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"Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard"

"Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard"


1 The curfew tolls the knell of parting day,
2 The lowing herd wind slowly o'er the lea,
3 The ploughman homeward plods his weary way,
4 And leaves the world to darkness and to me.

5 Now fades the glimmering landscape on the sight,
6 And all the air a solemn stillness holds,
7 Save where the beetle wheels his droning flight,
8 And drowsy tinklings lull the distant folds;

9 Save that from yonder ivy-mantled tower
10 The moping owl does to the moon complain
11 Of such, as wandering near her secret bower,
12 Molest her ancient solitary reign.

13 Beneath those rugged elms, that yew-tree's shade,
14 Where heaves the turf in many a mouldering heap,
15 Each in his narrow cell for ever laid,
16 The rude forefathers of the hamlet sleep.

17 The breezy call of incense-breathing morn,
18 The swallow twittering from the straw-built shed,
19 The cock's shrill clarion, or the echoing horn,
20 No more shall rouse them from their lowly bed.

21 For them no more the blazing hearth shall burn,
22 Or busy housewife ply her evening care:
23 No children run to lisp their sire's return,
24 Or climb his knees the envied kiss to share.

25 Oft did the harvest to their sickle yield,
26 Their furrow oft the stubborn glebe has broke;
27 How jocund did they drive their team afield!
28 How bowed the woods beneath their sturdy stroke!

29 Let not Ambition mock their useful toil,
30 Their homely joys, and destiny obscure;
31 Nor Grandeur hear with a disdainful smile,
32 The short and simple annals of the poor.

33 The boast of heraldry, the pomp of power,
34 And all that beauty, all that wealth e'er gave,
35 Awaits alike the inevitable hour.
36 The paths of glory lead but to the grave.

37 Nor you, ye Proud, impute to these the fault,
38 If Memory o'er their tomb no trophies raise,
39 Where through the long-drawn aisle and fretted vault
40 The pealing anthem swells the note of praise.

41 Can storied urn or animated bust
42 Back to its mansion call the fleeting breath?
43 Can Honour's voice provoke the silent dust,
44 Or Flattery soothe the dull cold ear of Death?

45 Perhaps in this neglected spot is laid
46 Some heart once pregnant with celestial fire;
47 Hands that the rod of empire might have swayed,
48 Or waked to ecstasy the living lyre.

49 But Knowledge to their eyes her ample page
50 Rich with the spoils of time did ne'er unroll;
51 Chill Penury repressed their noble rage,
52 And froze the genial current of the soul.

53 Full many a gem of purest ray serene,
54 The dark unfathomed caves of ocean bear:
55 Full many a flower is born to blush unseen,
56 And waste its sweetness on the desert air.

57 Some village-Hampden, that with dauntless breast
58 The little tyrant of his fields withstood;
59 Some mute inglorious Milton here may rest,
60 Some Cromwell guiltless of his country's blood.

61 The applause of listening senates to command,
62 The threats of pain and ruin to despise,
63 To scatter plenty o'er a smiling land,
64 And read their history in a nation's eyes,

65 Their lot forbade: nor circumscribed alone
66 Their growing virtues, but their crimes confined;
67 Forbade to wade through slaughter to a throne,
68 And shut the gates of mercy on mankind,

69 The struggling pangs of conscious truth to hide,
70 To quench the blushes of ingenuous shame,
71 Or heap the shrine of Luxury and Pride
72 With incense kindled at the Muse's flame.

73 Far from the madding crowd's ignoble strife,
74 Their sober wishes never learned to stray;
75 Along the cool sequestered vale of life
76 They kept the noiseless tenor of their way.

77 Yet even these bones from insult to protect
78 Some frail memorial still erected nigh,
79 With uncouth rhymes and shapeless sculpture decked,
80 Implores the passing tribute of a sigh.

81 Their name, their years, spelt by the unlettered muse,
82 The place of fame and elegy supply:
83 And many a holy text around she strews,
84 That teach the rustic moralist to die.

85 For who to dumb Forgetfulness a prey,
86 This pleasing anxious being e'er resigned,
87 Left the warm precincts of the cheerful day,
88 Nor cast one longing lingering look behind?

89 On some fond breast the parting soul relies,
90 Some pious drops the closing eye requires;
91 Ev'n from the tomb the voice of nature cries,
92 Ev'n in our ashes live their wonted fires.

93 For thee, who mindful of the unhonoured dead
94 Dost in these lines their artless tale relate;
95 If chance, by lonely Contemplation led,
96 Some kindred spirit shall inquire thy fate,

97 Haply some hoary-headed swain may say,
98 'Oft have we seen him at the peep of dawn
99 'Brushing with hasty steps the dews away
100 'To meet the sun upon the upland lawn.

101 'There at the foot of yonder nodding beech
102 'That wreathes its old fantastic roots so high,
103 'His listless length at noontide would he stretch,
104 'And pore upon the brook that babbles by.

105 'Hard by yon wood, now smiling as in scorn,
106 'Muttering his wayward fancies he would rove,
107 'Now drooping, woeful wan, like one forlorn,
108 'Or crazed with care, or crossed in hopeless love.

109 'One morn I missed him on the customed hill,
110 'Along the heath and near his favourite tree;
111 'Another came; nor yet beside the rill,
112 'Nor up the lawn, nor at the wood was he;

113 'The next with dirges due in sad array
114 'Slow through the church-way path we saw him borne.
115 'Approach and read (for thou can'st read) the lay,
116 'Graved on the stone beneath yon aged thorn.'

The Epitaph

117 Here rests his head upon the lap of earth
118 A youth to fortune and to fame unknown.
119 Fair Science frowned not on his humble birth,
120 And Melancholy marked him for her own.

121 Large was his bounty, and his soul sincere,
122 Heaven did a recompense as largely send:
123 He gave to Misery all he had, a tear,
124 He gained from Heaven ('twas all he wished) a friend.

125 No farther seek his merits to disclose,
126 Or draw his frailties from their dread abode,
127 (There they alike in trembling hope repose)
128 The bosom of his Father and his God.

Gray's annotations

1
[tolls]
[Era gia l' ora, che volge 'l disio
A' naviganti, e 'ntenerisce 'l cuore
Lo di ch' han detto a' dolci amici addio:
E che lo nuovo peregrin d' amore
Punge, se ode] — squilla di lontano
Che paia 'l giorno pianger, che si muore.
[(It was already the hour which turns back the desire
Of the sailors, and melts their hearts,
The day that they have said good-bye to their sweet friends,
And which pierces the new pilgrim with love,
If he hears) — from afar the bell
Which seems to mourn the dying day.]
    Dante. Purgat. l. 8. [Canto 8 lines i-vi.]
92
Ch'i veggio nel pensier, dolce mio fuoco,
Fredda una lingua, & due begli occhi chiusi
Rimaner doppo noi pien di faville.
[For I see in my thoughts, my sweet fire,
One cold tongue, and two beautiful closed eyes
Will remain full of sparks after our death.]
    Petrarch. Son. 169. [170 in usual enumeration]
127
— paventosa speme. [— fearful hope]
    Petrarch. Son. 114. [115 in usual enumeration]

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 338 textual and 352 explanatory notes/queries.

All notes and queries are shown by default.

0 "Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard" 9 Explanatory, 14 Textual

Title/Paratext] "[The Elegy written in a [...]" E. Gosse, 1884.

"[The Elegy written in a Country Church-Yard was begun at Stoke-Poges in the autumn of 1742, probably on the occasion of the funeral of Jonathan Rogers, on the 31st of October. In the winter of 1749 Gray took it in hand again, at Cambridge, after the death of his aunt, Mary Antrobus. He finished it at Stoke on the 12th of June 1750. The poem was circulated in MS., and on the 10th of February 1751 Gray received a letter from the editor of the Magazine of Magazines, asking leave to publish it. The poet refused, and wrote next day to Horace Walpole, directing him to bring it out in pamphlet form. Accordingly, so soon as the 16th of February, there appeared anonymously ''An Elegy wrote in a Country Church Yard. London: Printed for R. Dodsley in Pall-Mall; and sold by M. Cooper in Pater-Noster Row. 1751. (Price sixpence).'' There was a preface by Horace Walpole. The text here given is that of the Edition of 1768, which appears to be authoritative and final. Gray has appended the following bibliographical note to the Pembroke MS.: - ''Published in Febry. 1751, by Dodsley, & went thro' four editions, in two months; and afterwards a fifth, 6th, 7th, & 8th, 9th, 10th, & 11th; printed also in 1753 with Mr. Bentley's Designs, of wch. there is a 2d edition; & again by Dodsley in his Miscellany, vol. iv, & in a Scotch Collection call'dthe Union; translated into Latin by Chr. Anstey, Esq., and the Revd. Mr. Roberts, & published in 1762, & again in the same year by Rob. Lloyd, M. A.'' Besides these legitimate editions, the poem was largely pirated; the Magazine of Magazines printed it on the last of February, the London Magazine on the last of March, and the Grand Magazine of Magazines on the last of April. It first appeared with Gray's name as the last of the Six Poems of 1753. The MSS. referred to in the notes are that which belonged to Wharton, and is now among the Egerton MSS. at the British Museum, and that which belonged to Mason, and now belongs to Sir William Fraser, Bart., who printed a transcript of it in 100 copies in January 1884. The variations between the text here given and those of the first edition of 1751, and of the Pembroke MS., are not noted because both the latter are given verbatim in appendices. - Ed.]"

The Works of Thomas Gray: In Prose and Verse. Ed. by Edmund Gosse, in four vols. London: MacMillan and Co., 1884, vol. i, 72.

Title/Paratext] "Although nearly all the editors [...]" W. Lyon Phelps, 1894.

"Although nearly all the editors state that as a fact that the Elegy was begun in 1742, there seems to be no actual basis for this statement. In Mason's Memoirs of Gray (1775), p. 157, we find: ''I am inclined to believe that the Elegy in a Country Church-yard was begun, if not concluded, at this time also'' (August, 1742). But this is all the genuine evidence I have been able to discover. In Wakefield's Poems of Mr. Gray (1786), p. xi, we find: ''It is highly probable that the Elegy in a Country Church-yard was begun also about this time'' (August, 1742). Later editors state positively that it was begun in 1742 (Mitford, Gosse, Bradshaw, Rolfe, etc.). Mason seems to have had evidence for the 1742 date sufficient to satisfy Walpole, though what that evidence was we do not know. Writing to Mason, 1 December 1773 (Letters, VI, 22), Walpole says, speaking of the forthcoming Memoirs of Gray: ''There are ... errors in point of dates. ... The 'Churchyard' was, I am persuaded, posterior to West's death [1742] at least three or four years, as you will see by my note. At least I am sure that I had the twelve or more first lines from himself above three years after that period, and it was long before he finished it.'' Mason evidently made some satisfactory reply, for two weeks later, 14 December 1773 (Letters, VI, 31), Walpole writes: ''Your account of the 'Elegy' puts an end to my other criticism.'' Then Mason in 1775 made the statement just quoted above. At any rate, 1742 is the traditional date; we know that it was finished at Stoke Poges, in June, 1750 (see p. 70). It is not probable that Gray was steadily working at it all these years, even if he did begin it in 1742. For interesting conjectures as to causes that inspired the poem, see Gosse, Life of Gray, pp. 66, 96.
Gray was in no more haste to publish the poem than he had apparently been to complete it. After June, 1750, it was circulated in manuscript among his firends, and only an accident hastened its publication. An editor of the Magazine of Magazines, a cheap periodical, sent word to Gray that he was about to print it, and naturally the author did not care to have a poem of this nature make its entrance into the world by so obscure a by-path. He therefore had it published (anonymously) on February 16, 1751, by the great London publisher, Dodsley.
The Elegy leaped immediately into enormous popularity. Edition followed edition in rapid succession; it was translated into living and dead languages; and - a sure evidence of popularity - it was repeatedly parodied.
The facts as to its publication, etc., may be found in Gosse's edition of Gray's Works, and in Gosse's Life of Gray, although Mr. Gosse curiously contradicts himself on pp. 66 and 96 of the latter book."

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, 136/137.

Title/Paratext] "The ''Elegy Written in a [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"The ''Elegy Written in a Country Church-Yard'' was begun at Stoke-Poges in 1742, probably about the time of the death of Gray's uncle, Jonathan Rogers, who died there on the 21st of October. In the winter of 1749, after the death of his aunt, Mary Antrobus, Gray resumed it at Cambridge, and finished it at Stoke early in June, 1750; and on the 12th of that month he sent a copy of it in MS. to Horace Walpole, who circulated it among his friends. On the 10th of February, 1751, Gray received a letter from the editors of the ''Magazine of Magazines,'' asking permission to publish it. He thereupon wrote next day to Walpole, as follows: -

            ''Cambridge, Feb. 11, 1751.
''As you have brought me into a little sort of distress, you must assist me, I believe, to get out of it as well as I can. Yesterday I had the misfortune of receiving a letter from certain gentlemen (as their bookseller expresses it), who have taken the 'Magazine of Magazines' into their hands. They tell me that an ingenious Poem, called 'Reflections in a Country Church-yard,' has been communicated to them, which they are printing forthwith; that they are informed that the excellent author of it is I by name, and that they beg not only his indulgence, but the honour of his correspondence, etc. As I am not at all disposed to be either so indulgent, or so correspondent as they desire, I have but one bad way left to escape the honour they would inflict upon me; and therefore am obliged to desire you would make Dodsley print it immediately (which may be done in less than a week's time), from your copy, but without my name, in what form is most convenient for him, but on his best paper and character; he must correct the press himself, and print it without any interval between the stanzas, because the sense is in some places continued beyond them; and the title must be, - 'Elegy, written in a Country Church-yard.' If he would add a line or two to say it came into his hands by accident, I should like it better. If you behold the 'Magazine of Magazines' in the light that I do, you will not refuse to give yourself this trouble on my account, which you have taken of your own accord before now. If Dodsley do not do this immediately, he may as well let it alone.''
Walpole lost no time, and on the 16th of February the poem was published in a quarto pamphlet, the following being the content of the title-page: - ''An Elegy Wrote in a Country Church Yard. London: Printed for R. Dodsley in Pall-Mall; and sold by M. Cooper in Pater-Noster Row. 1751. (Price sixpence.)''
This then was the first appearance of the ''Elegy'' in print. It was anonymous, and contained these prefatory remarks by Walpole: -
Advertisement. - The following Poem came into my hands by Accident, if the general Approbation with which this little Piece has been spread, may be call'd by so slight a Term as Accident. It is this Approbation which makes it unnecessary for me to make any Apology but to the Author: As he cannot but feel some Satisfaction in having pleas'd so many Readers already, I flatter myself he will forgive my communicating that Pleasure to many more. - The Editor.
The poem was at once reproduced in the magazines; it appeared in the ''Magazine of Magazines'' on the 28th of February, in the ''London Magazine'' and in the ''Scots' Magazine,'' on the 31st of March, and in the ''Grand Magazine of Magazines'' on the 30th of April.
Gray has entered the following note in the margin of the Pembroke MS: - ''Publish'd in Febry. 1751, by Dodsley, & went thro' four editions, in two months; and afterwards a fifth, 6th, 7th, & 8th, 9th, 10th, & 11th; printed also in 1753 with Mr. Bentley's Designs, of wch. there is a 2d edition; & again by Dodsley in his 'Miscellany,' vol. 4th, & in a Scotch Collection call'd the 'Union'; translated into Latin by Chr. Anstey, Esq., and the Revd. Mr. Roberts, & published in 1762, & again in the same year by Rob. Lloyd, M.A.''
It first appeared with Gray's name in the ''Six Poems'' of 1753.
Mason says that Gray ''originally gave it only the simple title of 'Stanzas written in a Country Church-yard,' '' but that he ''persuaded him first to call it an Elegy, because the subject authorized him so to do, and the alternate measure seemed particularly fit for that species of composition; also so capital a poem written in this measure, would as it were appropriate it in the future to writings of this sort.''
The title of the eighth edition, 1753, is ''Elegy, originally written in a Country Churchyard.''
Three copies of the ''Elegy'' in Gray's handwriting still exist. One of these belonged to Wharton, and is now among the Egerton MSS. in the British Museum, and this copy is therefore referred to as the ''Egerton MS.'' The two other copies were among the ''books, manuscripts, coins, music printed or written, and papers of all kinds,'' which Gray bequeathed in his will to Mason, ''to preserve or destroy at his own discretion.'' These Mason bequeathed to Stonehewer (Fellow of St. Peter's College, Cambridge, and a friend of Gray's), who, at his death in 1809, left the greater portion to Pembroke College, and the remainder to his friend Mr. Bright, - each set containing a copy of the ''Elegy.'' The copy in the possession of the College is usually described as the ''Pembroke MS.,'' and of it there is a facsimile in Mathias' edition of Gray's Works, published in 1814. The collection left to Mr. Bright was sold by auction in 1845; the MS. of the ''Elegy'' was bought by Mr. Granville John Penn, of Stoke Park, for £100; in 1854 the MS. was sold for £131; and in 1875 it was bought by Sir William Fraser for £230, who had 100 copies of it printed in 1884. Mr. Rolfe calls this the ''Fraser MS.''; and Mr. Gosse refers to it as the ''Mason MS.''; but it may not always belong to the Fraser family; and ''Mason MS.'' is not sufficiently distinctive, as the ''Pembroke MS.'' was also Mason's. As this MS. seems to have been the rough draft, and contains a greater number of original readings and alterations, the other two apparently being made from it by Gray when he had almost ceased correcting the ''Elegy,'' I shall refer to it in the Notes and Various Readings as the ''Original 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], 211-214.

Title/Paratext] "Mason, in his Memoirs of [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"Mason, in his Memoirs of Gray, speaking of the date August 1742, that month of exceptional efflorescence in Gray, says, ''I am inclined to believe that the Elegy in a Country Churchyard was begun, if not concluded, at this time also. Though I am aware that, as it stands at present, the conclusion is of a later date; how that was originally, I have shown in my notes on the poem.'' (The four stanzas which, according to Mason, originally ended the poem will be found infra, n. on l. 72.)
Of the MS. of the Elegy in which these four stanzas occur, called by Dr Bradshaw the 'Original,' by Mr Gosse the 'Mason,' and by Mr Rolfe the 'Fraser' MS. 100 copies were printed in 1884. The MS. does not end with these four stanzas, but contains them with the conclusion as we now read the poem [Footnote: ''Mason says, 'In the first manuscript copy of this exquisite poem I find the conclusion different from that which he afterwards composed.' He has only inferred that the four stanzas were the original conclusion and endeavours thus to force this inference upon his readers.'']. Gray added his after-thoughts without effacing the lines for which he meant to substitute them: this is characteristic of him, for he had a great aversion to erasure. That he could not have intended the second and fourth of these stanzas to remain is clear, because they are remodelled in ll. 73-76, and ll. 93-96; but the four stanzas, however beautiful, are abrupt, considered as the last lines of the poem. When Gray sent the poem to Walpole in 1750, he could congratulate himself that the 'thing' had really an end to it, both as compared with its previous state and with the fragmentary Agrippina.
Walpole did not at first accept the account of the date of the poem, submitted to him by Mason before the Memoirs of Gray went to press. He writes, Dec. 1, 1773:
''The 'Churchyard' was, I am persuaded, posterior to West's death [1742] at least three or four years. At least I am sure that I had the twelve or more first lines from himself above three years after that period, and it was long before he finished it.''
And yet Mason appears to have satisfied Walpole that the opinion expressed in the Memoirs was correct, for Walpole writes to him Dec. 14, 1773, that his account of the Elegy puts an end to his criticism on the subject.
Walpole was surely complaisant, if Mason induced him, against his better memory, to admit that the Elegy could have been concluded, in any sense, in 1742. What evidence could Mason have adduced that it was even begun in this year? Not certainly the testimony of Gray himself, for if Mason could have relied upon that he would have let us know it. He must, I think, have persuaded Walpole that the three or four opening stanzas were not, as Walpole supposed, written shortly before he saw them, but, like the fragment of Agrippina, had long been laid aside. But would not Gray have told Walpole this, and would not Walpole, whose own impressions receive much confirmation from Gray's hints to Wharton in 1746, have recollected it?
If, as seems probable, Gray gave Walpole these opening stanzas not by letter, but when the reconciled friends were together, whether in '45 or in the summer of '46, when he was at Stoke and 'seeing Walpole a great deal' (to Wharton Aug. [13] 1746), Walpole would have no documentary evidence to oppose to Mason's representations whatever they may have been, and might easily have been induced by a man more conceited and obstinate than himself to mistrust his memory of what had happened twenty-seven years before. And that Mason's notions of the date of the Elegy were in no way modified by what Walpole told him, leads one to mistrust those notions altogether. However this may be, there can be no doubt that a goodly part of the Elegy was composed at intervals between August 13, 1746, and June 12, 1750. That the death of Gray's maiden aunt , Mrs Mary Antrobus, at Stoke, on Nov. 5, 1749, stimulated Gray to resume the poem may be true, and is more probable than that the death of his uncle Rogers in October 1742 prompted him to begin it.
Lastly, Gray's heading to the Pembroke MS. is 'Elegy written in a Country Churchyard 1750.' He has given in the same MS. minute details as to the editions of the Elegy; if he had written a substantial part of it as early as 1742 (a year so memorable to him), he might have been expected to record this.
Of the Elegy there are three copies in Gray's handwriting extant; the one mentioned already, which may be considered as the rough draft; this was purchased in 1875 by Sir Wm. Fraser. It will be referred to in these notes, after Mr Rolfe, as the Fraser MS. Another copy was in Wharton's possession, and accordingly is in the Egerton MSS. in the British Museum. I have never seen it, for when I consulted the Wharton Letters there, the Elegy had been taken out for exhibition. Of the third, the MS. at Pembroke College, Cambridge, I made such memorands as a brief opportunity admitted. Many therefore of the Various Readings here recorded are given on the faith of previous editors.
Walpole was so delighted with the Elegy that he showed it about in manuscript with the result that it got into the hands of the enterprising publisher. Accordingly Gray wrote to Walpole from Cambridge, Feb. 11, 1751:
''As you have brought me into a little sort of distress, you must assist me, I believe, to get out of it as well as I can. Yesterday I had the misfortune of receiving a letter from certain gentlemen (as their bookseller expresses it) who have taken the Magazine of Magazines into their hands. They tell me that an ingenious Poem called Reflections in a Country Churchyard has been communicated to them, which they are printing forthwith; that they are informed that the excellent author of it is I by name, and that they beg not only his indulgence, but the honour of his correspondence, &c. As I am not at all disposed to be either so indulgent, or so correspondent, as they desire, I have but one bad way left to escape the honour they would inflict upon me; and therefore am obliged to desire you would make Dodsley print it immediately (which may be done in less than a week's time) from your copy, but without my name, in what form is most convenient for him, but on his best paper and character; he must correct the press himself, and print it without any interval between the stanzas, because the sense is in some places continued beyond them; and the title must be, - Elegy, written in a Country Churchyard. If he would add a line or two to say it came into his hands by accident, I should like it better. If you behold the Magazine of Magazines in the light that I do, you will not refuse to give yourself this trouble on my account, which you have taken of your own accord before now. If Dodsley do not do this immediately, he may as well let it alone.''
The Elegy appeared on the 16th of February 1751 in a quarto pamphlet with the following Title-page.

''An Elegy wrote in a Country
Church Yard
London: Printed for R. Dodsley in Pall-Mall; And sold by M. Cooper in Pater-noster-Row. 1751. [Price Sixpence.]['']"

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 129-131.

Title/Paratext] "To the title of the [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"To the title of the Pembroke MS. he [Gray] has appended a note: ''Published in Febry. 1751, by Dodsley: and went thro four Editions; in two months; and afterwards a fifth, 6th, 7th, and 8th, 9th, and 10th, and 11th. Printed also in 1753 with Mr Bentley's Designs, of whch there is a 2nd Edition and again by Dodsley in his Miscellany, Vol. 7th, and in a Scotch Collection call'd The Union, translated into Latin by Chr. Anstey Esq., and the Revd Mr Roberts, and publish'd in 1762, and again the same year by Robert Lloyd, M.A.''"

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 133.

