetess, arise and say,
53 What dangers Odin's child await,
54 Who the author of his fate.

55 Pr. In Hoder's hand the hero's doom:
56 His brother sends him to the tomb.
57 Now my weary lips I close:
58 Leave me, leave me to repose.

59 O. Prophetess, my spell obey,
60 Once again arise and say,
61 Who the avenger of his guilt,
62 By whom shall Hoder's blood be spilt.

63 Pr. In the caverns of the west,
64 By Odin's fierce embrace compressed,
65 A wondrous boy shall Rinda bear,
66 Who ne'er shall comb his raven-hair,
67 Nor wash his visage in the stream,
68 Nor see the sun's departing beam:
69 Till he on Hoder's corse shall smile
70 Flaming on the funeral pile.
71 Now my weary lips I close:
72 Leave me, leave me to repose.

73 O. Yet a while my call obey.
74 Prophetess, awake and say,
75 What virgins these, in speechless woe,
76 That bend to earth their solemn brow,
77 That their flaxen tresses tear,
78 And snowy veils, that float in air.
79 Tell me whence their sorrows rose:
80 Then I leave thee to repose.

81 Pr. Ha! no Traveller art thou,
82 King of Men, I know thee now,
83 Mightiest of a mighty line—

84 O. No boding maid of skill divine
85 Art thou, nor prophetess of good;
86 But mother of the giant-brood!

87 Pr. Hie thee hence and boast at home,
88 That never shall enquirer come
89 To break my iron-sleep again,
90 Till Lok has burst his tenfold chain;
91 Never, till substantial Night
92 Has reassumed her ancient right;
93 Till wrapped in flames, in ruin hurled,
94 Sinks the fabric of the world.

Gray's annotations

2
[steed] Sleipner was the Horse of Odin, wch had eight legs. [Note in C(ommonplace) B(ook).]
4
[Hela the Latinized form of O[ld]N[orse] Hel]
Niflheimr, the hell of the Gothic nations, consisted of nine worlds, to which were devoted all such as died of sickness, old-age, or by any other means than in battle: Over it presided Hela, the Goddess of Death.
Hela is described with a dreadful countenance, & her body half flesh-colour & half blew. [Note in C(ommonplace) B(ook).]
24
The original word is Vallgaldr; from Valr mortuus, & Galdr incantatio. [Note in C(ommonplace) B(ook).]
90
Lok is the evil Being, who continues in chains till the Twilight of the Gods approaches, when he shall break his bonds; the human race, the stars, and sun, shall disappear; the earth sink in the seas, and fire consume the skies: even Odin himself and his kindred-deities shall perish. For a farther explanation of this mythology, see Mallet's Introduction to the History of Denmark, 1755, Quarto. [(A slightly more detailed draft of this note is in C[ommonplace] B[ook]).]

Expanding the poem lines shows notes and queries taken from various critical editions of Gray's works, as well as those contributed by users of the Archive. There are 143 textual and 123 explanatory notes/queries.

All notes and queries are shown by default.

0 "The Descent of Odin. An Ode" 11 Explanatory, 13 Textual

Title/Paratext] "[Initial Old Norse line:] ''Upreis [...]" E. Gosse, 1884.

"[Initial Old Norse line:] ''Upreis Odinn allda gautr, etc.'' [[is] [m]ore exactly: - Upp reis Odinn aldinn gautr. - Ed.]"

The Works of Thomas Gray: In Prose and Verse. Ed. by Edmund Gosse, in four vols. London: MacMillan and Co., 1884, vol. i, 59.

Title/Paratext] "[The Descent of Odin, written [...]" E. Gosse, 1884.

"[The Descent of Odin, written at Cambridge in 1761, first appeared in the volume of 1768. It is a paraphrase of the ancient Icelandic lay called Vegtams kvida, and sometimes Baldrs draumar. The best edition of the original is that given in the Corpus Poeticum Boreale, vol. i., p. 181, under the heading ''Balder's Doom.'' Gray has omitted to translate the first four lines. - Ed.]"

The Works of Thomas Gray: In Prose and Verse. Ed. by Edmund Gosse, in four vols. London: MacMillan and Co., 1884, vol. i, 60.

Title/Paratext] "This Ode was written in [...]" W. Lyon Phelps, 1894.

"This Ode was written in 1761, and first published in the 1768 edition of Gray's poems. Like the preceding [''Fatal Sisters''], it is a free rendering of the Latin. Probably Gray was first inspired to write this by reading Mallet's Monuments de la mythologie et de la poesie des Celtes, et particulierement des anciens Scandinaves (1756). Mallet alluded to this Ode in the first volume of his Introduction a l'histoire de Dannemarc (1755), and in the second volume, the title of which is quoted above, Mallet gave a French version in prose, of a portion of this very Ode."

Selections from the Poetry and Prose of Thomas Gray. Ed. with an introduction and notes by William Lyon Phelps. The Athenaeum press series. Boston: Ginn & company, 1894, 166.

Title/Paratext] "The Icelandic line should read [...]" W. Lyon Phelps, 1894.

"The Icelandic line should read ''Upp reis Odinn aldinn gautr'' (''Up rose Odin, the old Creator''). Gray followed Bartholin's text (p. 632).
Bartholin, De Causis contemptae a Danis adhuc Gentilibus Mortis, 1689, pp. 632-640.

Surgebat OdinusEqvitavit Odinus,
virorum summus,terra subtus tremuit,
et Sleipnerumdonec ad altum veniret
ephippio stravit,Helae habitaculum.
eqvitabat deorsumtum eqvitavit Odinus
Niflhelam versus,ad orientale ostii latus,
obvium habuit catellumubi fatidicae
ab Helae habitaculis venientem.tumulum esse novit.
   
Huic sangvine aspersa erantSapienti carmina
pectus anterius,mortuos excitantia cecinit,
rictus mordendi avidus,boream inspexit,
et maxillarum infima;literas (tumulo) imposuit,
allatrabat ille,sermones proferre coepit,
et rictum diduxitresponsa poposcit,
magiae patri,donec invita surgeret
et diu latrabat.et mortuorum sermonem proferret.
   
Qvisnam hominumNoli tacere fatidica,
mihi ignotorum,adhuc te interrogare volo
mihi facere praesumitdonec omnia novero,
tristem animum?adhuc scire volo
nive eramqvisnam Hodo
et nimbo aspersa,odium rependet?
pluviaque rorata,aut Balderi interfectorem,
mortua diu jacui.occidendo, rogo adaptet.
   
Viator nominor,Rinda filium pariet
Bellatoris filius sum,in habitaculis occidentalibus,
enarra mihi qvae apud Helam geruntur,hic Odini filius,
ego tibi, qvae in mundo.unam noctem natus, armis utetur;
Cuinam sedesmanum non lavabit,
auro stratae sunt?nec caput pectet,
lecti pulchrianteqvam rogo imponat
auro ornati.Balderi inimicum.
invita haec dixi,
Hic Baldero medojamqve tacebo.
paratus extat,
purus potus,Noli tacere fatidica,
scuto superinjecto;adhuc te interrogare volo,
divina vero subolesqvaenam sunt virgines
dolore afficietur.qvae prae cogitationibus lachrymantur,
invita haec dixi,et in coelum jaciunt
jamqve silebo.cervicum pepla?
hoc solum mihi dicas,
Noli fatidica tacere,nam prius non dormies.
te interrogare volo
donec omnia novero.Non tu viator es,
adhuc scire volo,ut antea credidi;
qvisnam Balderosed potius Odinus,
necem inferet,virorum summus.
ac Odini filiumTu non es fatidica,
vita privabit?nec sapiens foemina,
sed potius trium
Hodus excelsum fertgigantum mater.
honoratum fratrem (sc. se ipsum) illuc.
is BalderoEqvita domum Odine,
necem inferet,ac in his gloriare,
et Odini filiumnemo tali modo veniet
vita privabit.ad sciscitandum,
invita haec dixivsqve dum Lokus
jamqve tacebo.vinculis solvatur:
et Deorum crepusculum
dissolventes aderint.

The original is known as Vegtamskvida (i.e., The Song of Vegtamr[, the] Name assumed by Odin) or as Baldrs Draumar (Baldr's Dreams). It is found in the collection of Old Norse poetry known as the Elder or Poetic Edda. This collection was at one time thought to be the work of Saemund the Wise (1056-1133). The Poetic Edda was discovered in Iceland in 1643 and until a comparatively recent time very extravagant notions of its age (which of course Gray shared) were current amongst scholars. In anything like their present form none of these poems antedate the 10th century and some of them are much later. The present poem is one of the later songs and is perhaps not much older than the Royal MS. of the Edda (end of 13th century). The Old Norse text may be found in any edition of the Poetic Edda. Vigfusson's text (Corpus Poeticum Boreale, I, 181-183) is accompanied by an English prose translation."

Selections from the Poetry and Prose of Thomas Gray. Ed. with an introduction and notes by William Lyon Phelps. The Athenaeum press series. Boston: Ginn & company, 1894, 166-168.

Title/Paratext] "The first stanza, which Gray [...]" W. Lyon Phelps, 1894.

"The first stanza, which Gray has omitted (omitted also in Bartholin), says that ''all the gods and goddesses were in council to learn why Baldr's dreams were so threatening.'' Baldr, the god of light, was the favorite son of Odin and beloved of all the gods. Distressed by fears of Baldr's death, Odin determines to learn the truth from a seeress, long dead, and for that purpose he visits the underground realm of Hel, goddess of Hades."

Selections from the Poetry and Prose of Thomas Gray. Ed. with an introduction and notes by William Lyon Phelps. The Athenaeum press series. Boston: Ginn & company, 1894, 168.

Title/Paratext] "This Ode, as well as [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"This Ode, as well as the preceding [''Fatal Sisters''] and the following one [''Triumphs of Owen''], was first published in the edition of 1768. Mitford follows the original title in the Wharton MS. and calls it ''The Vegtam's Kivitha.''"

The Poetical Works of Thomas Gray: English and Latin. Edited with an introduction, life, notes and a bibliography by John Bradshaw. Reprinted edition. The Aldine edition of the British poets series. London: George Bell and sons, 1903 [1st edition 1891], 206.

Title/Paratext] "The original is to be [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"The original is to be found in Saemund's Edda. The first five stanzas of this Ode are omitted; in which Balder, one of the sons of Odin, was informed that he should soon die. Upon his communication of his dream, the other gods, finding it true, by consulting the oracles, agreed to ward off the approaching danger, and sent Frigga to exact an oath from every thing not to injure Balder. She, however, overlooked the mistletoe, with a branch of which he was afterwards slain by Hoder, at the instigation of Lok. After the execution of this commission, Odin, still alarmed for the life of his son, called another council; and hearing nothing but divided opinions among the gods, to consult the Prophetess ''he up-rose with speed.'' Vali, or Ali, the son of Rinda, afterwards avenged the death of Balder, by slaying Hoder, and is called a ''wondrous boy, because he killed his enemy, before he was a day old; before he had washed his face, combed his hair, or seen one setting-sun.'' See Herbert's ''Icelandic Translations.'' - Mitford.
The first five stanzas are given in S. Jones' edition of Gray [(1799)]."

The Poetical Works of Thomas Gray: English and Latin. Edited with an introduction, life, notes and a bibliography by John Bradshaw. Reprinted edition. The Aldine edition of the British poets series. London: George Bell and sons, 1903 [1st edition 1891], 206/207.

Title/Paratext] "For date of writing and [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"For date of writing and publication of the Descent &c. see preceding Ode [The Fatal Sisters].
'The Icelandic line should read ''Upp reis Odinn aldinn gautr,'' Uprose Odin, the old Creator.' P. and K.
In the Wharton MS. it is headed 'The Vegtams Kwitha [sic] from Bartholinus, L. 3, c. 2, p. 562.' 'Vegtamskvida (i.e. The Song of Vegtamr, name assumed by Odin). Known also as Baldrs Draumar (Baldr's Dream [Footnote: ''But Vigfusson and Powell say the original title is lost. They head it Balder's Doom.'']).' P. and K. See note on l. 37 infra.
The Persons of the Dialogue are not indicated in Wharton's transcript in Brit. Mus. There is probably a Pembroke MS., but I have not seen it, and find no record of its readings in books accessible to me. Mason is said to have extracted the notes on these Odes which he signs G [Gray] from the Pembroke MSS."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 247.

Title/Paratext] "Bartholin omits the first stanza [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"Bartholin omits the first stanza of this Ode, and inserts ten lines which are spurious. In these respects Gray follows him.(P[helps]. and K[ittredge].)
Vigfusson and Powell say that the original is evidently by the author of Thrymskviða, a humorous story describing how Thor recovered his hammer from the giant Thrym. If I am not mistaken, they would assign both poems to the last years of the 10th century. (Corpus Poetarum Boreale, V. 1. p. lxvi.)
The legend of the death of Balder son of Odin says that he had dreams of danger to his life. He told them to the gods. Then Frigga, his mother, took an oath from all things that they would not hurt Balder. But she omitted, as too weak a thing, the mistletoe ''that grows on the eastern side of Valhalla.'' So Balder, like Achilles, was invulnerable except that there was one unlikely thing that could hurt him, as Achilles had one unlikely place in which he could be hurt. The gods were wont to amuse themselves by throwing darts and stones at Balder. But the evil Loki found out that the mistletoe had not taken the pledge; and he put it in the hands of Hoder, who being blind was not joining in the sport, and directed his arm, and so Balder was slain. Ere this however Odin had gone disguised to Hela, to discover the doom of Balder, as described in the Poem that follows. The first stanza, perhaps omitted by Bartholin because it seems to be a fragment, is of four lines, thus rendered in Vigfusson and Powell: ''...At once the Anses [AEsir] all went into council, and all the goddesses to a parley. The mighty gods took counsel together that they might find out why dreams of evil haunted Balder.''

Bartholin's Latin Text (ap. Mason).

Surgebat Odinus,
Virorum summus
Et Sleipnerum
Ephippio stravit.
Equitabat deorsum
Niflhelam versus.
Obviam habuit Catellum
Ab Helae habitaculis venientem.
    Huic sanguine aspersa erant
Pectus anterius,
Rictus, mordendi avidus,
Et maxillarum infima:
Allatrabat ille,
Et Rictum diduxit
Magiae Patri,
Et diu latrabat.
Equitavit Odinus
(Terra subtus tremuit)
Donec ad altum veniret
Helae Habitaculum.
Tum equitavit Odinus
Ad orientale ostii Latus
Ubi Fatidicae
Tumulum esse novit.
    Sapienti Carmina
Mortuos excitantia cecinit,
Boream inspexit,
Literas [Tumulo] imposuit,
Sermones proferre coepit
Responsa poposcit,
Donec invita surgeret,
Et mortuorum sermonem proferret.
Fatidica. Quisnam hominum
Mihi ignotorum
Mihi facere praesumit
Tristem Animum?
Nive eram, et
Nimbo aspersa,
Pluviaque rorata
Mortua diu jacui.
0. Viator nominor,
Bellatoris Filius sum;
Enarra mihi quae apud Helam geruntur.
Ego tibi quae in mundo:
Cuinam sedes Auro stratae sunt
Lecti pulchri,
Auro ornati?
F. Hic Baldero Medo
Paratus extat,
Purus Potus,
Scuto superinjecto:
Divina vero soboles
Dolore afficietur.
Invita haec dixi,
Jamque silebo.
O. Noli, Fatidica, tacere.
Te interrogare volo,
Donec omnia novero.
Adhuc scire volo,
Quisnam Baldero
Necem inferet,
Et Odini Filium
Vita privabit?
F. Hoderus excelsum fert
Honoratum Fratrem illuc.
Is Baldero
Necem inferet,
Et Odini Filium
Vita privabit.
Invita haec dixi
Jamque tacebo.
O. Noli tacere, Fatidica,
Adhuc te interrogate volo
Donec omnia novero.
Adhuc scire volo,
Quisnam Hodo [sic]
Odium rependet,
Aut Balderi Interfectorem
Occidendo rogo adaptet?
F. Rinda Filium pariet
In Habitaculis occidentalibus:
Hic Odini Filius
Unam noctem natus, armis utetur;
Manum non lavabit,
Nec Caput pectet,
Antequam Rogo imponet
Balderi inimicum.
Invita haec dixi,
Jamque tacebo.
0. Noli tacere, Fatidica,
Adhuc te interrogare volo,
Quaenam sunt Virgines,
Quae prae Cogitationibus lachrymantur
Et in Caelum jactant
Cervicum pepla?
Hoc solum mihi dicas,
Nam prius non dormies.
F. Non tu Viator es,
Ut antea credidi;
Sed potius Odinus
Virorum summus.
O. Tu non es Fatidica,
Nec sapiens Foemina,
Sed potius trium
Gigantum Mater.
F. Equita domum Odine,
At in his gloriare:
Nemo tali modo veniet,
Ad sciscitandum
Usque dum Lokus
Vinculis solvatur,
Et Deorum Crepusculum
Dissolventes aderint [sic].
Uprose Odin
Chief of Men
On Sleipner
Laid he the saddle;
Downwards he rode
Toward Niflhel:
He met the Whelp coming
From Hela's abodes.
    Bedabbled in blood
Were the brute's gorge,
Muzzle, eager to bite,
And under jaw:
He barked
Wide-grinning
At the Father of Spells,
Long did he bark.
Odin rode on
(Earth trembled beneath him)
Till he came to the lofty
Dwelling of Hela.
Then rode Odin
To the East side of the Portal
Where he knew was
The Barrow of the Prophetess.
    To the Wise One Charms
He sang waking the Dead,
He looked to the North Wind,
Placed runes [on the Barrow],
Spells to speak he began:
For answers he called,
Till she rising unwilling
Spake speech of the dead.
Prophetess. Who of men
To me unknown
Takes on him to make
Sad my Soul?
Upon me snow
Was shed, and cloud;
With rain was I washed;
Long dead have I lain.
Odin. My name is 'Traveller,'
'Warrior's' son:
Tell me what passeth in Hela:
I thee what passeth in the world:
For whom are the seats strewn with gold
The fair couches,
With gold adorned?
Pr. Here for Balder Mead
Is set forth ready,
Pure Drink,
A shield covers the goblet:
The sons of the gods
Grief shall visit.
Unwilling have I said this
And now will be silent.
Od. Prophetess, be not silent.
Fain would I question thee
Till all I know.
Yet would I learn
Who on Balder
Death shall inflict,
And the Son of Odin
Of Life shall deprive?
P. 'Tis Hoder brings thither
His high, honoured Brother.
'Tis he who on Balder
Death shall inflict,
And the Son of Odin
Of Life shall deprive.
Unwilling have I said this
And now will be silent.
0. Prophetess, be not silent,
Yet would I question thee
Till all I know.
Yet would I learn
Who to Hoder
Hate shall repay
And Balder's slayer slaying
Make meet for the pyre?
Pr. Rinda shall bear a Son
In the dwellings of the West
He, Odin's Son,
But one night old, shall wield weapons;
He shall not wash hand
Nor comb head,
Ere he shall set on the pyre
Balder's Foe.
Unwilling have I said this,
And now will be silent.
O. Prophetess, be not silent,
Yet would I question thee
Who are the Virgins
Who for [sad] thoughts weep
And towards Heaven cast
Their Neck-veils?
This one thing tell me,
For till then sleep thou shalt not.
Pr. Thou art not Traveller,
As ere this I deemed;
But Odin rather
Chief of Men.
O. No Prophetess thou,
Nor Wise-Woman,
But the Dam rather
Of the Giants Three.
Pr. Ride home, Odin:
But boast thee herein:
None in such sort shall come
Question to ask
Till the day that Loki
Be released from his bonds,
And of the Gods' Twilight
Come the Destroyers.

It will be noticed that Gray's Poem is upon the whole nearer to the Latin text than is the case with The Sisters. I have translated Bartholin's Latin (which here and there seems wrong grammatically) according to his intended meaning."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 247-251.

Title/Paratext] "See note on [...] ['The [...]" J. Crofts, 1948 [1st ed. 1926].

"See note on [...] ['The Fatal Sisters']. The original is to be found in Saemund's Edda, but Grayused the Latin translation of Bartholinus in his De Causis contemnendae Mortis, 1689. 'Gray translated only that part of it which he found in the Latin version of Bartholinus; and to this cause much of the obscurity is owing.' (Mitford.)"