Title/Paratext] "In August 1746 Gray writes [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"In August 1746 Gray writes to Wharton from Stoke, ''The Muse, I doubt, is gone, and has left me in far worse company; if she returns, you will hear of her.'' And from the same place to the same correspondent, on the following Sept. 11 (after the account of Aristotle quoted by Matthew Arnold in his Essay on Gray): ''This and a few autumnal Verses are my Entertainments dureing the Fall of the Leaf.'' I know of no poem but the Elegy to which these fitful efforts of the 'Muse' are likely to belong.
Once more from Stoke, on June 12, 1750, Gray writes to Walpole, ''I have been here a few days (where I shall continue a good part of the summer) and having put an end to a thing, whose beginning you have seen long ago, I immediately send it to you. You will I hope look upon it in the light of a thing with an end to it; a merit which most of my writings have wanted, and are likely to want.''
That this 'thing' was the Elegy there can be no doubt. Walpole could not have seen the 'beginning' of it at an earlier date than Nov. 1745, - the date, as I have shown (Gray and His Friends, p. 7), of his reconciliation with Gray, - except we adopt the extremely bold hypothesis that the Elegy was begun before the quarrel, that is to say before, as far as can be ascertained, Gray had written a line of original English verse."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 128/129.

Title/Paratext] " ['']Advertisement. The following Poem [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

" ['']Advertisement. The following Poem came into my hands by Accident, if the general Approbation with which this little Piece has spread, may be call'd by so slight a Term as Accident. It is this Approbation which makes it unnecessary for me to make any Apology but to the Author: As he cannot but feel some Satisfaction in having pleas'd so many Readers already, I flatter myself he will forgive my communicating that Pleasure to many more. The Editor.''
The Editor is Walpole, as will be seen by Gray's letter infra. He pretends to have been one of many readers into whose hands the poem accidentally fell, and to have taken the same unwarrantable liberty with it, which had in fact been taken by the Magazine of Magazines. The plain truth might easily have been told as to the circumstances which led to its publication by Dodsley, without any sacrifice of the anonymity which Gray desired. And how does a poet indifferent to fame and money prevent the surreptitious publication of his works, by making the public believe that the offence has been twice committed with no remonstrance on his part? His real injury is the issue of a bad text; his only remedy the issue of a text revised by himself. Such remedy Macaulay took when an unauthorized edition of his speeches, deformed by ridiculous blunders, was published by Vizetelly. Such remedy Gray did not take; with a consequence of which he could not reasonably complain. He writes to Walpole from Cambridge on Ash Wednesday, 1751:
''You have indeed conducted with great decency my little misfortune; you have taken a paternal care of it, and expressed much more kindness than could have been expressed [? expected] from so near a relation. But we are all frail; and I hope to do as much for you another time.
Nurse Dodsley has given it a pinch or two in the cradle, that (I doubt) it will bear the marks of as long as it lives. But no matter; we have ourselves suffered under her hands before now; and besides, it will only look the more careless and by accident as it were. I thank you for your advertisement, which saves my honour, and in a manner bien flatteuse pour moi, who should be put to it even to make myself a compliment in good English.''
It is hard to understand why Gray's honour needed saving, or how by this expedient it was saved. But the worst of an affectation pushed as far as he pushed it, is that it leads to much bewilderment, and a good deal of superfluous lying.
The 'pinches' were more severe than I supposed. See Gray to Walpole, Mar. 3, 1751, and notes in my edition of the letters; the punctuation is perhaps not quite exact; and in stanza 7, l. 3 [see textual note], the word 'they' is twice repeated. There is no interval between the stanzas, but the first line of every stanza is indented. Gray took ample pains in the long run that the world should know what he had really written."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 131-133.

Title/Paratext] "Mason states that Gray originally [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"Mason states that Gray originally gave the poem only ''the simple title of 'Stanzas written in a Country Church-yard.' I persuaded him first to call it an Elegy, because the subject authorized him so to do; and the alternate measure, in which it was written, seemed peculiarly fit for that species of composition. I imagined too that so capital a Poem, written in this measure, would as it were appropriate it in future to writings of this sort; and the number of imitations which have since been made of it (even to satiety) seem to prove that my notion was well founded.''
Mason delighted to pose as Gray's literary confrere and adviser; and when we remember that he was capable of inserting in his version of Gray's letters compliments to himself which never came from Gray, we must accept such statements of his, particularly those which refer to this early stage of the friendship between the two men, with great caution.
Johnson was thinking of this sentence of Mason's when (in the Life of Hammond) he said, ''Why Hammond or other writers have thought the quatrain of ten syllables elegiac it is difficult to tell. The character of the Elegy is gentleness and tenuity; but this stanza has been pronounced by Dryden, whose knowledge of English verse was not inconsiderable, to be the most magnificent of all the measures which our language affords.'[']
Since the name was invented there have been elegies and elegies; but the residuum of truth in Johnson's remark is that this measure, because of its stateliness, at once betrays, by mere force of contrast, 'tenuity' of thought. Take one of the three stanzas of Hammond which Johnson derides:

''Panchaia's odours be their costly feast,
    And all the pride of Asia's fragrant year,
Give them the treasures of the farthest East,
    And what is still more precious, give thy tear.''
Even the few weak places of Dryden's Annus Mirabilis become through this mould the more obvious. It cannot therefore be successfully employed on trivial themes. It was used inter alios by Davenant for his heroic poem of Gondibert; by Hobbes for his curious translation of Homer; by Dryden for his Annus Mirabilis. The suggestion that the posthumous publication of Hammond's Love Elegies in 1745 had anything to do with Gray's choice of this measure may be dismissed; it comes oddly from those who affirm that the Elegy was begun in 1742."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 133/134.

Title/Paratext] "Begun possibly in 1742, but [...]" J. Crofts, 1948 [1st ed. 1926].

"Begun possibly in 1742, but more probably in 1746 at Stoke Poges, and perhaps carried as far as l. 72, with the four stanzas preserved by Mason, as its conclusion (see note at l. 72). Revised and completed in 1749-50, and sent to Walpole (see Letter XXII). It was circulated in manuscript copies until the editor of The Magazine of Magazines applied to Gray for leave to publish it; whereupon Gray got it published by Dodsley without his name (see Letter XXIII). 'It went through four editions in two months,' Gray noted, 'and afterwards a fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth, tenth, and eleventh; printed also in 1753 with Mr. Bentley's Designs, of which there is a second edition; and again by Dodsley in his Miscellany, vol. iv, and in a Scotch Collection call'd The Union; translated into Latin by Chr. Anstey, Esq., and the Rev. Mr. Roberts, and published in 1762, and again in the same year by Rob. Lloyd, M.A.' It had the success of a popular ballad. General Wolfe is said to have declaimed it to his officers on the eve of the battle of Quebec, and to have added: 'I would prefer being the author of that Poem to the glory of beating the French tomorrow.' It was translated into the chief European languages, and had a considerable vogue in France owing to the republican sentiment which it was supposed to contain. Marie-Joseph Chénier published a translation of it in 1805 to supersede the paraphrases and imitations which had done duty for it in French. Gray told Dr. Gregory 'with a good deal of acrimony' that it 'owed its popularity entirely to the subject, and that the public would have received it as well if it had been written in prose.' But in that he was clearly mistaken. It is evident from the swarm of imitations or unconscious echoes which it produced in contemporary poetry that it had charmed the age by its metrical splendour and verbal music quite as much as by its sentiment."

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], 164/165.

Title/Paratext] "[According to Mason, the Elegy [...]" A.L. Poole/L. Whibley, 1950 [1st ed. 1919].

"[According to Mason, the Elegy was begun in August 1742; but we can only say for certain that Gray wrote the main portion of the poem between 1746 and 1750. It was finished by June 12, 1750. On February 10, 1751, the editors of the Magazine of Magazines asked for permission to print it. Gray refused and at once wrote to Horace Walpole asking him to publish it anonymously. On February 15 it appeared as a quarto pamphlet under the title An Elegy wrote in a Country Church Yard, together with the following preface by Walpole: 'The following Poem came into my hands by Accident, if the general Approbation with which this little Piece has been spread, may be call'd by so slight a term as Accident. It is this Approbation which makes it unnecessary for me to make any Apology but to the Author: As he cannot but feel some Satisfaction in having pleas'd so many Readers already, I flatter myself he will forgive my communicating that Pleasure to many more. The Editor.'
The text here printed is taken from the edition of 1768. Three copies of the Elegy in Gray's handwriting are still preserved. The MS. formerly in the possession of Sir W. Fraser and now at Eton College contains probably the original draft. This differs considerably from the form in which the poem was published, and for this reason it is printed below (Appendix I). A second copy was sent to Wharton and is among the Egerton MSS. at the British Museum (No. 2400), and a third is at Pembroke College. The variations in these two manuscripts are given in the notes. The following bibliographical note is appended to the Pembroke MS. in Gray's writing: '1750. publish'd in Feb:ry 1751. by Dodsley; and went through four [five cancelled] editions; in two months; and afterwards a fifth, 6th, 7th, & 8th 9th & 10th & 11th. printed also in 1753 with Mr Bentley's Designs, of w[hi]ch there is a 2[n]d Edition & again by Dodsley in his Miscellany Vol. 4th & in a Scotch Collection call'd the Union. translated into Latin by Chr Anstey Esq. & the Rev. Mr Roberts, & publish'd in 1762, & again in the same year by Rob: Lloyd M: A:'. For the history of its publication and an account of the different editions, etc., see An Elegy ... by Thomas Gray, ed. F. G. Stokes, Oxford, 1929.]"

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], 89/90.

Title/Paratext] "There are numerous variations in [...]" W.C. Eppstein, 1959.

"There are numerous variations in the readings of this poem; they will be found in Gosse's Edition of the works of Gray (Macmillan). The poem was sent to Walpole, who was so delighted that he handed it round to his friends. The publisher of the Magazine of Magazines wrote to Gray informing him he was printing the poem. Gray thereupon wrote to Dodsley asking him to print it, which he did, anonymously. The London Magazine then stole it, and others followed the bad example. It is not its brilliancy and originality, but its balanced perfection that is its chief quality. Many of its phrases have become integral parts of our language. The form, the historic quatrain, is not new and may have been suggested by Dryden's Annus Mirabilis, but it lacks the latter's hard, metallic tone, and it is no exaggeration to say that Gray has handled the metre form with an infinite variety and charm unequalled by any other writer."

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

Title/Paratext] "First printed by Dodsley in [...]" H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"First printed by Dodsley in 1751 (Q1). Some of the errors which Gray pointed out were corrected in the third edition (Q3). The eighth quarto (Q8) of 1753, according to Dodsley, was corrected by Gray, although this claim makes it difficult to account for the persistence of one of the most obvious of the errors (see note to line 11) which Gray had mentioned in his letter of 3 Mar. 1751 to Walpole (T & W no. 159): see notes to ll. 11, 96, 105. [...] Dodsley followed [the text recommended by Gray to Dodsley (B), c. 1 Feb. 1768 (T & W no.465)] closely in P[oems, 1768]. The three extant holograph MSS. are the one at Eton College (E), probably the earliest; the one sent to Wharton (Wh) in Gray's letter of 18 Dec. 1750 (T & W no. 156), Brit. Mus. Egerton MS. 2400, ff. 45-46; and the one in C[ommonplace] B[ook], ii. 617-18. Although in his letter to Walpole, 11 Feb. 1751 (T & W no. 157), Gray had asked that the poem be printed 'without any Interval between the Stanza's because the Sense is in some Places continued beyond them' (this was done in Q1 although the first line of each stanza was indented), he does not seem to have repeated this request for B and P[oems, 1768]; he either had overlooked the issue or had concluded that that closing up the intervals was not necessary or desirable. With some editorial hesitation, the poem is printed here with the customary intervals."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 37.

Title/Paratext] "Title: Stanza's wrote in a [...]" H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"Title: Stanza's wrote in a . . . E[ton College MS.]; An ELEGY wrote in a . . . Q[uarto]1; . . . written ORIGINALLY in a . . . / . . . Corrected by the Author. Q[arto]8."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 37.

Title/Paratext] "Although Mason believed that the [...]" H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"Although Mason believed that the poem was begun as early as 1742, most scholars date its composition between 1745 and 1750. (For a detailed discussion see T & W, Appendix I, pp. 1214-16, and Stokes's edition of the Elegy.) Gray sent a copy to Walpole, who appears to have circulated it rather freely. In any event, to Gray's annoyance an imperfect copy was acquired by a journal which he disliked; consequently he wrote to Walpole (11 Feb. 1751, T & W no. 157): 'As you have brought me into a little Sort of Distress, you must assist me, I believe, to get out of it, as well as I can. yesterday I had the Misfortune of receiving a Letter from certain Gentlemen (as their Bookseller expresses it) who have taken the Magazine of Magazines into their Hands. they tell me, that an ingenious Poem, call'd Reflections in a Country-Churchyard, has been communicated to them, wch they are printing forthwith: that they are inform'd that the excellent Author of it is I by name, & that they beg not only his Indulgence, but the Honor of his Correspondence, &c: as I am not at all disposed to be either so indulgent, or so correspondent, as they desire; I have but one bad Way left to escape the Honour they would inflict upon me. & therefore am obliged to desire you would make Dodsley print it immediately (wch may be done in less than a Week's time) from your Copy, but without my Name, in what Form is most convenient for him, but in his best Paper & Character. he must correct the Press himself ... if he would add a Line or two to say it came into his Hands by Accident, I should like it better. ... If you behold the Mag: of Mag:s in the Light that I do, you will not refuse to give yourself this Trouble on my Account, wch you have taken of your own Accord before now. ... If Dodsley don't do this immediately, he may as well let it alone.' Dodsley brought out the first edition of the Elegy, anonymously, on 15 Feb., one day before the Magazine of Magazines printed it with the author named as Mr. Gray of Peterhouse. Walpole prefaced to the first edition this statement:

Advertisement.
The following POEM came into my hands by Accident, if the general Approbation with which this little Piece has been spread, may be call'd by so slight a term as Accident. It is this Approbation which makes it unnecessary for me to make any Apology but to the Author: As he cannot but feel some Satisfaction in having pleas'd so many Readers already, I flatter myself he will forgive my communicating that Pleasure to many more. The EDITOR.
Despite his sensitivity to the criticisms of his friends, Gray expressed considerable indifference to the opinions of the reading public in general (T & W no. 156, to Wharton, 18 Dec. 1750): 'On the other hand the Stanza's [the Elegy], wch I now enclose to you, have had the Misfortune by Mr W[alpole]:s Fault to be made still more publick, for wch they certainly were never meant, but it is too late to complain. they have been so applauded, it is quite a Shame to repeat it. I mean not to be modest; but I mean, it is a Shame for those, who have said such superlative Things about them, that I can't repeat them. I should have been glad, that you & two or three more People had liked them, wch would have satisfied my ambition on this Head amply.' Mason, although the accuracy of his statement is open to some suspicion, claimed to be responsible for the title: 'I persuaded him first to call it an ELEGY, because the subject authorized him so to do; and the alternate measure, in which it was written, seemed peculiarly fit for that species of composition. I imagined too that so capital a Poem, written in this measure, would as it were appropriate it in future to writings of this sort; and the number of imitations which have since been made of it (even to satiety) seem to prove that my notion was well founded' (M[ason], ii. 108).
There have been innumerable notes designed to explain the meaning or to indicate the sources of the Elegy. It seems to the editors unnecessary to repeat them here. The editions of Mitford, Bradshaw, and Tovey are rich in material of this sort, and the bibliographies of Northup and Starr list many additional sources."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 222/223.

Title/Paratext] "Three MSS of the Elegy [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Three MSS of the Elegy have survived. The earliest, the Eton MS, has already been described. (A facsimile of this MS and of the 1st edn of the Elegy, was published with an introduction by George Sherburn by the Augustan Reprint Society, Pub. No. 31, Los Angeles, 1951.) The MS sent to Walpole in June 1750 from which the 1st edn was presumably printed is not extant but it was probably based on the transcript of the poem in G[ray].'s Commonplace Book (ii 617-18). The third MS, sent to Wharton on 18 Dec. 1750, is in the British Museum (Egerton MS 2400). This MS appears from its text to be later than that in the Commonplace Book. The text followed here is that printed in 1753, which contains G.'s final revisions, the proofs of which he evidently corrected (Corresp i 364) and from which he directed the text in 1768 to be printed. Variants are given from the three MSS, the quarto edns printed by Dodsley (of which G. significantly 'corrected' the 3rd and 8th, although changes occur in other edns and G.'s 'correction' did not remove all errata), Dodsley's Collection iv (1755), and the Foulis edn of the 1768 Poems."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 116/117.

Title/Paratext] "The date at which G[ray]. [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"The date at which G[ray]. began writing his most celebrated poem has been the subject of frequent discussion and disagreement, and the scanty and unreliable nature of such evidence as there is makes it impossible to reach any definite conclusion. Writers on other aspects of the Elegy have so often adopted a dating merely to suit a particular argument that a full statement of the relevant considerations is perhaps still desirable.
The most precise single item of information that we have for the dating of the Elegy is that on 12 June 1750 G. wrote to Horace Walpole (Corresp i 326-7): 'I have been here at Stoke a few days (where I shall continue good part of the summer); and having put an end to a thing, whose beginning you have seen long ago, I immediately send it you. You will, I hope, look upon it in the light of a thing with an end to it; a merit that most of my writings have wanted, and are like to want...' At the end of the letter G. added: 'You are desired to tell me your opinion, if you can take the pains, of these lines.' It has never been doubted that these remarks refer to the Elegy, which was therefore completed early in June 1750 at Stoke.
The date at which G. began the Elegy constitutes the real problem. From his letter to Walpole it is clear that there was a considerable interval between his beginning and completing it. Walpole had seen the beginning 'long ago', but whether this had been at the time when G. began writing it or at a later date is not apparent: the distinction is important, as will be seen later. At this point it is as well to consider the evidence offered by what is clearly the earliest extant draft of the Elegy. The Eton MS, entitled 'Stanza's Wrote In A Country Church-Yard' (now in the Memorial Buildings, Eton College) originally belonged to Mason. After various appearances in the sale-room in the nineteenth century it was bequeathed by Sir William Fraser in 1898 to Eton College. The first eighteen stanzas of this MS, in spite of many small variants, appear substantially as in the form eventually published. The four following stanzas, marked by G. in the margin as if for omission, were either abandoned or reworked in the remaining seventeen stanzas which, like the opening eighteen, appear very much as in the final form of the poem.
The Eton MS was first discussed by Mason (Memoirs p. 157) in 1775. Writing of the poems which G. is known to have written in the summer of 1742, he added: 'I am inclined to believe that the Elegy in a Country Church-yard was begun, if not concluded, at this time also: Though I am aware that, as it stands at present, the conclusion is of a later date; how that was originally, I shall shew in my notes on the poem.' Accordingly, in his notes, Mason, Poems pp. 108-09, commented on the Eton MS: 'In the first manuscript copy of this exquisite Poem, I find the conclusion different from that which he afterwards composed'. Then, after quoting the four stanzas which G. eventually rejected, Mason added: 'And here the Poem was originally intended to conclude, before the happy idea of the hoary-headed Swain, &c. suggested itself to him.'
The Eton MS confirms at least part of Mason's account. The four 'rejected' stanzas do provide a perfectly coherent conclusion to the poem. It seems clear, moreover, that, after G. had transcribed the poem to this point, there was a definite interval of time before he added the new ending. In that interval the MS was folded and stained and the paper itself deteriorated slightly. (I was kindly allowed to see an argument to this effect in an unpublished study of 'Gray's handwriting, and its value as evidence in the dating of his Elegy' by M. P. T. Leahy of Pennsylvania State University. That there was an interval cannot be doubted but neither the condition of the MS nor an examination of the handwriting itself throws any conclusive light on its length.)
Mason's tentative opinion that G. began the Elegy in 1742 was accepted by nineteenth-century editors and was also embellished: it was suggested, for example, that G. was inspired to begin the poem by the death of his uncle Jonathan Rogers in Oct. 1742; and this suggestion was balanced by the theory that he was inspired to take it up again after the death of his aunt Mary Antrobus in Nov. 1749. For neither suggestion is there any evidence. Apart from Mason's opinion, the only statement about the dating of the poem which can be thought tohave any authority came in 1773, when Horace Walpole was shown part of the Memoirs of G. on which Mason was then working. On 1 Dec. 1773 Walpole wrote to Mason: 'The Churchyard was, I am persuaded, posterior to West's death at least three or four years, as you will see by my note. At least I am sure that I had the twelve or more first lines from himself above three years after that period, and it was long before he finished it' (Walpole Correspondence xxviii 117-18). Unfortunately Mason's reply to this letter is not extant, but it contained his reasons for suggesting that the Elegy was begun in 1742. On 14 Dec. 1773 Walpole wrote again to Mason, accepting Mason's decision on another point he had raised about the Memoirs and adding briefly: 'Your account of the Elegy puts an end to my other criticism' (ibid 123).
In the absence of more definite evidence we cannot afford to abandon Walpole's objection as easily as he himself did. Admittedly, to convince Walpole, Mason must have produced a persuasive argument that he was right in believing G. began the Elegy in 1742. But just how persuasive must we assume it to have been? Mason did not meet G. until about 1747, so that his dating of the poem was not based on first-hand knowledge. If G. himself had told him that he began the poem in 1742, Mason would surely have said so. The very tentativeness with which he offers that opinion ('I am inclined to believe') appears to confirm its speculative character. It has not been noted, moreover, that this discussion in 1773 between Mason and Walpole as to the date of the Elegy was only incidental to a matter of much greater interest, at least to Walpole: namely, Mason's treatment in his Memoirs of Walpole's early friendship and eventual quarrel in Italy with G. Walpole was apprehensive about Mason's handling of this subject and undoubtedly offended Mason by some of his comments on it. In his letter of 14 Dec. 1773 he was therefore anxious to placate Mason and his decision in the same letter not to pursue further the matter of the dating should be seen in the context of the larger issue. At the best of times Walpole was given to 'agreeing' with correspondents with whom he obviously did not agree; and in this particular instance he had good reason for allowing himself to be persuaded.
In any case, Walpole retracted only the first part of his original assertion i.e. that G. began writing the Elegy three or four years after West's death, in 1745 or 1746. There is no reason to believe that he had not remembered correctly that G. had shown him twelve or more of the opening lines at that period. This memory fits easily enough with G.'s own statement in June 1750 that Walpole had seen the beginning of the Elegy 'long ago'. G. and Walpole had not become reconciled after their Italian quarrel until Nov. 1745, so that even if G. had begun the Elegy in 1742 he would not have shown it to Walpole any earlier. (This may have been the argument used by Mason against Walpole's objection to his dating.) The most likely period for G. to have shown Walpole the beginning of the poem is in the autumn of 1746, when Walpole was living at Windsor and when G. saw him regularly (Corresp i 239). It was also at this time that G. began showing his other poems to Walpole.
It may therefore be assumed that Walpole first saw the opening 12 ll. of the Elegy in the autumn of 1746. But a question at once arises. Why, if, as Mason and his adherents believe, G. had already written the whole of the first version of the poem, should he have shown Walpole only the 'twelve or more first lines' at this time? Is it not more likely that G. showed him only some twelve lines because he had written no more and more likely, in addition, that he had written them fairly recently? This problem was tackled ingeniously but unconvincingly by H. W. Garrod in 'A note on the composition of Gray's Elegy', in Essays Presented to David Nichol Smith (Oxford, 1945) pp. 111-16. Garrod pointed out that, without the four stanzas later rejected by G., the first version of the Elegy in the Eton MS contains 18 stanzas or 72 ll. Mitford's transcript of Walpole's letter of 1 Dec. 1773 provides the only text and Garrod argued that in making his copy of it Mitford had misread Walpole's '72' for '12'. In other words Walpole in fact told Mason that G. had shown him 'seventy-two or more first lines' of the Elegy some three or four years after West's death: i.e. almost the whole of the first version of the poem.
Garrod's argument is hardly tenable. It seems unlikely that G. in June 1750 would have referred to 72 or more lines as merely a 'beginning', when the whole poem contained only 128; and the manner in which G. asked for Walpole's opinion of 'these lines' does not suggest that Walpole had seen many of them before. As far as Walpole is concerned, it is unlikely that he would use such a phrase as 'seventy-two or more first lines': 72 is a very particular number to be vague about. Similarly, Walpole was always active in pressing G. to publish his poems and in 1747 and 1748 was responsible for the publication of three of them. His enthusiasm for the Elegy when he was shown it in 1750 makes it hard to believe that he had already seen its most memorable stanzas and had been content for some four years not to pester G. to finish and publish it. Finally, it is worth noting the authoritative opinion of the editors of Walpole's letters as to whether he wrote '12' or '72' and as to whether Mitford is likely to have mistranscribed the number: 'We believe [Walpole] wrote 12; HW's 1's and 7's are not at all similar, and it would have been unlike HW to count out the number of lines Gray sent him, or, if he had, to remember the total for a quarter of a century' (Walpole Correspondence xxviii 118 n 4).
The inconclusive nature of the main items of evidence as to the dating of the Elegy will be readily apparent. All that seems likely at this point is that the choice of dates is confined to two: the alternative to accepting Mason's tentative suggestion that G. at least began the poem in 1742 is to believe that when G. showed the twelve or more opening lines to Walpole in the autumn of 1746 he had only recently started it. In support of Mason's date is the fact that he managed to persuade Walpole that he was right, although the circumstances in which he did so must be taken into account. The other main fact in support of 1742 is that that year was by far the most creative of G.'s life: but there must obviously be a limit to this kind of argument, and it may be hard to believe that, in addition to the Ode on Spring, the Sonnet on West, the Eton Ode, the Ode to Adversity and the fragmentary Hymn to Ignorance, G. also found time and creative energy to write very much of the Elegy. It has also seemed natural to some scholars to connect the Elegy with the death of Richard West in June 1742, but once again there is no evidence to confirm such a theory. If West were to be involved in the poem at any point, it could only be in the description of the unhappy poet and in the epitaph at the end of the Elegy. Yet this section of the poem seems certainly to have been written in about 1750. The most elaborate of the theories involving West, Odell Shepard's 'A youth to fortune and to fame unknown', MP, xx (1922-23) 347-73, argued that the 'Epitaph' had originally been a separate poem about West written in 1742, and that G. wrote his second conclusion to the Elegy so as to enable him to work the 'Epitaph' in. In this way the poem as a whole became 'a lament for a friend who died of a broken heart'. Shepard's theory consisted of sheer guesswork at almost every point, attractive as parts of it may seem. There is no evidence that the 'Epitaph' was ever a separate poem and it is noteworthy that in 1773 Walpole (a close friend of both G. and West) clearly saw no connection between the Elegy and West's death, being quite convinced, at least at first, that the poem was written several years later.
The case for dating the beginning of the Elegy in 1742 is not strong and must, in fact, rest almost entirely on whatever one supposes Mason's unknown arguments for that date to have been and on the faith one puts in his judgement. The case for dating the beginning of the poem in the summer or autumn of 1746 is more elaborate but not perhaps much more definite. Walpole's initial conviction that the poem had been started then must perhaps be ruled out in the light of his later withdrawal of it; but there is no reason to doubt that it was at this time that he saw the opening lines, and the question posed above has still not been answered. Why, if G. had already written at least the first version of the poem, did he show Walpole only some twelve lines of it? There are, moreover, two cryptic remarks by G. at this period which suggest that, for the first time since 1742, he was once more writing poetry. On 10 Aug. 1746 he told Wharton that 'the Muse, I doubt, is gone, & has left me in far worse Company: if she returns, you will hear of her' (Corresp i 238). He made a more significant statement in another letter to Wharton on 11 Sept. 1746: after mentioning that he had been reading Aristotle, he added, 'this & a few autumnal Verses are my Entertainments dureing the Fall of the Leaf' (Corresp i 241). There would appear to be no other poem than the Elegy to which G. could have been referring.
One argument on behalf of dating the beginning of the Elegy in 1742 is that it is known to have been, for G., a prolific creative period. But it can be argued on the other hand that the resumption of the friendship with Walpole, which was really re-established in the summer of 1746, marked the beginning of a renewal of G.'s literary activities. Since the death of West he had lacked an audience, but now he began showing what he had already written to Walpole and starting new poems. He wrote for Walpole his Ode on the Death of a Favourite Cat, considered continuing Agrippina and began Education and Government. It was at least as good a period as any for G. to have started and slowly worked on the Elegy. There are also circumstantial arguments for dating the beginning of the poem at this period, which can be described as at least no worse than some of those for 1742. Apparently the first such argument was a spirited but extravagant article by W. H. Newman, 'When curfew tolled the knell', National Review, cxxvii (1946) 244-8, which attempted to demonstrate that the Elegy was inspired by various events in Aug. 1746. G.'s reflections on the inevitability of death and the dangers of ambition and power are connected with his visits in that month to various royal homes, with a number of recent royal deaths, with the famous trial in Westminster Hall of three Jacobite peers involved in the '45 rebellion, and with the triumphant return of the Duke of Cumberland from quelling that rebellion in the previous July. By combining with these events a quantity of meteorological information, Newman demonstrated to his own satisfaction that he possessed an 'abundance of evidence' for identifying the moment at which G. began writing the Elegy as 8 p.m. on 18 Aug. 1746. A similar, but more restrained and detailed, argument for connecting the Elegy with the trial of the Scottish lords in Aug. 1746 was offered by F. H. Ellis, 'Gray's Elegy: The biographical problem in literary criticism', PMLA, lxvi (1951) 971-1008. The 'biographical problem' is, of course, whether or not such connections between the poet's life and contemporary events on the one hand, and the poem itself on the other, can or need to be made. As far as the poem is concerned, G.'s generalities on rich and poor and on life and death are obviously self-sufficient and in no way need to be related to specific events of Aug. 1746 or of any other particular period; and the very generality of G.'s themes in itself makes it impossible in the end to accept the arguments of Newman and Ellis, however plausible they may appear in parts. Nevertheless, they may be thought to add something to the argument for dating the Elegy in 1746.
There is another kind of internal evidence about the dating which is perhaps slightly more conclusive, although by its nature it can be used only with caution. G.'s use of the quatrain in the Elegy was to be greatly imitated by his contemporaries and later poets, but he was not of course the first English poet to have used it nor was he by any means solely responsible for its vogue in the later eighteenth-century. Very early in his Commonplace Book he transcribed part of Sir John Davies's Nosce Teipsum, a poem in quatrains which he admired. In his 'Observations on English Metre', Works, ed. Gosse, i 344, G. noted its use by Surrey, Spenser, Gascoigne and by Dryden in his Annus Mirabilis. Another notable use of the quatrain in the seventeenth-century was in Davenant's Gondibert; Thomas Hobbes employed it in his translation of Homer; and it occasionally appeared in the works of early eighteenth-century poets, such as William Walsh (The Retirement). G. had therefore no lack of models in the use of the quatrain but it is worth noting that this stanzaic form had been brought into some kind of fashion by a work published several years before the Elegy, James Hammond's Elegies, dated 1743 but published in Dec. 1742. Hammond's poems, largely imitations of Tibullus, were undoubtedly imitated by other poets and did much to establish the quatrain as 'elegiac'. It must of course be remembered that in the Eton MS G.'s poem is entitled 'Stanzas' and that it was Mason, according to his own story (Poems p. 108), who persuaded him to call it an Elegy. (For some discussion of the meaning of 'Elegy' at this period, see Joseph Trapp, Lectures on Poetry ... Translated from the Latin (1742) pp. 163-71; William Shenstone, Works in Verse and Prose (1764) i 3-12: and the Annual Register for 1767, pt ii, pp. 220-2.) In addition, there is little to suggest, apart from the quatrain itself and the occasional echo, that G. was influenced by Hammond's Elegies. The possibility that he was, however, has been explored by J. Fisher, 'James Hammond and the quatrain of Gray's Elegy', MP xxxii (1935) 301-10; and if G. was imitating Hammond, he could not have begun the Elegy in the summer of 1742. In a later article, 'Shenstone, Gray, and the ''Moral Elegy'' ', MP xxxiv (1937) 273-94, Fisher argued that Shenstone's Elegies, which appear to contain many parallels with G.'s Elegy but which were not published until 1764, were in fact written between 1743 and 1749, most of them by 1745. At this period they were circulating in MS and Fisher suggested that they might even have reached G. This theory is unconvincing and it is much more probable that in revising his elegies after 1751 Shenstone imitated G.'s celebrated poem. Fisher's two articles, nevertheless, are of interest in that they show that G. cannot be regarded as the sole pioneer in the use of the quatrain and the popularity of the 'elegy'.
G.'s borrowings or echoes within the Elegy provide more evidence, although the possibility that any particular parallel may be no more than coincidental must always be borne in mind. It is surely significant, however, that consciously or unconsciously G. seems to have remembered phrases and longer passages from a number of poems written in the early 1740s: Blair's The Grave (1743), Akenside's Epistle to Curio and The Pleasures of Imagination (1744) and Odes (1745), the Odes of Collins and Joseph Warton (1746) and Thomas Warton's Five Pastoral Eclogues (1745) and The Pleasures of Melancholy (1747). G. could of course merely have shared common sources of inspiration with these poets and some of the echoes occur in the later part of the Elegy: but, considered as a whole and with the greatest caution, this evidence would certainly suggest that G. began the poem in 1746-47. The same conclusion would have to be reached if the Elegy is considered in relation to the vogue for 'graveyard' poetry and prose which emerged in the early 1740s. The Elegy could have been quite independent, but it must appear more likely that it came after rather than preceded such contemplations as Young's Night Thoughts (1742-45), Blair's The Grave (1743) and James Hervey's Meditations among the Tombs (1746).
Finally it may be noted that there would appear to be some relationship between the Elegy and the unfinished fragment on Education and Government, which G. probably wrote in 1747-48. Both poems deal with the subject of genius which circumstances have prevented from flourishing, and both may be related to Plato's discussion of education and its effect on 'virtue', which G. was reading at this time and commenting on in his Commonplace Book (see headnote to Education and Government, p. 89 above, and Elegy 65-6 n). Once again, this evidence cannot be decisive and, although G.'s treatment of the theme is clearer in the Elegy than in Education and Government, it would be impossible to demonstrate from this fact which poem came first.
This discussion has tried to make clear that all of the evidence is ambiguous and nothing more confident than an assertion of likelihood can be achieved. Even if it may appear that most of the poem was written in 1746 and later, it is still possible that G. began drafting it in 1742. Perhaps, like The Progress of Poesy, it was written 'by fits & starts at very distant intervals', although it may be pointed out here that G.'s method of working on his other poems suggests that he is unlikely to have taken eight years to complete a poem. Usually G. either abandoned a poem without finishing it, or took at most some two or three years, as was the case with his Pindaric Odes."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 103-110.

Title/Paratext] "Whatever the date at which [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Whatever the date at which G. began the Elegy, it is certain that he sent the completed poem to Walpole on 12 June 1750. According to Mason, Memoirs p. 211, Walpole's 'good taste was too much charmed with it to suffer him to withold the sight of it from his acquaintance; accordingly it was shewn about for some time in manuscript ... and received with all the applause it so justly merited'. The rapidity with which the poem had made its way in the fashionable world can be seen from the occasion for which, later in the summer, G. wrote his Long Story (see headnote, p. 142). G. himself described with mixed feelings the success of the MS circulation of the Elegy when he sent a copy to his friend Thomas Wharton on 18 Dec. 1750 (Corresp i 335): 'the Stanza's, wch I now enclose to you, have had the Misfortune by Mr W:s Fault to be made still more publick, for wch they certainly were never meant, but it is too late to complain, they have been so applauded it is quite a Shame to repeat it. I mean not to be modest; but I mean, it is a shame for those, who have said such superlative Things about them, that I can't repeat them. I should have been glad, that you & two or three more People had liked them, wch would have satisfied my ambition on this Head amply.'
Widespread circulation of MS copies of the Elegy could have only one result and G. described it in a letter to Walpole on 11 Feb. 1751 (Corresp i 341-2): 'As you have brought me into a little Sort of Distress, you must assist me, I believe, to get out of it, as well as I can. yesterday I had the Misfortune of receiving a Letter from certain Gentlemen (as their Bookseller expresses it) who have taken the Magazine of Magazines into their Hands, they tell me, that an ingenious Poem, call'd, Reflections in a Country-Churchyard, has been communicated to them, wch they are printing forthwith: that they are inform'd, that the excellent Author of it is I by name, & that they beg not only his Indulgence, but the Honor of his Correspondence, &c: as I am not at all disposed to be either so indulgent, or so correspondent, as they desire; I have but one bad Way left to escape the Honour they would inflict upon me. & therefore am obliged to desire you would make Dodsley print it immediately (wch may be done in less than a Week's time) from your Copy, but without my Name, in what Form is most convenient for him, but in his best Paper & Character, he must correct the Press himself, & print it without any Interval between the Stanza's, because the Sense is in some Places continued beyond them; & the Title must be, Elegy, wrote in a Country Church-yard, if he would add a Line or two to say it came into his Hands by Accident, I should like it better.' After suggesting two improvements to the text he had sent Walpole the preceding June, G. continued: 'If you behold the Mag: of Mag:s in the Light that I do, you will not refuse to give yourself this Trouble on my Account, wch you have taken of your own Accord before now.' As a postscript he added: 'If Dodsley don't do this immediately, he may as well let it alone.'
G. was understandably reluctant that his new poem should be first published in The Magazine of Magazines, a recently established and undistinguished periodical edited by William Owen. Both Walpole and Dodsley responded to his demand for immediate publication and the Elegy appeared on 15 Feb. 1751, as a quarto pamphlet, price 6d. Considering the haste with which it had been printed, the first edn. was comparatively well produced, in spite of a number of errata which irritated G. The title-page was embellished by woodcuts of skulls, cross-bones and other symbols of mortality, commonly used for bourgeois funeral elegies since the 16th century. J. W. Draper has some interesting remarks on this matter in The Funeral Elegy and the Rise of English Romanticism (New York, 1929) pp. 309-11, although it may be doubted whether these decorations relate the Elegy very firmly to that particular genre. If G. did not choose them himself, he apparently did not object to them, for Dodsley retained them for the twelve quarto edns of the Elegy published up to 1763.
In accordance with G.'s wishes, Dodsley prefixed to the Elegy a short 'Advertisement' written by Walpole:

'The following POEM came into my hands by Accident, if the general Approbation with which this little Piece has been spread, may be call'd by so slight a term as Accident. It is this Approbation which makes it unnecessary for me to make any Apology but to the Author: As he cannot but feel some Satisfaction in having pleas'd so many Readers already, I flatter myself he will forgive my communicating that Pleasure to many more.
              The EDITOR.'
Since the investigation of the relevant dates by R. Straus, Robert Dodsley (1910) p. 341, it has been assumed that Dodsley's edn of the Elegy won the race for publication by only one day. On 16 Feb. 1751 the General Advertiser announced that The Magazine of Magazines was 'This morning published. To be continued on the 16th of Every Month'. Another advertisement three days later listed among its contents 'Stanzas written in a Country Church-Yard. By Mr Gray, of Peter-House, Cambridge'. Whether the Magazine was actually published on 16 Feb. has, however, been questioned by M. Rothkrug in Papers in Honour of Andrew Keogh (New Haven, 1938) pp. 351-2, who pointed out that, although Owen habitually advertised his periodical on the 16th of each month, the last dated entries in each number indicate that it cannot have been published before the end of the month: e.g. in the Feb. number the last item in the Obituary and the 'Last Notice' are dated 28 Feb. Unless there were different issues of the Magazine, some containing later items of news, it must be assumed that the race for publication, whatever Owen's advertisements meant, was not as breathless as has been believed.
The advertisement in the General Advertiser of 19 Feb. meant that G. did [...] not retain the anonymity for which he hoped for long; otherwise he was satisfied that the best had been made of the situation. On 20 Feb. he wrote to thank Walpole for his part in the publication (Corresp i 342-3): 'You have indeed conducted with great decency my little misfortune: you have taken a paternal care of it, and expressed much more kindness than could have been expected from so near a relation. But we are all frail; and I hope to do as much for you another time. Nurse Dodsley has given it a pinch or two in the cradle, that (I doubt) it will bear the marks of as long as it lives. But no matter: we have ourselves suffered under her hands before now; and besides, it will only look the more careless, and by accident as it were. I thank you for your advertisement, which saves my honour, and in a manner bien flatteuse pour moi, who should be put to it even to make myself a compliment in good English.' G. informed Walpole of the 'chief errata' in the 1st edn in a letter of 3 March 1751 (Corresp i 344), and a number of corrections were made in the 3rd of Dodsley's quarto edns, published on 14 March. G. also inserted in this edn an additional stanza (usually known as the 'Redbreast' stanza; see l. 116 n) immediately before the 'Epitaph'. It was omitted once more in the 8th edn in 1753, when other corrections were made, and thereafter. G.'s original instructions that there should be no interval between the stanzas was followed in Dodsley's twelve quartos; but G. had decided to separate them as early as 1753 when the Elegy was published with Bentley's Designs and did not change his mind in the 1768 Poems. Mason duly separated the stanzas in 1775 but, oddly enough, in the 2nd edn of this work - having perhaps rediscovered G.'s original directions - printed the lines continuously."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 110-112.

Title/Paratext] "The success of the Elegy [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"The success of the Elegy was remarkable. The Monthly Review iv 309, for Feb. 1751 (published at the end of the month), commented that 'This excellent little piece is so much read, and so much admired by every body, that to say more of it would be superfluous'. John Hill, in the first of his series of contributions to the Daily Advertiser entitled 'The Inspector' on 5 March 1751 praised the Elegy enthusiastically, asserting that it 'comes nearer the manner of Milton than any thing that has been published since the time of that poet' and comparing it favourably with Lycidas. In 'The Inspector' No. 4 he printed a complimentary poem to the author of the Elegy by 'Musaphil'. The 4th quarto edn of G.'s poem had been published by 7 April and there was a 5th before the end of 1751. By 1763 twelve edns based on Dodsley's quarto had appeared. Inevitably the literary periodicals felt free to publish so celebrated a poem and, apart from the Magazine of Magazines, it had appeared in the London Mag., the True Briton and the Scots Mag. by April 1751. M. Rothkrug, in the article mentioned above, pointed out that the Elegy also appeared in Poems on Moral and Divine Subjects, by Several Celebrated English Poets (Glasgow, 1751); and confirmed that, as had been suspected but not established, it had been published in the Grand Magazine of Magazines in April 1751. Apart from these two publications, the frequent appearances of the Elegy in G.'s lifetime are described in detail by F. G. Stokes in his edn of the Elegy (Oxford, 1929). Stokes, Times Lit. Supp. 1937, p. 92, made an addition to his bibliography of the poem when he noted the inclusion of ll. 1-92 in the 4th edn of a volume of Miscellaneous Pieces, apparently published in 1752 by R. Goadby and W. Owen, the publisher of the Magazine of Magazines. See A. Anderson, The Library, 5th series, xx (1965) 144-8, for a refutation ofStokes's argument for the importance of this text, which was probably not printed in fact until late 1753.
In spite of, or perhaps because of, its popularity, G. rarely mentioned the Elegy after its publication. He made a few comments on it in a letter to Christopher Anstey, who published a Latin translation of the poem in 1762 (Corresp ii 748-9) but otherwise tended to be cynical about its celebrity. During a visit to Scotland in 1765, he spoke to Dr John Gregory of the Elegy: 'which he told me, with a good deal of acrimony, owed its popularity entirely to the subject, and that the public would have received it as well if it had been written in prose' (Sir William Forbes, Life of James Beattie (1806) i 83). Mason also believed this to be G.'s opinion, as he recalled in his 'Memoirs of William Whitehead', in Whitehead's Poems iii (1788) 84: 'It spread, at first, on account of the affecting and pensive cast of its subject, just like Hervey's Meditations on the Tombs. Soon after its publication, I remember that, sitting with Mr. Gray in his College apartment, he expressed to me his surprise at the rapidity of its sale. I replied: ''Sunt Lachrymae rerum, mentem mortalia tangunt.'' He paused awhile, and taking his pen, wrote the line on the title of a printed copy of it lying on his table. ''This,'' said he, ''shall be its future motto.'' ''Pity,'' cryed I, ''that Dr. Young's Night Thoughts have preoccupied it.'' ''So,'' replied he, ''indeed, it is.'' He had still more reason to think I had hinted at the true cause of its popularity, when he found how very different a reception his two odes at first met with.'
Yet if G. at times disliked being a popular author, the 'affecting and pensive' Mr Gray, he was not entirely indifferent to the Elegy's success. A marginal note (apparently added to from time to time) in the transcript of the poem in his Commonplace Book lists, with evident satisfaction, the various edns it passed through, as well as the two Latin translations by Lloyd and Anstey. And he can hardly have been unimpressed by the spate of imitations, parodies and translations into other languages which was already in full flow in his own lifetime; see Northup, Bibliography of G. (1917) pp. 123-45, H. W. Starr's continuation (1953) pp. 33-8, and W. P. Jones, 'Imitations of G.'s Elegy, 1751-1800', Bulletin of Bibliography xxiii (1963) 230-2. This aspect of the Elegy's popularity and influence can be illustrated by John Langhorne's remarks, in his review of An Elegy, Written among the Tombs in Westminster Abbey (Monthly Review xxvi (1762) 356-8), on the number of G.'s imitators: 'An Undertaker was never followed by a more numerous or a more ridiculous tribe of mourners, than he has been; nor is the procession yet over, for, behold, here is another Gentleman in black, with the same funereal face, and mournful ditty; with the same cypress in his hand, and affecting sentence in his mouth, viz. that we must all die! Hark! the Dirge begins.' Langhorne's next review was of Edward Jerningham's The Nunnery, an Elegy, in Imitation of the Elegy in a Churchyard."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 112-114.