Gray: Poetry and Prose. With essays by Johnson, Goldsmith and others. With an Introduction and Notes by J. Crofts. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1948 [1st ed. 1926], 163.

Title/Paratext] "It was revealed to Balder [...]" J. Crofts, 1948 [1st ed. 1926].

"It was revealed to Balder (the summer sun-god) that he must die. To avert this fate his mother Frigg, the Earth goddess, sent her maidservants to take oaths from all living creatures, herbs, minerals, and stones not to do any hurt to Balder. Only the mistletoe was so slender and weak that of it no oath was demanded. And Frigg rejoiced, thinking that her son was safe. But his father Odin was not satisfied. He mounted his horse, Sleipnir, and rode down past Nifl-hel (Hell) and the Hell-hound, Garm (l. 5), to Hela (Elysium), where the souls of the righteous dwell. There also is the dwelling of the Asmegir, who are to be rulers of a new Heaven and a new Earth, when Odin and his world have passed away. The Asmegir were already preparing to welcome Balder, for they desired that he should be their ruler until the dawn of the world's new age.
Odin rode to the eastern gate, where he knew there was the grave of a great prophetess, and by his spells raised her from the dead to answer his questions, concealing his godship under the name of Vegtam. She told him that the preparations of the Asmegir (ll. 41-46) were indeed for Balder, who must die; that his slayer should be his brother, blind Hodur (Night or Winter); and that he should be avenged by Vale (the May-god), who should be the son of Odin by Rhind, the snow-goddess (l. 65).
All this was afterwards accomplished. While the gods in their sport were hurling javelins at Balder and smiting him with their swords, the evil one, Loke, caused an arrow to be made of mistletoe, which he gave to Hodur; and with the arrow Hodur unwittingly slew Balder. Straightway a messenger was sent to Urd, the Queen of Hela, beseeching her that Balder might return; but her answer was that it might not be unless all living things should weep for him. Then Frigg sent to beseech all living things to weep; but the hag Angerboda (Darkness, the mother of evil monsters) would not weep, and Balder was lost to them for ever. (In the poem Odin suddenly reveals himself as a god by his fore-knowledge of this episode of the weeping, and denounces the prophetess as the evil Angerboda herself, ll. 75-86.)
For the part that he played in the tragedy Loke was bound upon a three-edged rock (l. 90), and there he lies in torment till the Twilight of the Gods, when he will join the giants and the powers of evil in their last assault upon Heaven, and die by the hand of Heimdal, sentinel of Heaven's bridge."

Gray: Poetry and Prose. With essays by Johnson, Goldsmith and others. With an Introduction and Notes by J. Crofts. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1948 [1st ed. 1926], 163/164.

Title/Paratext] "[Written at Cambridge 1761 and [...]" A.L. Poole/L. Whibley, 1950 [1st ed. 1919].

"[Written at Cambridge 1761 and first published in the edition of 1768. There is a MS. at Pembroke and a transcript in Wharton's handwriting among the Egerton MSS. in the British Museum (No. 2400) under the title 'The Vegtams Kwitha from Bartholinus'. It is taken from the Icelandic poem Vegtams Kvi[th]a or Baldrs draumer.]"

The Poems of Gray and Collins. Edited by Austin Lane Poole. Revised by Leonard Whibley. Third edition. Oxford editions of standard authors series. London: Oxford UP, 1937, reprinted 1950 [1st ed. 1919], 74.

Title/Paratext] "This translation of ''The Vegtam's [...]" W.C. Eppstein, 1959.

"This translation of ''The Vegtam's Kivitha'', from the original in the seventeenth-century collection by Bartolinus, is a much closer translation than The Fatal Sisters, and it is also happier in the remarkable power Gray displays of modernizing an ancient lay, while preserving its fire and retaining its atmosphere.
The first five stanzas of the original are omitted, and here Gray shows extraordinary critical acumen, since now scholars are agreed that four at least of these stanzas are spurious.
The theme is briefly that Balder, the son of Odin, is informed that he must soon die. The other gods, on hearing this, agree to ward off the approaching danger; among other devices they extort from everything an oath not to hurt Balder. The Mistletoe is, however, overlooked and with a branch of this the hero is slain."

Poems of Thomas Gray. Edited by W. C. Eppstein. London and Glasgow: Blackie & Son Ltd., 1959, xxiii-xxiv.

Title/Paratext] "The Fatal Sisters,The Descent of [...]" H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

The following three poems are Gray's renderings of Latin translations of Old Norse and Welsh poems. Although he copied the original as well as the Latin translation of The Fatal Sisters, for example, into C[ommonplace] B[ook], his limited knowledge of the original languages apparently led him to rely primarily on the Latin translations, since he has reproduced errors found in the Latin (see individual notes below). For the Scandinavian poems, he drew most of his data from the Orcades of Thormodus Torfaeus and from Thomas Bartholinus, Antiquitatum Danicarum de causis contemptae . . . mortis (Copenhagen, 1689). Mason reprints in his notes (ii. 99-102) the Latin translation used by Gray (see explanatory notes).
Gray told Beattie (T & W no. 466), 1 Feb. 1768, that the three poems were to be published in the 1768 editions 'to make up (in bulk) for the omission' of the Long Story."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 25.

Title/Paratext] "First published in P[oems, 1768]." H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"First published in P[oems, 1768]."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 32.

Title/Paratext] "Title: Ode (from the Norse-tongue) [...]" H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"Title: Ode (from the Norse-tongue) in Bartholinus, de causis contemnendae [sic] mortis. Hafniae. 1689. 4to. [MS. sent to] D[odsley]; ODE / IX. / ... / From the Norse-tongue. M[ason]; The Vegtams Kwitha, from Bartholinus. Wh[arton transcript, Egerton MS.]; ... tongue ...] ... tonque ... [MS. sent to] D[odsley]."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 32.

Title/Paratext] "[Initial Norse line:] Upreis Odinn [...]" H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"[Initial Norse line:] Upreis Odinn allda gautr &c: [is] [Upp reis Odinn alda gautr / Up rose Odin creator of all]."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 32.

Title/Paratext] "See introductory matter and explanatory [...]" H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"See introductory matter and explanatory notes to The Fatal Sisters. Gray's paraphrase of the Icelandic was written, like The Fatal Sisters, in 1761 and based largely on a Latin translation from Bartholinus, which is reprinted in M[ason]. Mason (ii. 103-4) appended additional notes culled from the C[ommonplace] B[ook] and here indicated as GM. Mitford summarizes the legendary background of the poem as follows: '... Balder, one of the sons of Odin, was informed that he should soon die. Upon his communication of his dream, the other gods, finding it true, by consulting the oracles, agreed to ward off the approaching danger, and sent Frigga to exact an oath from every thing not to injure Balder. She, however, overlooked the Mistletoe, with a branch of which he was afterwards slain by Hoder, at the instigation of Lok [ON Lokr, often translated as Lok, Loki, or Loke]. After the execution of this commission, Odin, still alarmed for the life of his son, called another council; and hearing nothing but divided opinions among the gods, to consult the Prophetess, ''he up-rose with speed''. Vali, or Ali, the son of Rinda, afterwards avenged the death of Balder, by slaying Hoder, and is called a ''wondrous boy, because he killed his enemy, before he was a day old; before he had washed his face, combed his hair, or seen one setting-sun''. See Herbert's Icelandic Translations, p. 45.'"

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 215.

Title/Paratext] "The original title is Baldrs [...]" H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"The original title is Baldrs Draumar ('Balder's Dreams') in the Codex Arnamagnaeanus, no. 748, the only ancient source. In paper MSS., the first of which dates from 1670, the title is Vegtamskvida ('The Ballad of Vegtam', a name meaning 'Traveller' assumed by Odin in the poem). It is clear that the first section is missing from the Codex, which has only one stanza before Upp reis Odinn, &c. To remedy this defect, between 1643 (when Bishop Sveinsson discovered the Codex Regius) and 1670, some scholar, whom Vigfusson and Powell (Corpus Poeticum Boreale, i. 181) 'guess' to have been Paul Hallson (ob. 1662), made an introduction, giving in brief form the story repeated above of the threat to Balder's life and the exaction of a pledge from all things not to harm him.
A literal translation of the Latin version by Bartholinus upon which Gray relied is as follows (the line numbers correspond to those in Mason, ii. 101-2):

Odin sprang up
Greatest of men
And Sleipner
With the saddle decked.
Down he rode
Toward Niflhel.
On the road he met the Whelp
Coming up from the dwellings of Hela
Spattered with blood were his
Breast in front
Gaping mouth that longs to bite
And lower jaw:
He barked
And snarled
At the Father of Sorcery,
And long he barked.
Odin rode on
(The earth shook beneath)
Until he came to the deep
Dwelling of Hela.
Then Odin rode
To the Eastern Side of the gate
Where the Prophetess'
Grave he knew to lie.
    To the Wise Woman incantations
That arouse the dead he chanted,
He looked to the North
He traced letters [on the grave]
He began to utter speech
He demanded answers
Until she arose, despite her desire,
And spoke in the language of the dead.
Prophetess. What one of men
To me of no account
Presumes to make my
Soul unhappy?
With snow have I
Been blanketed, and lashed with rain
Bedewed with gentle drops
Long have I lain dead.
Odin. I am called Traveller
The Son of Warrior am I.
Relate to me what things are being done in the dwellings of Hela:
I (will tell) you what things on earth.
For whom are these seats covered with gold,
Beautiful couches,
With gold adorned?
Pr. Here for Balder mead
Already prepared, is set forth,
A Pure Potion
But a shield has been placed over it.
Surely the divine offspring
Will be affected by pain.
These words I have spoken against my will,
And now I will cease to speak.
O[din]. Do not, O Prophetess, remain silent.
I desire to question you
Until I shall know all.
I still desire to know
Who unto Balder
Will bring death,
And the Son of Odin
Deprive of life?
Pr. Hoder* bears aloft
In honour his Brother to this place.
He unto Balder
Will bring death,
And the Son of Odin
Will deprive of life.
These words I have spoken against my will,
And now I will remain silent.
O[din]. Do not, O Prophetess, remain silent.
I still wish to question you
Until I shall know all.
I still desire to know
Who unto Hoder*
Will requite the hatred
Or the murderer of Balder
Will make ready for the pyre by killing him.
Pr. Rinda will bring forth a Son
In the dwellings of the West:
He, the Son of Odin,
When only one night old, will use weapons;
He shall not wash his hand
Nor comb his head
Until he has placed on the pyre
The enemy of Balder.
These words have I spoken against my will,
And now I will remain silent.
O[din]. Do not remain silent, O Prophetess,
Still I wish to ask you
Who the Virgins are
Who because of Thoughts weep
And to the Sky cast
The robes from their shoulders?
This one thing you must tell me,
For you shall not sleep until you do.
Pr. You are no Traveller,
As I formerly believed;
But rather Odin,
Greatest of Men.
O[din]. No Prophetess are you,
Nor Woman of Wisdom,
But rather of three
Giants the Mother.
Pr. Ride home, Odin,
And glory in this:
No one in like fashion shall come
To seek knowledge
Until Lok
Shall be freed from bonds
And to the Twilight of the Gods
The Destroyers shall come.
* In Mason Hodus."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 216-218.

Title/Paratext] "[ON] Motto: gautr is of [...]" H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"[ON] Motto: gautr is of uncertain meaning."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 218.

Title/Paratext] "Written in 1761, not later [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Written in 1761, not later than the beginning of May; for the date of composition, the background to this translation and its publication in 1768, see headnote to The Fatal Sisters. In the list of 'Gothic' poems in G[ray].'s Commonplace Book, it is entitled 'Incantation of Woden (call'd Vegtams Kvitha) in Bartholin p. 632. very ancient.' G.'s transcript in the Commonplace Book (iii 1069-70) has the present title and is dated 1761. There is also a transcript by Wharton (British Museum, Egerton MS 2400 ff. 230-1), entitled 'The Vegtams Kwitha from Bartholinus.' In 1768 the title is followed by the explanation: '(From the Norse-Tongue,) In Bartholinus, de causis contemnendae mortis; Hafniae, 1689, Quarto'. G. then quotes the first line of the original Norse: 'Upreis Odinn allda gautr, &c.'"

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 220/221.

Title/Paratext] "G[ray]. found the original text [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"G[ray]. found the original text and a Latin translation in Bartholin, pp. 632-40. The Norse text and an English translation are given in G. Vigfusson and F. York Powell, Corpus Poeticum Boreale (1883) i 181-3. Known in its earliest source as Baldrs Draumar ('Balder's Dream'), the poem was later entitled Vegtamskvida ('Lay of the Wayfarer'; see ll. 37-8 n). It purports to be a supplement to the Voluspa, elaborating the episode of Balder's death. In the Voluspa, the prophetess foretells the fall of the gods, as she here prophesies what was to be the first incident of that fall. Scholarly opinion has been divided as to whether it belongs to the tenth century or is merely a skilful twelfth century imitation of the older manner. See L. M. Hollander, The Poetic Edda (Austin, 1928) pp. 136-9.
According to the legend, Balder, son of Odin, chief of the gods of Northern mythology, dreamed that his life was in danger. Frigga, his mother, exacted an oath from all things that they would not harm him, but omitted to make the mistletoe do so. Lok, the evil deity, placed a bough of mistletoe in the hand of the blind Hoder and directed his arm so that it struck Balder, who accordingly died. The poem concerns the visit by Odin, before Balder's death, to the underworld to learn his son's fate. The prophetess identifies Hoder as the murderer and Vali, son of Odin and Rinda, as the avenger of Balder.
G. followed Bartholin in omitting the first stanza of the poem, translated by Vigfusson and Powell, i 181: 'At once the Anses all went into council, and all the goddesses to a parley. The mighty gods took counsel together that they might find out why dreams of evil haunted Balder.' These editors also mention a short preliminary section to the poem, supplied between 1643 and 1670, probably by Paul Hallson, to elucidate the earlier part of the story.
G.'s notes have three sources: the Commonplace Book, 1775, where some of G.'s notes from it were printed, and 1768. The English translation of the Latin used by G., as given by Mason, is as follows:

Odin arose
Greatest among men
And on Sleipner
Laid the saddle.
He rode downwards
Towards Nifhel.
On his way he met the Whelp
Coming from the abodes of Hela.
Spattered with blood were his

Until he came to the deep
Abode of Hela.
Then Odin rode
To the east side of the portal
Where the Prophetess's
Grave he knew to be.
    To the Wise Woman charms
Which raise the dead he chanted.
He looked to the North Wind
He placed letters (on the grave)
He began to address her
And demanded answers
Until she arose, all unwilling,
And spoke the language of the dead.
Prophetess. Who among men
Has dared to make my
Soul sad?
Upon me snow
And clouds have been shed
I have been bedewed with rain
Long I have lain dead.
Odin. I am called Traveller
I am the Son of Warrior.
Tell me what things are done in Hela's dwelling:
I will (tell) what is done on earth.
For whom are these seats strewn with gold,
Beautiful couches
Adorned with gold?
Prophetess. Here for Balder mead
Ready prepared is put out.
A pure draught.
With a shield laid over it.
For certain will the son of the gods
Be stricken with pain.
I have said these things against my will.
And now I will be silent.
Odin. Do not be silent, Prophetess.
I want to question you
Until I shall have learned all.
Still I wish to know
Who it is that on Balder
Will inflict death
And the son of Odin
Deprive of life.
Prophetess. Hoder bears aloft
His honoured brother to this place.
It is he who on Balder
Breast in front
His muzzle eager to bite
And his lower jaw:
He barked
And bared his teeth
At the Father of Spells,
And long he barked.
Odin rode on
(The earth beneath trembled)

Will inflict death,
And the son of Odin
Deprive of life.
I have said these things against my will,
And now I will be silent.
Odin. Do not be silent, Prophetess.
Still I want to question you
Until I shall have learned all.
I still wish to know
Who it is that to Hoder
Will pay back hatred
Or the killer of Balder
Will fit for the pyre by slaying him.
Prophetess. Rinda will bear a son
In the dwellings of the West:
He, the son of Odin,
Only one night born, will take arms;
He will not wash his hand
Nor comb his hair
Until he has placed on the pyre
The enemy of Balder.
I have said these things against my will,
And now I will be silent.
Odin. Do not be silent, Prophetess.
Still I want to question you
Who the Virgins are
Who weep because of their thoughts
And toss into the sky
The garments from their shoulders.
You must tell me this one thing,
For you will not sleep before you do.
Prophetess. You are no Traveller,
As I believed before;
But rather Odin,
Greatest among men.
Odin. You are no Prophetess,
Nor a wise-woman,
Bu rather of three
Giants the mother.
Prophetess. Ride home, Odin,
And glory in this deed:
For no one shall come in such a way
Seeking knowledge
Until the time when Lok
Is freed from his bonds
And at the Twilight of the Gods
The Destroyers shall come."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 221/222.

Title/Paratext] "The poem concerns the visit [...]" J. Reeves, 1973.

"The poem concerns the visit that Odin made, before the death of his son Balder, to the underworld. Here he was to learn the boy's fate. The prophetess identifies Hoder as the murderer and Odin's son Vali as the avenger."

The Complete English Poems of Thomas Gray. Edited with an Introduction and Notes by James Reeves. The Poetry Bookshelf series. London: Heinemann; New York: Barnes & Noble, 1973, 115.

Title/Paratext] "Written in 1761. First published [...]" J. Heath-Stubbs, 1981.

"Written in 1761. First published in 1768. This is a translation of the Old Norse poem 'Vegtams Kvitha' [...]. Gray took his text from Bartholinus, Antiquatum Danicarum De Causis Contemptae a Danis Adhuc Gentibus Mortis, Copenhagen, 1689, where a Latin translation was also given. The original belongs to the 10-12 cent. A.D., and is part of the legend of the death of Balder. Odin, king of the gods, descends to the Underworld to consult the shade of the prophetess, who foretells Balder's death at the hand of his brother Hoder."

Thomas Gray: Selected Poems. Ed. by John Heath-Stubbs. Manchester: Carcanet New Press Ltd., 1981, 84/85.

Contribute a note or query


(From the Norse-Tongue,) in Bartholinus,
de causis contemnendae mortis; Hafniae,
1689, Quarto.

Upreis Odinn allda gautr, &c.

1 Uprose the King of Men with speed, 3 Explanatory

1.1 Uprose] "G[ray]. deliberately imitates 'Upreis', the [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"G[ray]. deliberately imitates 'Upreis', the first word of the original as quoted after the title to the poem."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 223.

1.3-5 King ... Men] "Gray follows Bartholin. Vigfusson and [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"Gray follows Bartholin. Vigfusson and Powell 'the ancient Sire.'"

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 251.

1.3-5 King ... Men] "Odin." Alexander Huber, 2000.

"Odin."

Alexander Huber <huber@thomasgray.org> (SUB Göttingen), URL: http://www.thomasgray.org/. Contributed on Sat Oct 28 13:45:21 2000 GMT.

Contribute a note or query

2 And saddled straight his coal-black steed; 2 Explanatory

2.6 steed;] "Sleipner, who however in the [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"Sleipner, who however in the Prose Edda (as given in Mallet's Northern Antiquities, § 42, p. 432, ed. Bohn) is described at his birth as 'a grey foal, with eight legs.' Though Odin is not an infernal deity, Gray is no doubt so far affected by the Latin mythology that in describing this visit to Hell, he gives him one of Pluto's coal-black steeds."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 251.

2.6 steed;] "Sleipner, the offspring of Loki [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Sleipner, the offspring of Loki and the stallion Svathilfari, was traditionally grey.   Cp. 'coleblacke steeds yborne of hellish brood', Spenser, Faerie Queene I v 20, 8; and 'High on a Coal-black steed', Dryden, Theodore and Honoria 120."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 223.

Contribute a note or query

3 Down the yawning steep he rode, 1 Explanatory

3.1-6 Down ... rode,] "'Hell at last / Yawning [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"'Hell at last / Yawning receavd them', Par. Lost vi 875."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 223.

Contribute a note or query

4 That leads to Hela's drear abode. 5 Explanatory

4.1-6 That ... abode.] "Gray's note on Niflheimr comes [...]" W. Lyon Phelps, 1894.

"Gray's note on Niflheimr comes from Bartholin, pp. 387, 585, and is based on a passage in the Prose Edda. It represents, like the Valhalla creed, a late stage of Viking belief. The Old Norse form of the goddess's name is Hel. Hell in this note should be understood as = Hades, not as = a place of torment."