Title/Paratext] "The first notable criticism of [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"The first notable criticism of the Elegy did not appear until the 1780s. Johnson's brief but eloquent tribute in the Lives of the Poets (1781) was followed in more senses than one in 1783 by John Young's Criticism of the Elegy (2nd edn, 1810), a detailed discussion of the poem in a manner deliberately imitating Johnson's. There is also a chapter on the Elegy in John Scott's Critical Essays (1785) pp. 185-246. Discussion of the poem in the next century tended to be pre-occupied with such matters as G.'s sources, the location of the churchyard and G.'s relationship to the 'Age of Reason', and to attempt little more critically than general appreciation of G.'s eloquence, along the lines of Johnson's tribute. Some recent discussions of the poem, in addition to those mentioned above, which should be consulted are: Roger Martin, Essai sur Thomas Gray (Paris, 1934) pp. 409-36; William Empson, Some Versions of Pastoral (1935) p. 4; Cleanth Brooks, The Well Wrought Urn (1949) pp. 96-113; F. W. Bateson, English Poetry: A Critical Introduction (1950) pp. 181-93; and three essays by Ian Jack, B. H. Bronson and Frank Brady in From Sensibility to Romanticism, ed. F. W. Hilles and H. Bloom (1965) pp. 139-89. Amy L. Reed's The Background to Gray's Elegy (New York, 1924), investigates melancholy as a subject in earlier eighteenth-century poetry, but does not throw a great deal of light on the poem itself.
The crucial fact about the poem, of which by no means all discussions of the Elegy take account, is that we possess two distinct versions of it: the version which originally ended with the four rejected stanzas in the Eton MS, and the familiar, revised and expanded version. Many of the difficulties in the interpretation of the poem can be clarified if the two versions are examined in turn. As has been stated above, Mason's assertion that the first version of the poem ended with the rejected stanzas appears to be fully justified. In this form the Elegy is a well-constructed poem, in some ways more balanced and lucid than in its final version. The three opening stanzas brilliantly setting the poem and the poet in the churchyard, are followed by four balanced sections each of four stanzas, dealing in turn with the lives of the humble villagers; by contrast, with the lives of the great; with the way in which the villagers are deprived of the opportunities of greatness; and by contrast, with the crimes inextricably involved in success as the 'thoughtless world' knows it, from which the villagers are protected. The last three stanzas, balancing the opening three, return to the poet himself in the churchyard, making clear that the whole poem has been a debate within his mind as he meditates in the darkness, at the end of which he makes his own choice about the preferability of obscure innocence to the dangers of the 'great world'. (It is the personal involvement of the poet and his desire to share the obscure destiny of the villagers in this version of the poem which make Empson's ingenious remarks in Some Versions of Pastoral ultimately irrelevant and misleading.)
Underlying the whole structure of the first version of the Elegy, reinforcing the poet's rejection of the great world and supplying many details of thought and phrasing, are two celebrated classical poems in praise of rural retirement from the corruption of the court and city: the passage beginning O fortunatos nimium in Virgil's Georgics ii 458 ff and Horace's second Epode, (Beatus ille ...). For a study of the pervasive influence of these poems on English poetry in the seventeenth- and eighteenth-centuries, see Maren-Sofie Rostvig, The Happy Man (2 vols, Oslo, 1954-58). In the concluding 'rejected' stanzas of the first version of the Elegy the classical praise of retirement is successfully blended with the Christian consolation that this world is nothing but vanity and that comfort for the afflicted will come in the next, although G.'s handling of the religious theme is very restrained. His tact and unobtrusiveness are all the more marked when his poem is compared with the emotional, even melodramatic, effects to which the other 'graveyard' practitioners - Young, Blair and Hervey - are prepared to resort when handling the same themes. The appendix to the poem (see p. 140), giving some parallels between these final stanzas and Hervey in particular, will suggest G.'s relationship to the religious meditators, but he shares none of their cemetery horrors and emotional over-indulgence. The classical or 'Augustan' restraint and balance which preserved him from such excesses is a strength which is manifested similarly in the balanced structure of the poem as a whole, as well as in the balancing effect of the basic quatrain unit.
The conclusion of the first version of the Elegy ultimately failed to satisfy G., partly perhaps because it was too explicitly personal for publication, but also no doubt because its very symmetry and order represented an over-simplification of his own predicament, of the way he saw his own life and wished it to be seen by society. A simple identification with the innocent but uneducated villagers was mere self-deception. G.'s continuation of the poem may lack some of the clarity, control and authority of the earlier stanzas, but it does represent a genuine attempt to redefine and justify his real relationship with society more accurately by merging it with a dramatisation of the social role played by poetry or the Poet. As G. starts to rewrite the poem, the simple antitheses of rich and poor, of vice and virtue, of life and death, which underlay the first version, are replaced by a preoccupation with the desire to be remembered after death, a concern which draws together both rich and poor, making the splendid monuments and the 'frail memorials' equally pathetic. This theme, which runs counter to the earlier resignation to obscurity and the expectation of 'eternal peace' hereafter, leads G. to contemplate the sort of ways in which he, or the Poet into whom he projects himself, may be remembered after his death, and the assessments he gives in the words of the 'hoary-headed swain' and of the 'Epitaph' (not necessarily meant to be identical) also evaluate the role of poetry in society. The figure of the Poet is no longer the urban, urbane, worldly, rational Augustan man among men, with his own place in society; what G. dramatises is the poet as outsider, with an uneasy consciousness of a sensibility and imagination at once unique and burdensome. The lack of social function so apparent in English poetry of the mid- and late eighteenth-century is constantly betrayed by its search for inspiration in the past. Significantly, G.'s description of the lonely, melancholy poet is riddled with phrases and diction borrowed from Spenser, Shakespeare and Milton. The texture of these stanzas is fanciful, consciously 'poetic', archaic in tone.
If the swain's picture of the lonely Poet is respectful but puzzled, emphasising the unique and somehow valuable sensibility which characterises him, the 'Epitaph', from a different standpoint, assesses that sensibility as the source of such social virtues as pity and benevolence (see l. 120n). G.'s Pindaric Odes of the 1750s were to show his continuing preoccupation with the subject of the function of poetry in society: for all his assertions of its value, the deliberate obscurity of the poems themselves betrays G.'s own conviction that poetry could not and perhaps should not any longer attempt to communicate with society as a whole. The central figure of The Bard himself is a not totally unpredictable development of the Poet at the end of the Elegy: more defiant in his belief that poetry and liberty in society are inseparably involved with each other and his awareness of the forces which are hostile to poetry; equally isolated and equally, if more spectacularly, doomed.
Two marginal problems associated with the Elegy may be mentioned in conclusion. The early nineteenth-century tradition that General Wolfe, on the night before the capture of Quebec from the French in 1759, declared, 'I would rather have been the author of that piece than beat the French tomorrow', is examined in detail by F. G. Stokes in an appendix to his edn of the Elegy (Oxford, 1929) pp. 83-8. Stokes also deals in another appendix (pp. 89-92), with the tiresome question of 'The Locality of the Churchyard'. Not surprisingly, no definite identification of the churchyard can be made, in spite of the number of candidates for the honour. (In his own lifetime, G. was already having to deny that he had been describing a churchyard he had never visited.) Anyone versed in the 'graveyard' poetry and prose of the mid-eighteenth-century will be satisfied that G. borrowed the traditional apparatus of his churchyard from no particular location."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 114-116.

Title/Paratext] "Completed at Stoke Poges in [...]" J. Heath-Stubbs, 1981.

"Completed at Stoke Poges in June 1750. First printed as a pamphlet by Horace Walpole in 1751."

Thomas Gray: Selected Poems. Ed. by John Heath-Stubbs. Manchester: Carcanet New Press Ltd., 1981, 77.

Title/Paratext] "When first published as a [...]" D. Fairer/C. Gerrard, 1999.

"When first published as a seven-page pamphlet on 15 February 1751, Gray's Elegy achieved immediate fame. It was reprinted in newspapers, magazines and miscellanies, and ran through eight editions by 1753. It is not possible to date Gray's work on the poem with certainty, but Lonsdale (The Poems of Gray, Collins, and Goldsmith (1969), pp. 103-10) has made a cogent case for placing its first writing in 1746-7: it seems to be recalling phrases and passages in the verse of Akenside, Collins, the Wartons and others, published during 1743-7. The similarities to Joseph Warton's Ode to Evening [...] would support a date after 4 December 1746. The surviving Eton College MS represents the earliest known version before a major reworking took place, and it was not until 12 June 1750 that Gray sent a copy of the completed poem to Walpole, 'having put an end to a thing, whose beginning you have seen long ago' (Correspondence, 1:326). Gray made some corrections and further minor revisions to the Elegy for its inclusion in Designs by Mr. R. Bentley (1753) [...]. In extending the Elegy beyond the ending he originally envisaged (see note[s] to line 72), Gray added an extra layer of irony. As in Ode on the Spring he executes a self-scrutinizing turn, which here places the poet in his own grave, with an illiterate rustic remembering him. Gray's poem is intensely allusive. In this respect it can be seen as continuing the tradition of pastoral elegy, a genre which as part of its mourning tribute interweaves earlier voices into a garland of allusion. The text of Gray's Elegy is in itself an 'ample page / Rich with the spoils of time'. Only a limited number of parallel passages and echoed phrases can be noted here. Lonsdale's 1969 Longman edition (see above ) is invaluable in helping the reader appreciate the full tapestry of Gray's poem, and anyone wishing to explore this aspect further should consult his annotations."

Eighteenth-Century Poetry. An Annotated Anthology. Edited by David Fairer and Christine Gerrard. Blackwell annotated anthologies. Oxford: Blackwell, 1999, 329.

Title/Paratext] "Gray's Elegy Written in a [...]" Alexander Huber, 2000.

"Gray's Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard is probably the best-known example of 'graveyard-poetry', the common term applied to the melancholy, meditative lyric poems of 18th c. writers, often set in graveyards, exploring the theme of human mortality and bereavement. Examples of this form of sensibility include Thomas Parnell, 'Night-Piece on Death' (publ. 1721), Elizabeth Carter, 'Ode to Melancholy' (1739), Edward Young, Night Thoughts (1742-46), Robert Blair, The Grave (1743), James Hervey, Meditations among the Tombs (1746-47), Thomas Warton, The Pleasures of Melancholy (1747), and James Thomson, The Castle of Indolence (1748)."

Alexander Huber <huber@thomasgray.org> (SUB Göttingen), URL: http://www.thomasgray.org/. Contributed on Sun Sep 17 20:08:14 2000 GMT.

Title/Paratext] "There are six stanzas altogether [...]" Alexander Huber, 2013.

"There are six stanzas altogether which have not commonly been printed as part of the "Elegy". The first omitted stanza, commonly referred to as "the redbreast stanza" (after l. 116), appears in the Eton and Pembroke MSS of the poem. It appeared in print from the third edition of the "Elegy", but was removed by Gray in the 1753 Designs, according to Mason, "because he thought (and in my own opinion very justly) that it was too long a parenthesis in this place. The lines however are, in themselves, exquisitely fine, and demand preservation.":

There scatter'd oft, the earliest of the Year,
By Hands unseen, are show'rs of Violets found;
The Red-breast loves to build and warble there,
And little Footsteps lightly print the Ground.
The Eton MS of the "Elegy" has another omitted stanza after l. 100:
Him have we seen the Green-wood Side along,
While o'er the Heath we hied, our Labours done,
Oft as the Woodlark piped her farewell Song
With whistful Eyes pursue the setting Sun.
on which Mason commented, "I rather wonder that he rejected this stanza, as it not only has the same sort of Doric delicacy which charms us peculiarly in this part of the poem, but also completes the account of his whole day: whereas, this evening scene being omitted, we have only his morning walk, and his noontide repose."
Finally, after l. 72, the Eton MS has these four omitted stanzas:
The thoughtless World to Majesty may bow
Exalt the brave, & idolize Success
But more to Innocence their Safety owe
Than Power & Genius e'er conspired to bless

And thou, who mindful of the unhonour'd Dead
Dost in these Notes thy [corr to their] artless Tale relate
By Night & lonely Contemplation led
To linger in the gloomy Walks of Fate

Hark how the sacred Calm, that broods around
Bids ev'ry fierce tumultuous Passion cease
In still small Accents whisp'ring from the Ground
A grateful Earnest of eternal Peace

No more with Reason & thyself at strife;
Give anxious Cares & endless Wishes room
But thro' the cool sequester'd Vale of Life
Pursue the silent Tenour of thy Doom.
Mason states about these: "And here the Poem was originally intended to conclude, before the happy idea of the hoary-headed Swain, &c., suggested itself to him. I cannot help hinting to the reader, that I think the third of these rejected stanzas equal to any in the whole Elegy."
Information about the MSS mentioned above and their locations can be found in the Archive's finding aid."

Alexander Huber <huber@thomasgray.org> (University of Oxford), URL: http://www.thomasgray.org/. Contributed on Mon Feb 4 16:01:35 2013 GMT.

Contribute a note or query


1 The curfew tolls the knell of parting day, 8 Explanatory, 2 Textual

1.1-3 The ... tolls] "The passage from Dante quoted [...]" W. Lyon Phelps, 1894.

"The passage from Dante quoted by Gray is Purgatorio, canto viii, 5, 6.
The standard History of England in Gray's time, that by Thomas Carte, describes the curfew law of William the Conqueror as ''an ordinance, that all the common people should put out their fire and candle and go to bed at seven a clock, upon the ringing of a bell, called the couvre feu bell, on pain of death; a regulation, which having been made in an assembly of the estates of Normandie at Caen, in A.D. 1061, to prevent the debauches, disorders, and other mischiefs frequently committed at night, had been practised with good success in that country.'' (Book v, vol. I, p. 422, 1747.)"

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, 137.

1.1 - 4.9 The ... me.] "Cf. Joseph Warton's Ode to [...]" W. Lyon Phelps, 1894.

"Cf. Joseph Warton's Ode to Evening, which contains a number of passages strikingly similar to the Elegy, although - so far as I know - the similarity has not been noticed by editors. Warton's Odes were published in 1746. One stanza in particular Gray may have had in mind when he composed the first stanza of his Elegy:

''Hail, meek-eyed maiden, clad in sober grey,
Whose soft approach the weary woodman loves,
As, homeward bent to kiss his prattling babes,
He jocund whistles thro' the twilight groves.''
Collins's Odes were published the same year as J. Warton's (1746), and the whole atmosphere of Collins's Ode to Evening is similar to that of the Elegy. Cf. especially stanza 10:
''And hamlets brown, and dim-discover'd spires;
And hears their simple bell, and marks o'er all
The dewy fingers draw the gradual dusky veil.''
For Gray's remarks on Warton's and Collins's Odes, see p. 81. Cf. also Ambrose Philips, Pastoral ii, end:
''And now behold the sun's departing ray
O'er yonder hill, the sign of ebbing day.
With songs the jovial hinds return from plow,
And unyok'd heifers, pacing homeward, low.'' "

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, 137/138.

1.1-2 The curfew] "The curfew was a bell, [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"The curfew was a bell, or the ringing of a bell, rung at eight o'clock in the evening for putting out fires (Fr. couvre, cover, and feu, fire), a custom introduced by William the Conqueror. The word continued to be applied to an evening bell long after the law for putting out fires ceased, but it is not now so used, and the word would have become obsolete but for Gray's use of it here, and when one speaks of the curfew one thinks of the first line of the ''Elegy.'' It occurs frequently in Shakespeare, and Milton uses it twice, - ''Comus,'' 435, and in the well-known lines in ''Il Penseroso'': - ''I hear the far-off curfew sound / Over some wide-watered shore.'' - 74, 75. Gray quotes in original the lines from Dante which suggested this line. Cary's translation is as follows: -

''And pilgrim, newly on his road with love,
Thrills if he hear the vesper bell from far,
That seems to mourn for the expiring day.''"

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], 214/215.

1.1-2 The curfew] "The evening bell still conventionally [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"The evening bell still conventionally called curfew, though the law of the Conqueror, which gave it the name, had long been a dead letter. In Shakespeare the sound of the Curfew is the signal to the spirit-world to be at large. Edgar in Lear feigns to recognize 'the foul fiend Flibbertigibbet: he begins at curfew and walks till the first cock' (III. 4. 103); and in The Tempest, V. i. 40, the elves 'rejoice to hear the solemn curfew.' The mood of the Elegy is that of Il Penseroso and the scene in both poems is viewed in the evening twilight:

''Oft on a plat of rising ground
I hear the far-off curfew sound,
Over some wide-watered shore,
Swinging slow with sullen roar.''
        Milton, Il Penseroso, 72-75.
Milton's 'far-off curfew' reminds us of the squilla di lontano of Dante, which Gray quotes for the first line of the Elegy. I supply in brackets the rest of the passage; Purgatorio, VIII. 1-6.
[Era gia l' ora, che volge 'l disio
A' naviganti, e 'ntenerisce 'l cuore
Lo di ch' han detto a' dolci amici addio:
E che lo nuovo peregrin d' amore
Punge, se ode] squilla di lontano
Che paia 'l giorno pianger, che si muore.
[Now was the hour that wakens fond desire
In men at sea, and melts their thoughtful heart
Who in the morn have bid sweet friends farewell,
And pilgrim, newly on the road, with love
Thrills, if he hear] the vesper bell from far
That seems to mourn for the expiring day.     Cary.
The curfew tolls from Great S. Mary's, at Cambridge, at 9, from the Curfew Tower of Windsor Castle (nearer the scene of the Elegy) at 8, in the evening.
Warton, Notes on Pope, vol. i. p. 82, reads:
''The curfew tolls! - the knell of parting day.''
But we know exactly what Gray wrote, and what he meant us to read."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 134/135.

1.1-8 The ... day,] "In a letter to Bedingfield [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"In a letter to Bedingfield in Aug. 1756 (Corresp ii 477) and in 1768 G[ray]. acknowledged his debt to Dante, Purgatorio viii 5-6: se ode squilla di lontano, / che paia il giorno pianger che si muore (from afar he hears the chimes which seem to mourn for the dying day). He may have felt obliged to do so publicly as a result of Norton Nicholls's discovery of the debt: see Corresp iii 1297. Nicholls added: 'He acknowledged the imitation & said he had at first written ''tolls the knell of dying day'' but changed it to parting to avoid the concetto.' G.'s opening quatrain is also reminiscent of Inferno ii 1-3: Lo giorno se n'andava, e l'aer bruno / toglieve gli animai, che sono in terra, / dalle fatiche loro; ed io sol uno (The day was departing, and the brown air taking the animals, that are on earth, from their toils; and I, one alone ....); and see Petrarch, Canzone 50 (Ne lastagion che 'l ciel rapido inclina)."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 117.

1.1-2 The curfew] "Johnson (citing Cowel) described it [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Johnson (citing Cowel) described it as: 'An evening-peal, by which [William] the conqueror willed, that every man should rake up his fire, and put out his light; so that in many places, at this day, where a bell is customarily rung towards bed time, it is said to ring curfew.' Such a bell still rang in Cambridge at 9 p.m. G[ray]. probably remembered 'I hear the far-off Curfeu sound', Il Penseroso 73. But Shakespeare has 'To hear the solemn curfew', Tempest V i 40 and uses the word on three other occasions. It also occurs in Thomson, Liberty iv 755 and n; and in T. Warton, Pleasures of Melancholy (1747) 282-3: 'Where ever to the curfew's solemn sound / Listening thou sit'st.' Cp. also Collins's 'simple bell', Ode to Evening 38 (see p. 466). Shakespeare has 'A sullen bell / Remembered tolling a departing friend', 2 Henry IV I i 102-3; Dryden, 'That tolls the knell for their departed sense', Prologue to Troilus and Cressida 22; and Young, 'It is the Knell of my departed Hours', Night Thoughts i 58."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 117.

1.1-8 The ... day,] "This famous line is imitated [...]" J. Heath-Stubbs, 1981.

"This famous line is imitated from Dante, Purgatorio, viii."

Thomas Gray: Selected Poems. Ed. by John Heath-Stubbs. Manchester: Carcanet New Press Ltd., 1981, 77.

1.1 - 3.7 The ... way,] "a prime example of semantic [...]" Alexander Huber, 2009.

"a prime example of semantic clustering, the repetition of words covering the same semantic ground, for the purpose of reinforcement in establishing the tone of the poem in its opening lines: "curfew", "knell", "parting" (l. 1), "wind slowly" (l. 2), "plods", "weary way" (l. 3), all reinforcing the contemplative mood."

Alexander Huber <huber@thomasgray.org> (University of Oxford), URL: http://www.thomasgray.org/. Contributed on Wed Jan 14 09:24:22 2009 GMT.

1.7 parting] "dying Gray's first thought, as [...]" A.L. Poole/L. Whibley, 1950 [1st ed. 1919].

"dying Gray's first thought, as recorded by Norton Nicholls ('changed ... to avoid the concetto')."

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.

1.7 parting] "parting was originally dying according [...]" H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"parting was originally dying according to Norton Nicholls (see T & W Appendix Z, p. 1297), but changed 'to parting to avoid the concetto'."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 37.

Contribute a note or query

2 The lowing herd wind slowly o'er the lea, 9 Explanatory, 3 Textual

1.1 - 4.9 The ... me.] "Cf. Joseph Warton's Ode to [...]" W. Lyon Phelps, 1894.

"Cf. Joseph Warton's Ode to Evening, which contains a number of passages strikingly similar to the Elegy, although - so far as I know - the similarity has not been noticed by editors. Warton's Odes were published in 1746. One stanza in particular Gray may have had in mind when he composed the first stanza of his Elegy:

''Hail, meek-eyed maiden, clad in sober grey,
Whose soft approach the weary woodman loves,
As, homeward bent to kiss his prattling babes,
He jocund whistles thro' the twilight groves.''
Collins's Odes were published the same year as J. Warton's (1746), and the whole atmosphere of Collins's Ode to Evening is similar to that of the Elegy. Cf. especially stanza 10:
''And hamlets brown, and dim-discover'd spires;
And hears their simple bell, and marks o'er all
The dewy fingers draw the gradual dusky veil.''
For Gray's remarks on Warton's and Collins's Odes, see p. 81. Cf. also Ambrose Philips, Pastoral ii, end:
''And now behold the sun's departing ray
O'er yonder hill, the sign of ebbing day.
With songs the jovial hinds return from plow,
And unyok'd heifers, pacing homeward, low.'' "

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, 137/138.

1.1 - 3.7 The ... way,] "a prime example of semantic [...]" Alexander Huber, 2009.

"a prime example of semantic clustering, the repetition of words covering the same semantic ground, for the purpose of reinforcement in establishing the tone of the poem in its opening lines: "curfew", "knell", "parting" (l. 1), "wind slowly" (l. 2), "plods", "weary way" (l. 3), all reinforcing the contemplative mood."

Alexander Huber <huber@thomasgray.org> (University of Oxford), URL: http://www.thomasgray.org/. Contributed on Wed Jan 14 09:24:22 2009 GMT.

2.2-3 lowing herd] "A common phrase: e.g. Pope, [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"A common phrase: e.g. Pope, Odyssey x 485-7: 'As from fresh pastures and the dewy fields ... / The lowing herds return'; Cowley's imitation of Horace, Epode II 15 and of Virgil, Georgic II 20: Prior, Solomon ii 414 and Pope, Spring 86."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 117.

2.4 wind] "Often incorrectly printed and quoted [...]" W. Lyon Phelps, 1894.

"Often incorrectly printed and quoted ''winds.'' ''Wind'' is better for two reasons: it is more melodious, as it avoids the hiss of a double s; it has more poetical connotation, for it suggests a long, slowly-moving line of cattle rather than a closely packed herd."

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, 137.

2.4 wind] "This is the correct reading, [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"This is the correct reading, as, though winds occur in the first printed edition (1751), wind is what Gray has in the MS. copies and in the first edition of his Poems (1768), as well as in all reprints of the ''Elegy'' approved by him. After 1751 the first edition I find with winds is Stephen Jones' (1799), and though Mitford in his edition of 1814 has wind, in the Aldine edition (1836) he has winds, and is followed - without comment - by almost all subsequent editors of Gray's ''Poems,'' and in popular reprints of the ''Elegy.'' Another false reading is herds for herd."

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], 215.

2.4 wind] "Not winds, as so commonly [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"Not winds, as so commonly printed.
'' 'Wind' has a more poetical connotation, for it suggests a long slowly-moving line of cattle rather than a closely packed herd.'' Phelps.
Add that of Gray's cattle some are returning from the pasture, but others from the plough. Of the innumerable passages that might be quoted in illustration of this line, perhaps that given by Mitford from Petrarch [Pte I. Canzone IV.] is nearest to Gray's picture:

''Veggio, la sera, i buoi tornare sciolti
Dalle campagne e da' solcati colli;''
which, again, is very like Milton's
''what time the labour'd ox
In his loose traces from the furrow came.'' Comus, 291, 2.
Cf. also Homer, Odyssey, IX. 58: [Greek line (omitted)] (when the sun was passing over toward the hour of loosing the oxen).
And Horace's
''Sol ubi montium
mutaret umbras, et juga demeret
bobus fatigatis... '' (Odes, III. 6. 42.)
(what time the sun shifted the shadows of the hills and took the yoke from off the laboured oxen).
A scholar-poet could scarcely mention the 'lowing herd' and the 'plowman' without some reminiscence of this old-world note of time.
Cf. also, after Phelps, Ambrose Philips, Pastoral II. ad fin. ''And unyoked heifers, pacing homeward, low.'' "

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 135.

2.4 wind] "'herd', as a collective noun, [...]" J. Crofts, 1948 [1st ed. 1926].

"'herd', as a collective noun, may be allowed the plural."

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], 165.

2.4 wind] "winds first edition." A.L. Poole/L. Whibley, 1950 [1st ed. 1919].

"winds first edition."

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.

2.4 wind] "winds Q[uatro]1, Q[uarto]3." H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"winds Q[uatro]1, Q[uarto]3."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 37.

2.4 wind] "winds   edd 1-7." R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"winds   edd 1-7."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 117.

2.8 lea,] "In 1748 Thomson had felt [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"In 1748 Thomson had felt it necessary to include this word ('a Piece of Land, or Meadow') in the list of 'obsolete Words' at the end of The Castle of Indolence."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 117.

2.8 lea,] "area of open grassland." Alexander Huber, 2000.

"area of open grassland."

Alexander Huber <huber@thomasgray.org> (SUB Göttingen), URL: http://www.thomasgray.org/. Contributed on Sun Oct 22 12:41:44 2000 GMT.

Contribute a note or query

3 The ploughman homeward plods his weary way, 4 Explanatory

1.1 - 4.9 The ... me.] "Cf. Joseph Warton's Ode to [...]" W. Lyon Phelps, 1894.

"Cf. Joseph Warton's Ode to Evening, which contains a number of passages strikingly similar to the Elegy, although - so far as I know - the similarity has not been noticed by editors. Warton's Odes were published in 1746. One stanza in particular Gray may have had in mind when he composed the first stanza of his Elegy:

''Hail, meek-eyed maiden, clad in sober grey,
Whose soft approach the weary woodman loves,
As, homeward bent to kiss his prattling babes,
He jocund whistles thro' the twilight groves.''
Collins's Odes were published the same year as J. Warton's (1746), and the whole atmosphere of Collins's Ode to Evening is similar to that of the Elegy. Cf. especially stanza 10:
''And hamlets brown, and dim-discover'd spires;
And hears their simple bell, and marks o'er all
The dewy fingers draw the gradual dusky veil.''
For Gray's remarks on Warton's and Collins's Odes, see p. 81. Cf. also Ambrose Philips, Pastoral ii, end:
''And now behold the sun's departing ray
O'er yonder hill, the sign of ebbing day.
With songs the jovial hinds return from plow,
And unyok'd heifers, pacing homeward, low.'' "

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, 137/138.

1.1 - 3.7 The ... way,] "a prime example of semantic [...]" Alexander Huber, 2009.

"a prime example of semantic clustering, the repetition of words covering the same semantic ground, for the purpose of reinforcement in establishing the tone of the poem in its opening lines: "curfew", "knell", "parting" (l. 1), "wind slowly" (l. 2), "plods", "weary way" (l. 3), all reinforcing the contemplative mood."

Alexander Huber <huber@thomasgray.org> (University of Oxford), URL: http://www.thomasgray.org/. Contributed on Wed Jan 14 09:24:22 2009 GMT.

3.1-7 The ... way,] "Thomas Warton noted in Milton's [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Thomas Warton noted in Milton's Poems on Several Occasions (1785) p. 176 n, of Comus 291-2 ('what time the labour'd Oxe / In his loose traces from the furrow came'): 'This is classical. But the return of oxen or horses from the plough, is not a natural circumstance of an English evening. In England the ploughman always quits his work at noon. Gray, therefore, with Milton, painted from books and not from the life, where in describing the departing day-light he says ...' This statement about the timetable of English ploughmen was challenged in the Gentleman's Mag. lvi (1786) 293-4 and 396-7. The subject was reopened in Notes and Queries (1890) 7th series, ix 468 and x 18-19, 117; and again in 10th series, xii (1909) 309, 389-91. Although the usual conclusion of these discussions was that the habits of ploughmen varied in different parts of England, Warton was no doubt right in suggesting that G. had classical sources in mind: for example, Virgil, Eclogues ii 66-7: aspice, aratra iugo referunt suspensa iuvenci, / et sol crescentis decedens duplicat umbras (See, the bullocks drag home by the yoke the hanging plough, and the retiring sun doubles the lengthening shadows); and Horace, Odes III vi 41-3: Sol ubi montium / mutaret umbras et iuga demeret / bobus fatigatis (When the sun shifted the shadows of the mountain sides and lifted the yoke from the weary steers). Cp. Roscommon's imitation of this Ode 58-60, which G. also seems to echo in ll. 25-8: 'And after the declining sun / Had changed the shadows, and their task was done, / Home with their weary team they took their way ...' Cp. also Horace, Epodes ii 63, and for parallels in earlier English poetry, see Pope, Odyssey xiii 39-42: 'As the tired ploughman, spent with stubborn toil, / Whose oxen long have torn the furrowed soil, / Sees with delight the sun's declining ray, / When home with feeble knees he bends his way'; A. Philips, Pastorals ii 135-8: 'And now behold the sun's departing ray, / O'er yonder hill, the sign of ebbing day: / With songs the jovial hinds return from plough; / And unyok'd heifers, loitering homeward, low'; Gay, Rural Sports i 91-2, 99-100, 105-6: 'Or when the ploughman leaves the task of day, / And trudging homeward whistles on the way ... / Engaged in thought, to Neptune's bounds I stray, / To take my farewell of the parting day ... / Here pensive I behold the fading light, / And o'er the distant billow lose my sight.' See also Gay, Shepherd's Week iii 19-22, 115-18, and J. Warton, Ode to Evening 2-4: 'Whose soft approach the weary woodman loves, / As homeward bent to kiss his prattling babes, / He jocund whistles through the twilight groves.' Spenser, Faerie Queene VI vii 39, 1, has 'And now she was uppon the weary way'."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 117/118.

3.6-7 weary way,] "[T]he epithet 'weary' in the [...]" J. Heath-Stubbs, 1981.

"[T]he epithet 'weary' in the third line not only defines the daily toil of the ploughman, but points to one of the key ideas of the whole poem - the toil which was the lot of the unremembered dead in the churchyard, and is also, by implication, the lot of mankind as a whole."

Thomas Gray: Selected Poems. Ed. by John Heath-Stubbs. Manchester: Carcanet New Press Ltd., 1981, 12.

Contribute a note or query

4 And leaves the world to darkness and to me. 3 Explanatory

1.1 - 4.9 The ... me.] "Cf. Joseph Warton's Ode to [...]" W. Lyon Phelps, 1894.

"Cf. Joseph Warton's Ode to Evening, which contains a number of passages strikingly similar to the Elegy, although - so far as I know - the similarity has not been noticed by editors. Warton's Odes were published in 1746. One stanza in particular Gray may have had in mind when he composed the first stanza of his Elegy:

''Hail, meek-eyed maiden, clad in sober grey,
Whose soft approach the weary woodman loves,
As, homeward bent to kiss his prattling babes,
He jocund whistles thro' the twilight groves.''
Collins's Odes were published the same year as J. Warton's (1746), and the whole atmosphere of Collins's Ode to Evening is similar to that of the Elegy. Cf. especially stanza 10:
''And hamlets brown, and dim-discover'd spires;
And hears their simple bell, and marks o'er all
The dewy fingers draw the gradual dusky veil.''
For Gray's remarks on Warton's and Collins's Odes, see p. 81. Cf. also Ambrose Philips, Pastoral ii, end:
''And now behold the sun's departing ray
O'er yonder hill, the sign of ebbing day.
With songs the jovial hinds return from plow,
And unyok'd heifers, pacing homeward, low.'' "

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, 137/138.

4.1-9 And ... me.] "Cf. after Mitford, Petrarch [Sonetto [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"Cf. after Mitford, Petrarch [Sonetto CLXVIII.]

''Quando 'l sol bagna in mar l' aurato carro
E l' aer nostro e la mia mente imbruna.''
''What time the sun
In ocean bathes his golden car and leaves
Over our air - and on my soul - a shade.''
Gray's words are more suggestive. In broad daylight the scene belongs to the toiler; when he withdraws, he resigns it to the solitary poet, and to the shadows congenial to his spirit. Munro renders this line: ''Cunctaque dat tenebris, dat potiunda mihi.''"

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 135/136.

4.1-9 And ... me.] "Petrarch, Canzoniere 223 1-2: Quando [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Petrarch, Canzoniere 223 1-2: Quando 'l sol in mar l'aurato carro / E l'aer nostro e la mia mente imbruna (When the sun bathes his golden car in the ocean and casts a shadow over our air and my mind)."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 118.

Contribute a note or query


5 Now fades the glimmering landscape on the sight, 5 Explanatory

5.1 - 8.7 Now ... folds;] "This is a bit of [...]" W. Lyon Phelps, 1894.

"This is a bit of the quiet scenery so dear to the hearts of the early Romanticists; and in the next stanza we have the inevitable owl in the moonlight. The scenery as well as the meditations of the Elegy were by no means original; they simply established more firmly literary fashions which were already fast becoming popular."

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, 138.

5.1 - 8.7 Now ... folds;] "And here may be the [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"And here may be the best place to note after Dr Phelps that the 'whole atmosphere of Collins's Ode is similar to that of the Elegy. Cf. especially stanza 10,

''And hamlets brown, and dim-discovered spires,
And hears their simple bell, and marks o'er all
        Thy dewy fingers draw
        The gradual dusky veil.'' '
Dr Phelps notes also that Joseph Warton's verses contain some of Gray's pictures, and something of the same train of thought: e.g.:
''Hail, meek-eyed maiden, clad in sober grey,
    Whose soft approach the weary woodman loves,
As homeward bent to kiss his prattling babes
    Jocund he whistles through the twilight groves.''
add:
''Now every Passion sleeps; desponding Love,
    And pining Envy, ever-restless Pride;
A holy calm creeps o'er my peaceful soul,
    Anger and mad Ambition's storms subside.''
The latter stanza might well be the form in embryo of the four rejected stanzas quoted infra, n. on l. 72. Dr Phelps remarks that ''the scenery as well as the meditations of the Elegy were by no means original: they simply established more firmly literary fashions which were already becoming familiar.''
And certainly if the opening stanzas of the Elegy as we now have them were written as early as 1742, their composition was in no way affected by the poems of Warton and Collins; the same must be said even if the 'autumnal verses' of the letter of Sept. 11, 1746, were the Elegy. The spirit of gentle melancholy was in the air; and in 1746 and 1747 found in three young poets, Collins, Joseph Warton and Thomas Warton, that voice to the world at large which is found again in Gray in 1750. For in 1747 Thomas Warton published anonymously these lines, which he had written in his 17th year (1745):
''Beneath yon ruin'd abbey's moss-grown pile
Oft let me sit, at twilight hour of eve
Where thro' some western window the pale moon
Pours her long-levell'd rule of streaming light;
While sullen sacred silence reigns around,
Save the lone screech-owl's note, who builds his bow'r
Amid the mould'ring caverns dark and damp,
Or the calm breeze, that rustles in the leaves
Of flaunting ivy, that with mantle green
Invests some wasted tow'r:
''
where resemblance to the Elegy is closest of all.
Between these three poets communication of ideas was probable; but at this date even Thomas Warton, with whom he afterwards corresponded, was an absolute stranger to Gray. And Gray is so far from feeling that in any of these there were 'kindred spirits' who might 'enquire his fate' that he writes, Dec. 27, 1746:
'Have you seen the Works of two young Authors, a Mr Warton and a Mr Collins, both Writers of Odes? it is odd enough, but each is the half of a considerable Man, and one the counterpart of the other. The first has but little invention, very poetical choice of Expression, and a good Ear, the second a fine fancy, model'd upon the Antique, a bad Ear, great variety of Words, and Images with no choice at all. They both deserve to last some Years, but will not.'
So little are men conscious of that 'stream of tendency' on which they themselves are borne."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 136-138.

5.1 - 8.7 Now ... folds;] "The most striking parallel with [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"The most striking parallel with this stanza occurs in Thomas Warton's Five Pastoral Eclogues (1745) ii 20-3, 28-36: 'Then let me walk the twilight meadows green, / Or breezy up-lands, near thick-branching elms, / While the still landscape sooths my soul to rest, / And every care subsides to calmest peace / ... / The solitude that all around becalms / The peaceful air, conspire[s] to wrap my soul / In musings mild, and nought the solemn scene / And the still silence breaks; but distant sounds / Of bleating flocks, that to their destin'd fold / The shepherd drives; mean-time the shrill-tun'd bell / Of some lone ewe that wanders from the rest, / Tinkles far off, with solitary sound; / The lowing cows ...' In ll. 47-8 a 'weary reaper' appears: 'along the vale, / Whistling he home returns to kiss his babes' (see l. 24 below). The 'silence ... save where' formula , in this stanza and the passage from Warton above, had become relatively common in descriptions of evening by the 1740s: e.g. Akenside, Ode to Sleep (1744) 18-20: 'No wakeful sound the moonlight valley knows, / Save where the brook its liquid murmur pours, / And lulls the waving scene to more profound repose'; Collins, Ode to Evening 9-12; and T. Warton Senior, Poems (1748) p. 117: 'Here what a solemn Silence reigns, / Save the Tinklings of a Rill.' Further examples are given in ll. 9-12n below."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 118/119.

5.1-8 Now ... sight,] "Addison, Account of the Greatest [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Addison, Account of the Greatest English Poets 30-1: 'But when we look too near, the shades decay, / And all the pleasing landscape fades away'; and David Mallet, The Excursion (1728) i 235-7: '... th'aerial landscape fades. / Distinction fails: and in the darkening west, / The last light quivering, dimly dies away.'"

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 119.

5.1 - 8.7 Now ... folds;] "These lines are very reminiscent [...]" J. Reeves, 1973.

"These lines are very reminiscent of a stanza in Thomas Warton's second Pastoral Eclogue. Gray's lines are much superior and illustrate the advantages of a common poetic diction."

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, 112.

Contribute a note or query

6 And all the air a solemn stillness holds, 7 Explanatory, 5 Textual

5.1 - 8.7 Now ... folds;] "This is a bit of [...]" W. Lyon Phelps, 1894.

"This is a bit of the quiet scenery so dear to the hearts of the early Romanticists; and in the next stanza we have the inevitable owl in the moonlight. The scenery as well as the meditations of the Elegy were by no means original; they simply established more firmly literary fashions which were already fast becoming popular."

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, 138.

5.1 - 8.7 Now ... folds;] "And here may be the [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"And here may be the best place to note after Dr Phelps that the 'whole atmosphere of Collins's Ode is similar to that of the Elegy. Cf. especially stanza 10,

''And hamlets brown, and dim-discovered spires,
And hears their simple bell, and marks o'er all
        Thy dewy fingers draw
        The gradual dusky veil.'' '
Dr Phelps notes also that Joseph Warton's verses contain some of Gray's pictures, and something of the same train of thought: e.g.:
''Hail, meek-eyed maiden, clad in sober grey,
    Whose soft approach the weary woodman loves,
As homeward bent to kiss his prattling babes
    Jocund he whistles through the twilight groves.''
add:
''Now every Passion sleeps; desponding Love,
    And pining Envy, ever-restless Pride;
A holy calm creeps o'er my peaceful soul,
    Anger and mad Ambition's storms subside.''
The latter stanza might well be the form in embryo of the four rejected stanzas quoted infra, n. on l. 72. Dr Phelps remarks that ''the scenery as well as the meditations of the Elegy were by no means original: they simply established more firmly literary fashions which were already becoming familiar.''
And certainly if the opening stanzas of the Elegy as we now have them were written as early as 1742, their composition was in no way affected by the poems of Warton and Collins; the same must be said even if the 'autumnal verses' of the letter of Sept. 11, 1746, were the Elegy. The spirit of gentle melancholy was in the air; and in 1746 and 1747 found in three young poets, Collins, Joseph Warton and Thomas Warton, that voice to the world at large which is found again in Gray in 1750. For in 1747 Thomas Warton published anonymously these lines, which he had written in his 17th year (1745):
''Beneath yon ruin'd abbey's moss-grown pile
Oft let me sit, at twilight hour of eve
Where thro' some western window the pale moon
Pours her long-levell'd rule of streaming light;
While sullen sacred silence reigns around,
Save the lone screech-owl's note, who builds his bow'r
Amid the mould'ring caverns dark and damp,
Or the calm breeze, that rustles in the leaves
Of flaunting ivy, that with mantle green
Invests some wasted tow'r:
''
where resemblance to the Elegy is closest of all.
Between these three poets communication of ideas was probable; but at this date even Thomas Warton, with whom he afterwards corresponded, was an absolute stranger to Gray. And Gray is so far from feeling that in any of these there were 'kindred spirits' who might 'enquire his fate' that he writes, Dec. 27, 1746:
'Have you seen the Works of two young Authors, a Mr Warton and a Mr Collins, both Writers of Odes? it is odd enough, but each is the half of a considerable Man, and one the counterpart of the other. The first has but little invention, very poetical choice of Expression, and a good Ear, the second a fine fancy, model'd upon the Antique, a bad Ear, great variety of Words, and Images with no choice at all. They both deserve to last some Years, but will not.'
So little are men conscious of that 'stream of tendency' on which they themselves are borne."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 136-138.

5.1 - 8.7 Now ... folds;] "The most striking parallel with [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"The most striking parallel with this stanza occurs in Thomas Warton's Five Pastoral Eclogues (1745) ii 20-3, 28-36: 'Then let me walk the twilight meadows green, / Or breezy up-lands, near thick-branching elms, / While the still landscape sooths my soul to rest, / And every care subsides to calmest peace / ... / The solitude that all around becalms / The peaceful air, conspire[s] to wrap my soul / In musings mild, and nought the solemn scene / And the still silence breaks; but distant sounds / Of bleating flocks, that to their destin'd fold / The shepherd drives; mean-time the shrill-tun'd bell / Of some lone ewe that wanders from the rest, / Tinkles far off, with solitary sound; / The lowing cows ...' In ll. 47-8 a 'weary reaper' appears: 'along the vale, / Whistling he home returns to kiss his babes' (see l. 24 below). The 'silence ... save where' formula , in this stanza and the passage from Warton above, had become relatively common in descriptions of evening by the 1740s: e.g. Akenside, Ode to Sleep (1744) 18-20: 'No wakeful sound the moonlight valley knows, / Save where the brook its liquid murmur pours, / And lulls the waving scene to more profound repose'; Collins, Ode to Evening 9-12; and T. Warton Senior, Poems (1748) p. 117: 'Here what a solemn Silence reigns, / Save the Tinklings of a Rill.' Further examples are given in ll. 9-12n below."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 118/119.

5.1 - 8.7 Now ... folds;] "These lines are very reminiscent [...]" J. Reeves, 1973.

"These lines are very reminiscent of a stanza in Thomas Warton's second Pastoral Eclogue. Gray's lines are much superior and illustrate the advantages of a common poetic diction."

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, 112.

6.1 And] "Now. - Mason MS." E. Gosse, 1884.

"Now. - Mason MS."

The Works of Thomas Gray: In Prose and Verse. Ed. by Edmund Gosse, in four vols. London: MacMillan and Co., 1884, vol. i, 73.

6.1-4 And ... air] "''Air'' is subject, not object, [...]" W. Lyon Phelps, 1894.

"''Air'' is subject, not object, of ''holds.'' "

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, 138.

6.1-2 And all] "And now - Fraser MS." D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"And now - Fraser 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], 136.

6.1-8 And ... holds,] "'Stillness' is here the nominative; [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"'Stillness' is here the nominative; 'air' the objective case. ''aeriumque tenent otia dia polum.''   Munro."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 136.

6.1-8 And ... holds,] "Cp. William Broome, Paraphrase of [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Cp. William Broome, Paraphrase of Job 40: 'A solemn stillness reigns o'er land and seas.' The subject of 'holds' is 'stillness', the object 'air'."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 119.

6.2 all] "Now. - Original MS. [Mason [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"Now. - Original MS. [Mason 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], 229.

6.2 all] "now E[ton College MS.]." H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"now E[ton College MS.]."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 37.

6.2 all] "now   Eton." R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"now   Eton."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 119.

Contribute a note or query

7 Save where the beetle wheels his droning flight, 7 Explanatory, 3 Textual

5.1 - 8.7 Now ... folds;] "This is a bit of [...]" W. Lyon Phelps, 1894.

"This is a bit of the quiet scenery so dear to the hearts of the early Romanticists; and in the next stanza we have the inevitable owl in the moonlight. The scenery as well as the meditations of the Elegy were by no means original; they simply established more firmly literary fashions which were already fast becoming popular."

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, 138.

5.1 - 8.7 Now ... folds;] "And here may be the [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"And here may be the best place to note after Dr Phelps that the 'whole atmosphere of Collins's Ode is similar to that of the Elegy. Cf. especially stanza 10,

''And hamlets brown, and dim-discovered spires,
And hears their simple bell, and marks o'er all
        Thy dewy fingers draw
        The gradual dusky veil.'' '
Dr Phelps notes also that Joseph Warton's verses contain some of Gray's pictures, and something of the same train of thought: e.g.:
''Hail, meek-eyed maiden, clad in sober grey,
    Whose soft approach the weary woodman loves,
As homeward bent to kiss his prattling babes
    Jocund he whistles through the twilight groves.''
add:
''Now every Passion sleeps; desponding Love,
    And pining Envy, ever-restless Pride;
A holy calm creeps o'er my peaceful soul,
    Anger and mad Ambition's storms subside.''
The latter stanza might well be the form in embryo of the four rejected stanzas quoted infra, n. on l. 72. Dr Phelps remarks that ''the scenery as well as the meditations of the Elegy were by no means original: they simply established more firmly literary fashions which were already becoming familiar.''
And certainly if the opening stanzas of the Elegy as we now have them were written as early as 1742, their composition was in no way affected by the poems of Warton and Collins; the same must be said even if the 'autumnal verses' of the letter of Sept. 11, 1746, were the Elegy. The spirit of gentle melancholy was in the air; and in 1746 and 1747 found in three young poets, Collins, Joseph Warton and Thomas Warton, that voice to the world at large which is found again in Gray in 1750. For in 1747 Thomas Warton published anonymously these lines, which he had written in his 17th year (1745):
''Beneath yon ruin'd abbey's moss-grown pile
Oft let me sit, at twilight hour of eve
Where thro' some western window the pale moon
Pours her long-levell'd rule of streaming light;
While sullen sacred silence reigns around,
Save the lone screech-owl's note, who builds his bow'r
Amid the mould'ring caverns dark and damp,
Or the calm breeze, that rustles in the leaves
Of flaunting ivy, that with mantle green
Invests some wasted tow'r:
''
where resemblance to the Elegy is closest of all.
Between these three poets communication of ideas was probable; but at this date even Thomas Warton, with whom he afterwards corresponded, was an absolute stranger to Gray. And Gray is so far from feeling that in any of these there were 'kindred spirits' who might 'enquire his fate' that he writes, Dec. 27, 1746:
'Have you seen the Works of two young Authors, a Mr Warton and a Mr Collins, both Writers of Odes? it is odd enough, but each is the half of a considerable Man, and one the counterpart of the other. The first has but little invention, very poetical choice of Expression, and a good Ear, the second a fine fancy, model'd upon the Antique, a bad Ear, great variety of Words, and Images with no choice at all. They both deserve to last some Years, but will not.'
So little are men conscious of that 'stream of tendency' on which they themselves are borne."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 136-138.

5.1 - 8.7 Now ... folds;] "The most striking parallel with [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"The most striking parallel with this stanza occurs in Thomas Warton's Five Pastoral Eclogues (1745) ii 20-3, 28-36: 'Then let me walk the twilight meadows green, / Or breezy up-lands, near thick-branching elms, / While the still landscape sooths my soul to rest, / And every care subsides to calmest peace / ... / The solitude that all around becalms / The peaceful air, conspire[s] to wrap my soul / In musings mild, and nought the solemn scene / And the still silence breaks; but distant sounds / Of bleating flocks, that to their destin'd fold / The shepherd drives; mean-time the shrill-tun'd bell / Of some lone ewe that wanders from the rest, / Tinkles far off, with solitary sound; / The lowing cows ...' In ll. 47-8 a 'weary reaper' appears: 'along the vale, / Whistling he home returns to kiss his babes' (see l. 24 below). The 'silence ... save where' formula , in this stanza and the passage from Warton above, had become relatively common in descriptions of evening by the 1740s: e.g. Akenside, Ode to Sleep (1744) 18-20: 'No wakeful sound the moonlight valley knows, / Save where the brook its liquid murmur pours, / And lulls the waving scene to more profound repose'; Collins, Ode to Evening 9-12; and T. Warton Senior, Poems (1748) p. 117: 'Here what a solemn Silence reigns, / Save the Tinklings of a Rill.' Further examples are given in ll. 9-12n below."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 118/119.

5.1 - 8.7 Now ... folds;] "These lines are very reminiscent [...]" J. Reeves, 1973.

"These lines are very reminiscent of a stanza in Thomas Warton's second Pastoral Eclogue. Gray's lines are much superior and illustrate the advantages of a common poetic diction."

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, 112.

7.1-4 Save ... beetle] "Cf. Macbeth, iii, 2: ''The [...]" W. Lyon Phelps, 1894.

"Cf. Macbeth, iii, 2: ''The shard-borne beetle with his drowsy hums.'' Cf. also J. Warton's Ode to Evening: ''And with hoarse hummings of unnumber'd flies.'' Cf. also Collins's Ode to Evening, stanza 3:

''Or when the beetle winds,
His small but sullen horn,
As oft he rises 'midst the twilight path,
Against the pilgrim borne in needless hum.''
Milton's Lycidas, 28: ''What time the grey-fly winds her sultry horn.''"

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, 138.

7.1 - 8.7 Save ... folds;] "Macbeth III ii 41-3: 'ere [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Macbeth III ii 41-3: 'ere to black Hecate's summons / The shardborne beetle with his drowsy hums / Hath rung night's yawning peal ...'; and Dryden, Indian Emperor I i 119: 'Which drowsily like humming beetles rise.' Dryden twice has 'wheeling Flight', Georgics iv 803 and Aeneid xii 699. Thomson, Spring 695-6, has 'the white-winged plover wheels / Her sounding flight'."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 119.

7.3-4 the beetle] "A sinister note of approaching [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"A sinister note of approaching darkness in Macbeth, III. 2, 42.

''ere, to black Hecate's summons,
The shard-borne beetle with his drowsy hum
Hath rung night's yawning peal
, there shall be done
A deed of dreadful note.''
Dryden (Absalom and Achitophel, Pt. I. ll. 301, 2) employs the beetle to crush
''such beetle things
As only buzz to heaven with evening wings.''
In December 1746 Collins published among other poems his Ode to Evening, and Joseph Warton's volume including, I believe, his 'Evening' appeared in the same month and year. Collins writes:
''Now air is hushed save [where the weak-eyed bat
With short shrill shriek flits by on leathern wing
    Or] where the beetle winds
    His small but sullen horn
As oft he rises 'midst the twilight path
Against the pilgrim borne in heedless hum.'' "

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 136.

7.7 droning] "drony Foulis edition, 1768." A.L. Poole/L. Whibley, 1950 [1st ed. 1919].