Selections from the Poetry and Prose of Thomas Gray. Ed. with an introduction and notes by William Lyon Phelps. The Athenaeum press series. Boston: Ginn & company, 1894, 168.

4.1-6 That ... abode.] "Hela (Latinised form of Hell) [...]" J. Heath-Stubbs, 1981.

"Hela (Latinised form of Hell) was the goddess of death and the underworld in Norse mythology."

Thomas Gray: Selected Poems. Ed. by John Heath-Stubbs. Manchester: Carcanet New Press Ltd., 1981, 85.

4.4 Hela's] "Hela, in the Edda, is [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"Hela, in the Edda, is described with a dreadful countenance, and her body half flesh-colour, and half blue. [Note in Gray's Commonplace Book, Pembroke MSS.]"

The Poetical Works of Thomas Gray: English and Latin. Edited with an introduction, life, notes and a bibliography by John Bradshaw. Reprinted edition. The Aldine edition of the British poets series. London: George Bell and sons, 1903 [1st edition 1891], 207.

4.4-6 Hela's ... abode.] "The form in the original, [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"The form in the original, Niflhel (cf. Bartholin, l. 6) is translated Mist-Hell, ap. Vigfusson and Powell.
''This comes from Bartholin, pp. 387, 585, and is based on a passage of the Prose Edda. It represents, like the Valhalla creed, a late stage of Viking belief. The Old Norse form of the goddess's name is Hel. Hell in this note should be understood as Hades, not as a place of torment.'' (P. and K.)"

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 251.

4.4-6 Hela's ... abode.] "Hela was the goddess of [...]" J. Reeves, 1973.

"Hela was the goddess of death who sat at the gate of hell."

The Complete English Poems of Thomas Gray. Edited with an Introduction and Notes by James Reeves. The Poetry Bookshelf series. London: Heinemann; New York: Barnes & Noble, 1973, 115.

Contribute a note or query

5 Him the dog of darkness spied, 6 Explanatory, 1 Textual

5.3-5 dog ... darkness] "The Edda gives this dog [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"The Edda gives this dog the name of Managarmar. He fed upon the lives of those that were to die. - Mason."

The Poetical Works of Thomas Gray: English and Latin. Edited with an introduction, life, notes and a bibliography by John Bradshaw. Reprinted edition. The Aldine edition of the British poets series. London: George Bell and sons, 1903 [1st edition 1891], 207.

5.3-6 dog ... spied,] "'Called Managarmar in the Edda.' D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"'Called Managarmar in the Edda.' Mason.   Garm in the Volo-Spa.   He fed, says Mason, on the lives of men."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 251.

5.3 dog] "The Edda gives this dog [...]" H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"The Edda gives this dog the name of Managarmar; he fed upon the lives of those that were to die. M[ason]. Mason is mistaken here. The dog who guards the gate of Hel is Garm (ON Garmr). Managarm (ON Managarmr, 'Moon-hound') is another name of Hati, one of the two wolves, offspring of an unnamed giantess, who pursue the sun and moon and who will devour them at the end of the world ('the Ragna-rok' is a more exact term). See Snorri, Gylfaginning, ch. xii. Because these wolves are spoken of as Fenriss kindir in Voluspa, l. 111, it is sometimes stated that Fenrir is their father; however, other editors and commentators believe that the phrase is merely a kenning for 'wolves'. (Cf. Snorri, Gylfaginning, ch. xii.)"

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 218/219.

5.3 dog] "Garm, guardian of the gate [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Garm, guardian of the gate of the underworld."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 223.

5.3 dog] "Garm, guardian of the gate [...]" J. Reeves, 1973.

"Garm, guardian of the gate of hell."

The Complete English Poems of Thomas Gray. Edited with an Introduction and Notes by James Reeves. The Poetry Bookshelf series. London: Heinemann; New York: Barnes & Noble, 1973, 115.

5.3-6 dog ... spied,] "The dog Garm guarded the [...]" J. Heath-Stubbs, 1981.

"The dog Garm guarded the gate of the underworld."

Thomas Gray: Selected Poems. Ed. by John Heath-Stubbs. Manchester: Carcanet New Press Ltd., 1981, 85.

5.6 spied,] "spied [MS. sent to] D[odsley]." H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"spied [MS. sent to] D[odsley]."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 32.

Contribute a note or query

6 His shaggy throat he opened wide,
7 While from his jaws, with carnage filled, 2 Explanatory

7.1 - 8.5 While ... distilled:] "In this description Bartholin and [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"In this description Bartholin and Gray must have rendered some spurious lines. The original, as translated ap. Vigfusson and Powell, has only: ''there was blood on its breast, as it ran by the way; barking at the Father of Spells.''"

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 251.

7.1-7 While ... filled,] "'His ample maw, with human [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"'His ample maw, with human carnage fill'd', Pope, Odyssey ix 352."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 223.

Contribute a note or query

8 Foam and human gore distilled: 2 Explanatory

7.1 - 8.5 While ... distilled:] "In this description Bartholin and [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"In this description Bartholin and Gray must have rendered some spurious lines. The original, as translated ap. Vigfusson and Powell, has only: ''there was blood on its breast, as it ran by the way; barking at the Father of Spells.''"

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 251.

8.1-5 Foam ... distilled:] "'he gan fret and fome [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"'he gan fret and fome out bloudy gore', Faerie Queene VI xii 31, 3; and 'Their Heads distilling Gore', Dryden, Aeneid xii 743."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 223.

Contribute a note or query

9 Hoarse he bays with hideous din, 1 Explanatory

9.1-6 Hoarse ... din,] "'The Hounds at nearer distance [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"'The Hounds at nearer distance hoarsly bay'd', Dryden, Theodore and Honoria 279."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 223.

Contribute a note or query

10 Eyes that glow and fangs that grin;
11 And long pursues with fruitless yell 5 Textual

11.5 fruitless] "Ceaseless. Various reading[] in the [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"Ceaseless. Various reading[] in the Wharton MS."

The Poetical Works of Thomas Gray: English and Latin. Edited with an introduction, life, notes and a bibliography by John Bradshaw. Reprinted edition. The Aldine edition of the British poets series. London: George Bell and sons, 1903 [1st edition 1891], 209.

11.5 fruitless] "ceaseless   Wharton MS." D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"ceaseless   Wharton MS."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 252.

11.5 fruitless] "ceaseless The [...] reading[] [is] [...]" A.L. Poole/L. Whibley, 1950 [1st ed. 1919].

"ceaseless The [...] reading[] [is] in the Wharton MS."

The Poems of Gray and Collins. Edited by Austin Lane Poole. Revised by Leonard Whibley. Third edition. Oxford editions of standard authors series. London: Oxford UP, 1937, reprinted 1950 [1st ed. 1919], 173.

11.5 fruitless] "ceaseless Wh[arton transcript, Egerton MS.]." H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"ceaseless Wh[arton transcript, Egerton MS.]."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 32.

11.5 fruitless] "ceaseless   Wharton." R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"ceaseless   Wharton."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 223.

Contribute a note or query

12 The father of the powerful spell.
13 Onward still his way he takes,
14 (The groaning earth beneath him shakes,) 1 Explanatory, 6 Textual

14.2-3 groaning earth] "Cp. 'Groans the sad Earth', [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Cp. 'Groans the sad Earth', Dryden, Aeneid xii 504."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 223.

14.6 shakes,)] "Quakes. - Wharton MS." E. Gosse, 1884.

"Quakes. - Wharton MS."

The Works of Thomas Gray: In Prose and Verse. Ed. by Edmund Gosse, in four vols. London: MacMillan and Co., 1884, vol. i, 61.

14.6 shakes,)] "Quakes. Various reading[] in the [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"Quakes. Various reading[] in the Wharton MS."

The Poetical Works of Thomas Gray: English and Latin. Edited with an introduction, life, notes and a bibliography by John Bradshaw. Reprinted edition. The Aldine edition of the British poets series. London: George Bell and sons, 1903 [1st edition 1891], 209.

14.6 shakes,)] "quakes   Wharton MS." D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"quakes   Wharton MS."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 252.

14.6 shakes,)] "quakes The [...] reading[] [is] [...]" A.L. Poole/L. Whibley, 1950 [1st ed. 1919].

"quakes The [...] reading[] [is] in the Wharton MS."

The Poems of Gray and Collins. Edited by Austin Lane Poole. Revised by Leonard Whibley. Third edition. Oxford editions of standard authors series. London: Oxford UP, 1937, reprinted 1950 [1st ed. 1919], 173.

14.6 shakes,)] "quakes Wh[arton transcript, Egerton MS.]." H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"quakes Wh[arton transcript, Egerton MS.]."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 32.

14.6 shakes,)] "quakes   Wharton." R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"quakes   Wharton."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 223.

Contribute a note or query

15 Till full before his fearless eyes
16 The portals nine of hell arise. 3 Explanatory

16.2-3 portals nine] "added by Gray, see on [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"added by Gray, see on l. 4."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 252.

16.2-3 portals nine] "The ancient literature does not [...]" H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"The ancient literature does not give a specific number. Gray, as his note on Hela (l. 4) indicates, thought that the underworld of Norse mythology comprised nine 'worlds' (i.e. regions). This belief apparently rests on Snorri's statement (Gylfaginning, ch. xxxiv) that Odin gave Hel 'power over nine worlds'. However, this would seem more likely to refer to the nine worlds that composed the universe as mentioned in Voluspa, st. 2 (Asgard, the world of the AEsir; Vanaheim, the world of the Vanir; Alfheim, the world of the elves; Midgard, the world of Men; Jotunheim, the world of the giants; Muspellsheim, the world of fire; Svartalfaheim, the world of the black elves [dwarfs?]; Niflheim, the world of the dead; and a ninth that seems to have no name). In other words, it is a poetic statement of the common Germanic belief in the mortality of the physical world and all its inhabitants - all are in the power of the Goddess of Death. The editors have not been able to determine whether Gray got the idea directly from Snorri or from some secondary source."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 219.

16.2-3 portals nine] "The phrase is G[ray].'s own, [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"The phrase is G[ray].'s own, referring to the nine worlds of Hell (see l. 4 n above) among which Hela distributed the dead."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 223.

Contribute a note or query


17 Right against the eastern gate, 4 Explanatory

17.1-5 Right ... gate,] "The line is from Milton's [...]" W. Lyon Phelps, 1894.

"The line is from Milton's L'Allegro, 59."

Selections from the Poetry and Prose of Thomas Gray. Ed. with an introduction and notes by William Lyon Phelps. The Athenaeum press series. Boston: Ginn & company, 1894, 168.

17.1-5 Right ... gate,] "A line from L'Allegro, l. [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"A line from L'Allegro, l. 59 - as Mitford points out; but in a very different setting: ''Right against the eastern gate, / Where the great Sun begins his state.''"

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 252.

17.1 - 26.5 Right ... sound.] "There is scarcely anything to [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"There is scarcely anything to separate these lines in the diction and rhythmic expression from Scott. Short as they are these two Norse Odes, but particularly The Descent of Odin, permanently influenced him, and perhaps directly or indirectly helped to determine the choice of the measure in which the narrative part of his best known 'Lays' is in the main set. We constantly hear from him the echoes* [*Footnote: The resemblance is noted, I find, by the Earl of Carlisle.] of such lines as

''Where long of yore to sleep was laid
The durst of the prophetic Maid,''
or ''The thrilling verse that wakes the dead*.''
[*Footnote: In 1792 Scott had transcribed the Vegtams Kvitha, the Norse Original, the Latin of Bartholin and the English of Gray, with an account appended of the death of Balder from the Edda and other sources.]
When he had shown his translation of Burger's Lenore to his friend's sister, Miss Cranstoun, she wrote, ''Upon my word Walter Scott is going to turn out a poet, - something of a cross I think between Burns and Gray.'' No doubt she had these Norse Odes in mind in naming Gray; and in naming Burns too, probably she thought of Tam O'Shanter. In the young Harold of the Lay of the Last Minstrel (Canto VI. st. 22), Scott described the sources of his own inspiration: for instance, the Saga that told
''Of those dread Maids, whose hideous yell
Maddens the battle's bloody swell,''
(he refers us in a note to Gray's Fatal Sisters); adding however, how
''... by sweet glen and greenwood tree
He learn'd a milder minstrelsy,
Yet something of the Northern spell
Mix'd with the softer numbers well.''
Compare with The Fatal Sisters the Song of Harold Harfager in The Pirate, Chap. XV."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 252.

17.1-5 Right ... gate,] "Cp. Milton, L'Allegro 59: 'Right [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Cp. Milton, L'Allegro 59: 'Right against the Eastern gate'."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 224.

Contribute a note or query

18 By the moss-grown pile he sate, 1 Explanatory

17.1 - 26.5 Right ... sound.] "There is scarcely anything to [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"There is scarcely anything to separate these lines in the diction and rhythmic expression from Scott. Short as they are these two Norse Odes, but particularly The Descent of Odin, permanently influenced him, and perhaps directly or indirectly helped to determine the choice of the measure in which the narrative part of his best known 'Lays' is in the main set. We constantly hear from him the echoes* [*Footnote: The resemblance is noted, I find, by the Earl of Carlisle.] of such lines as

''Where long of yore to sleep was laid
The durst of the prophetic Maid,''
or ''The thrilling verse that wakes the dead*.''
[*Footnote: In 1792 Scott had transcribed the Vegtams Kvitha, the Norse Original, the Latin of Bartholin and the English of Gray, with an account appended of the death of Balder from the Edda and other sources.]
When he had shown his translation of Burger's Lenore to his friend's sister, Miss Cranstoun, she wrote, ''Upon my word Walter Scott is going to turn out a poet, - something of a cross I think between Burns and Gray.'' No doubt she had these Norse Odes in mind in naming Gray; and in naming Burns too, probably she thought of Tam O'Shanter. In the young Harold of the Lay of the Last Minstrel (Canto VI. st. 22), Scott described the sources of his own inspiration: for instance, the Saga that told
''Of those dread Maids, whose hideous yell
Maddens the battle's bloody swell,''
(he refers us in a note to Gray's Fatal Sisters); adding however, how
''... by sweet glen and greenwood tree
He learn'd a milder minstrelsy,
Yet something of the Northern spell
Mix'd with the softer numbers well.''
Compare with The Fatal Sisters the Song of Harold Harfager in The Pirate, Chap. XV."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 252.

Contribute a note or query

19 Where long of yore to sleep was laid 1 Explanatory

17.1 - 26.5 Right ... sound.] "There is scarcely anything to [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"There is scarcely anything to separate these lines in the diction and rhythmic expression from Scott. Short as they are these two Norse Odes, but particularly The Descent of Odin, permanently influenced him, and perhaps directly or indirectly helped to determine the choice of the measure in which the narrative part of his best known 'Lays' is in the main set. We constantly hear from him the echoes* [*Footnote: The resemblance is noted, I find, by the Earl of Carlisle.] of such lines as

''Where long of yore to sleep was laid
The durst of the prophetic Maid,''
or ''The thrilling verse that wakes the dead*.''
[*Footnote: In 1792 Scott had transcribed the Vegtams Kvitha, the Norse Original, the Latin of Bartholin and the English of Gray, with an account appended of the death of Balder from the Edda and other sources.]
When he had shown his translation of Burger's Lenore to his friend's sister, Miss Cranstoun, she wrote, ''Upon my word Walter Scott is going to turn out a poet, - something of a cross I think between Burns and Gray.'' No doubt she had these Norse Odes in mind in naming Gray; and in naming Burns too, probably she thought of Tam O'Shanter. In the young Harold of the Lay of the Last Minstrel (Canto VI. st. 22), Scott described the sources of his own inspiration: for instance, the Saga that told
''Of those dread Maids, whose hideous yell
Maddens the battle's bloody swell,''
(he refers us in a note to Gray's Fatal Sisters); adding however, how
''... by sweet glen and greenwood tree
He learn'd a milder minstrelsy,
Yet something of the Northern spell
Mix'd with the softer numbers well.''
Compare with The Fatal Sisters the Song of Harold Harfager in The Pirate, Chap. XV."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 252.

Contribute a note or query

20 The dust of the prophetic maid. 2 Explanatory

17.1 - 26.5 Right ... sound.] "There is scarcely anything to [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"There is scarcely anything to separate these lines in the diction and rhythmic expression from Scott. Short as they are these two Norse Odes, but particularly The Descent of Odin, permanently influenced him, and perhaps directly or indirectly helped to determine the choice of the measure in which the narrative part of his best known 'Lays' is in the main set. We constantly hear from him the echoes* [*Footnote: The resemblance is noted, I find, by the Earl of Carlisle.] of such lines as

''Where long of yore to sleep was laid
The durst of the prophetic Maid,''
or ''The thrilling verse that wakes the dead*.''
[*Footnote: In 1792 Scott had transcribed the Vegtams Kvitha, the Norse Original, the Latin of Bartholin and the English of Gray, with an account appended of the death of Balder from the Edda and other sources.]
When he had shown his translation of Burger's Lenore to his friend's sister, Miss Cranstoun, she wrote, ''Upon my word Walter Scott is going to turn out a poet, - something of a cross I think between Burns and Gray.'' No doubt she had these Norse Odes in mind in naming Gray; and in naming Burns too, probably she thought of Tam O'Shanter. In the young Harold of the Lay of the Last Minstrel (Canto VI. st. 22), Scott described the sources of his own inspiration: for instance, the Saga that told
''Of those dread Maids, whose hideous yell
Maddens the battle's bloody swell,''
(he refers us in a note to Gray's Fatal Sisters); adding however, how
''... by sweet glen and greenwood tree
He learn'd a milder minstrelsy,
Yet something of the Northern spell
Mix'd with the softer numbers well.''
Compare with The Fatal Sisters the Song of Harold Harfager in The Pirate, Chap. XV."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 252.

20.5-6 prophetic maid.] "'the Prophetic Maid', Dryden, Aeneid [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"'the Prophetic Maid', Dryden, Aeneid ii 464."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 224.

Contribute a note or query

21 Facing to the northern clime, 3 Explanatory

17.1 - 26.5 Right ... sound.] "There is scarcely anything to [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"There is scarcely anything to separate these lines in the diction and rhythmic expression from Scott. Short as they are these two Norse Odes, but particularly The Descent of Odin, permanently influenced him, and perhaps directly or indirectly helped to determine the choice of the measure in which the narrative part of his best known 'Lays' is in the main set. We constantly hear from him the echoes* [*Footnote: The resemblance is noted, I find, by the Earl of Carlisle.] of such lines as

''Where long of yore to sleep was laid
The durst of the prophetic Maid,''
or ''The thrilling verse that wakes the dead*.''
[*Footnote: In 1792 Scott had transcribed the Vegtams Kvitha, the Norse Original, the Latin of Bartholin and the English of Gray, with an account appended of the death of Balder from the Edda and other sources.]
When he had shown his translation of Burger's Lenore to his friend's sister, Miss Cranstoun, she wrote, ''Upon my word Walter Scott is going to turn out a poet, - something of a cross I think between Burns and Gray.'' No doubt she had these Norse Odes in mind in naming Gray; and in naming Burns too, probably she thought of Tam O'Shanter. In the young Harold of the Lay of the Last Minstrel (Canto VI. st. 22), Scott described the sources of his own inspiration: for instance, the Saga that told
''Of those dread Maids, whose hideous yell
Maddens the battle's bloody swell,''
(he refers us in a note to Gray's Fatal Sisters); adding however, how
''... by sweet glen and greenwood tree
He learn'd a milder minstrelsy,
Yet something of the Northern spell
Mix'd with the softer numbers well.''
Compare with The Fatal Sisters the Song of Harold Harfager in The Pirate, Chap. XV."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 252.

21.1-5 Facing ... clime,] "For this line there seems [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"For this line there seems to be no warrant in the original ap. Vigfusson and Powell. Whoever interpolated the text which Bartholin translated perhaps forgot that Odin had reached Hela, and that the reason for turning to the north, viz. that Hela lay northwards, was, in the instance of his spell, wanting."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 252/253.

21.5 clime,] "Grk. [Greek words (omitted)] is [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"Grk. [Greek words (omitted)] is the supposed slope of the earth from the equator to the pole, and hence means region, any notion of temperature is secondary. Gray uses it with some idea of regio, used, in the language of Roman augury, for the line marking segments of earth or sky in divination."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 253.