"drony Foulis edition, 1768."

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.

7.7 droning] "drony F[oulis ed., 1768]." H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"drony F[oulis ed., 1768]."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 37.

7.7 droning] "drony   edd 9-12, Dodsley, [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"drony   edd 9-12, Dodsley, Foulis."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 119.

Contribute a note or query

8 And drowsy tinklings lull the distant folds; 6 Explanatory, 6 Textual

5.1 - 8.7 Now ... folds;] "This is a bit of [...]" W. Lyon Phelps, 1894.

"This is a bit of the quiet scenery so dear to the hearts of the early Romanticists; and in the next stanza we have the inevitable owl in the moonlight. The scenery as well as the meditations of the Elegy were by no means original; they simply established more firmly literary fashions which were already fast becoming popular."

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, 138.

5.1 - 8.7 Now ... folds;] "And here may be the [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"And here may be the best place to note after Dr Phelps that the 'whole atmosphere of Collins's Ode is similar to that of the Elegy. Cf. especially stanza 10,

''And hamlets brown, and dim-discovered spires,
And hears their simple bell, and marks o'er all
        Thy dewy fingers draw
        The gradual dusky veil.'' '
Dr Phelps notes also that Joseph Warton's verses contain some of Gray's pictures, and something of the same train of thought: e.g.:
''Hail, meek-eyed maiden, clad in sober grey,
    Whose soft approach the weary woodman loves,
As homeward bent to kiss his prattling babes
    Jocund he whistles through the twilight groves.''
add:
''Now every Passion sleeps; desponding Love,
    And pining Envy, ever-restless Pride;
A holy calm creeps o'er my peaceful soul,
    Anger and mad Ambition's storms subside.''
The latter stanza might well be the form in embryo of the four rejected stanzas quoted infra, n. on l. 72. Dr Phelps remarks that ''the scenery as well as the meditations of the Elegy were by no means original: they simply established more firmly literary fashions which were already becoming familiar.''
And certainly if the opening stanzas of the Elegy as we now have them were written as early as 1742, their composition was in no way affected by the poems of Warton and Collins; the same must be said even if the 'autumnal verses' of the letter of Sept. 11, 1746, were the Elegy. The spirit of gentle melancholy was in the air; and in 1746 and 1747 found in three young poets, Collins, Joseph Warton and Thomas Warton, that voice to the world at large which is found again in Gray in 1750. For in 1747 Thomas Warton published anonymously these lines, which he had written in his 17th year (1745):
''Beneath yon ruin'd abbey's moss-grown pile
Oft let me sit, at twilight hour of eve
Where thro' some western window the pale moon
Pours her long-levell'd rule of streaming light;
While sullen sacred silence reigns around,
Save the lone screech-owl's note, who builds his bow'r
Amid the mould'ring caverns dark and damp,
Or the calm breeze, that rustles in the leaves
Of flaunting ivy, that with mantle green
Invests some wasted tow'r:
''
where resemblance to the Elegy is closest of all.
Between these three poets communication of ideas was probable; but at this date even Thomas Warton, with whom he afterwards corresponded, was an absolute stranger to Gray. And Gray is so far from feeling that in any of these there were 'kindred spirits' who might 'enquire his fate' that he writes, Dec. 27, 1746:
'Have you seen the Works of two young Authors, a Mr Warton and a Mr Collins, both Writers of Odes? it is odd enough, but each is the half of a considerable Man, and one the counterpart of the other. The first has but little invention, very poetical choice of Expression, and a good Ear, the second a fine fancy, model'd upon the Antique, a bad Ear, great variety of Words, and Images with no choice at all. They both deserve to last some Years, but will not.'
So little are men conscious of that 'stream of tendency' on which they themselves are borne."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 136-138.

5.1 - 8.7 Now ... folds;] "The most striking parallel with [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"The most striking parallel with this stanza occurs in Thomas Warton's Five Pastoral Eclogues (1745) ii 20-3, 28-36: 'Then let me walk the twilight meadows green, / Or breezy up-lands, near thick-branching elms, / While the still landscape sooths my soul to rest, / And every care subsides to calmest peace / ... / The solitude that all around becalms / The peaceful air, conspire[s] to wrap my soul / In musings mild, and nought the solemn scene / And the still silence breaks; but distant sounds / Of bleating flocks, that to their destin'd fold / The shepherd drives; mean-time the shrill-tun'd bell / Of some lone ewe that wanders from the rest, / Tinkles far off, with solitary sound; / The lowing cows ...' In ll. 47-8 a 'weary reaper' appears: 'along the vale, / Whistling he home returns to kiss his babes' (see l. 24 below). The 'silence ... save where' formula , in this stanza and the passage from Warton above, had become relatively common in descriptions of evening by the 1740s: e.g. Akenside, Ode to Sleep (1744) 18-20: 'No wakeful sound the moonlight valley knows, / Save where the brook its liquid murmur pours, / And lulls the waving scene to more profound repose'; Collins, Ode to Evening 9-12; and T. Warton Senior, Poems (1748) p. 117: 'Here what a solemn Silence reigns, / Save the Tinklings of a Rill.' Further examples are given in ll. 9-12n below."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 118/119.

5.1 - 8.7 Now ... folds;] "These lines are very reminiscent [...]" J. Reeves, 1973.

"These lines are very reminiscent of a stanza in Thomas Warton's second Pastoral Eclogue. Gray's lines are much superior and illustrate the advantages of a common poetic diction."

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, 112.

7.1 - 8.7 Save ... folds;] "Macbeth III ii 41-3: 'ere [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Macbeth III ii 41-3: 'ere to black Hecate's summons / The shardborne beetle with his drowsy hums / Hath rung night's yawning peal ...'; and Dryden, Indian Emperor I i 119: 'Which drowsily like humming beetles rise.' Dryden twice has 'wheeling Flight', Georgics iv 803 and Aeneid xii 699. Thomson, Spring 695-6, has 'the white-winged plover wheels / Her sounding flight'."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 119.

8.1 And] "Or. - Egerton MS." E. Gosse, 1884.

"Or. - Egerton MS."

The Works of Thomas Gray: In Prose and Verse. Ed. by Edmund Gosse, in four vols. London: MacMillan and Co., 1884, vol. i, 73.

8.1 And] "Or. - Egerton MS." J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"Or. - Egerton 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], 229.

8.1 And] "Or   Fraser and Pembroke [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"Or   Fraser and Pembroke MSS.; perhaps also Egerton 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], 138.

8.1 And] "Or Pembroke and Wharton MSS." A.L. Poole/L. Whibley, 1950 [1st ed. 1919].

"Or 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], 174.

8.1 And] "Or C[ommonplace] B[ook], E[ton College [...]" H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"Or C[ommonplace] B[ook], E[ton College MS.], Wh[arton MS.], Q[uarto]3."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 37.

8.1 And] "Or   Eton, Wharton, Commonplace [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Or   Eton, Wharton, Commonplace Book, edd 3-7."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 119.

8.1-7 And ... folds;] "Cp. Addison, The Vestal 14: [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Cp. Addison, The Vestal 14: 'In drowsy murmurs lull'd the gentle maid'."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 119.

Contribute a note or query


9 Save that from yonder ivy-mantled tower 3 Explanatory

9.1 - 12.5 Save ... reign.] "Mallet, Excursion i 272-5, in [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Mallet, Excursion i 272-5, in a description of a church, 'where ivy twines / Its fatal green around': 'All is dread silence here, and undisturbed, / Save what the wind sighs, and the wailing owl / Screams solitary to the mournful moon, / Glimmering her western ray through yonder aisle'; T. Warton, Pleasures of Melancholy 32-7: 'While sullen sacred silence reigns around, / Save the lone screech-owl's note, who builds his bower / Amid the mouldering caverns, dark and damp, / Or the calm breeze, that rustles in the leaves / Of flaunting ivy, that with mantle green / Invests some wasted tower.'"

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 119.

9.5-6 ivy-mantled tower] "The church at Stoke Pogis [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"The church at Stoke Pogis is undoubtedly most in Gray's mind in the Elegy, but we need not suppose that he reproduces his scene like a photographer. If he needed to see an 'ivy-mantled' tower in order to imagine it he would find one at Upton old church, not far from Stoke, but nearer to Slough and Eton."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 138.

9.5 ivy-mantled] "See T. Warton in previous [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"See T. Warton in previous note and cp. 'the mantling Vine', Par. Lost iv 258; and 'ivy ... / That mantling crept aloft', Mallet, Amynta and Theodora (1747) i 285-6."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 119.

Contribute a note or query

10 The moping owl does to the moon complain 4 Explanatory

9.1 - 12.5 Save ... reign.] "Mallet, Excursion i 272-5, in [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Mallet, Excursion i 272-5, in a description of a church, 'where ivy twines / Its fatal green around': 'All is dread silence here, and undisturbed, / Save what the wind sighs, and the wailing owl / Screams solitary to the mournful moon, / Glimmering her western ray through yonder aisle'; T. Warton, Pleasures of Melancholy 32-7: 'While sullen sacred silence reigns around, / Save the lone screech-owl's note, who builds his bower / Amid the mouldering caverns, dark and damp, / Or the calm breeze, that rustles in the leaves / Of flaunting ivy, that with mantle green / Invests some wasted tower.'"

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 119.

10.1-8 The ... complain] "It seems unnecessary to quote [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"It seems unnecessary to quote from the literature of all ages in illustration of this and like commonplaces of poetry. The skill of Gray lies in the perfect combination of such details; - Thomson and Mallet, almost simultaneously, were enlisting the 'owl'; cf. also Thomas Warton in preceding note. Gray may have remembered the 'ignavus bubo' of Ovid, Metamorphoses, v. 550; but we will credit him with sufficient observation to have discovered independently that the owl 'mopes.'
In this picture it is noteworthy that we have a deeper shade of growing nightfall than in the preceding."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 138.

10.1-8 The ... complain] "Virgil, Aeneid iv 462-3: solaque [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Virgil, Aeneid iv 462-3: solaque culminibus ferali carmine bubo / saepe queri et longas in fletum ducere voces (And alone on the house-tops will ill-boding song the owl would often complain, drawing out its lingering notes into a wail)."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 120.

10.2 moping] "Perhaps in imitation of Ovid, [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Perhaps in imitation of Ovid, Metamorphoses v 550: ignavus bubo (slothful owl). G[ray]. may also have remembered Par. Lost xi 485-6: 'moaping Melancholie / And Moon struck madness', and Rowe, Jane Shore II i 6, describing night: 'Care only wakes, and moping pensiveness'. See also T. Warton above ll. 9-12 n, and Gay, Shepherd's Week iii 118: 'And the hoarse owl his woeful dirges sings.'"

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 120.

Contribute a note or query

11 Of such, as wandering near her secret bower, 4 Explanatory, 6 Textual

9.1 - 12.5 Save ... reign.] "Mallet, Excursion i 272-5, in [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Mallet, Excursion i 272-5, in a description of a church, 'where ivy twines / Its fatal green around': 'All is dread silence here, and undisturbed, / Save what the wind sighs, and the wailing owl / Screams solitary to the mournful moon, / Glimmering her western ray through yonder aisle'; T. Warton, Pleasures of Melancholy 32-7: 'While sullen sacred silence reigns around, / Save the lone screech-owl's note, who builds his bower / Amid the mouldering caverns, dark and damp, / Or the calm breeze, that rustles in the leaves / Of flaunting ivy, that with mantle green / Invests some wasted tower.'"

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 119.

11.4 wandering] "Over 'wand'ring' Fraser MS. gives [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"Over 'wand'ring' Fraser MS. gives 'stray too'."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 138.

11.4 wandering] "stray too is written above [...]" H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"stray too is written above in E[ton College MS.]."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 38.

11.4 wandering] "stray too   written above [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"stray too   written above in Eton."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 120.

11.7 secret] "sacred first edition." A.L. Poole/L. Whibley, 1950 [1st ed. 1919].

"sacred first edition."

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.

11.7 secret] "sacred Q[uarto]1, Q[uarto]8 [an erratum [...]" H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"sacred Q[uarto]1, Q[uarto]8 [an erratum noted by Gray in T & W no. 159]."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 38.

11.7 secret] "sacred   edd 1-2, 4b-8 [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"sacred   edd 1-2, 4b-8 (noted as erratum by G[ray]., Corresp i 344)."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 120.

11.8 bower,] "In the old sense of [...]" W. Lyon Phelps, 1894.

"In the old sense of chamber. The bower was the sleeping apartment for the lord and lady; while the hall was the living-room, the dining-room, and, for the retainers, the sleeping-room."

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, 139.

11.8 bower,] "The proper sense of bower [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"The proper sense of bower is any place to be or dwell in; often used in poetry for 'my lady's chamber.' Gray no doubt used the word in its root-sense, but surely with some connotation of 'arbour'; which again is really 'harbour' and has nothing to do with 'arbor,' tree, although the sense 'a bower made of branches of trees' points to that as the accepted derivation of the word. Similarly the etymologist Junius thought 'bower' was so called from being made of boughs; a fancy which has no doubt affected the sense of the word."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 138.

11.8 bower,] "The owl is often given [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"The owl is often given a 'bower' by the poets: e.g. Spenser, Ruines of Time 130: 'For the Shriche-owle to build her balefull bowre'; Pope, Dunciad iv 11: 'the Owl forsook his bow'r'; Winter 143-4: 'Assiduous, in his bower, the wailing owl / Plies his sad song'; and T. Warton above, ll. 9-12 n. Spenser has 'secret bowre', Faerie Queene IV v 5, 4."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 120.

Contribute a note or query

12 Molest her ancient solitary reign. 1 Explanatory, 3 Textual

9.1 - 12.5 Save ... reign.] "Mallet, Excursion i 272-5, in [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Mallet, Excursion i 272-5, in a description of a church, 'where ivy twines / Its fatal green around': 'All is dread silence here, and undisturbed, / Save what the wind sighs, and the wailing owl / Screams solitary to the mournful moon, / Glimmering her western ray through yonder aisle'; T. Warton, Pleasures of Melancholy 32-7: 'While sullen sacred silence reigns around, / Save the lone screech-owl's note, who builds his bower / Amid the mouldering caverns, dark and damp, / Or the calm breeze, that rustles in the leaves / Of flaunting ivy, that with mantle green / Invests some wasted tower.'"

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 119.

12.1-3 Molest ... ancient] "& pry into (over) Fraser [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"& pry into (over) Fraser 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], 138.

12.1-3 Molest ... ancient] "& pry into written above [...]" H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"& pry into written above in E[ton College MS.]."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 38.

12.1-3 Molest ... ancient] "& pry into   written [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"& pry into   written above in Eton."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 120.

Contribute a note or query


13 Beneath those rugged elms, that yew-tree's shade, 4 Explanatory

13.1 - 16.7 Beneath ... sleep.] "This stanza and the ninth [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"This stanza and the ninth form the inscription on the east side of the monument to Gray in Stoke Park."

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], 216.

13.5-6 that yew-tree's] "The yew-tree under which Gray [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"The yew-tree under which Gray often sat in Stoke churchyard still exists there; it is on the south side of the church, its branches spread over a large circumference, and under it as well as under its shade there are several graves."

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], 215.

13.5-7 that ... shade,] "The yew-tree of Gray's time [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"The yew-tree of Gray's time still exists in Stoke Church-yard, according to Dr Bradshaw; 'it is on the south side of the church, its branches spread over a large circumference, and under it, as well as under its shade, there are several graves.'"

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 138.

13.5-7 that ... shade,] "'Or 'gainst the rugged bark [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"'Or 'gainst the rugged bark of some broad Elm', Comus 354. Blair's churchyard also provides a yew, 'Cheerless, unsocial plant'; and 'a row of reverend elms, / ... all ragged show', The Grave 22, 46-7."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 120.

Contribute a note or query

14 Where heaves the turf in many a mouldering heap, 3 Explanatory

13.1 - 16.7 Beneath ... sleep.] "This stanza and the ninth [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"This stanza and the ninth form the inscription on the east side of the monument to Gray in Stoke Park."

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], 216.

14.1-9 Where ... heap,] "Wakefield quotes from Parnell's ''Night [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"Wakefield quotes from Parnell's ''Night Piece on Death'' (1722): - ''Those graves with bending osier bound, / That nameless heave the crumbled ground.'' - 29, 30."

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], 215.

14.1 - 16.7 Where ... sleep.] "Thomas Parnell, A Night-Piece on [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Thomas Parnell, A Night-Piece on Death 29-32: 'Those Graves, with bending Osier bound, / That nameless heave the crumbled Ground, / Quick to the glancing Thought disclose, / Where Toil and Poverty repose.' Parnell's churchyard, l. 53, also has a 'black and fun'ral Yew'."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 120.

Contribute a note or query

15 Each in his narrow cell for ever laid, 2 Explanatory

13.1 - 16.7 Beneath ... sleep.] "This stanza and the ninth [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"This stanza and the ninth form the inscription on the east side of the monument to Gray in Stoke Park."

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], 216.

14.1 - 16.7 Where ... sleep.] "Thomas Parnell, A Night-Piece on [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Thomas Parnell, A Night-Piece on Death 29-32: 'Those Graves, with bending Osier bound, / That nameless heave the crumbled Ground, / Quick to the glancing Thought disclose, / Where Toil and Poverty repose.' Parnell's churchyard, l. 53, also has a 'black and fun'ral Yew'."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 120.

Contribute a note or query

16 The rude forefathers of the hamlet sleep. 5 Explanatory, 3 Textual

13.1 - 16.7 Beneath ... sleep.] "This stanza and the ninth [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"This stanza and the ninth form the inscription on the east side of the monument to Gray in Stoke Park."

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], 216.

14.1 - 16.7 Where ... sleep.] "Thomas Parnell, A Night-Piece on [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Thomas Parnell, A Night-Piece on Death 29-32: 'Those Graves, with bending Osier bound, / That nameless heave the crumbled Ground, / Quick to the glancing Thought disclose, / Where Toil and Poverty repose.' Parnell's churchyard, l. 53, also has a 'black and fun'ral Yew'."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 120.

16.2 rude] "Referring to their rustic simplicity. [...]" W. Lyon Phelps, 1894.

"Referring to their rustic simplicity. The poor people were always buried in the church-yard; the rich inside the church."

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, 139.

16.2 rude] "rude here means rustic, simple; [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"rude here means rustic, simple; he applies it to the beach, ''Spring,'' 13. Throughout the ''Elegy'' he refers to the poor, the people of the hamlet, as contrasted with the rich, who were interred and had their monuments inside the church. In the MSS. left by Mitford, now in the British Museum, he has recorded the following line found among Gray's papers, jotted down probably for the ''Elegy,'' cf. lines 57-60; it may be quoted here as an illustration of his use of rude: - ''The rude Columbus of an infant world.''"

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], 216.

16.2 rude] "Of course in the sense [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"Of course in the sense of simple and unlettered. 'The poor people were always buried in the church-yard, the rich inside the church.'   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], 138.

16.6 hamlet] "Village struck through by Gray [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"Village struck through by Gray and Hamlet written over it in Fraser 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], 138.

16.6 hamlet] "Village (del) E[ton College MS.]." H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"Village (del) E[ton College MS.]."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 38.

16.6 hamlet] "Village   Eton, deleted." R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Village   Eton, deleted."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 120.

Contribute a note or query


17 The breezy call of incense-breathing morn, 4 Explanatory, 5 Textual

17.1 - 18.2 The ... swallow] "For ever sleep: the breezy [...]" E. Gosse, 1884.

"For ever sleep: the breezy call of Morn, / Or swallow, etc. - Mason MS."

The Works of Thomas Gray: In Prose and Verse. Ed. by Edmund Gosse, in four vols. London: MacMillan and Co., 1884, vol. i, 74.

17.1-6 The ... morn,] "Sending forth fragrant smells.''Now whenas [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"Sending forth fragrant smells.

''Now whenas sacred light began to dawn
In Eden on the humid flowers, that breathed
Their morning incense.'' - Par. Lost, ix. 192-194."

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], 216.

17.1 - 18.7 The ... shed,] "For ever sleep; the breezy [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"For ever sleep; the breezy call of Morn, / Or swallow, etc. - Original MS. [Mason 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], 229.

17.1 - 18.7 The ... shed,] "For ever sleep: the breezy [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"For ever sleep: the breezy Call of Morn / Or &c.   Fraser 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], 138.

17.1-6 The ... morn,] "''... Whenas sacred light began [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"''... Whenas sacred light began to dawn
In Eden, on the humid flowers, that breathed
Their morning incense.''
        Par. Lost, IX. 193.   Wakefield."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 139.

17.1-6 The ... morn,] "For ever sleep, the breezy [...]" H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"For ever sleep, the breezy Call of Morn, E[ton College MS.]."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 38.

17.1-6 The ... morn,] "For ever sleep. the breezy [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"For ever sleep. the breezy Call of Morn,   Eton."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 120.

17.1-6 The ... morn,] "Cp. Par. Lost ix 193-4: [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Cp. Par. Lost ix 193-4: 'the humid Flowrs that breathd / Thir morning Incense'; and Pope, Messiah 24: 'With all the incence of the breathing Spring'."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 120.

17.1 - 20.9 The ... bed.] "This is the first of [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"This is the first of several passages which resemble John Dart's poem Westminster Abbey (1721), reprinted in his [2 vol.] Westmonasterium [1723], and again (significantly) in 1742. Cp. Dart's meditations among the tombs ([Westmonasterium vol.] I[, p.] iii), 'Where Musick cheers no more the rising Morn, / The Lark high tow'ring, nor the Winding-Horn; / Nor Thickets ecchoing with the vocal Train, / Who hail the Day, and rouze the sleepy Swain ...'"

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 120.

Contribute a note or query

18 The swallow twittering from the straw-built shed, 4 Explanatory, 5 Textual

17.1 - 18.2 The ... swallow] "For ever sleep: the breezy [...]" E. Gosse, 1884.

"For ever sleep: the breezy call of Morn, / Or swallow, etc. - Mason MS."

The Works of Thomas Gray: In Prose and Verse. Ed. by Edmund Gosse, in four vols. London: MacMillan and Co., 1884, vol. i, 74.

17.1 - 18.7 The ... shed,] "For ever sleep; the breezy [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"For ever sleep; the breezy call of Morn, / Or swallow, etc. - Original MS. [Mason 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], 229.

17.1 - 18.7 The ... shed,] "For ever sleep: the breezy [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"For ever sleep: the breezy Call of Morn / Or &c.   Fraser 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], 138.

17.1 - 20.9 The ... bed.] "This is the first of [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"This is the first of several passages which resemble John Dart's poem Westminster Abbey (1721), reprinted in his [2 vol.] Westmonasterium [1723], and again (significantly) in 1742. Cp. Dart's meditations among the tombs ([Westmonasterium vol.] I[, p.] iii), 'Where Musick cheers no more the rising Morn, / The Lark high tow'ring, nor the Winding-Horn; / Nor Thickets ecchoing with the vocal Train, / Who hail the Day, and rouze the sleepy Swain ...'"

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 120.

18.1-2 The swallow] "Or Swallow E[ton College MS.]." H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"Or Swallow E[ton College MS.]."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 38.

18.1-2 The swallow] "Or Swallow   Eton." R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Or Swallow   Eton."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 121.

18.1 - 19.8 The ... horn,] "Fletcher, Faithful Shepherdess IV iv: [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Fletcher, Faithful Shepherdess IV iv: 'Dearer than swallows love the early morn, / Or dogs of chase the sound of merry horn.'"

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 121.

18.3 twittering] "A frequent epithet for the [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"A frequent epithet for the swallow, probably in imitation of Virgil's garrula ... hirundo, Georgics iv 307, translated by Dryden, iv 434: 'Or Swallows twitter on the Chimney Tops'. The swallows 'twitter cheerful' in Thomson, Autumn 846."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 121.

18.6 straw-built] "A compound sanctioned by Milton: [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"A compound sanctioned by Milton: 'thir Straw-built Cittadel', Par. Lost i 773. Cp. 'his little Straw-built Home' and 'Sudden he views some Shepherd's straw-built Cell', T. Warton Senior, Poems (1748) pp. 106, 186."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 121.

Contribute a note or query

19 The cock's shrill clarion, or the echoing horn, 6 Explanatory, 8 Textual

17.1 - 20.9 The ... bed.] "This is the first of [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"This is the first of several passages which resemble John Dart's poem Westminster Abbey (1721), reprinted in his [2 vol.] Westmonasterium [1723], and again (significantly) in 1742. Cp. Dart's meditations among the tombs ([Westmonasterium vol.] I[, p.] iii), 'Where Musick cheers no more the rising Morn, / The Lark high tow'ring, nor the Winding-Horn; / Nor Thickets ecchoing with the vocal Train, / Who hail the Day, and rouze the sleepy Swain ...'"