Contribute a note or query

22 Thrice he traced the runic rhyme; 6 Explanatory

17.1 - 26.5 Right ... sound.] "There is scarcely anything to [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"There is scarcely anything to separate these lines in the diction and rhythmic expression from Scott. Short as they are these two Norse Odes, but particularly The Descent of Odin, permanently influenced him, and perhaps directly or indirectly helped to determine the choice of the measure in which the narrative part of his best known 'Lays' is in the main set. We constantly hear from him the echoes* [*Footnote: The resemblance is noted, I find, by the Earl of Carlisle.] of such lines as

''Where long of yore to sleep was laid
The durst of the prophetic Maid,''
or ''The thrilling verse that wakes the dead*.''
[*Footnote: In 1792 Scott had transcribed the Vegtams Kvitha, the Norse Original, the Latin of Bartholin and the English of Gray, with an account appended of the death of Balder from the Edda and other sources.]
When he had shown his translation of Burger's Lenore to his friend's sister, Miss Cranstoun, she wrote, ''Upon my word Walter Scott is going to turn out a poet, - something of a cross I think between Burns and Gray.'' No doubt she had these Norse Odes in mind in naming Gray; and in naming Burns too, probably she thought of Tam O'Shanter. In the young Harold of the Lay of the Last Minstrel (Canto VI. st. 22), Scott described the sources of his own inspiration: for instance, the Saga that told
''Of those dread Maids, whose hideous yell
Maddens the battle's bloody swell,''
(he refers us in a note to Gray's Fatal Sisters); adding however, how
''... by sweet glen and greenwood tree
He learn'd a milder minstrelsy,
Yet something of the Northern spell
Mix'd with the softer numbers well.''
Compare with The Fatal Sisters the Song of Harold Harfager in The Pirate, Chap. XV."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 252.

22.1-6 Thrice ... rhyme;] "Runic is a term applied [...]" W. Lyon Phelps, 1894.

"Runic is a term applied to alphabets used by the Scandinavians and other Germanic races before the adoption of the Roman letters. Magic power was often attributed to runes. In an interpretation in the original (which stood in Bartholin's text), Odin is apparently represented as ''laying runes'' on the tomb (though the word runes is not used), but the text is quite as vague as Gray's ''traced.'' Bartholin translates ''Literas (tumulo) imposuit,'' which Gray seems to have taken as meaning that spells were written on the tomb by Odin. Gray's information about the magic powers of runes was derived from Bartholin, pp. 641 ff."

Selections from the Poetry and Prose of Thomas Gray. Ed. with an introduction and notes by William Lyon Phelps. The Athenaeum press series. Boston: Ginn & company, 1894, 168.

22.1-6 Thrice ... rhyme;] "In a little poem called [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"In a little poem called the ''Magic of Odin'' (Bartholinus, p. 641), Odin says, ''If I see a man dead, and hanging aloft on a tree, I engrave Runic characters so wonderful, that the man immediately descends and converses with me. When I see magicians travelling through the air, I disconcert them with a single look, and force them to abandon their enterprise.'' - Mitford."

The Poetical Works of Thomas Gray: English and Latin. Edited with an introduction, life, notes and a bibliography by John Bradshaw. Reprinted edition. The Aldine edition of the British poets series. London: George Bell and sons, 1903 [1st edition 1891], 207.

22.1 Thrice] "A touch added by Gray [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"A touch added by Gray (cf. the Latin l. 28) from Greek, Roman, and perhaps almost every superstition. ''Thrice the brinded cat hath mewed.'' Macbeth, IV. 1. 17. Notice that Gray omits the 'tumulo' which Bartholin has inserted to explain the Norse; but in fact the whole line is an interpolation of which, say the American editors, the text is quite as vague as Gray's 'traced.' Probably 'graved' was meant. Mitford says, ''In a little poem called the Magic of Odin, see Bartholinus (p. 641), Odin says, 'If I see a man dead, and hanging aloft on a tree, I engrave Runic characters so wonderful, that the man immediately descends and converses with me.' '' The fragment of a Spell Song ap. Vigfusson and Powell, which tells of the origin of Runes, begins ''The Sage read them, graved them.'' Egil (Green's Egilssaga, c. 75) recovers a sick woman by graving spell-words in runes."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 253.

22.1 - 23.1 Thrice ... Thrice] "The emphatic 'thrice' is introduced [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"The emphatic 'thrice' is introduced by G[ray]."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 224.

22.5 runic] "'Runic is a term applied [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"'Runic is a term applied to alphabets used by the Scandinavians and other Germanic races before the adoption of the Roman letters.' P. and K."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 253.

Contribute a note or query

23 Thrice pronounced, in accents dread, 3 Explanatory, 6 Textual

17.1 - 26.5 Right ... sound.] "There is scarcely anything to [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"There is scarcely anything to separate these lines in the diction and rhythmic expression from Scott. Short as they are these two Norse Odes, but particularly The Descent of Odin, permanently influenced him, and perhaps directly or indirectly helped to determine the choice of the measure in which the narrative part of his best known 'Lays' is in the main set. We constantly hear from him the echoes* [*Footnote: The resemblance is noted, I find, by the Earl of Carlisle.] of such lines as

''Where long of yore to sleep was laid
The durst of the prophetic Maid,''
or ''The thrilling verse that wakes the dead*.''
[*Footnote: In 1792 Scott had transcribed the Vegtams Kvitha, the Norse Original, the Latin of Bartholin and the English of Gray, with an account appended of the death of Balder from the Edda and other sources.]
When he had shown his translation of Burger's Lenore to his friend's sister, Miss Cranstoun, she wrote, ''Upon my word Walter Scott is going to turn out a poet, - something of a cross I think between Burns and Gray.'' No doubt she had these Norse Odes in mind in naming Gray; and in naming Burns too, probably she thought of Tam O'Shanter. In the young Harold of the Lay of the Last Minstrel (Canto VI. st. 22), Scott described the sources of his own inspiration: for instance, the Saga that told
''Of those dread Maids, whose hideous yell
Maddens the battle's bloody swell,''
(he refers us in a note to Gray's Fatal Sisters); adding however, how
''... by sweet glen and greenwood tree
He learn'd a milder minstrelsy,
Yet something of the Northern spell
Mix'd with the softer numbers well.''
Compare with The Fatal Sisters the Song of Harold Harfager in The Pirate, Chap. XV."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 252.

22.1 - 23.1 Thrice ... Thrice] "The emphatic 'thrice' is introduced [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"The emphatic 'thrice' is introduced by G[ray]."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 224.

23.1-5 Thrice ... dread,] "'Prophesying with accents terrible', Macbeth [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"'Prophesying with accents terrible', Macbeth II iii 55."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 224.

23.4 accents] "Murmurs. - Wharton MS." E. Gosse, 1884.

"Murmurs. - Wharton MS."

The Works of Thomas Gray: In Prose and Verse. Ed. by Edmund Gosse, in four vols. London: MacMillan and Co., 1884, vol. i, 62.

23.4 accents] "Murmurs. Various reading[] in the [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"Murmurs. Various reading[] in the Wharton MS."

The Poetical Works of Thomas Gray: English and Latin. Edited with an introduction, life, notes and a bibliography by John Bradshaw. Reprinted edition. The Aldine edition of the British poets series. London: George Bell and sons, 1903 [1st edition 1891], 209.

23.4 accents] "Murmurs   Wharton MS." D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"Murmurs   Wharton MS."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 253.

23.4 accents] "murmurs The [...] reading[] [is] [...]" A.L. Poole/L. Whibley, 1950 [1st ed. 1919].

"murmurs The [...] reading[] [is] in the Wharton MS."

The Poems of Gray and Collins. Edited by Austin Lane Poole. Revised by Leonard Whibley. Third edition. Oxford editions of standard authors series. London: Oxford UP, 1937, reprinted 1950 [1st ed. 1919], 173.

23.4 accents] "murmurs Wh[arton transcript, Egerton MS.]." H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"murmurs Wh[arton transcript, Egerton MS.]."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 32.

23.4 accents] "murmurs   Wharton." R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"murmurs   Wharton."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 224.

Contribute a note or query

24 The thrilling verse that wakes the dead; 6 Explanatory

17.1 - 26.5 Right ... sound.] "There is scarcely anything to [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"There is scarcely anything to separate these lines in the diction and rhythmic expression from Scott. Short as they are these two Norse Odes, but particularly The Descent of Odin, permanently influenced him, and perhaps directly or indirectly helped to determine the choice of the measure in which the narrative part of his best known 'Lays' is in the main set. We constantly hear from him the echoes* [*Footnote: The resemblance is noted, I find, by the Earl of Carlisle.] of such lines as

''Where long of yore to sleep was laid
The durst of the prophetic Maid,''
or ''The thrilling verse that wakes the dead*.''
[*Footnote: In 1792 Scott had transcribed the Vegtams Kvitha, the Norse Original, the Latin of Bartholin and the English of Gray, with an account appended of the death of Balder from the Edda and other sources.]
When he had shown his translation of Burger's Lenore to his friend's sister, Miss Cranstoun, she wrote, ''Upon my word Walter Scott is going to turn out a poet, - something of a cross I think between Burns and Gray.'' No doubt she had these Norse Odes in mind in naming Gray; and in naming Burns too, probably she thought of Tam O'Shanter. In the young Harold of the Lay of the Last Minstrel (Canto VI. st. 22), Scott described the sources of his own inspiration: for instance, the Saga that told
''Of those dread Maids, whose hideous yell
Maddens the battle's bloody swell,''
(he refers us in a note to Gray's Fatal Sisters); adding however, how
''... by sweet glen and greenwood tree
He learn'd a milder minstrelsy,
Yet something of the Northern spell
Mix'd with the softer numbers well.''
Compare with The Fatal Sisters the Song of Harold Harfager in The Pirate, Chap. XV."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 252.

24.1-7 The ... dead;] "P. and K. say the [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"P. and K. say the note [to this line] is from Bartholin, p. 640."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 253.

24.1-7 The ... dead;] "The original word is Vallgaldr; [...]" H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"The original word is Vallgaldr; from Valr mortuus, & Galdr incantatio. [Footnote added by Mason from Gray's C[ommonplace] B[ook].]"

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 219.

24.3 verse] "The original word is Valgalldr; [...]" E. Gosse, 1884.

"The original word is Valgalldr; from Valr mortuus, and Galldr incantatio. - [Gray. MS.]"

The Works of Thomas Gray: In Prose and Verse. Ed. by Edmund Gosse, in four vols. London: MacMillan and Co., 1884, vol. i, 62.

24.3-7 verse ... dead;] "''The original word is Valgalldr [...]" W. Lyon Phelps, 1894.

"''The original word is Valgalldr [read valgaldr]; from Valr, mortuus, and Galldr [read galdr], incantatio.'' Gray (as extracted by Mason from the MS.). Gray's note is from Bartholin, p. 640. The etymology is correct."

Selections from the Poetry and Prose of Thomas Gray. Ed. with an introduction and notes by William Lyon Phelps. The Athenaeum press series. Boston: Ginn & company, 1894, 168/169.

24.3-7 verse ... dead;] "The original word is Valgalldr; [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"The original word is Valgalldr; from Val, mortuus, and Galldr, incantatio. [Note in Gray's Commonplace Book, Pembroke MSS.]"

The Poetical Works of Thomas Gray: English and Latin. Edited with an introduction, life, notes and a bibliography by John Bradshaw. Reprinted edition. The Aldine edition of the British poets series. London: George Bell and sons, 1903 [1st edition 1891], 207.

Contribute a note or query

25 Till from out the hollow ground 2 Explanatory

17.1 - 26.5 Right ... sound.] "There is scarcely anything to [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"There is scarcely anything to separate these lines in the diction and rhythmic expression from Scott. Short as they are these two Norse Odes, but particularly The Descent of Odin, permanently influenced him, and perhaps directly or indirectly helped to determine the choice of the measure in which the narrative part of his best known 'Lays' is in the main set. We constantly hear from him the echoes* [*Footnote: The resemblance is noted, I find, by the Earl of Carlisle.] of such lines as

''Where long of yore to sleep was laid
The durst of the prophetic Maid,''
or ''The thrilling verse that wakes the dead*.''
[*Footnote: In 1792 Scott had transcribed the Vegtams Kvitha, the Norse Original, the Latin of Bartholin and the English of Gray, with an account appended of the death of Balder from the Edda and other sources.]
When he had shown his translation of Burger's Lenore to his friend's sister, Miss Cranstoun, she wrote, ''Upon my word Walter Scott is going to turn out a poet, - something of a cross I think between Burns and Gray.'' No doubt she had these Norse Odes in mind in naming Gray; and in naming Burns too, probably she thought of Tam O'Shanter. In the young Harold of the Lay of the Last Minstrel (Canto VI. st. 22), Scott described the sources of his own inspiration: for instance, the Saga that told
''Of those dread Maids, whose hideous yell
Maddens the battle's bloody swell,''
(he refers us in a note to Gray's Fatal Sisters); adding however, how
''... by sweet glen and greenwood tree
He learn'd a milder minstrelsy,
Yet something of the Northern spell
Mix'd with the softer numbers well.''
Compare with The Fatal Sisters the Song of Harold Harfager in The Pirate, Chap. XV."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 252.

25.5-6 hollow ground] "'the hollow ground', Spenser, Faerie [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"'the hollow ground', Spenser, Faerie Queene II vii 20, 8 and VI x 10, 4; Richard II III ii 140; Romeo and Juliet V iii 4; Dryden, Aeneid viii 324."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 224.

Contribute a note or query

26 Slowly breathed a sullen sound. 3 Explanatory

17.1 - 26.5 Right ... sound.] "There is scarcely anything to [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"There is scarcely anything to separate these lines in the diction and rhythmic expression from Scott. Short as they are these two Norse Odes, but particularly The Descent of Odin, permanently influenced him, and perhaps directly or indirectly helped to determine the choice of the measure in which the narrative part of his best known 'Lays' is in the main set. We constantly hear from him the echoes* [*Footnote: The resemblance is noted, I find, by the Earl of Carlisle.] of such lines as

''Where long of yore to sleep was laid
The durst of the prophetic Maid,''
or ''The thrilling verse that wakes the dead*.''
[*Footnote: In 1792 Scott had transcribed the Vegtams Kvitha, the Norse Original, the Latin of Bartholin and the English of Gray, with an account appended of the death of Balder from the Edda and other sources.]
When he had shown his translation of Burger's Lenore to his friend's sister, Miss Cranstoun, she wrote, ''Upon my word Walter Scott is going to turn out a poet, - something of a cross I think between Burns and Gray.'' No doubt she had these Norse Odes in mind in naming Gray; and in naming Burns too, probably she thought of Tam O'Shanter. In the young Harold of the Lay of the Last Minstrel (Canto VI. st. 22), Scott described the sources of his own inspiration: for instance, the Saga that told
''Of those dread Maids, whose hideous yell
Maddens the battle's bloody swell,''
(he refers us in a note to Gray's Fatal Sisters); adding however, how
''... by sweet glen and greenwood tree
He learn'd a milder minstrelsy,
Yet something of the Northern spell
Mix'd with the softer numbers well.''
Compare with The Fatal Sisters the Song of Harold Harfager in The Pirate, Chap. XV."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 252.

26.1-5 Slowly ... sound.] " ''Mine ear but heard [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

" ''Mine ear but heard the sullen sound
Which like an earthquake shook the ground,''
      Scott, Lady of the Lake, Canto VI. 19"

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 253.

26.4-5 sullen sound.] "'a sullen sound', Dryden, Palamon [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"'a sullen sound', Dryden, Palamon and Arcite iii 371."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 224.

Contribute a note or query


27 Pr[ophetess]. What call unknown, what charms, presume 4 Explanatory, 6 Textual

27.1 - 30.8 Pr[ophetess]. ... night?] "The seeress' unwillingness to be [...]" W. Lyon Phelps, 1894.

"The seeress' unwillingness to be disturbed recalls the words of Samuel when evoked by the Witch of Endor: ''Why hast thou disquieted me to bring me up?'' 1 Samuel, xxviii, 15. The idea is familiar to all nations."

Selections from the Poetry and Prose of Thomas Gray. Ed. with an introduction and notes by William Lyon Phelps. The Athenaeum press series. Boston: Ginn & company, 1894, 169.

27.1 - 28.7 Pr[ophetess]. ... tomb?] "The seeress' unwillingness to be [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"The seeress' unwillingness to be disturbed recalls the words of Samuel when evoked by the Witch of Endor, ''Why hast thou disquieted me to bring me up?'' 1 Sam. xxviii. 15. The idea is familiar to all nations.   Phelps."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 253.

27.1-7 Pr[ophetess]. ... presume] "There are no superscriptions indicating [...]" H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"There are no superscriptions indicating the speakers in the original."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 219.

27.1 - 30.8 Pr[ophetess]. ... night?] "G[ray]. here, as later in [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"G[ray]. here, as later in the poem (see 34, 82-3 below), echoes a song from Dryden's King Arthur, in which Cupid confronts the Genius of Winter. (G. described with great enthusiasm a performance of King Arthur in a letter to Walpole in Jan. 1736, Corresp i 37. He thought the 'Frost Scene', in which this song occurs, 'excessive fine'.) Cp. the 'Song' 5-7: 'What Power art thou, who from below, / Hast made me Rise, unwillingly, and slow, / From Beds of Everlasting Snow!'"

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 224.

27.2-4 What ... unknown,] "What voice unknown. - Wharton [...]" E. Gosse, 1884.

"What voice unknown. - Wharton MS."

The Works of Thomas Gray: In Prose and Verse. Ed. by Edmund Gosse, in four vols. London: MacMillan and Co., 1884, vol. i, 62.

27.3 call] "Voice. Various reading[] in the [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"Voice. Various reading[] in the Wharton MS."

The Poetical Works of Thomas Gray: English and Latin. Edited with an introduction, life, notes and a bibliography by John Bradshaw. Reprinted edition. The Aldine edition of the British poets series. London: George Bell and sons, 1903 [1st edition 1891], 209.

27.3 call] "voice   Wharton MS." D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"voice   Wharton MS."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 253.

27.3 call] "voice The [...] reading[] [is] [...]" A.L. Poole/L. Whibley, 1950 [1st ed. 1919].

"voice The [...] reading[] [is] in the Wharton MS."

The Poems of Gray and Collins. Edited by Austin Lane Poole. Revised by Leonard Whibley. Third edition. Oxford editions of standard authors series. London: Oxford UP, 1937, reprinted 1950 [1st ed. 1919], 173.

27.3 call] "voice Wh[arton transcript, Egerton MS.]." H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"voice Wh[arton transcript, Egerton MS.]."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 33.

27.3 call] "voice   Wharton." R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"voice   Wharton."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 224.

Contribute a note or query

28 To break the quiet of the tomb? 3 Explanatory

27.1 - 30.8 Pr[ophetess]. ... night?] "The seeress' unwillingness to be [...]" W. Lyon Phelps, 1894.

"The seeress' unwillingness to be disturbed recalls the words of Samuel when evoked by the Witch of Endor: ''Why hast thou disquieted me to bring me up?'' 1 Samuel, xxviii, 15. The idea is familiar to all nations."

Selections from the Poetry and Prose of Thomas Gray. Ed. with an introduction and notes by William Lyon Phelps. The Athenaeum press series. Boston: Ginn & company, 1894, 169.

27.1 - 28.7 Pr[ophetess]. ... tomb?] "The seeress' unwillingness to be [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"The seeress' unwillingness to be disturbed recalls the words of Samuel when evoked by the Witch of Endor, ''Why hast thou disquieted me to bring me up?'' 1 Sam. xxviii. 15. The idea is familiar to all nations.   Phelps."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 253.

27.1 - 30.8 Pr[ophetess]. ... night?] "G[ray]. here, as later in [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"G[ray]. here, as later in the poem (see 34, 82-3 below), echoes a song from Dryden's King Arthur, in which Cupid confronts the Genius of Winter. (G. described with great enthusiasm a performance of King Arthur in a letter to Walpole in Jan. 1736, Corresp i 37. He thought the 'Frost Scene', in which this song occurs, 'excessive fine'.) Cp. the 'Song' 5-7: 'What Power art thou, who from below, / Hast made me Rise, unwillingly, and slow, / From Beds of Everlasting Snow!'"

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 224.

Contribute a note or query

29 Who thus afflicts my troubled sprite, 3 Explanatory, 6 Textual

27.1 - 30.8 Pr[ophetess]. ... night?] "The seeress' unwillingness to be [...]" W. Lyon Phelps, 1894.

"The seeress' unwillingness to be disturbed recalls the words of Samuel when evoked by the Witch of Endor: ''Why hast thou disquieted me to bring me up?'' 1 Samuel, xxviii, 15. The idea is familiar to all nations."

Selections from the Poetry and Prose of Thomas Gray. Ed. with an introduction and notes by William Lyon Phelps. The Athenaeum press series. Boston: Ginn & company, 1894, 169.

27.1 - 30.8 Pr[ophetess]. ... night?] "G[ray]. here, as later in [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"G[ray]. here, as later in the poem (see 34, 82-3 below), echoes a song from Dryden's King Arthur, in which Cupid confronts the Genius of Winter. (G. described with great enthusiasm a performance of King Arthur in a letter to Walpole in Jan. 1736, Corresp i 37. He thought the 'Frost Scene', in which this song occurs, 'excessive fine'.) Cp. the 'Song' 5-7: 'What Power art thou, who from below, / Hast made me Rise, unwillingly, and slow, / From Beds of Everlasting Snow!'"

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 224.

29.4-5 my troubled] "A weary. - Wharton MS." E. Gosse, 1884.

"A weary. - Wharton MS."

The Works of Thomas Gray: In Prose and Verse. Ed. by Edmund Gosse, in four vols. London: MacMillan and Co., 1884, vol. i, 62.

29.4-5 my troubled] "A weary. Various reading[] in [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"A weary. Various reading[] in the Wharton MS."

The Poetical Works of Thomas Gray: English and Latin. Edited with an introduction, life, notes and a bibliography by John Bradshaw. Reprinted edition. The Aldine edition of the British poets series. London: George Bell and sons, 1903 [1st edition 1891], 209.

29.4-5 my troubled] "a weary   Wharton MS." D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"a weary   Wharton MS."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 253.

29.4-5 my troubled] "a weary The [...] reading[] [...]" A.L. Poole/L. Whibley, 1950 [1st ed. 1919].

"a weary The [...] reading[] [is] in the Wharton MS."

The Poems of Gray and Collins. Edited by Austin Lane Poole. Revised by Leonard Whibley. Third edition. Oxford editions of standard authors series. London: Oxford UP, 1937, reprinted 1950 [1st ed. 1919], 173.

29.4-5 my troubled] "a weary Wh[arton transcript, Egerton [...]" H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"a weary Wh[arton transcript, Egerton MS.]."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 33.

29.4-5 my troubled] "a weary   Wharton." R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"a weary   Wharton."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 224.

29.5-6 troubled sprite,] "Cp. Faerie Queene V viii [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Cp. Faerie Queene V viii 45, 5: 'it much appald her troubled spright'."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 224.

Contribute a note or query

30 And drags me from the realms of night? 3 Explanatory

27.1 - 30.8 Pr[ophetess]. ... night?] "The seeress' unwillingness to be [...]" W. Lyon Phelps, 1894.

"The seeress' unwillingness to be disturbed recalls the words of Samuel when evoked by the Witch of Endor: ''Why hast thou disquieted me to bring me up?'' 1 Samuel, xxviii, 15. The idea is familiar to all nations."

Selections from the Poetry and Prose of Thomas Gray. Ed. with an introduction and notes by William Lyon Phelps. The Athenaeum press series. Boston: Ginn & company, 1894, 169.

27.1 - 30.8 Pr[ophetess]. ... night?] "G[ray]. here, as later in [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"G[ray]. here, as later in the poem (see 34, 82-3 below), echoes a song from Dryden's King Arthur, in which Cupid confronts the Genius of Winter. (G. described with great enthusiasm a performance of King Arthur in a letter to Walpole in Jan. 1736, Corresp i 37. He thought the 'Frost Scene', in which this song occurs, 'excessive fine'.) Cp. the 'Song' 5-7: 'What Power art thou, who from below, / Hast made me Rise, unwillingly, and slow, / From Beds of Everlasting Snow!'"

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 224.

30.6-8 realms ... night?] "Cp. 'the Realm of night', [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Cp. 'the Realm of night', Par. Lost ii 133; Dryden, Aeneid vi 529, 1136."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 224.

Contribute a note or query

31 Long on these mouldering bones have beat 1 Explanatory

31.1 - 33.6 Long ... rain!] " ''the bones of men [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

" ''the bones of men
........................
...bleached by drifting wind and rain.''
      Scott, Lady of the Lake, III. 5."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 253.

Contribute a note or query

32 The winter's snow, the summer's heat, 2 Explanatory

31.1 - 33.6 Long ... rain!] " ''the bones of men [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

" ''the bones of men
........................
...bleached by drifting wind and rain.''
      Scott, Lady of the Lake, III. 5."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 253.

32.1 - 33.6 The ... rain!] "'In winter's cold and summer's [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"'In winter's cold and summer's parching heat', II Henry VI I i 76; 'The scorching Sun had born, and beating Rain', Dryden, Flower and the Leaf 408; 'To scorn the Summer Suns and Winter snows', Prior, Ode to the Memory of Col. Villiers 11. Cp. also 'driving Rain', Dryden, Georgics i 301, and Collins, Ode to Evening 33 (p. 466 below); 'drenches with Elysian dew', Milton, Comus 996; and 'drenching rains', Nahum Tate, Absalom and Achitophel pt ii 1118."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 224/225.

Contribute a note or query

33 The drenching dews, and driving rain! 2 Explanatory

31.1 - 33.6 Long ... rain!] " ''the bones of men [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

" ''the bones of men
........................
...bleached by drifting wind and rain.''
      Scott, Lady of the Lake, III. 5."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 253.

32.1 - 33.6 The ... rain!] "'In winter's cold and summer's [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"'In winter's cold and summer's parching heat', II Henry VI I i 76; 'The scorching Sun had born, and beating Rain', Dryden, Flower and the Leaf 408; 'To scorn the Summer Suns and Winter snows', Prior, Ode to the Memory of Col. Villiers 11. Cp. also 'driving Rain', Dryden, Georgics i 301, and Collins, Ode to Evening 33 (p. 466 below); 'drenches with Elysian dew', Milton, Comus 996; and 'drenching rains', Nahum Tate, Absalom and Achitophel pt ii 1118."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 224/225.

Contribute a note or query

34 Let me, let me sleep again. 1 Explanatory

34.1-6 Let ... again.] "Cp. 'Song' from King Arthur [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Cp. 'Song' from King Arthur 11 (see ll. 27-30 n): 'Let me, let me, Freeze again to Death'."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 225.

Contribute a note or query

35 Who is he, with voice unblest, 6 Textual

35.3 he,] "This. - Wharton MS." E. Gosse, 1884.

"This. - Wharton MS."

The Works of Thomas Gray: In Prose and Verse. Ed. by Edmund Gosse, in four vols. London: MacMillan and Co., 1884, vol. i, 62.

35.3 he,] "This. Various reading[] in the [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"This. Various reading[] in the Wharton MS."

The Poetical Works of Thomas Gray: English and Latin. Edited with an introduction, life, notes and a bibliography by John Bradshaw. Reprinted edition. The Aldine edition of the British poets series. London: George Bell and sons, 1903 [1st edition 1891], 209.

35.3 he,] "this,   Wharton MS." D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"this,   Wharton MS."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 254.

35.3 he,] "this The [...] reading[] [is] [...]" A.L. Poole/L. Whibley, 1950 [1st ed. 1919].

"this The [...] reading[] [is] in the Wharton MS."

The Poems of Gray and Collins. Edited by Austin Lane Poole. Revised by Leonard Whibley. Third edition. Oxford editions of standard authors series. London: Oxford UP, 1937, reprinted 1950 [1st ed. 1919], 173.

35.3 he,] "this Wh[arton transcript, Egerton MS.]." H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"this Wh[arton transcript, Egerton MS.]."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 33.

35.3 he,] "this   Wharton." R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"this   Wharton."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 225.

Contribute a note or query

36 That calls me from the bed of rest?

37 O[din]. A Traveller, to thee unknown, 4 Explanatory

37.2-3 A Traveller,] "In the original, Odin conceals [...]" W. Lyon Phelps, 1894.

"In the original, Odin conceals his identity by assuming the name Vegtamr (hence the title of the poem Vegtamskvida), which means Wanderer."

Selections from the Poetry and Prose of Thomas Gray. Ed. with an introduction and notes by William Lyon Phelps. The Athenaeum press series. Boston: Ginn & company, 1894, 169.

37.2-3 A Traveller,] "Viator ap. Bartholin, Vegtamr in [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"Viator ap. Bartholin, Vegtamr in the original, rendered ap. Vigfusson and Powell 'Way-wise'; the word Gray renders 'Warriour' is there 'Warwise.' These Odin passes on the Prophetess as proper-names, as Bartholin shows, ''Viator nominor'' (l. 41). Gray, perhaps designedly, neglects this touch of primitive simplicity, which may be compared with the disguise of Ulysses as Outis (Noman) (Od. IX.) which deceived the Cyclops."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 254.

37.2 - 38.7 A ... son.] "In the original, Odin says [...]" H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"In the original, Odin says that he is Vegtam ('Traveller'), son of Valtam ('Fighter'). Odin frequently assumed false names."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 219.

37.2 - 38.7 A ... son.] "In the original Odin gives [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"In the original Odin gives his name as Vegtam ('The Wayfarer'), the son of Valtam ('The Warrior')."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 225.

Contribute a note or query

38 Is he that calls, a Warrior's son. 2 Explanatory

37.2 - 38.7 A ... son.] "In the original, Odin says [...]" H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"In the original, Odin says that he is Vegtam ('Traveller'), son of Valtam ('Fighter'). Odin frequently assumed false names."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 219.

37.2 - 38.7 A ... son.] "In the original Odin gives [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"In the original Odin gives his name as Vegtam ('The Wayfarer'), the son of Valtam ('The Warrior')."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 225.

Contribute a note or query

39 Thou the deeds of light shalt know;
40 Tell me what is done below, 1 Explanatory

40.1-6 Tell ... below,] "Odin we find both from [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"Odin we find both from this Ode and the Edda was solicitous about the fate of his son, Balder, who had dreamed he was soon to die. The Edda mentions the manner of his death when killed by Odin's other son, Hoder, and also that Hoder was himself slain by Vali, the son of Odin and Rinda, consonant with this prophecy. - Mason."

The Poetical Works of Thomas Gray: English and Latin. Edited with an introduction, life, notes and a bibliography by John Bradshaw. Reprinted edition. The Aldine edition of the British poets series. London: George Bell and sons, 1903 [1st edition 1891], 207/208.

Contribute a note or query

41 For whom yon glittering board is spread, 2 Explanatory, 5 Textual

41.1 - 42.6 For ... bed.] "Bartholin and Gray seem to [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"Bartholin and Gray seem to mistake the original here, though the text is apparently doubtful: Vigfusson and Powell render ''For whom are the benches strewed with 'mail-coats' and the hall so fairly decked with painted shields?''"

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 254.

41.1 - 46.6 For ... bold:] "These are the usual preparations [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"These are the usual preparations for the arrival of an honoured guest: in this case, the doomed Balder."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 225.

41.3 yon] "The. - Wharton MS." E. Gosse, 1884.

"The. - Wharton MS."

The Works of Thomas Gray: In Prose and Verse. Ed. by Edmund Gosse, in four vols. London: MacMillan and Co., 1884, vol. i, 63.

41.3 yon] "The. Various reading[] in the [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"The. Various reading[] in the Wharton MS."

The Poetical Works of Thomas Gray: English and Latin. Edited with an introduction, life, notes and a bibliography by John Bradshaw. Reprinted edition. The Aldine edition of the British poets series. London: George Bell and sons, 1903 [1st edition 1891], 209.

41.3 yon] "the Pembroke and Wharton MSS." A.L. Poole/L. Whibley, 1950 [1st ed. 1919].

"the Pembroke and Wharton MSS."

The Poems of Gray and Collins. Edited by Austin Lane Poole. Revised by Leonard Whibley. Third edition. Oxford editions of standard authors series. London: Oxford UP, 1937, reprinted 1950 [1st ed. 1919], 173.

41.3 yon] "the C[ommonplace] B[ook], Wh[arton transcript, [...]" H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"the C[ommonplace] B[ook], Wh[arton transcript, Egerton MS.]."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 33.

41.3 yon] "the   Wharton." R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"the   Wharton."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 225.

Contribute a note or query

42 Dressed for whom yon golden bed. 2 Explanatory, 3 Textual

41.1 - 42.6 For ... bed.] "Bartholin and Gray seem to [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"Bartholin and Gray seem to mistake the original here, though the text is apparently doubtful: Vigfusson and Powell render ''For whom are the benches strewed with 'mail-coats' and the hall so fairly decked with painted shields?''"

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 254.

41.1 - 46.6 For ... bold:] "These are the usual preparations [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"These are the usual preparations for the arrival of an honoured guest: in this case, the doomed Balder."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 225.

42.4 yon] "the Pembroke and Wharton MSS." A.L. Poole/L. Whibley, 1950 [1st ed. 1919].

"the Pembroke and Wharton MSS."

The Poems of Gray and Collins. Edited by Austin Lane Poole. Revised by Leonard Whibley. Third edition. Oxford editions of standard authors series. London: Oxford UP, 1937, reprinted 1950 [1st ed. 1919], 173.

42.4 yon] "the Wh[arton transcript, Egerton MS.]." H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"the Wh[arton transcript, Egerton MS.]."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 33.

42.4 yon] "the   Wharton." R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"the   Wharton."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 225.

Contribute a note or query


43 Pr. Mantling in the goblet see 2 Explanatory

41.1 - 46.6 For ... bold:] "These are the usual preparations [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"These are the usual preparations for the arrival of an honoured guest: in this case, the doomed Balder."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 225.

43.2-5 Mantling ... goblet] "'the mantling bowl', Pope, Imitations [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"'the mantling bowl', Pope, Imitations of Horace, Sat. II ii 8."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 225.

Contribute a note or query

44 The pure beverage of the bee, 4 Explanatory

41.1 - 46.6 For ... bold:] "These are the usual preparations [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"These are the usual preparations for the arrival of an honoured guest: in this case, the doomed Balder."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 225.

44.1-6 The ... bee,] "Mead, a favorite old Germanic [...]" W. Lyon Phelps, 1894.

"Mead, a favorite old Germanic drink made from honey. The heroes drink mead in Valhalla. See Gray's Preface to The Fatal Sisters, and the note. The periphrasis is Gray's own."

Selections from the Poetry and Prose of Thomas Gray. Ed. with an introduction and notes by William Lyon Phelps. The Athenaeum press series. Boston: Ginn & company, 1894, 169.

44.1-6 The ... bee,] "Mead, made from honey. Gray's [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"Mead, made from honey. Gray's periphrasis is his own; even the epithet 'pure' seems to come from a mistake or interpolation in Bartholin's Norse text."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 254.

44.1-6 The ... bee,] "'dewy Bev'rage for the Bees', [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"'dewy Bev'rage for the Bees', Dryden, Georgics ii 294."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 225.

Contribute a note or query

45 O'er it hangs the shield of gold; 2 Explanatory

41.1 - 46.6 For ... bold:] "These are the usual preparations [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"These are the usual preparations for the arrival of an honoured guest: in this case, the doomed Balder."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 225.

45.1-7 O'er ... gold;] "Gray certainly departs from Bartholin [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"Gray certainly departs from Bartholin here, for I can give no meaning to 'scuto superinjecto' but that in my rendering l. 51. He is much nearer to Vigfusson and Powell's ''the walls decked with shields.'' See what is said on Gray's note on version of Torfaeus in Fatal Sisters."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 254.

Contribute a note or query

46 'Tis the drink of Balder bold: 1 Explanatory

41.1 - 46.6 For ... bold:] "These are the usual preparations [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"These are the usual preparations for the arrival of an honoured guest: in this case, the doomed Balder."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 225.

Contribute a note or query

47 Balder's head to death is given. 2 Textual

47.1 Balder's] "Balder's [MS. sent to] D[odsley]." H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"Balder's [MS. sent to] D[odsley]."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 33.

47.6 given.] "Wharton having written giv'n corrects [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"Wharton having written giv'n corrects to given."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 254.

Contribute a note or query

48 Pain can reach the sons of Heaven! 1 Explanatory, 6 Textual

48.1-7 Pain ... Heaven!] "So Bartholin (ll. 53, 54); [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"So Bartholin (ll. 53, 54); the original, according to Vigfusson and Powell is much less effective, ''While the sons of the Anses are in merry mood.''"

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 254.

48.3 reach] "Touch. - Wharton MS." E. Gosse, 1884.

"Touch. - Wharton MS."

The Works of Thomas Gray: In Prose and Verse. Ed. by Edmund Gosse, in four vols. London: MacMillan and Co., 1884, vol. i, 63.

48.3 reach] "Touch. Various reading[] in the [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"Touch. Various reading[] in the Wharton MS."

The Poetical Works of Thomas Gray: English and Latin. Edited with an introduction, life, notes and a bibliography by John Bradshaw. Reprinted edition. The Aldine edition of the British poets series. London: George Bell and sons, 1903 [1st edition 1891], 209.

48.3 reach] "touch The [...] reading[] [is] [...]" A.L. Poole/L. Whibley, 1950 [1st ed. 1919].

"touch The [...] reading[] [is] in the Wharton MS."

The Poems of Gray and Collins. Edited by Austin Lane Poole. Revised by Leonard Whibley. Third edition. Oxford editions of standard authors series. London: Oxford UP, 1937, reprinted 1950 [1st ed. 1919], 173.

48.3 reach] "touch Wh[arton transcript, Egerton MS.]." H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"touch Wh[arton transcript, Egerton MS.]."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 33.

48.3 reach] "touch   Wharton." R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"touch   Wharton."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 225.

48.7 Heaven!] "heaven,   Wharton MS." D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"heaven,   Wharton MS."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 254.

Contribute a note or query

49 Unwilling I my lips unclose:
50 Leave me, leave me to repose.

51 O. Once again my call obey. 5 Explanatory, 6 Textual

51.1-6 O. ... obey.] "In Mason's Poems of Gray [...]" W. Lyon Phelps, 1894.

"In Mason's Poems of Gray (1775), p. 103, he quotes Gray's MS. note: ''Women were looked upon by the Gothic nations as having a peculiar insight into futurity; and some there were that made profession of magic arts and divination. These travelled round the country, and were received in every house with great respect and honour. Such a woman bore the name of Volva Seidkona or Spakona. The dress of Thorbiorga, one of these prophetesses, is described at large in Eirik's Rauda Sogu (apud Bartholin, lib. i, cap. iv, p. 668). She had on a blue vest spangled all over with stones, a necklace of glass beads, and a cap made of the skin of a black lamb lined with white cat-skin. She leaned on a staff adorned with brass, with a round head set with stones; and was girt with a Hunlandish belt, at which hung her pouch full of magical instruments. Her buskins were of rough calf-skin, bound on with thongs studded with knobs of brass, and her gloves of white cat-skin, the fur turned inwards, &c. They were also called Fiolkyngi, or Fiol-kunnug, i.e., Multi-scia; and Visinda-kona, i.e., Oraculorum Mulier, Nornir; i.e., Parcae.'' This note is almost wholly from Bartholin (see p. xli, above). A few corrections are necessary. Read volva, seidkona, spakona, Thorbjorg (for Thorbiorga, which is Bartholin's Latinized form), Eiriks, Saga Rauda (i.e., the Saga of Eric the Red, famous as containing an account of Leif Eiriksson's Vinland voyage). The passage referred to by Gray is one of capital importance. It is in ch. 3, and has been printed, with notes, by Vigfusson and Powell in their Icelandic Reader (p. 126). At the end of the note, read fjol-kunnig for fiol-kunnug. Fjolkyngi, which Gray seems to have got from a false reading in Bartholin's extract from Eric the Red's Saga, is a noun, and means the prophetic art. The Nornir or Norns were really the Norse Fates. They are, however, confounded with ordinary seeresses in a story quoted by Bartholin, p. 685 (cf. p. 612)."

Selections from the Poetry and Prose of Thomas Gray. Ed. with an introduction and notes by William Lyon Phelps. The Athenaeum press series. Boston: Ginn & company, 1894, 169/170.