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 120.

18.1 - 19.8 The ... horn,] "Fletcher, Faithful Shepherdess IV iv: [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Fletcher, Faithful Shepherdess IV iv: 'Dearer than swallows love the early morn, / Or dogs of chase the sound of merry horn.'"

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 121.

19.1-8 The ... horn,] "Or chaunticleer so shrill, or [...]" E. Gosse, 1884.

"Or chaunticleer so shrill, or ecchoing horn. - Mason MS."

The Works of Thomas Gray: In Prose and Verse. Ed. by Edmund Gosse, in four vols. London: MacMillan and Co., 1884, vol. i, 74.

19.1-4 The ... clarion,] "A clarion is a wind [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"A clarion is a wind instrument, a kind of trumpet, with a shrill sound, from Lat. clarus, clear. It is from Milton that he takes clarion for the sound of the cock's crow: - ''.... the crested cock, whose clarion sounds / The silent hours.'' - Par. Lost, vii. 443. Cf. also: -

''When chanticleer with clarion shrill recalls
The tardy day.'' - [John ]Philip's Cyder, i. 753 (pub. 1708).

''The cock that is the trumpet to the mourn
Doth with his lofty and shrill-sounding throat
Awake the god of day.'' - Hamlet, i. 1. 150.
In the original MS. the reading is; - ''Or chanticleer so shrill or echoing horn''; the word ''chanticleer'' itself meaning ''clear-singing,'' and the name of the cock in Chaucer's ''Nun's Priest's Tale'' was 'Chauntecleer.'"

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], 216/217.

19.1-8 The ... horn,] "Or chanticleer so shrill, or [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"Or chanticleer so shrill, or echoing horn. - Original MS. [Mason 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], 229.

19.1-8 The ... horn,] "Or Chaunticleer so shrill or [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"Or Chaunticleer so shrill or echoing Horn   Fraser 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], 139.

19.1 - 20.9 The ... bed.] "''... The crested cock, whose [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"''... The crested cock, whose clarion sounds
The silent hours.'' Par. Lost, VII. 442.   Wakefield.
''... When chanticleer with clarion shrill recalls
The tardy day.'' J. Philips, Cyder, I. 753.   Mitford.
Cyder was published in 1708, the year of the death of J. Philips. Philips in the Splendid Shilling parodied, and in Cyder imitated, Milton. Gray knew his verse well, and perhaps (Gray and His Friends, p. 298) at an early date attempted to translate a part of the Splendid Shilling into Latin Hexameters.
But here again, if there is imitation at all on Gray's part, it is to be found in the same combination of cockcrow and the hunter's horn which Milton had already given in his picture of Morning in L'Allegro, l. 49 sq.
''While the cock, with lively din,
Scatters the rear of darkness thin.
. . . . . . . . . . . .
Oft listening how the hounds and horn
Cheerly rouse the slumbering morn.''"

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 139.

19.1-6 The ... the] "Or Chaunticleer so shrill or [...]" H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"Or Chaunticleer so shrill or E[ton College MS.]."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 38.

19.1-6 The ... the] "Or Chaunticleer so shrill or [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Or Chaunticleer so shrill or   Eton."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 121.

19.1-8 The ... horn,] "Cp. L'Allegro 49-50, 53-6: 'While [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Cp. L'Allegro 49-50, 53-6: 'While the Cock with lively din, / Scatters the rear of darknes thin / ... / Oft list'ning how the Hounds and horn / Chearly rouse the slumbring mom, / From the side of some Hoar Hill, / Through the high wood echoing shrill'; 'the crested Cock whose clarion sounds / The silent hours', Par. Lost vii 443-4; 'Chanticleer with clarion shrill', J. Philips, Cyder i 753; 'the shrill horn's echoing sounds', Gay, Birth of the Squire 17; 'This Midnight Centinel with Clarion shrill', Young, Night Thoughts ii 3 (of the cock); 'The sounding Clarion and the Sprightly Horn', Prior, Colin's Mistakes 13."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 121.

19.5 or] "and Pembroke and Wharton MSS." A.L. Poole/L. Whibley, 1950 [1st ed. 1919].

"and 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], 174.

19.5 or] "& C[ommonplace] B[ook], Wh[arton MS.]." H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"& C[ommonplace] B[ook], Wh[arton MS.]."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 38.

19.5 or] "&   Commonplace Book, Wharton." R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"&   Commonplace Book, Wharton."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 121.

19.6-8 the ... horn,] "The huntsman's horn, that wakens [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"The huntsman's horn, that wakens echoes. Cf. Milton again: -

''Oft listening how the hounds and horn
Cheerly rouse the slumbering morn,
From the side of some hoar hill
Through the high wood echoing shrill.'' - [L]'Allegro, 53."

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], 217.

Contribute a note or query

20 No more shall rouse them from their lowly bed. 5 Explanatory, 3 Textual

17.1 - 20.9 The ... bed.] "This is the first of [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"This is the first of several passages which resemble John Dart's poem Westminster Abbey (1721), reprinted in his [2 vol.] Westmonasterium [1723], and again (significantly) in 1742. Cp. Dart's meditations among the tombs ([Westmonasterium vol.] I[, p.] iii), 'Where Musick cheers no more the rising Morn, / The Lark high tow'ring, nor the Winding-Horn; / Nor Thickets ecchoing with the vocal Train, / Who hail the Day, and rouze the sleepy Swain ...'"

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 120.

19.1 - 20.9 The ... bed.] "''... The crested cock, whose [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"''... The crested cock, whose clarion sounds
The silent hours.'' Par. Lost, VII. 442.   Wakefield.
''... When chanticleer with clarion shrill recalls
The tardy day.'' J. Philips, Cyder, I. 753.   Mitford.
Cyder was published in 1708, the year of the death of J. Philips. Philips in the Splendid Shilling parodied, and in Cyder imitated, Milton. Gray knew his verse well, and perhaps (Gray and His Friends, p. 298) at an early date attempted to translate a part of the Splendid Shilling into Latin Hexameters.
But here again, if there is imitation at all on Gray's part, it is to be found in the same combination of cockcrow and the hunter's horn which Milton had already given in his picture of Morning in L'Allegro, l. 49 sq.
''While the cock, with lively din,
Scatters the rear of darkness thin.
. . . . . . . . . . . .
Oft listening how the hounds and horn
Cheerly rouse the slumbering morn.''"

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 139.

20.4 rouse] "wake first edition." A.L. Poole/L. Whibley, 1950 [1st ed. 1919].

"wake first edition."

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.

20.4 rouse] "wake Q[uarto]1." H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"wake Q[uarto]1."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 38.

20.4 rouse] "wake   edd 1-2, 4b, [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"wake   edd 1-2, 4b, 6-7."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 121.

20.7-9 their ... bed.] "The humble bed in which [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"The humble bed in which they have been sleeping. Lloyd in his Latin translation strangely mistook ''lowly bed'' for the grave."

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], 217.

20.8-9 lowly bed.] "This probably refers to the [...]" W. Lyon Phelps, 1894.

"This probably refers to the humble couch on which they have spent the night; but it is meant to suggest the grave as well."

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, 139.

20.8-9 lowly bed.] "''Lloyd,'' says Dr Bradshaw, ''in [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"''Lloyd,'' says Dr Bradshaw, ''in his Latin translation strangely mistook 'lowly bed' for the grave.''
Dr Phelps on the other hand says, 'This probably refers to the humble couch on which they have spent the night; but it is meant to suggest the grave as well.' This seems probable."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 139.

Contribute a note or query


21 For them no more the blazing hearth shall burn, 4 Explanatory

21.1 - 24.9 For ... share.] "Wakefield quotes Lucretius, iv, 907:''At [...]" W. Lyon Phelps, 1894.

"Wakefield quotes Lucretius, iv, 907:

''At jam non domus accipiet te laeta; neque uxor
Optima, nec dulces occurrent oscula nati
Praeripere, et tacita pectus dulcedine tangent.''
Wakefield also quotes Thomson, Winter, 311, describing the man dying in the snow:
''In vain for him the officious wife prepares
The fire fair-blazing and the vestment warm:
In vain his little children, peeping out
Into the mingling storm, demand their sire
With tears of artless innocence. Alas!
Nor wife, nor children, more shall he behold,
Nor friends, nor sacred home.''"

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, 139.

21.1 - 24.9 For ... share.] "The following are parallel passages: [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"The following are parallel passages: -

''Jam jam non domus accipiet te laeta, neque uxor
Optima, nec dulces occurrent oscula nati
Praeripere, et tacita pectus dulcedine tangent.'' - Lucretius, iii. 894.

''Quod si pudica mulier in partem juvet
    Domum atque dulces liberos, ...
Sacrum et vetustis exstruat lignis focum
    Lassi sub adventum viri.'' - Horace, Epode, ii. 39.

''In vain for him the officious wife prepares
The fire fair-blazing and the vestment warm;
In vain his little children, peeping out
Into the mingling storm, demand their sire
With tears of artless innocence.'' - Thomson, Winter, 311."

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], 217.

21.1 - 24.9 For ... share.] " ''Jam jam non domus [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

" ''Jam jam non domus accipiet te laeta, neque uxor
optima, nec dulces occurrent oscula nati
praeripere et tacita pectus dulcedine tangent.''
        Lucretius, III. 894-896.
''Now no more shall thy house admit thee with glad welcome, nor a most virtuous wife and sweet children run to be the first to snatch kisses and touch thy heart with a silent joy.'' (Munro.)
Though Lucretius is only mentioning these common regrets of mankind in order to show their unreasonableness, there is no doubt that Gray had this passage well in his mind here. Feeling this, Munro renders it in quite Lucretian phraseology: e.g.
''Jam jam non erit his rutilans focus igne:
and
non reditum balbe current patris hiscere nati.''
But Gray adds also an Horatian touch, as Mitford points out:
''Quodsi pudica mulier in partem juvet
domum atque dulces liberos
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
sacrum vetustis excitet lignis focum
lassi sub adventum viri,'' &c. Hor. Epode, II. 39 sq.
[''But if a chaste and pleasing wife
To ease the business of his life
Divides with him his household care
. . . . . . . . . . . .
Will fire for winter nights provide,
And without noise will oversee
His children and his family
And order all things till he come
Weary and over-laboured home'' &c. Dryden.]
Thomson in his Winter, 1726, had written of the shepherd overwhelmed in the snow-storm:
''In vain for him the officious wife prepares
The fire fair-blazing, and the vestment warm;
In vain his little children, peeping out
Into the mingling rack, demand their sire
With tears of artless innocence.'' (ll. 311-315.)"

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 139/140.

21.1 - 24.9 For ... share.] "Lucretius iii 894-6: iam iam [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Lucretius iii 894-6: iam iam non domus accipiet te laeta, neque uxor / optima nec dulces occurrent oscula nati / praeripere et tacita pectus dulcedine tangent (No longer now will your happy home give you welcome, no longer will your best of wives and sweet children race to win the first kisses, and thrill your heart to its depths with sweetness). Cp. Dryden's translation, Latter Part of the 3rd Book of Lucretius 76-9: 'But to be snatch'd from all thy household joys, / From thy Chast Wife, and thy dear prattling boys, / Whose little arms about thy Legs are cast, / And climbing for a Kiss prevent their Mothers hast'; and Thomson's imitation, Winter 311-6: 'In vain for him the officious wife prepares / The fire fair-blazing and the vestment warm; / In vain his little children, peeping out / Into the mingling storm, demand their sire / With tears of artless innocence. Alas! / Nor wife nor children more shall he behold.' Cp. also Horace, Epodes ii 39-40, 43-4: quod si pudica mulier in partem iuvet / domum atque dulces liberos ... / sacrum vestutis extruat lignis focum / lassi sub adventum viri (But if a modest wife shall do her part in tending home and children dear ... piling the sacred hearth with seasoned firewood against the coming of her weary husband). Cp. also Dryden, Georgics ii 760-1 (translating Virgil, ii 523): 'His little Children climbing for a Kiss, / Welcome their Father's late return at Night'; Thomson adopted the first line of this couplet, Liberty iii 173; and see also J. Warton, Ode to Evening 3 (quoted in l. 3n above)."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 121.

Contribute a note or query

22 Or busy housewife ply her evening care: 7 Explanatory, 2 Textual

21.1 - 24.9 For ... share.] "Wakefield quotes Lucretius, iv, 907:''At [...]" W. Lyon Phelps, 1894.

"Wakefield quotes Lucretius, iv, 907:

''At jam non domus accipiet te laeta; neque uxor
Optima, nec dulces occurrent oscula nati
Praeripere, et tacita pectus dulcedine tangent.''
Wakefield also quotes Thomson, Winter, 311, describing the man dying in the snow:
''In vain for him the officious wife prepares
The fire fair-blazing and the vestment warm:
In vain his little children, peeping out
Into the mingling storm, demand their sire
With tears of artless innocence. Alas!
Nor wife, nor children, more shall he behold,
Nor friends, nor sacred home.''"

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, 139.

21.1 - 24.9 For ... share.] "The following are parallel passages: [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"The following are parallel passages: -

''Jam jam non domus accipiet te laeta, neque uxor
Optima, nec dulces occurrent oscula nati
Praeripere, et tacita pectus dulcedine tangent.'' - Lucretius, iii. 894.

''Quod si pudica mulier in partem juvet
    Domum atque dulces liberos, ...
Sacrum et vetustis exstruat lignis focum
    Lassi sub adventum viri.'' - Horace, Epode, ii. 39.

''In vain for him the officious wife prepares
The fire fair-blazing and the vestment warm;
In vain his little children, peeping out
Into the mingling storm, demand their sire
With tears of artless innocence.'' - Thomson, Winter, 311."

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], 217.

21.1 - 24.9 For ... share.] " ''Jam jam non domus [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

" ''Jam jam non domus accipiet te laeta, neque uxor
optima, nec dulces occurrent oscula nati
praeripere et tacita pectus dulcedine tangent.''
        Lucretius, III. 894-896.
''Now no more shall thy house admit thee with glad welcome, nor a most virtuous wife and sweet children run to be the first to snatch kisses and touch thy heart with a silent joy.'' (Munro.)
Though Lucretius is only mentioning these common regrets of mankind in order to show their unreasonableness, there is no doubt that Gray had this passage well in his mind here. Feeling this, Munro renders it in quite Lucretian phraseology: e.g.
''Jam jam non erit his rutilans focus igne:
and
non reditum balbe current patris hiscere nati.''
But Gray adds also an Horatian touch, as Mitford points out:
''Quodsi pudica mulier in partem juvet
domum atque dulces liberos
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
sacrum vetustis excitet lignis focum
lassi sub adventum viri,'' &c. Hor. Epode, II. 39 sq.
[''But if a chaste and pleasing wife
To ease the business of his life
Divides with him his household care
. . . . . . . . . . . .
Will fire for winter nights provide,
And without noise will oversee
His children and his family
And order all things till he come
Weary and over-laboured home'' &c. Dryden.]
Thomson in his Winter, 1726, had written of the shepherd overwhelmed in the snow-storm:
''In vain for him the officious wife prepares
The fire fair-blazing, and the vestment warm;
In vain his little children, peeping out
Into the mingling rack, demand their sire
With tears of artless innocence.'' (ll. 311-315.)"

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 139/140.

21.1 - 24.9 For ... share.] "Lucretius iii 894-6: iam iam [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Lucretius iii 894-6: iam iam non domus accipiet te laeta, neque uxor / optima nec dulces occurrent oscula nati / praeripere et tacita pectus dulcedine tangent (No longer now will your happy home give you welcome, no longer will your best of wives and sweet children race to win the first kisses, and thrill your heart to its depths with sweetness). Cp. Dryden's translation, Latter Part of the 3rd Book of Lucretius 76-9: 'But to be snatch'd from all thy household joys, / From thy Chast Wife, and thy dear prattling boys, / Whose little arms about thy Legs are cast, / And climbing for a Kiss prevent their Mothers hast'; and Thomson's imitation, Winter 311-6: 'In vain for him the officious wife prepares / The fire fair-blazing and the vestment warm; / In vain his little children, peeping out / Into the mingling storm, demand their sire / With tears of artless innocence. Alas! / Nor wife nor children more shall he behold.' Cp. also Horace, Epodes ii 39-40, 43-4: quod si pudica mulier in partem iuvet / domum atque dulces liberos ... / sacrum vestutis extruat lignis focum / lassi sub adventum viri (But if a modest wife shall do her part in tending home and children dear ... piling the sacred hearth with seasoned firewood against the coming of her weary husband). Cp. also Dryden, Georgics ii 760-1 (translating Virgil, ii 523): 'His little Children climbing for a Kiss, / Welcome their Father's late return at Night'; Thomson adopted the first line of this couplet, Liberty iii 173; and see also J. Warton, Ode to Evening 3 (quoted in l. 3n above)."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 121.

22.3 housewife] "Hus-wife. - Mason MS." E. Gosse, 1884.

"Hus-wife. - Mason MS."

The Works of Thomas Gray: In Prose and Verse. Ed. by Edmund Gosse, in four vols. London: MacMillan and Co., 1884, vol. i, 74.

22.3 housewife] "Huswife Wharton MS." A.L. Poole/L. Whibley, 1950 [1st ed. 1919].

"Huswife 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.

22.4-7 ply ... care:] "Be busied at her household [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"Be busied at her household duties. Some annotators take exception to this use of ply; but it is a shortend form of apply similarly used by Milton and old writers: - ''He is ever at his plow, he is ever applying his business.'' - Latimer.

''The birds their choir apply.'' - Par. Lost, iv. 264.
''Assiduous in his bower the wailing owl
Plies his sad song.'' - Thomson, Winter, 114.
And Gray has ''their labours ply'' in the ''Ode on Eton,'' 32. The expression is a good instance of the poetical language against which Wordsworth protested. When he had occasion to refer to a similar scene, he wrote: - ''And she I cherished turned her wheel / Beside an English fire.''"

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], 217/218.

22.4 ply] "Attend diligently to: cp. Milton, [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Attend diligently to: cp. Milton, Par. Lost ix 201-2: 'Then commune how that day they best may ply / Their growing work.'"

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 122.

22.7 care:] "Responsibility, (domestic) duties, imitating Latin [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Responsibility, (domestic) duties, imitating Latin cura."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 122.

Contribute a note or query

23 No children run to lisp their sire's return, 6 Explanatory

21.1 - 24.9 For ... share.] "Wakefield quotes Lucretius, iv, 907:''At [...]" W. Lyon Phelps, 1894.

"Wakefield quotes Lucretius, iv, 907:

''At jam non domus accipiet te laeta; neque uxor
Optima, nec dulces occurrent oscula nati
Praeripere, et tacita pectus dulcedine tangent.''
Wakefield also quotes Thomson, Winter, 311, describing the man dying in the snow:
''In vain for him the officious wife prepares
The fire fair-blazing and the vestment warm:
In vain his little children, peeping out
Into the mingling storm, demand their sire
With tears of artless innocence. Alas!
Nor wife, nor children, more shall he behold,
Nor friends, nor sacred home.''"

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, 139.

21.1 - 24.9 For ... share.] "The following are parallel passages: [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"The following are parallel passages: -

''Jam jam non domus accipiet te laeta, neque uxor
Optima, nec dulces occurrent oscula nati
Praeripere, et tacita pectus dulcedine tangent.'' - Lucretius, iii. 894.

''Quod si pudica mulier in partem juvet
    Domum atque dulces liberos, ...
Sacrum et vetustis exstruat lignis focum
    Lassi sub adventum viri.'' - Horace, Epode, ii. 39.

''In vain for him the officious wife prepares
The fire fair-blazing and the vestment warm;
In vain his little children, peeping out
Into the mingling storm, demand their sire
With tears of artless innocence.'' - Thomson, Winter, 311."

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], 217.

21.1 - 24.9 For ... share.] " ''Jam jam non domus [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

" ''Jam jam non domus accipiet te laeta, neque uxor
optima, nec dulces occurrent oscula nati
praeripere et tacita pectus dulcedine tangent.''
        Lucretius, III. 894-896.
''Now no more shall thy house admit thee with glad welcome, nor a most virtuous wife and sweet children run to be the first to snatch kisses and touch thy heart with a silent joy.'' (Munro.)
Though Lucretius is only mentioning these common regrets of mankind in order to show their unreasonableness, there is no doubt that Gray had this passage well in his mind here. Feeling this, Munro renders it in quite Lucretian phraseology: e.g.
''Jam jam non erit his rutilans focus igne:
and
non reditum balbe current patris hiscere nati.''
But Gray adds also an Horatian touch, as Mitford points out:
''Quodsi pudica mulier in partem juvet
domum atque dulces liberos
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
sacrum vetustis excitet lignis focum
lassi sub adventum viri,'' &c. Hor. Epode, II. 39 sq.
[''But if a chaste and pleasing wife
To ease the business of his life
Divides with him his household care
. . . . . . . . . . . .
Will fire for winter nights provide,
And without noise will oversee
His children and his family
And order all things till he come
Weary and over-laboured home'' &c. Dryden.]
Thomson in his Winter, 1726, had written of the shepherd overwhelmed in the snow-storm:
''In vain for him the officious wife prepares
The fire fair-blazing, and the vestment warm;
In vain his little children, peeping out
Into the mingling rack, demand their sire
With tears of artless innocence.'' (ll. 311-315.)"

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 139/140.

21.1 - 24.9 For ... share.] "Lucretius iii 894-6: iam iam [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Lucretius iii 894-6: iam iam non domus accipiet te laeta, neque uxor / optima nec dulces occurrent oscula nati / praeripere et tacita pectus dulcedine tangent (No longer now will your happy home give you welcome, no longer will your best of wives and sweet children race to win the first kisses, and thrill your heart to its depths with sweetness). Cp. Dryden's translation, Latter Part of the 3rd Book of Lucretius 76-9: 'But to be snatch'd from all thy household joys, / From thy Chast Wife, and thy dear prattling boys, / Whose little arms about thy Legs are cast, / And climbing for a Kiss prevent their Mothers hast'; and Thomson's imitation, Winter 311-6: 'In vain for him the officious wife prepares / The fire fair-blazing and the vestment warm; / In vain his little children, peeping out / Into the mingling storm, demand their sire / With tears of artless innocence. Alas! / Nor wife nor children more shall he behold.' Cp. also Horace, Epodes ii 39-40, 43-4: quod si pudica mulier in partem iuvet / domum atque dulces liberos ... / sacrum vestutis extruat lignis focum / lassi sub adventum viri (But if a modest wife shall do her part in tending home and children dear ... piling the sacred hearth with seasoned firewood against the coming of her weary husband). Cp. also Dryden, Georgics ii 760-1 (translating Virgil, ii 523): 'His little Children climbing for a Kiss, / Welcome their Father's late return at Night'; Thomson adopted the first line of this couplet, Liberty iii 173; and see also J. Warton, Ode to Evening 3 (quoted in l. 3n above)."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 121.

23.1-8 No ... return,] "'And stammering Babes are taught [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"'And stammering Babes are taught to lisp thy Name', Dryden, Absalom and Achitophel 243."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 122.

23.5 lisp] "speak with childlike utterance." Alexander Huber, 2000.

"speak with childlike utterance."

Alexander Huber <huber@thomasgray.org> (SUB Göttingen), URL: http://www.thomasgray.org/. Contributed on Sun Oct 22 13:10:04 2000 GMT.

Contribute a note or query

24 Or climb his knees the envied kiss to share. 5 Explanatory, 11 Textual

21.1 - 24.9 For ... share.] "Wakefield quotes Lucretius, iv, 907:''At [...]" W. Lyon Phelps, 1894.

"Wakefield quotes Lucretius, iv, 907:

''At jam non domus accipiet te laeta; neque uxor
Optima, nec dulces occurrent oscula nati
Praeripere, et tacita pectus dulcedine tangent.''
Wakefield also quotes Thomson, Winter, 311, describing the man dying in the snow:
''In vain for him the officious wife prepares
The fire fair-blazing and the vestment warm:
In vain his little children, peeping out
Into the mingling storm, demand their sire
With tears of artless innocence. Alas!
Nor wife, nor children, more shall he behold,
Nor friends, nor sacred home.''"

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, 139.

21.1 - 24.9 For ... share.] "The following are parallel passages: [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"The following are parallel passages: -

''Jam jam non domus accipiet te laeta, neque uxor
Optima, nec dulces occurrent oscula nati
Praeripere, et tacita pectus dulcedine tangent.'' - Lucretius, iii. 894.