51.1-6 O. ... obey.] "Women were looked upon by [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"Women were looked upon by the Gothic nations as having a peculiar insight into futurity; and some there were that made profession of magic arts and divination. These travelled round the country, and were received in every house with great respect and honour. Such a woman bore the name of Volva, Seidkona, or Spakona. The dress of Thorbiorga, one of these prophetesses, is described at large in Eirik's ''Rauda Sogu'' (apud Bartholin. lib. iii. cap. iv. p. 688). She had on a blue vest spangled all over with stones, a necklace of glass beads, and a cap made of the skin of a black lamb lined with white cat-skin. She leaned on a staff adorned with brass, with a round head set with stones; and was girt with an Hunlandish belt, at which hung her pouch full of magical instruments. Her buskins were of rough calf-skin, bound on with thongs studded with knobs of brass, and her gloves of white cat-skin , the fur turned inwards, etc. They were also called Fiolkyngi, or Fiolkunnug, i.e., Multi-scia; and Visindakona, i.e., Oraculorum Mulier, Nornir, i.e., Pareae. [Note in Gray's Commonplace Book, Pembroke MSS.]"

The Poetical Works of Thomas Gray: English and Latin. Edited with an introduction, life, notes and a bibliography by John Bradshaw. Reprinted edition. The Aldine edition of the British poets series. London: George Bell and sons, 1903 [1st edition 1891], 208.

51.1-6 O. ... obey.] "Mason here extracts from Gray's [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"Mason here extracts from Gray's MS:
''Women were looked upon by the Gothic nations as having a peculiar insight into futurity: and some there were that made profession of magic arts and divination. These travelled round the country, and were received in every house with great respect and honour. Such a woman bore the name of Volva Seidkona, or Spakona. The dress of Thorbiorga, one of these prophetesses, is described at large in Eirik's Rauda Sogu (ap. Bartholin, l. i. cap. iv. p. 688). She had on a blue vest spangled all over with stones, a necklace of glass beads, and a cap made of the skin of a black lamb lined with white cat-skin. She leaned on a staff adorned with brass, with a round head set with stones; and was girt with an Hunlandish belt, at which hung her pouch full of magical instruments. Her buskins were of rough calf-skin, bound on with thongs studded with knobs of brass, and her gloves of white cat-skin , the fur turned inwards.
''They were also called Fiolkyngi, or Fiol-kunnug (sic); i.e. Multi-scia: and Visindakona; i.e. Oraculorum Mulier, Nornir; i.e. Parcae.''
This note, say the American editors, is almost wholly from Bartholin. They correct some inaccuracies in the Icelandic; e.g. what Gray writes as Fiolkyngi is, they say, a noun, and means the prophetic art. The Nornir or Norns are really the Norse Fates. They are, however, confounded with ordinary seeresses in a story quoted by Bartholin, p. 685 (cf. p. 612). See on l. 75.
Scott, from Mason's Gray, or from the sources there quoted (cf. on ll. 17-26 supra), has borrowed the description of 'Norna of the Fitful-Head' in The Pirate, c. 5; and he says, ''The name assigned her, which signifies one of those fatal sisters who weave the web of human fate, had been conferred in honour of her supernatural powers.'' For the same reason, perhaps, it was once given commonly to 'spae-wives.'"

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 254/255.

51.1-6 O. ... obey.] "at end of n. on [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"at end of n. on l. 51, add:--- Gray's version is best explained by supposing that he gave to Bartholin's Latin a conjectural meaning. B. is substantially correct, and so is my English version. Professor Kittredge kindly points this out to me."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 293.

51.1 - 52.4 O. ... say,] "Women were look'd upon, as [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Women were look'd upon, as having a peculiar insight into futurity; & some there were, that made profession of magic arts & divination: these travel'd round the country, & were received in every house with great respect & honour. such a Woman bore the name of Volva, Seidkona, or Spakona. the dress of Thorbiorga, one of these Prophetesses, is described at large in Eirik's Rauda Sogu (apud Bartholinum, L:3. cap:4. p:688) she had on a blew vest spangled all over with stones, a necklace of glass beads, a cap made of the skin of a black lamb, lined with white cat-skin; she lent on a staff adorn'd with brass with a round head set with stones, & was girt with a Hunlandish belt, at w[hi]ch hung her pouch full of magical instruments. her buskins were of rough calves-skin bound on with thongs adorn'd with knobs of brass; & her gloves of white cat, the fur turn'd inwards. &c: they were also call'd Fiolkynga or fiol-kunnug i:e: Multiscia, & Visind-kona, i:e: Oraculorum mulier, Nornir, i:e: Parcae. Commonplace Book."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 225/226.

51.2 - 52.4 Once ... say,] "''Prophetess, my call obey, / [...]" E. Gosse, 1884.

"''Prophetess, my call obey, / Once again arise and say.'' - Wharton MS."

The Works of Thomas Gray: In Prose and Verse. Ed. by Edmund Gosse, in four vols. London: MacMillan and Co., 1884, vol. i, 63.

51.2 - 52.4 Once ... say,] "Prophetess, my call obey / [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"Prophetess, my call obey / Once again arise and say. Various reading[] in the Wharton MS."

The Poetical Works of Thomas Gray: English and Latin. Edited with an introduction, life, notes and a bibliography by John Bradshaw. Reprinted edition. The Aldine edition of the British poets series. London: George Bell and sons, 1903 [1st edition 1891], 209.

51.2 - 52.4 Once ... say,] "Prophetess, my call obey, / [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"Prophetess, my call obey, / Once again arise, and say   Wharton MS."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 255.

51.2-3 Once again] "Prophetess The [...] reading[] [is] [...]" A.L. Poole/L. Whibley, 1950 [1st ed. 1919].

"Prophetess The [...] reading[] [is] in the Wharton MS."

The Poems of Gray and Collins. Edited by Austin Lane Poole. Revised by Leonard Whibley. Third edition. Oxford editions of standard authors series. London: Oxford UP, 1937, reprinted 1950 [1st ed. 1919], 173.

51.2-3 Once again] "Prophetess Wh[arton transcript, Egerton MS.]." H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"Prophetess Wh[arton transcript, Egerton MS.]."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 33.

51.2-3 Once again] "Prophetess   Wharton." R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Prophetess   Wharton."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 226.

Contribute a note or query

52 Prophetess, arise and say, 2 Explanatory, 6 Textual

51.1 - 52.4 O. ... say,] "Women were look'd upon, as [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Women were look'd upon, as having a peculiar insight into futurity; & some there were, that made profession of magic arts & divination: these travel'd round the country, & were received in every house with great respect & honour. such a Woman bore the name of Volva, Seidkona, or Spakona. the dress of Thorbiorga, one of these Prophetesses, is described at large in Eirik's Rauda Sogu (apud Bartholinum, L:3. cap:4. p:688) she had on a blew vest spangled all over with stones, a necklace of glass beads, a cap made of the skin of a black lamb, lined with white cat-skin; she lent on a staff adorn'd with brass with a round head set with stones, & was girt with a Hunlandish belt, at w[hi]ch hung her pouch full of magical instruments. her buskins were of rough calves-skin bound on with thongs adorn'd with knobs of brass; & her gloves of white cat, the fur turn'd inwards. &c: they were also call'd Fiolkynga or fiol-kunnug i:e: Multiscia, & Visind-kona, i:e: Oraculorum mulier, Nornir, i:e: Parcae. Commonplace Book."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 225/226.

51.2 - 52.4 Once ... say,] "''Prophetess, my call obey, / [...]" E. Gosse, 1884.

"''Prophetess, my call obey, / Once again arise and say.'' - Wharton MS."

The Works of Thomas Gray: In Prose and Verse. Ed. by Edmund Gosse, in four vols. London: MacMillan and Co., 1884, vol. i, 63.

51.2 - 52.4 Once ... say,] "Prophetess, my call obey / [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"Prophetess, my call obey / Once again arise and say. Various reading[] in the Wharton MS."

The Poetical Works of Thomas Gray: English and Latin. Edited with an introduction, life, notes and a bibliography by John Bradshaw. Reprinted edition. The Aldine edition of the British poets series. London: George Bell and sons, 1903 [1st edition 1891], 209.

51.2 - 52.4 Once ... say,] "Prophetess, my call obey, / [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"Prophetess, my call obey, / Once again arise, and say   Wharton MS."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 255.

52.1 Prophetess,] "Once again The [...] reading[] [...]" A.L. Poole/L. Whibley, 1950 [1st ed. 1919].

"Once again The [...] reading[] [is] in the Wharton MS."

The Poems of Gray and Collins. Edited by Austin Lane Poole. Revised by Leonard Whibley. Third edition. Oxford editions of standard authors series. London: Oxford UP, 1937, reprinted 1950 [1st ed. 1919], 173.

52.1 Prophetess,] "Once again Wh[arton transcript, Egerton [...]" H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"Once again Wh[arton transcript, Egerton MS.]."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 33.

52.1 Prophetess,] "Women were looked upon by [...]" H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"Women were looked upon by the Gothic nations as having a peculiar insight into futurity; and some there were that made profession of magic arts and divination. These travelled round the country, and were received in every house with great respect and honour. Such a woman bore the name of Volva[,] Seidkona[,] or Spakona. The dress of Thorbiorga, one of these prophetesses, is described at large in Eirik's Rauda Sogu [Eiriks Saga Rauda, ch. iv], (apud Bartholin. lib. i. cap. iv. p. 668.) She had on a blue vest spangled all over with stones, a necklace of glass beads, and a cap made of the skin of a black lamb lined with white cat-skin. She leaned on a staff adorned with brass, with a round head set with stones; and was girt with a Hunlandish belt, at which hung her pouch full of magical instruments. Her buskins were of rough calf-skin, bound on with thongs studded with knobs of brass, and her gloves of white cat-skin, the fur turned inwards, &c. [Footnote added by Mason from Gray's C[ommonplace] B[ook].]"

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 219.

52.1 Prophetess,] "Once again   Wharton." R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Once again   Wharton."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 226.

Contribute a note or query

53 What dangers Odin's child await,
54 Who the author of his fate.

55 Pr. In Hoder's hand the hero's doom: 5 Explanatory

55.1-7 Pr. ... doom:] "Old Norse Hodr. The unwitting [...]" W. Lyon Phelps, 1894.

"Old Norse Hodr. The unwitting cause of Baldr's death. The whole story is told in the Prose Edda (Gylfaginning, ch. 49 ff.), and has been often translated. See Matthew Arnold's Balder Dead. Cf. Gayley, Classic Myths in English Literature, 1893, pp. 380 ff., where the Edda story is told. For a good brief account of the Eddas, see article Edda, in Johnson's Universal Cyclopaedia, revised edition."

Selections from the Poetry and Prose of Thomas Gray. Ed. with an introduction and notes by William Lyon Phelps. The Athenaeum press series. Boston: Ginn & company, 1894, 170.

55.1-7 Pr. ... doom:] "See Matthew Arnold's ''Balder Dead,'' [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"See Matthew Arnold's ''Balder Dead,'' 1-8: -

''So on the floor lay Balder dead: and round
Lay thickly strewn swords, axes, darts, and spears,
Which all the Gods in sport had idly thrown
At Balder, whom no weapon pierced or clove;
But in his breast stood fixt the fatal bough
Of mistletoe, which Lok the Accuser gave
To Hoder, and unwitting Hoder threw -
'Gainst that alone had Balder's life no charm.''"

The Poetical Works of Thomas Gray: English and Latin. Edited with an introduction, life, notes and a bibliography by John Bradshaw. Reprinted edition. The Aldine edition of the British poets series. London: George Bell and sons, 1903 [1st edition 1891], 208.

55.1-4 Pr. ... hand] "Here again Gray seems to [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"Here again Gray seems to have some inkling of the meaning of the original: ''Lo, Hod is bearing a tall branch of fate.'' Vigfusson and Powell. The reference must be to the fatal mistletoe (cf. the Volo-Spa, 101-103, V. and P. vol. I.), p. 197, but Bartholin's version has no trace of this (ll. 64, 65 supra)."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 255.

55.1-7 Pr. ... doom:] "at end of n. on [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"at end of n. on l. 55, add:--- Bartholin interprets after Honoratum Fratrem 'sc. se ipsum' - but this is wrong. The right version is Hoder bears (or shall bear) thither a tall splendid sapling [i.e. the mistletoe]."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 293.

55.1-7 Pr. ... doom:] "Balder was slain inadvertently by [...]" J. Heath-Stubbs, 1981.

"Balder was slain inadvertently by his blind brother Hoder. The malicious god Loki placed a shaft of mistletoe in his hand. Balder's mother, Frigga, had made all things in heaven and earth vow not to harm Balder, but overlooked the mistletoe."

Thomas Gray: Selected Poems. Ed. by John Heath-Stubbs. Manchester: Carcanet New Press Ltd., 1981, 85.

Contribute a note or query

56 His brother sends him to the tomb.
57 Now my weary lips I close:
58 Leave me, leave me to repose.

59 O. Prophetess, my spell obey, 6 Textual

59.2 - 60.5 Prophetess, ... say,] "''Once again my call obey, [...]" E. Gosse, 1884.

"''Once again my call obey, / Prophetess, arise and say.'' - Wharton MS."

The Works of Thomas Gray: In Prose and Verse. Ed. by Edmund Gosse, in four vols. London: MacMillan and Co., 1884, vol. i, 63.

59.2 - 60.5 Prophetess, ... say,] "Once again my call obey, [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"Once again my call obey, / Prophetess, arise and say. Various reading[] in the Wharton MS."

The Poetical Works of Thomas Gray: English and Latin. Edited with an introduction, life, notes and a bibliography by John Bradshaw. Reprinted edition. The Aldine edition of the British poets series. London: George Bell and sons, 1903 [1st edition 1891], 209.

59.2 - 60.5 Prophetess, ... say,] "Once again my call obey, [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"Once again my call obey, / Prophetess, arise and say   Wharton MS."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 255.

59.2 - 60.5 Prophetess, ... say,] "Once again my call obey [...]" A.L. Poole/L. Whibley, 1950 [1st ed. 1919].

"Once again my call obey / Prophetess, arise and say The [...] reading[] [is] in the Wharton MS."

The Poems of Gray and Collins. Edited by Austin Lane Poole. Revised by Leonard Whibley. Third edition. Oxford editions of standard authors series. London: Oxford UP, 1937, reprinted 1950 [1st ed. 1919], 174.

59.2 - 60.5 Prophetess, ... say,] "Once again my call obey, [...]" H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"Once again my call obey, / Prophetess, arise and say Wh[arton transcript, Egerton MS.]."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 33.

59.2 Prophetess,] "Once again   Wharton." R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Once again   Wharton."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 226.

Contribute a note or query

60 Once again arise and say, 6 Textual

59.2 - 60.5 Prophetess, ... say,] "''Once again my call obey, [...]" E. Gosse, 1884.

"''Once again my call obey, / Prophetess, arise and say.'' - Wharton MS."

The Works of Thomas Gray: In Prose and Verse. Ed. by Edmund Gosse, in four vols. London: MacMillan and Co., 1884, vol. i, 63.

59.2 - 60.5 Prophetess, ... say,] "Once again my call obey, [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"Once again my call obey, / Prophetess, arise and say. Various reading[] in the Wharton MS."

The Poetical Works of Thomas Gray: English and Latin. Edited with an introduction, life, notes and a bibliography by John Bradshaw. Reprinted edition. The Aldine edition of the British poets series. London: George Bell and sons, 1903 [1st edition 1891], 209.

59.2 - 60.5 Prophetess, ... say,] "Once again my call obey, [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"Once again my call obey, / Prophetess, arise and say   Wharton MS."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 255.

59.2 - 60.5 Prophetess, ... say,] "Once again my call obey [...]" A.L. Poole/L. Whibley, 1950 [1st ed. 1919].

"Once again my call obey / Prophetess, arise and say The [...] reading[] [is] in the Wharton MS."

The Poems of Gray and Collins. Edited by Austin Lane Poole. Revised by Leonard Whibley. Third edition. Oxford editions of standard authors series. London: Oxford UP, 1937, reprinted 1950 [1st ed. 1919], 174.

59.2 - 60.5 Prophetess, ... say,] "Once again my call obey, [...]" H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"Once again my call obey, / Prophetess, arise and say Wh[arton transcript, Egerton MS.]."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 33.

60.1-2 Once again] "Prophetess   Wharton." R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Prophetess   Wharton."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 226.

Contribute a note or query

61 Who the avenger of his guilt, 6 Textual

61.1 - 62.7 Who ... spilt.] "These verses are transposed in [...]" E. Gosse, 1884.

"These verses are transposed in Wharton MS."

The Works of Thomas Gray: In Prose and Verse. Ed. by Edmund Gosse, in four vols. London: MacMillan and Co., 1884, vol. i, 64.

61.1 - 62.7 Who ... spilt.] "These verses are transposed in [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"These verses are transposed in the Wharton MS."

The Poetical Works of Thomas Gray: English and Latin. Edited with an introduction, life, notes and a bibliography by John Bradshaw. Reprinted edition. The Aldine edition of the British poets series. London: George Bell and sons, 1903 [1st edition 1891], 209.

61.1 - 62.7 Who ... spilt.] "''By whom shall Hoder's blood [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"''By whom shall Hoder's blood be spilt / Who the avenger of his guilt?''   Wharton MS."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 255.

61.1 - 62.7 Who ... spilt.] "61 and 62 transposed. The [...]" A.L. Poole/L. Whibley, 1950 [1st ed. 1919].

"61 and 62 transposed. The [...] reading[] [is] in the Wharton MS."

The Poems of Gray and Collins. Edited by Austin Lane Poole. Revised by Leonard Whibley. Third edition. Oxford editions of standard authors series. London: Oxford UP, 1937, reprinted 1950 [1st ed. 1919], 174.

61.1 - 62.7 Who ... spilt.] "Lines transposed in Wh[arton transcript, [...]" H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"Lines transposed in Wh[arton transcript, Egerton MS.]."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 34.

61.1 - 62.7 Who ... spilt.] "Transposed in Wharton." R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Transposed in Wharton."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 226.

Contribute a note or query

62 By whom shall Hoder's blood be spilt. 6 Textual

61.1 - 62.7 Who ... spilt.] "These verses are transposed in [...]" E. Gosse, 1884.

"These verses are transposed in Wharton MS."

The Works of Thomas Gray: In Prose and Verse. Ed. by Edmund Gosse, in four vols. London: MacMillan and Co., 1884, vol. i, 64.

61.1 - 62.7 Who ... spilt.] "These verses are transposed in [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"These verses are transposed in the Wharton MS."

The Poetical Works of Thomas Gray: English and Latin. Edited with an introduction, life, notes and a bibliography by John Bradshaw. Reprinted edition. The Aldine edition of the British poets series. London: George Bell and sons, 1903 [1st edition 1891], 209.

61.1 - 62.7 Who ... spilt.] "''By whom shall Hoder's blood [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"''By whom shall Hoder's blood be spilt / Who the avenger of his guilt?''   Wharton MS."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 255.

61.1 - 62.7 Who ... spilt.] "61 and 62 transposed. The [...]" A.L. Poole/L. Whibley, 1950 [1st ed. 1919].

"61 and 62 transposed. The [...] reading[] [is] in the Wharton MS."

The Poems of Gray and Collins. Edited by Austin Lane Poole. Revised by Leonard Whibley. Third edition. Oxford editions of standard authors series. London: Oxford UP, 1937, reprinted 1950 [1st ed. 1919], 174.

61.1 - 62.7 Who ... spilt.] "Lines transposed in Wh[arton transcript, [...]" H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"Lines transposed in Wh[arton transcript, Egerton MS.]."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 34.

61.1 - 62.7 Who ... spilt.] "Transposed in Wharton." R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Transposed in Wharton."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 226.

Contribute a note or query


63 Pr. In the caverns of the west, 1 Explanatory

63.1 - 70.5 Pr. ... pile.] "Rinda's son, Vali, was begotten [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Rinda's son, Vali, was begotten by Odin for the express purpose of avenging Balder's death. Vali slew Hoder on the day after his birth."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 226.

Contribute a note or query

64 By Odin's fierce embrace compressed, 2 Explanatory, 1 Textual

63.1 - 70.5 Pr. ... pile.] "Rinda's son, Vali, was begotten [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Rinda's son, Vali, was begotten by Odin for the express purpose of avenging Balder's death. Vali slew Hoder on the day after his birth."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 226.

64.1-5 By ... compressed,] "Dryden, Aeneid xii 213-4: 'E're [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Dryden, Aeneid xii 213-4: 'E're to the Lust of lawless Jove betray'd: / Compress'd by Force'; Pope, Odyssey vii 78: 'by Neptune's amorous power compress'd'."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 226.

64.2 Odin's] "Odin's [MS. sent to] D[odsley]." H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"Odin's [MS. sent to] D[odsley]."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 34.

Contribute a note or query

65 A wondrous boy shall Rinda bear, 4 Explanatory, 6 Textual

63.1 - 70.5 Pr. ... pile.] "Rinda's son, Vali, was begotten [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Rinda's son, Vali, was begotten by Odin for the express purpose of avenging Balder's death. Vali slew Hoder on the day after his birth."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 226.

65.1-6 A ... bear,] "Vali was begotten by Odin [...]" J. Heath-Stubbs, 1981.

"Vali was begotten by Odin on Rinda, to be the avenger of Balder."

Thomas Gray: Selected Poems. Ed. by John Heath-Stubbs. Manchester: Carcanet New Press Ltd., 1981, 85.

65.2 wondrous] "Giant. - Wharton MS." E. Gosse, 1884.

"Giant. - Wharton MS."

The Works of Thomas Gray: In Prose and Verse. Ed. by Edmund Gosse, in four vols. London: MacMillan and Co., 1884, vol. i, 64.

65.2 wondrous] "Giant. Various reading[] in the [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"Giant. Various reading[] in the Wharton MS."

The Poetical Works of Thomas Gray: English and Latin. Edited with an introduction, life, notes and a bibliography by John Bradshaw. Reprinted edition. The Aldine edition of the British poets series. London: George Bell and sons, 1903 [1st edition 1891], 209.

65.2 wondrous] "Giant   Wharton MS." D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"Giant   Wharton MS."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 255.

65.2 wondrous] "giant The [...] reading[] [is] [...]" A.L. Poole/L. Whibley, 1950 [1st ed. 1919].

"giant The [...] reading[] [is] in the Wharton MS."

The Poems of Gray and Collins. Edited by Austin Lane Poole. Revised by Leonard Whibley. Third edition. Oxford editions of standard authors series. London: Oxford UP, 1937, reprinted 1950 [1st ed. 1919], 174.

65.2 wondrous] "giant Wh[arton transcript, Egerton MS.]." H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"giant Wh[arton transcript, Egerton MS.]."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 34.

65.2 wondrous] "giant   Wharton." R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"giant   Wharton."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 226.

65.3 boy] "Vali, son of Odin by [...]" H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"Vali, son of Odin by Rind (ON Rindr)."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 219.

65.5 Rinda] "mother of the avenger Vali." J. Reeves, 1973.

"mother of the avenger Vali."

The Complete English Poems of Thomas Gray. Edited with an Introduction and Notes by James Reeves. The Poetry Bookshelf series. London: Heinemann; New York: Barnes & Noble, 1973, 115.

Contribute a note or query

66 Who ne'er shall comb his raven-hair, 4 Explanatory

63.1 - 70.5 Pr. ... pile.] "Rinda's son, Vali, was begotten [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Rinda's son, Vali, was begotten by Odin for the express purpose of avenging Balder's death. Vali slew Hoder on the day after his birth."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 226.

66.1-6 Who ... raven-hair,] "King Harold made (according to [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"King Harold made (according to the singular custom of his time) a solemn vow never to clip or comb his hair, till he should have extended his sway over the whole country. Herbert, ''Icelandic Trnslations.'' In the ''Dying Song of Asbiorn.'' - Mitford."

The Poetical Works of Thomas Gray: English and Latin. Edited with an introduction, life, notes and a bibliography by John Bradshaw. Reprinted edition. The Aldine edition of the British poets series. London: George Bell and sons, 1903 [1st edition 1891], 208/209.

66.1-6 Who ... raven-hair,] " ''King Harold made (according [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

" ''King Harold made (according to the singular custom of his time) a solemn vow never to clip or comb his hair till he should have extended his sway over the whole country. Herbert, Iceland. Transl. p. 39.'' Mitford. Analogous among Hebrew customs is the Nazaritic vow, in which the hair was unshorn until the vow had been fulfilled, or in the best-known instances (Samson, Samuel, St John the Baptist) for all the lifetime. But cf. next note [on l. 68]."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 255.

66.1-6 Who ... raven-hair,] "Vows not to clip or [...]" H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"Vows not to clip or comb one's hair are not uncommon in Germanic literature."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 219.

Contribute a note or query

67 Nor wash his visage in the stream, 1 Explanatory

63.1 - 70.5 Pr. ... pile.] "Rinda's son, Vali, was begotten [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Rinda's son, Vali, was begotten by Odin for the express purpose of avenging Balder's death. Vali slew Hoder on the day after his birth."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 226.

Contribute a note or query

68 Nor see the sun's departing beam: 3 Explanatory

63.1 - 70.5 Pr. ... pile.] "Rinda's son, Vali, was begotten [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Rinda's son, Vali, was begotten by Odin for the express purpose of avenging Balder's death. Vali slew Hoder on the day after his birth."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 226.

68.1-6 Nor ... beam:] "This line obscurely renders the [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"This line obscurely renders the original and Bartholin. The wond'rous Child (named Vali) was one night old when he slew Hoder (Lat. vers. l. 83). One might question the reference to a vow in l. 66 under the circumstances, if we looked for coherence in these legends; and perhaps there too the words point to the infant's prompt action. Matthew Arnold in Balder Dead makes Hoder slay himself."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 255.

68.5-6 departing beam:] "Dryden, Ovid's Metamorphoses i 78: [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Dryden, Ovid's Metamorphoses i 78: 'the remnants of departing light'; Pope, Autumn 98: 'The Skies yet blushing with departing Light.'"

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 226.

Contribute a note or query

69 Till he on Hoder's corse shall smile 1 Explanatory, 2 Textual

63.1 - 70.5 Pr. ... pile.] "Rinda's son, Vali, was begotten [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Rinda's son, Vali, was begotten by Odin for the express purpose of avenging Balder's death. Vali slew Hoder on the day after his birth."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 226.

69.4 Hoder's] "Hoder's [MS. sent to] D[odsley]." H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"Hoder's [MS. sent to] D[odsley]."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 34.

69.5 corse] "Spelt coarse in Wharton's MS." D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"Spelt coarse in Wharton's MS."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 255.

Contribute a note or query

70 Flaming on the funeral pile. 1 Explanatory

63.1 - 70.5 Pr. ... pile.] "Rinda's son, Vali, was begotten [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Rinda's son, Vali, was begotten by Odin for the express purpose of avenging Balder's death. Vali slew Hoder on the day after his birth."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 226.

Contribute a note or query

71 Now my weary lips I close:
72 Leave me, leave me to repose.

73 O. Yet a while my call obey.
74 Prophetess, awake and say, 6 Textual

74.2 awake] "Arise. - Wharton MS." E. Gosse, 1884.

"Arise. - Wharton MS."

The Works of Thomas Gray: In Prose and Verse. Ed. by Edmund Gosse, in four vols. London: MacMillan and Co., 1884, vol. i, 64.

74.2 awake] "Arise. Various reading[] in the [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"Arise. Various reading[] in the Wharton MS."

The Poetical Works of Thomas Gray: English and Latin. Edited with an introduction, life, notes and a bibliography by John Bradshaw. Reprinted edition. The Aldine edition of the British poets series. London: George Bell and sons, 1903 [1st edition 1891], 209.

74.2 awake] "arise   Wharton MS." D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"arise   Wharton MS."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 256.

74.2 awake] "arise The [...] reading[] [is] [...]" A.L. Poole/L. Whibley, 1950 [1st ed. 1919].

"arise The [...] reading[] [is] in the Wharton MS."

The Poems of Gray and Collins. Edited by Austin Lane Poole. Revised by Leonard Whibley. Third edition. Oxford editions of standard authors series. London: Oxford UP, 1937, reprinted 1950 [1st ed. 1919], 174.

74.2 awake] "arise Wh[arton transcript, Egerton MS.]." H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"arise Wh[arton transcript, Egerton MS.]."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 34.

74.2 awake] "arise   Wharton." R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"arise   Wharton."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 226.

Contribute a note or query

75 What virgins these, in speechless woe, 5 Explanatory

75.1-3 What ... these,] "These were the Norns or [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"These were the Norns or Fates, invisible to mortals; so by recognizing them Odin revealed his divinity."

The Poetical Works of Thomas Gray: English and Latin. Edited with an introduction, life, notes and a bibliography by John Bradshaw. Reprinted edition. The Aldine edition of the British poets series. London: George Bell and sons, 1903 [1st edition 1891], 209.

75.1-6 What ... woe,] "''Probably the Nornir; their names [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"''Probably the Nornir; their names were Urda, Verdandi, and Skulda; they were the dispensers of good destinies. As their names signify Time past, present, and future, it is probable they were always invisible to mortals: therefore when Odin asks this question on seeing them, he betrays himself to be a god.''   Mason."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 256.

75.1-2 What virgins] "These were probably the Nornir [...]" H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"These were probably the Nornir or Parcae [Fates], just now mentioned: their names were Urda, Verdandi, and Skulda; they were the dispensers of good destinies. As their names signify Time past, present, and future, it is probable they were always invisible to mortals: therefore when Odin asks this question on seeing them, he betrays himself to be a God; which elucidates the next speech of the Prophetess. M[ason]. Mason's identification of the 'Virgins' with the Norns is unlikely, although this may well have been what Gray thought the lines implied. The Norns dwell in heaven, in a palace by the Well of Urdr (Snorri, Gylfaginning, ch. xv). Later editors and translators seem to agree that the words refer to the waves and that the text as we have it is corrupt. For example, Vigfusson and Powell (Corpus Poeticum Boreale, i. 499) think that a conundrum, to which 'the waves' is the answer, has somehow replaced the original text: Henry A. Bellows in The Poetic Edda (New York, 1923) also adopts the explanation that the waves, the daughters of AEgir, the God of the Sea, are meant; however, he credits Bugge with the explanation and is content merely to say that the original lines are obscure and that there may be 'a hiatus' here."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 219/220.

75.1 - 78.7 What ... air.] "Mason suggests that the virgins [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Mason suggests that the virgins are the Nornir or Fates, normally invisible to mortals: 'therefore when Odin asks this question on seeing them, he betrays himself to be a God; which elucidates the next speech of the Prophetess.' Although G[ray]. may also have had some such idea, these lines, probably corrupt, are thought to refer to the waves. Vigfusson and Powell, i 499, state: 'Here should follow some wanton query, whereby the Sibyl sees that she had to deal with the wrong man. As it stands, the verse, taken from some riddle poem such as Heidrek's, is a mere conundrum, of which the answer is ''the waves''.' L. M. Hollander, The Poetic Edda p. 138, states that the maidens are the daughters of the sea-god, Aegir: i.e. the waves. He translates the phrase corresponding to G.'s 'snowy veils' as 'their kerchief corners', suggesting that there is a pun, since the phrase could also mean 'corners of the sail'. The lines could refer to the sail of the ship bearing Balder's corpse, which dips into the sea."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 227.

75.1-6 What ... woe,] "According to Mason, these virgins [...]" J. Heath-Stubbs, 1981.

"According to Mason, these virgins are the Nornir or Fates, normally invisible to men. By showing that he discerns them, Odin betrays his divine identity."

Thomas Gray: Selected Poems. Ed. by John Heath-Stubbs. Manchester: Carcanet New Press Ltd., 1981, 85.

Contribute a note or query

76 That bend to earth their solemn brow, 1 Explanatory, 1 Textual

75.1 - 78.7 What ... air.] "Mason suggests that the virgins [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Mason suggests that the virgins are the Nornir or Fates, normally invisible to mortals: 'therefore when Odin asks this question on seeing them, he betrays himself to be a God; which elucidates the next speech of the Prophetess.' Although G[ray]. may also have had some such idea, these lines, probably corrupt, are thought to refer to the waves. Vigfusson and Powell, i 499, state: 'Here should follow some wanton query, whereby the Sibyl sees that she had to deal with the wrong man. As it stands, the verse, taken from some riddle poem such as Heidrek's, is a mere conundrum, of which the answer is ''the waves''.' L. M. Hollander, The Poetic Edda p. 138, states that the maidens are the daughters of the sea-god, Aegir: i.e. the waves. He translates the phrase corresponding to G.'s 'snowy veils' as 'their kerchief corners', suggesting that there is a pun, since the phrase could also mean 'corners of the sail'. The lines could refer to the sail of the ship bearing Balder's corpse, which dips into the sea."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 227.

76.1 That] "Who Wh[arton transcript, Egerton MS.]." H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"Who Wh[arton transcript, Egerton MS.]."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 34.

Contribute a note or query

77 That their flaxen tresses tear, 1 Explanatory, 7 Textual

75.1 - 78.7 What ... air.] "Mason suggests that the virgins [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Mason suggests that the virgins are the Nornir or Fates, normally invisible to mortals: 'therefore when Odin asks this question on seeing them, he betrays himself to be a God; which elucidates the next speech of the Prophetess.' Although G[ray]. may also have had some such idea, these lines, probably corrupt, are thought to refer to the waves. Vigfusson and Powell, i 499, state: 'Here should follow some wanton query, whereby the Sibyl sees that she had to deal with the wrong man. As it stands, the verse, taken from some riddle poem such as Heidrek's, is a mere conundrum, of which the answer is ''the waves''.' L. M. Hollander, The Poetic Edda p. 138, states that the maidens are the daughters of the sea-god, Aegir: i.e. the waves. He translates the phrase corresponding to G.'s 'snowy veils' as 'their kerchief corners', suggesting that there is a pun, since the phrase could also mean 'corners of the sail'. The lines could refer to the sail of the ship bearing Balder's corpse, which dips into the sea."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 227.

77.1 That] "Who. - Wharton MS." E. Gosse, 1884.

"Who. - Wharton MS."

The Works of Thomas Gray: In Prose and Verse. Ed. by Edmund Gosse, in four vols. London: MacMillan and Co., 1884, vol. i, 64.

77.1 That] "Who. Various reading[] in the [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"Who. Various reading[] in the Wharton MS."

The Poetical Works of Thomas Gray: English and Latin. Edited with an introduction, life, notes and a bibliography by John Bradshaw. Reprinted edition. The Aldine edition of the British poets series. London: George Bell and sons, 1903 [1st edition 1891], 209.

77.1-5 That ... tear,] "Who their flowing tresses tear, [...]" A.L. Poole/L. Whibley, 1950 [1st ed. 1919].

"Who their flowing tresses tear, The [...] reading[] [is] in the Wharton MS."

The Poems of Gray and Collins. Edited by Austin Lane Poole. Revised by Leonard Whibley. Third edition. Oxford editions of standard authors series. London: Oxford UP, 1937, reprinted 1950 [1st ed. 1919], 174.

77.1-5 That ... tear,] "Who their flowing tresses tear, [...]" H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"Who their flowing tresses tear, Wh[arton transcript, Egerton MS.]."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 34.

77.1-3 That ... flaxen] "Who ... flowing   Wharton." R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Who ... flowing   Wharton."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 227.

77.3 flaxen] "Flowing. Various reading[] in the [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"Flowing. Various reading[] in the Wharton MS."

The Poetical Works of Thomas Gray: English and Latin. Edited with an introduction, life, notes and a bibliography by John Bradshaw. Reprinted edition. The Aldine edition of the British poets series. London: George Bell and sons, 1903 [1st edition 1891], 209.

77.3 flaxen] "flowing   Wharton MS." D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"flowing   Wharton MS."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 256.

Contribute a note or query

78 And snowy veils, that float in air. 2 Explanatory

75.1 - 78.7 What ... air.] "Mason suggests that the virgins [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Mason suggests that the virgins are the Nornir or Fates, normally invisible to mortals: 'therefore when Odin asks this question on seeing them, he betrays himself to be a God; which elucidates the next speech of the Prophetess.' Although G[ray]. may also have had some such idea, these lines, probably corrupt, are thought to refer to the waves. Vigfusson and Powell, i 499, state: 'Here should follow some wanton query, whereby the Sibyl sees that she had to deal with the wrong man. As it stands, the verse, taken from some riddle poem such as Heidrek's, is a mere conundrum, of which the answer is ''the waves''.' L. M. Hollander, The Poetic Edda p. 138, states that the maidens are the daughters of the sea-god, Aegir: i.e. the waves. He translates the phrase corresponding to G.'s 'snowy veils' as 'their kerchief corners', suggesting that there is a pun, since the phrase could also mean 'corners of the sail'. The lines could refer to the sail of the ship bearing Balder's corpse, which dips into the sea."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 227.

78.2-3 snowy veils,] "'snowy veil', Pope, Iliad iii [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"'snowy veil', Pope, Iliad iii 187."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 227.

Contribute a note or query

79 Tell me whence their sorrows rose: 8 Textual

79.1-3 Tell ... whence] "Say from whence. - Wharton [...]" E. Gosse, 1884.

"Say from whence. - Wharton MS."

The Works of Thomas Gray: In Prose and Verse. Ed. by Edmund Gosse, in four vols. London: MacMillan and Co., 1884, vol. i, 64.

79.1-2 Tell me] "Say from. Various reading[] in [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"Say from. Various reading[] in the Wharton MS."

The Poetical Works of Thomas Gray: English and Latin. Edited with an introduction, life, notes and a bibliography by John Bradshaw. Reprinted edition. The Aldine edition of the British poets series. London: George Bell and sons, 1903 [1st edition 1891], 209.

79.1-2 Tell me] "Say from The [...] reading[] [...]" A.L. Poole/L. Whibley, 1950 [1st ed. 1919].

"Say from The [...] reading[] [is] in the Wharton MS."

The Poems of Gray and Collins. Edited by Austin Lane Poole. Revised by Leonard Whibley. Third edition. Oxford editions of standard authors series. London: Oxford UP, 1937, reprinted 1950 [1st ed. 1919], 174.

79.1-2 Tell me] "Say from Wh[arton transcript, Egerton [...]" H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"Say from Wh[arton transcript, Egerton MS.]."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 34.

79.1-2 Tell me] "Say from   Wharton." R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Say from   Wharton."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 227.

79.5 sorrows] "sorrow Pembroke MS." A.L. Poole/L. Whibley, 1950 [1st ed. 1919].

"sorrow Pembroke MS."

The Poems of Gray and Collins. Edited by Austin Lane Poole. Revised by Leonard Whibley. Third edition. Oxford editions of standard authors series. London: Oxford UP, 1937, reprinted 1950 [1st ed. 1919], 174.

79.5 sorrows] "sorrow C[ommonplace] B[ook]." H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"sorrow C[ommonplace] B[ook]."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 34.

79.5 sorrows] "sorrow   Commonplace Book." R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"sorrow   Commonplace Book."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 227.

Contribute a note or query

80 Then I leave thee to repose.

81 Pr. Ha! no Traveller art thou,
82 King of Men, I know thee now, 1 Explanatory

82.1 - 83.5 King ... line—] "Cp. 'Song' from King Arthur [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Cp. 'Song' from King Arthur 20-1 (see ll. 27-30 n above): 'Great Love, I know thee now; / Eldest of the Gods art Thou.'"

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 227.

Contribute a note or query

83 Mightiest of a mighty line— 1 Explanatory, 6 Textual

82.1 - 83.5 King ... line—] "Cp. 'Song' from King Arthur [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Cp. 'Song' from King Arthur 20-1 (see ll. 27-30 n above): 'Great Love, I know thee now; / Eldest of the Gods art Thou.'"

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 227.

83.1-5 Mightiest ... line—] "''The mightiest of the mighty [...]" E. Gosse, 1884.

"''The mightiest of the mighty line.'' - Wharton MS."

The Works of Thomas Gray: In Prose and Verse. Ed. by Edmund Gosse, in four vols. London: MacMillan and Co., 1884, vol. i, 64.

83.1-5 Mightiest ... line—] "The mightiest of the mighty [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"The mightiest of the mighty line. Various reading[] in the Wharton MS."

The Poetical Works of Thomas Gray: English and Latin. Edited with an introduction, life, notes and a bibliography by John Bradshaw. Reprinted edition. The Aldine edition of the British poets series. London: George Bell and sons, 1903 [1st edition 1891], 209.

83.1-5 Mightiest ... line—] "The mightiest of the mighty [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"The mightiest of the mighty line,   Wharton MS. An amplification by Gray."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 256.

83.1-5 Mightiest ... line—] "The Mightiest of the mighty [...]" A.L. Poole/L. Whibley, 1950 [1st ed. 1919].

"The Mightiest of the mighty line The [...] reading[] [is] in the Wharton MS."

The Poems of Gray and Collins. Edited by Austin Lane Poole. Revised by Leonard Whibley. Third edition. Oxford editions of standard authors series. London: Oxford UP, 1937, reprinted 1950 [1st ed. 1919], 174.

83.1-5 Mightiest ... line—] "The Mightiest of the mighty [...]" H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"The Mightiest of the mighty line Wh[arton transcript, Egerton MS.]."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 34.

83.1-5 Mightiest ... line—] "The Mightiest of the mighty [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"The Mightiest of the mighty line   Wharton."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 227.

Contribute a note or query


84 O. No boding maid of skill divine
85 Art thou, nor prophetess of good;
86 But mother of the giant-brood! 4 Explanatory

86.1-5 But ... giant-brood!] "Odin recognizes the seeress as [...]" W. Lyon Phelps, 1894.

"Odin recognizes the seeress as the goddess Hel herself. But this interpretation is doubtful. In any case, he taunts her with being an uncanny, diabolic creature: ''mother of three giants,'' as the original has it."

Selections from the Poetry and Prose of Thomas Gray. Ed. with an introduction and notes by William Lyon Phelps. The Athenaeum press series. Boston: Ginn & company, 1894, 169.

86.1-5 But ... giant-brood!] " ''In the Latin 'Mater [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

" ''In the Latin 'Mater trium Gigantum.' He means, therefore, probably Angerbode, who, from her name, seems to be 'no Prophetess of good,' and who bore to Loki, as the Edda says, three children, the Wolf Fenris, the great Serpent of Midgard, and Hela, all of them called Giants in that mythology.'' Mason.
But P[helps]. and K[ittredge]. say (doubtfully), ''Odin recognizes the seeress as the goddess Hel herself.'' In that case perhaps 'Mother of three Monsters' (V. and P.) has no specific reference; but is an imputation extemporized by Odin to relieve his feelings, with a detail to give it more sting."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 256.

86.2-5 mother ... giant-brood!] "In the Latin 'Mater trium [...]" H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"In the Latin 'Mater trium Gigantum'. He means, therefore, probably Angerbode, who, from her name, seems to be 'no Prophetess of good', and who bore to Loke, as the Edda says, three children; the Wolf Fenris, the great Serpent of Midgard, and Hela, all of them called Giants. ... M[ason]. Mason has jumped to two conclusions to arrive at this note. The Latin trium gigantum mater is a literal rendering of the priggia pursa modir, but there is no clear proof in the original that the Prophetess is a giantess and even less that Angrboda is specifically meant. Because the meaning of the passage is so obscure, the present editors thought that the 'three giants' might be a kenning-like allusion to the three responses that the Prophetess has given; however, Professor Ursula Brown does not believe that such a meaning of purs can be sustained from its uses in other ON literature."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 220.

86.5 giant-brood!] "'the giant-brood', Spenser, Faerie Queene [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"'the giant-brood', Spenser, Faerie Queene III ix 49, 8; Par. Lost i 576, and Samson Agonistes 1247; Dryden, Hind and the Panther ii 535, and Britannia Rediviva 237."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 227.

Contribute a note or query


87 Pr. Hie thee hence and boast at home, 6 Textual

87.2-6 Hie ... boast] "Hie thee, Odin, boast. - [...]" E. Gosse, 1884.

"Hie thee, Odin, boast. - Wharton MS."

The Works of Thomas Gray: In Prose and Verse. Ed. by Edmund Gosse, in four vols. London: MacMillan and Co., 1884, vol. i, 65.

87.4-5 hence and] "Odin. Various reading[] in the [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"Odin. Various reading[] in the Wharton MS."

The Poetical Works of Thomas Gray: English and Latin. Edited with an introduction, life, notes and a bibliography by John Bradshaw. Reprinted edition. The Aldine edition of the British poets series. London: George Bell and sons, 1903 [1st edition 1891], 209.

87.4-5 hence and] "[Hie thee,] Odin[, boast]   [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"[Hie thee,] Odin[, boast]   Wharton MS."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 256.

87.4-5 hence and] "Odin, The [...] reading[] [is] [...]" A.L. Poole/L. Whibley, 1950 [1st ed. 1919].

"Odin, The [...] reading[] [is] in the Wharton MS."

The Poems of Gray and Collins. Edited by Austin Lane Poole. Revised by Leonard Whibley. Third edition. Oxford editions of standard authors series. London: Oxford UP, 1937, reprinted 1950 [1st ed. 1919], 174.

87.4-5 hence and] "Odin, Wh[arton transcript, Egerton MS.]." H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"Odin, Wh[arton transcript, Egerton MS.]."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 34.

87.4-5 hence and] "Odin   Wharton." R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Odin   Wharton."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 227.

Contribute a note or query

88 That never shall enquirer come
89 To break my iron-sleep again, 2 Explanatory

89.4 iron-sleep] "Cf. Bard, l. 93 n.[Greek [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"Cf. Bard, l. 93 n.
[Greek words (omitted)], Hom. Il. XI. 241; and ''ferreus somnus,'' Virg., Aen. XII. 309. Mitford."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 256.

89.4 iron-sleep] "'Unbroken; indissoluble' (Johnson). Cp. Virgil, [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"'Unbroken; indissoluble' (Johnson). Cp. Virgil, Aeneid xii 309-10: ferreus ... somnus; 'Iron sleep', Dryden, To Sir Godfrey Kneller 57; Aeneid v 1095, xii 467; and 'Death's Iron-Sleep', John Philips, Cyder Bk ii."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 227.

Contribute a note or query

90 Till Lok has burst his tenfold chain; 5 Explanatory, 6 Textual

90.1-7 Till ... chain;] "In Gray's note Lok should [...]" W. Lyon Phelps, 1894.

"In Gray's note Lok should be Loki. The phrase Twilight of the Gods (Götterdämmerung) is an old misunderstanding of the Old Norse Ragnarok, which = merely The Fates of the Gods. Gray refers his readers to Mallet as an easily accessible source of information, but he had himself no doubt used Bartholin, pp. 587 ff., where a part of the Voluspa (The Sibyl's Soothsaying), the first poem in the Poetic Edda and our chief authority for this belief, is quoted and translated: see especially p. 595."

Selections from the Poetry and Prose of Thomas Gray. Ed. with an introduction and notes by William Lyon Phelps. The Athenaeum press series. Boston: Ginn & company, 1894, 169.

90.1-7 Till ... chain;] " ''Gray had himself no [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

" ''Gray had himself no doubt used Bartholin, pp. 567 ff., where a part of the Voluspa (the Sibyl's soothsaying) is quoted and translated.'' P[helps]. and K[ittredge].
According to the Prose Edda, Loki after compassing the death of Balder and preventing his return from Hela, was caught and imprisoned in a cavern, bound with three-fold bonds of iron; and a serpent was suspended over him dropping venom, which his wife Siguna receives in a cup, which she empties as often as it is filled; but while she empties it, the venom drops on Loki's face, and he writhes; which is the cause of earthquakes. ''There will Loki lie until Ragnarök'' says the Edda. Ragnarök Gray with all the older interpreters took to mean ''the Twilight of the Gods.'' P. and K. say it merely means ''the Fates of the Gods.'' So for the two last lines of Bartholin's version here Vigfusson and Powell give, ''And the Destroyers come at the Doom of the Powers.'' Bartholin must have supposed that the 'Twilight' preceded the final catastrophe."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 256/257.

90.1-7 Till ... chain;] "Lok had not yet been [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Lok had not yet been chained. It was after the death of Balder that the gods bound him to a rock with the bowels of his son Narfi. There is a longer note on the 'Twilight of the Gods' in G[ray].'s Commonplace Book, quoted in W. Powell Jones, Thomas Gray, Scholar p. 102 n."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 228.

90.1-2 Till Lok] "the spirit of evil who [...]" J. Reeves, 1973.

"the spirit of evil who is bound until the end of the world."

The Complete English Poems of Thomas Gray. Edited with an Introduction and Notes by James Reeves. The Poetry Bookshelf series. London: Heinemann; New York: Barnes & Noble, 1973, 115.

90.1-7 Till ... chain;] "Lok (or Loki) was eventually [...]" J. Heath-Stubbs, 1981.

"Lok (or Loki) was eventually chained by the gods, but will break his chain along with other powers of evil for the last battle, Ragnarok, when the gods and the world will be destroyed."

Thomas Gray: Selected Poems. Ed. by John Heath-Stubbs. Manchester: Carcanet New Press Ltd., 1981, 85.

90.3 has] "Have. - Wharton MS." E. Gosse, 1884.

"Have. - Wharton MS."

The Works of Thomas Gray: In Prose and Verse. Ed. by Edmund Gosse, in four vols. London: MacMillan and Co., 1884, vol. i, 65.

90.3 has] "Have. Various reading[] in the [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"Have. Various reading[] in the Wharton MS."

The Poetical Works of Thomas Gray: English and Latin. Edited with an introduction, life, notes and a bibliography by John Bradshaw. Reprinted edition. The Aldine edition of the British poets series. London: George Bell and sons, 1903 [1st edition 1891], 209.

90.3 has] "have   Wharton MS." D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"have   Wharton MS."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 256.

90.3 has] "have The [...] reading[] [is] [...]" A.L. Poole/L. Whibley, 1950 [1st ed. 1919].

"have The [...] reading[] [is] in the Wharton MS."

The Poems of Gray and Collins. Edited by Austin Lane Poole. Revised by Leonard Whibley. Third edition. Oxford editions of standard authors series. London: Oxford UP, 1937, reprinted 1950 [1st ed. 1919], 174.

90.3 has] "have Wh[arton transcript, Egerton MS.]." H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"have Wh[arton transcript, Egerton MS.]."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 34.

90.3 has] "have   Wharton." R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"have   Wharton."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 228.

Contribute a note or query

91 Never, till substantial Night 2 Explanatory

91.1 - 94.6 Never, ... world.] "This is an expansion of [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"This is an expansion of the simple original; inspired in part by the Volo-Spa. In substantial Night, Gray's meaning is much the same as Milton's (Par. Lost, II. 150), 'uncreated' or 'unoriginal' (Ib. X. 477) Night. But Milton speaks also of unessential Night (II. 439), the very reverse of Gray's substantial, for it means having no substance, [...], essence, and this strictly speaking is the right epithet, Darkness being only absence of light and colour. But Gray means that Darkness was, before the creation of anything, and will survive the destruction of all things."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 257.

91.1 - 94.6 Never, ... world.] "If we had only the [...]" H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"If we had only the poem on which to base a judgement, we should think that Gray had here rendered the original (ragna rok) more accurately than Bartholinus, who, like many early students of the Old Norse literature, confuses rok ('doom's-day' or 'final judgement') with rokr ('twilight'). See Cleasby and Vigfusson, Icelandic-English Dictionary, s.v. rokr. Unfortunately, his note to l. 90 indicates that he accepted Bartholinus's mis-translation (see translation of Bartholinus above, ll. 112-13)."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 220.

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92 Has reassumed her ancient right; 3 Explanatory, 6 Textual

91.1 - 94.6 Never, ... world.] "This is an expansion of [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"This is an expansion of the simple original; inspired in part by the Volo-Spa. In substantial Night, Gray's meaning is much the same as Milton's (Par. Lost, II. 150), 'uncreated' or 'unoriginal' (Ib. X. 477) Night. But Milton speaks also of unessential Night (II. 439), the very reverse of Gray's substantial, for it means having no substance, [...], essence, and this strictly speaking is the right epithet, Darkness being only absence of light and colour. But Gray means that Darkness was, before the creation of anything, and will survive the destruction of all things."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 257.

91.1 - 94.6 Never, ... world.] "If we had only the [...]" H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"If we had only the poem on which to base a judgement, we should think that Gray had here rendered the original (ragna rok) more accurately than Bartholinus, who, like many early students of the Old Norse literature, confuses rok ('doom's-day' or 'final judgement') with rokr ('twilight'). See Cleasby and Vigfusson, Icelandic-English Dictionary, s.v. rokr. Unfortunately, his note to l. 90 indicates that he accepted Bartholinus's mis-translation (see translation of Bartholinus above, ll. 112-13)."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 220.

92.1-2 Has reassumed] "Reassumes her. - Wharton MS." E. Gosse, 1884.

"Reassumes her. - Wharton MS."

The Works of Thomas Gray: In Prose and Verse. Ed. by Edmund Gosse, in four vols. London: MacMillan and Co., 1884, vol. i, 65.

92.1-2 Has reassumed] "Reassumes her. Various reading[] in [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"Reassumes her. Various reading[] in the Wharton MS."

The Poetical Works of Thomas Gray: English and Latin. Edited with an introduction, life, notes and a bibliography by John Bradshaw. Reprinted edition. The Aldine edition of the British poets series. London: George Bell and sons, 1903 [1st edition 1891], 209.

92.1-2 Has reassumed] "Reassumes her   Wharton MS." D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"Reassumes her   Wharton MS."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 257.

92.1-2 Has reassumed] "Reassumes The [...] reading[] [is] [...]" A.L. Poole/L. Whibley, 1950 [1st ed. 1919].

"Reassumes The [...] reading[] [is] in the Wharton MS."

The Poems of Gray and Collins. Edited by Austin Lane Poole. Revised by Leonard Whibley. Third edition. Oxford editions of standard authors series. London: Oxford UP, 1937, reprinted 1950 [1st ed. 1919], 174.

92.1-2 Has reassumed] "Reassumes Wh[arton transcript, Egerton MS.]." H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"Reassumes Wh[arton transcript, Egerton MS.]."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 34.

92.1-2 Has reassumed] "Reassumes   Wharton." R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Reassumes   Wharton."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 228.

92.1-5 Has ... right;] "Cp. 'Dulness o'er all possess'd [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Cp. 'Dulness o'er all possess'd her ancient right, / Daughter of Chaos and eternal Night', Pope, Dunciad i 11-12, and 'And laughing Ceres reassume the land', Epistles to Several Persons iv 176."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 228.

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93 Till wrapped in flames, in ruin hurled, 3 Explanatory

91.1 - 94.6 Never, ... world.] "This is an expansion of [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"This is an expansion of the simple original; inspired in part by the Volo-Spa. In substantial Night, Gray's meaning is much the same as Milton's (Par. Lost, II. 150), 'uncreated' or 'unoriginal' (Ib. X. 477) Night. But Milton speaks also of unessential Night (II. 439), the very reverse of Gray's substantial, for it means having no substance, [...], essence, and this strictly speaking is the right epithet, Darkness being only absence of light and colour. But Gray means that Darkness was, before the creation of anything, and will survive the destruction of all things."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 257.

91.1 - 94.6 Never, ... world.] "If we had only the [...]" H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"If we had only the poem on which to base a judgement, we should think that Gray had here rendered the original (ragna rok) more accurately than Bartholinus, who, like many early students of the Old Norse literature, confuses rok ('doom's-day' or 'final judgement') with rokr ('twilight'). See Cleasby and Vigfusson, Icelandic-English Dictionary, s.v. rokr. Unfortunately, his note to l. 90 indicates that he accepted Bartholinus's mis-translation (see translation of Bartholinus above, ll. 112-13)."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 220.

93.1-7 Till ... hurled,] "'Hurld headlong flaming from th'Ethereal [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"'Hurld headlong flaming from th'Ethereal Skie / With hideous ruine', Par. Lost i 45-6; 'Atoms or systems into ruin hurl'd', Pope, Essay on Man i 89."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 228.

Contribute a note or query

94 Sinks the fabric of the world. 3 Explanatory, 1 Textual

91.1 - 94.6 Never, ... world.] "This is an expansion of [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"This is an expansion of the simple original; inspired in part by the Volo-Spa. In substantial Night, Gray's meaning is much the same as Milton's (Par. Lost, II. 150), 'uncreated' or 'unoriginal' (Ib. X. 477) Night. But Milton speaks also of unessential Night (II. 439), the very reverse of Gray's substantial, for it means having no substance, [...], essence, and this strictly speaking is the right epithet, Darkness being only absence of light and colour. But Gray means that Darkness was, before the creation of anything, and will survive the destruction of all things."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 257.

91.1 - 94.6 Never, ... world.] "If we had only the [...]" H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"If we had only the poem on which to base a judgement, we should think that Gray had here rendered the original (ragna rok) more accurately than Bartholinus, who, like many early students of the Old Norse literature, confuses rok ('doom's-day' or 'final judgement') with rokr ('twilight'). See Cleasby and Vigfusson, Icelandic-English Dictionary, s.v. rokr. Unfortunately, his note to l. 90 indicates that he accepted Bartholinus's mis-translation (see translation of Bartholinus above, ll. 112-13)."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 220.

94.1-6 Sinks ... world.] "At the end of the [...]" H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"At the end of the poem in C[ommonplace] B[ook] is written 1761."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 34.

94.1-6 Sinks ... world.] "Cp. G[ray].'s translation of Propertius [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Cp. G[ray].'s translation of Propertius III v 31-2 (p. 26): 'How flames perhaps, with dire confusion hurled, Shall sink this beauteous fabric of the world.'"

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 228.

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Gray's annotations

2
[steed] Sleipner was the Horse of Odin, wch had eight legs. [Note in C(ommonplace) B(ook).]
4
[Hela the Latinized form of O[ld]N[orse] Hel]
Niflheimr, the hell of the Gothic nations, consisted of nine worlds, to which were devoted all such as died of sickness, old-age, or by any other means than in battle: Over it presided Hela, the Goddess of Death.
Hela is described with a dreadful countenance, & her body half flesh-colour & half blew. [Note in C(ommonplace) B(ook).]
24
The original word is Vallgaldr; from Valr mortuus, & Galdr incantatio. [Note in C(ommonplace) B(ook).]
90
Lok is the evil Being, who continues in chains till the Twilight of the Gods approaches, when he shall break his bonds; the human race, the stars, and sun, shall disappear; the earth sink in the seas, and fire consume the skies: even Odin himself and his kindred-deities shall perish. For a farther explanation of this mythology, see Mallet's Introduction to the History of Denmark, 1755, Quarto. [(A slightly more detailed draft of this note is in C[ommonplace] B[ook]).]

Works cited

  • The Poetical Works of Thomas Gray: English and Latin. Edited with an introduction, life, notes and a bibliography by John Bradshaw. Reprinted edition. The Aldine edition of the British poets series. London: George Bell and sons, 1903 [1st edition 1891].
  • Gray: Poetry and Prose. With essays by Johnson, Goldsmith and others. With an Introduction and Notes by J. Crofts. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1948 [1st ed. 1926].
  • Poems of Thomas Gray. Edited by W. C. Eppstein. London and Glasgow: Blackie & Son Ltd., 1959.
  • The Works of Thomas Gray: In Prose and Verse. Ed. by Edmund Gosse, in four vols. London: MacMillan and Co., 1884, vol. i.
  • Thomas Gray: Selected Poems. Ed. by John Heath-Stubbs. Manchester: Carcanet New Press Ltd., 1981.
  • The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969.
  • The Poems of Gray and Collins. Edited by Austin Lane Poole. Revised by Leonard Whibley. Third edition. Oxford editions of standard authors series. London: Oxford UP, 1937, reprinted 1950 [1st ed. 1919].
  • Selections from the Poetry and Prose of Thomas Gray. Ed. with an introduction and notes by William Lyon Phelps. The Athenaeum press series. Boston: Ginn & company, 1894.
  • The Complete English Poems of Thomas Gray. Edited with an Introduction and Notes by James Reeves. The Poetry Bookshelf series. London: Heinemann; New York: Barnes & Noble, 1973.
  • The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966.
  • Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

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Spelling has been modernized throughout, except in case of conscious archaisms. Contractions, italics and initial capitalization have been largely eliminated, except where of real import. Obvious errors have been silently corrected, punctuation has been lightly modernized. Additional contextual information for Gray's notes, presented here in unmodernized form, has been taken from the Starr/Hendrickson edition. The editor would like to express his gratitude to the library staff of the Göttingen State and University Library (SUB Göttingen) for their invaluable assistance.