''Quod si pudica mulier in partem juvet
    Domum atque dulces liberos, ...
Sacrum et vetustis exstruat lignis focum
    Lassi sub adventum viri.'' - Horace, Epode, ii. 39.

''In vain for him the officious wife prepares
The fire fair-blazing and the vestment warm;
In vain his little children, peeping out
Into the mingling storm, demand their sire
With tears of artless innocence.'' - Thomson, Winter, 311."

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], 217.

21.1 - 24.9 For ... share.] " ''Jam jam non domus [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

" ''Jam jam non domus accipiet te laeta, neque uxor
optima, nec dulces occurrent oscula nati
praeripere et tacita pectus dulcedine tangent.''
        Lucretius, III. 894-896.
''Now no more shall thy house admit thee with glad welcome, nor a most virtuous wife and sweet children run to be the first to snatch kisses and touch thy heart with a silent joy.'' (Munro.)
Though Lucretius is only mentioning these common regrets of mankind in order to show their unreasonableness, there is no doubt that Gray had this passage well in his mind here. Feeling this, Munro renders it in quite Lucretian phraseology: e.g.
''Jam jam non erit his rutilans focus igne:
and
non reditum balbe current patris hiscere nati.''
But Gray adds also an Horatian touch, as Mitford points out:
''Quodsi pudica mulier in partem juvet
domum atque dulces liberos
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
sacrum vetustis excitet lignis focum
lassi sub adventum viri,'' &c. Hor. Epode, II. 39 sq.
[''But if a chaste and pleasing wife
To ease the business of his life
Divides with him his household care
. . . . . . . . . . . .
Will fire for winter nights provide,
And without noise will oversee
His children and his family
And order all things till he come
Weary and over-laboured home'' &c. Dryden.]
Thomson in his Winter, 1726, had written of the shepherd overwhelmed in the snow-storm:
''In vain for him the officious wife prepares
The fire fair-blazing, and the vestment warm;
In vain his little children, peeping out
Into the mingling rack, demand their sire
With tears of artless innocence.'' (ll. 311-315.)"

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 139/140.

21.1 - 24.9 For ... share.] "Lucretius iii 894-6: iam iam [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Lucretius iii 894-6: iam iam non domus accipiet te laeta, neque uxor / optima nec dulces occurrent oscula nati / praeripere et tacita pectus dulcedine tangent (No longer now will your happy home give you welcome, no longer will your best of wives and sweet children race to win the first kisses, and thrill your heart to its depths with sweetness). Cp. Dryden's translation, Latter Part of the 3rd Book of Lucretius 76-9: 'But to be snatch'd from all thy household joys, / From thy Chast Wife, and thy dear prattling boys, / Whose little arms about thy Legs are cast, / And climbing for a Kiss prevent their Mothers hast'; and Thomson's imitation, Winter 311-6: 'In vain for him the officious wife prepares / The fire fair-blazing and the vestment warm; / In vain his little children, peeping out / Into the mingling storm, demand their sire / With tears of artless innocence. Alas! / Nor wife nor children more shall he behold.' Cp. also Horace, Epodes ii 39-40, 43-4: quod si pudica mulier in partem iuvet / domum atque dulces liberos ... / sacrum vestutis extruat lignis focum / lassi sub adventum viri (But if a modest wife shall do her part in tending home and children dear ... piling the sacred hearth with seasoned firewood against the coming of her weary husband). Cp. also Dryden, Georgics ii 760-1 (translating Virgil, ii 523): 'His little Children climbing for a Kiss, / Welcome their Father's late return at Night'; Thomson adopted the first line of this couplet, Liberty iii 173; and see also J. Warton, Ode to Evening 3 (quoted in l. 3n above)."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 121.

24.1 Or] "Nor. - Egerton and Mason [...]" E. Gosse, 1884.

"Nor. - Egerton and Mason MSS."

The Works of Thomas Gray: In Prose and Verse. Ed. by Edmund Gosse, in four vols. London: MacMillan and Co., 1884, vol. i, 74.

24.1 Or] "Nor. - Original MS. [Mason [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"Nor. - Original MS. [Mason 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], 229.

24.1 Or] "Nor, Fraser MS." D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"Nor, Fraser 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], 140.

24.1 Or] "Nor Pembroke and Wharton MSS." A.L. Poole/L. Whibley, 1950 [1st ed. 1919].

"Nor 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], 174.

24.1 Or] "Nor C[ommonplace] B[ook], E[ton College [...]" H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"Nor C[ommonplace] B[ook], E[ton College MS.], Wh[arton MS.]."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 38.

24.1 Or] "Nor   Eton, Wharton, Commonplace [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Nor   Eton, Wharton, 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, 122.

24.6 envied] "Coming. - Mason MS." E. Gosse, 1884.

"Coming. - Mason MS."

The Works of Thomas Gray: In Prose and Verse. Ed. by Edmund Gosse, in four vols. London: MacMillan and Co., 1884, vol. i, 74.

24.6 envied] "Coming. - Original MS. [Mason [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"Coming. - Original MS. [Mason 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], 229.

24.6 envied] "The Fraser MS. has 'coming', [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"The Fraser MS. has 'coming', with 'envied' written above it, and 'doubtful' in the margin."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 140.

24.6 envied] "Gray happily decided upon 'envied,' [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"Gray happily decided upon 'envied,' for 'coming' is a weak word; and 'doubtful' would have been ambiguous to any but a classical reader, - who alone would feel sure that the meaning was, it was uncertain to whom the privilege of the first kiss would fall. Cf. the 'praeripere' of Lucretius supra [footnote: Add Dryden, as quoted by Mitford, (from ed. Warton, vol. ii. p. 565, a futile reference) ''Whose little arms around thy legs are cast, / And climbing for a kiss prevent their mother's haste.''].
Cf. Virgil, Georg. II. 523 (describing the joys of the husbandman):

''Interea dulces pendent circum oscula nati.''
[Meanwhile sweet children cling round his kisses. Mackail.]"

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 140.

24.6 envied] "coming but envied written above [...]" H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"coming but envied written above and doubtful? in margin, E[ton College MS.]."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 38.

24.6 envied] "coming   Eton, with envied [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"coming   Eton, with envied written above, and doubtful? in margin."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 122.

Contribute a note or query


25 Oft did the harvest to their sickle yield, 6 Textual

25.7 sickle] "Sickles. - Egerton MS." E. Gosse, 1884.

"Sickles. - Egerton MS."

The Works of Thomas Gray: In Prose and Verse. Ed. by Edmund Gosse, in four vols. London: MacMillan and Co., 1884, vol. i, 74.

25.7 sickle] "Sickles. - Egerton MS." J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"Sickles. - Egerton 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], 229.

25.7 sickle] "Sickles   Egerton MS." D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"Sickles   Egerton 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], 141.

25.7 sickle] "Sickles Wharton MS." A.L. Poole/L. Whibley, 1950 [1st ed. 1919].

"Sickles 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.

25.7 sickle] "Sickles Wh[arton MS.]." H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"Sickles Wh[arton MS.]."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 38.

25.7 sickle] "sickles   Wharton." R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"sickles   Wharton."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 122.

Contribute a note or query

26 Their furrow oft the stubborn glebe has broke; 4 Explanatory

26.4-6 the ... glebe] "From Latin glaeba, meaning the [...]" W. Lyon Phelps, 1894.

"From Latin glaeba, meaning the ground."

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, 139.

26.4-6 the ... glebe] "Luke quotes from Gay's ''Fables'': [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"Luke quotes from Gay's ''Fables'': - '''Tis mine to tame the stubborn glebe.'' Glebe is used in its primary sense from Lat. gleba, a sod, the ground: - ''Rastris glebas qui frangit inertes.'' - Georgics, i. 94."

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], 218.

26.4-6 the ... glebe] "Luke quotes from Gay's Fables, [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"Luke quotes from Gay's Fables, Vol. II. Fable xv. l. 89:

'''Tis mine to tame the stubborn glebe.''
---What Gay really writes is:
'''Tis mine to tame the stubborn plain,
Break the stiff soil, and house the grain.''
This is a curious example of the way in which a perfectly needless parallel 'may be made when it cannot be found.' "

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 141.

26.4-6 the ... glebe] "Cp. Virgil, Georgics i 94: [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Cp. Virgil, Georgics i 94: glaebas qui frangit inertis. The substance of the phrase is common in English poetry: cp. 'Commands / Th' unwilling Soil, and tames the stubborn Lands', Dryden, Georgics i 143-4; 'Or tames the Genius of the stubborn Plain', Pope, Imitations of Horace, Sat. II i 131; ' 'Tis mine to tame the stubborn plain, / Break the stiff soil', Gay, Fables II xv 89-90. See especially the earlier lines of the stanza by Roscommon quoted l. 3n above: 'Rough, hardy, season'd, manly, bold; / Either they dug the stubborn ground, / Or through hewn woods their weighty strokes did sound.'"

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 122.

Contribute a note or query

27 How jocund did they drive their team afield! 3 Explanatory, 2 Textual

27.4 they] "they they [a misprint] Q[uarto]1." H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"they they [a misprint] Q[uarto]1."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 38.

27.4 they] "they they   edd 1-2 [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"they they   edd 1-2 (a misprint)."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 122.

27.8 afield!] "To the field. Milton's expression, [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"To the field. Milton's expression, ''we drove afield,'' ''Lycidas,'' 27."

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], 218.

27.8 afield!] "to the field. 'We drove [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"to the field. 'We drove afield,' Milton, Lycidas, l. 27; this is probably Gray's warrant for the word. Whether we refer the prefix 'a' to 'on' or to 'at' here, the secondary notion of 'motion towards' is easily attached to it; e.g. in Shakespeare 'away' [on way] sometimes means 'hither': and for 'at' in the sense of 'to' cf. 'at him again!' Instances of 'sturdy stroke' are quoted from Spenser, Shepherd's Calendar, February [ll. 201, 202] and, Dryden, Georgics, III. 639."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 141.

27.8 afield!] "Cp. 'Under the opening eye-lids [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Cp. 'Under the opening eye-lids of the morn, / We drove a field', Lycidas 26-7; and 'With me to drive a-Field the browzing Goats', Dryden, Eclogues ii 38. For 'their team', cp. the passage from Roscommon quoted in l. 3 n above."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 122.

Contribute a note or query

28 How bowed the woods beneath their sturdy stroke! 2 Explanatory

28.1-8 How ... stroke!] "Wakefield quotes from Spenser's ''Shepherd's [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"Wakefield quotes from Spenser's ''Shepherd's Kalendar'': - ''But to the root bent his sturdic stroak, / And made many wounds in the wast oak.'' - February. sturdy stoke also occurs in Dryden's translation of the ''Georgics,'' iii. 639."

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], 218.

28.1-8 How ... stroke!] "'pines bow low / Their [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"'pines bow low / Their heads', Dunciad ii 391-2; 'Low the woods / Bow their hoar head', Thomson, Winter 235-6; and cp. 'But to the roote bent his sturdy stroke', Spenser, Shepheardes Calender, 'Feb.' 201; Dryden, Georgics iii 638-9: 'Take, Shepherd take, a plant of stubborn Oak; / And labour him with many a sturdy stroke'; and 'And stood the sturdy Stroaks of lab'ring Hinds', Dryden, Aeneid ii 847."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 122.

Contribute a note or query


29 Let not Ambition mock their useful toil, 4 Explanatory, 5 Textual

29.1 - 32.8 Let ... poor.] "The rimes in this stanza [...]" W. Lyon Phelps, 1894.

"The rimes in this stanza are scarcely exact; but the last line is one of the most famous in the Elegy."

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, 139.

29.1 - 32.8 Let ... poor.] " ''The rimes in this [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

" ''The rimes in this stanza are scarcely exact'': says Dr Phelps. That they were at one time exact is certain; and they were probably exact to Gray's time. The wearisome frequency of the rhyme 'join' with such words as 'combine,' 'sign,' 'line,' in Dryden, Pope, &c. establishes the pronunciation of 'join' as 'jine' over a long period up to the middle of the 18th century; in Dryden we have 'spoil' rhyming with 'guile' and 'awhile'; 'boil' rhyming with 'pile,' and in Pope, Odyssey, b. 1.:

''Your widow'd heart, apart, with female toil
And various labours of the loom beguile.''
The very rhyme of the text is doubtless frequent; I find it casually in Johnson's London (1738):
''On all thy hours security shall smile,
And bless thine evening walk, and morning toil.''
It is on record as an instance of Gray's pronunciation that he would say, 'What naise is that?' instead of 'noise.' The sound here indicated must be approximately that of the last syllable of 'recognize'; and analogously it seems probable that Gray himself said 'tile' for 'toil.'
Now for the rhyme of 'obscure' with 'poor.' If Gray pronounced 'scure' much as we pronounce 'skewer,' the rhyme is not quite exact; but it is more probable, if only from a certain Gallicizing tendency of his, that the sound for him was rather like the French 'obscur.' Dryden's rhyme for 'poor' is most frequently with 'more,' 'store,' &c., from which I infer, doubtfully, that he pronounced poor as 'pore.' Pope, makes 'poor' rhyme with 'door' which of itself determines nothing; but he also makes it rhyme with 'cure,' 'endure' and 'sure'; (which is like Gray); and further with 'store' and 'yore' (which is like Dryden). Thus in the famous story of Sir Balaam, with an interval of only two lines we have:
    ... ''his gains were sure,
His givings rare, save farthings to the poor.
and
    ''Satan now is wiser than of yore,
And tempts by making rich, not making poor.''
On the whole we may conclude that Gray pronounced 'poor' much as we do, and 'obscure' so as to rhyme with it.
When such rhymes as this stanza offers became merely conventional it would be harder to determine."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 141/142.

29.1 - 32.8 Let ... poor.] "---There was some precision required [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"---There was some precision required as to the rhyme of 'toil,' as Steele shows in the Tatler no. 11, ''Avail and toil'' he says ''will never do for rhymes.'' "

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 291.

29.1 - 32.8 Let ... poor.] "Cp. Thomson, after describing 'laborious [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Cp. Thomson, after describing 'laborious man' at work in the fields, Spring 52-4: 'Nor, ye who live / In luxury and ease, in pomp and pride, / Think these lost themes unworthy of your ear.' As Tovey argues, the rhymes in this quatrain were probably exact in G[ray].'s time. Johnson rhymes smile/toil in London 222-3."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 122.

29.6 useful] "Rustic. - Mason MS." E. Gosse, 1884.

"Rustic. - Mason MS."

The Works of Thomas Gray: In Prose and Verse. Ed. by Edmund Gosse, in four vols. London: MacMillan and Co., 1884, vol. i, 74.

29.6 useful] "Homely. - Original MS. [Mason [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"Homely. - Original MS. [Mason 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], 230.

29.6 useful] "Fraser MS. suggests in margin [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"Fraser MS. suggests in margin homely;"

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 141.

29.6 useful] "underlined with homely in margin, [...]" H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"underlined with homely in margin, E[ton College MS.]."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 38.

29.6 useful] "underlined in Eton with homely [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"underlined in Eton with homely in margin."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 122.

Contribute a note or query

30 Their homely joys, and destiny obscure; 4 Explanatory, 4 Textual

29.1 - 32.8 Let ... poor.] "The rimes in this stanza [...]" W. Lyon Phelps, 1894.

"The rimes in this stanza are scarcely exact; but the last line is one of the most famous in the Elegy."

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, 139.

29.1 - 32.8 Let ... poor.] " ''The rimes in this [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

" ''The rimes in this stanza are scarcely exact'': says Dr Phelps. That they were at one time exact is certain; and they were probably exact to Gray's time. The wearisome frequency of the rhyme 'join' with such words as 'combine,' 'sign,' 'line,' in Dryden, Pope, &c. establishes the pronunciation of 'join' as 'jine' over a long period up to the middle of the 18th century; in Dryden we have 'spoil' rhyming with 'guile' and 'awhile'; 'boil' rhyming with 'pile,' and in Pope, Odyssey, b. 1.:

''Your widow'd heart, apart, with female toil
And various labours of the loom beguile.''
The very rhyme of the text is doubtless frequent; I find it casually in Johnson's London (1738):
''On all thy hours security shall smile,
And bless thine evening walk, and morning toil.''
It is on record as an instance of Gray's pronunciation that he would say, 'What naise is that?' instead of 'noise.' The sound here indicated must be approximately that of the last syllable of 'recognize'; and analogously it seems probable that Gray himself said 'tile' for 'toil.'
Now for the rhyme of 'obscure' with 'poor.' If Gray pronounced 'scure' much as we pronounce 'skewer,' the rhyme is not quite exact; but it is more probable, if only from a certain Gallicizing tendency of his, that the sound for him was rather like the French 'obscur.' Dryden's rhyme for 'poor' is most frequently with 'more,' 'store,' &c., from which I infer, doubtfully, that he pronounced poor as 'pore.' Pope, makes 'poor' rhyme with 'door' which of itself determines nothing; but he also makes it rhyme with 'cure,' 'endure' and 'sure'; (which is like Gray); and further with 'store' and 'yore' (which is like Dryden). Thus in the famous story of Sir Balaam, with an interval of only two lines we have:
    ... ''his gains were sure,
His givings rare, save farthings to the poor.
and
    ''Satan now is wiser than of yore,
And tempts by making rich, not making poor.''
On the whole we may conclude that Gray pronounced 'poor' much as we do, and 'obscure' so as to rhyme with it.
When such rhymes as this stanza offers became merely conventional it would be harder to determine."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 141/142.

29.1 - 32.8 Let ... poor.] "---There was some precision required [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"---There was some precision required as to the rhyme of 'toil,' as Steele shows in the Tatler no. 11, ''Avail and toil'' he says ''will never do for rhymes.'' "

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 291.

29.1 - 32.8 Let ... poor.] "Cp. Thomson, after describing 'laborious [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Cp. Thomson, after describing 'laborious man' at work in the fields, Spring 52-4: 'Nor, ye who live / In luxury and ease, in pomp and pride, / Think these lost themes unworthy of your ear.' As Tovey argues, the rhymes in this quatrain were probably exact in G[ray].'s time. Johnson rhymes smile/toil in London 222-3."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 122.

30.2 homely] "Rustic. - Original MS. [Mason [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"Rustic. - Original MS. [Mason 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], 230.

30.2 homely] "[Fraser MS. gives] for homely [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"[Fraser MS. gives] for homely [...] rustic."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 141.

30.2 homely] "rustic E[ton College MS.]." H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"rustic E[ton College MS.]."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 38.

30.2 homely] "rustic   Eton." R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"rustic   Eton."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 122.

Contribute a note or query

31 Nor Grandeur hear with a disdainful smile, 5 Explanatory

29.1 - 32.8 Let ... poor.] "The rimes in this stanza [...]" W. Lyon Phelps, 1894.

"The rimes in this stanza are scarcely exact; but the last line is one of the most famous in the Elegy."

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, 139.

29.1 - 32.8 Let ... poor.] " ''The rimes in this [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

" ''The rimes in this stanza are scarcely exact'': says Dr Phelps. That they were at one time exact is certain; and they were probably exact to Gray's time. The wearisome frequency of the rhyme 'join' with such words as 'combine,' 'sign,' 'line,' in Dryden, Pope, &c. establishes the pronunciation of 'join' as 'jine' over a long period up to the middle of the 18th century; in Dryden we have 'spoil' rhyming with 'guile' and 'awhile'; 'boil' rhyming with 'pile,' and in Pope, Odyssey, b. 1.:

''Your widow'd heart, apart, with female toil
And various labours of the loom beguile.''
The very rhyme of the text is doubtless frequent; I find it casually in Johnson's London (1738):
''On all thy hours security shall smile,
And bless thine evening walk, and morning toil.''
It is on record as an instance of Gray's pronunciation that he would say, 'What naise is that?' instead of 'noise.' The sound here indicated must be approximately that of the last syllable of 'recognize'; and analogously it seems probable that Gray himself said 'tile' for 'toil.'
Now for the rhyme of 'obscure' with 'poor.' If Gray pronounced 'scure' much as we pronounce 'skewer,' the rhyme is not quite exact; but it is more probable, if only from a certain Gallicizing tendency of his, that the sound for him was rather like the French 'obscur.' Dryden's rhyme for 'poor' is most frequently with 'more,' 'store,' &c., from which I infer, doubtfully, that he pronounced poor as 'pore.' Pope, makes 'poor' rhyme with 'door' which of itself determines nothing; but he also makes it rhyme with 'cure,' 'endure' and 'sure'; (which is like Gray); and further with 'store' and 'yore' (which is like Dryden). Thus in the famous story of Sir Balaam, with an interval of only two lines we have:
    ... ''his gains were sure,
His givings rare, save farthings to the poor.
and
    ''Satan now is wiser than of yore,
And tempts by making rich, not making poor.''
On the whole we may conclude that Gray pronounced 'poor' much as we do, and 'obscure' so as to rhyme with it.
When such rhymes as this stanza offers became merely conventional it would be harder to determine."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 141/142.

29.1 - 32.8 Let ... poor.] "---There was some precision required [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"---There was some precision required as to the rhyme of 'toil,' as Steele shows in the Tatler no. 11, ''Avail and toil'' he says ''will never do for rhymes.'' "

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 291.

29.1 - 32.8 Let ... poor.] "Cp. Thomson, after describing 'laborious [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Cp. Thomson, after describing 'laborious man' at work in the fields, Spring 52-4: 'Nor, ye who live / In luxury and ease, in pomp and pride, / Think these lost themes unworthy of your ear.' As Tovey argues, the rhymes in this quatrain were probably exact in G[ray].'s time. Johnson rhymes smile/toil in London 222-3."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 122.

31.1 - 32.8 Nor ... poor.] "Cp. Pope's note to Iliad [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Cp. Pope's note to Iliad xiii 739, where he discusses 'Similes taken from the Ideas of a rural Life': 'since these Arts are fallen from their ancient Dignity, and become the Drudgery of the lowest People, the Images of them are likewise sunk into Meanness.'"

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 123.

Contribute a note or query

32 The short and simple annals of the poor. 7 Explanatory

29.1 - 32.8 Let ... poor.] "The rimes in this stanza [...]" W. Lyon Phelps, 1894.

"The rimes in this stanza are scarcely exact; but the last line is one of the most famous in the Elegy."

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, 139.

29.1 - 32.8 Let ... poor.] " ''The rimes in this [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

" ''The rimes in this stanza are scarcely exact'': says Dr Phelps. That they were at one time exact is certain; and they were probably exact to Gray's time. The wearisome frequency of the rhyme 'join' with such words as 'combine,' 'sign,' 'line,' in Dryden, Pope, &c. establishes the pronunciation of 'join' as 'jine' over a long period up to the middle of the 18th century; in Dryden we have 'spoil' rhyming with 'guile' and 'awhile'; 'boil' rhyming with 'pile,' and in Pope, Odyssey, b. 1.:

''Your widow'd heart, apart, with female toil
And various labours of the loom beguile.''
The very rhyme of the text is doubtless frequent; I find it casually in Johnson's London (1738):
''On all thy hours security shall smile,
And bless thine evening walk, and morning toil.''
It is on record as an instance of Gray's pronunciation that he would say, 'What naise is that?' instead of 'noise.' The sound here indicated must be approximately that of the last syllable of 'recognize'; and analogously it seems probable that Gray himself said 'tile' for 'toil.'
Now for the rhyme of 'obscure' with 'poor.' If Gray pronounced 'scure' much as we pronounce 'skewer,' the rhyme is not quite exact; but it is more probable, if only from a certain Gallicizing tendency of his, that the sound for him was rather like the French 'obscur.' Dryden's rhyme for 'poor' is most frequently with 'more,' 'store,' &c., from which I infer, doubtfully, that he pronounced poor as 'pore.' Pope, makes 'poor' rhyme with 'door' which of itself determines nothing; but he also makes it rhyme with 'cure,' 'endure' and 'sure'; (which is like Gray); and further with 'store' and 'yore' (which is like Dryden). Thus in the famous story of Sir Balaam, with an interval of only two lines we have:
    ... ''his gains were sure,
His givings rare, save farthings to the poor.
and
    ''Satan now is wiser than of yore,
And tempts by making rich, not making poor.''
On the whole we may conclude that Gray pronounced 'poor' much as we do, and 'obscure' so as to rhyme with it.
When such rhymes as this stanza offers became merely conventional it would be harder to determine."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 141/142.

29.1 - 32.8 Let ... poor.] "---There was some precision required [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"---There was some precision required as to the rhyme of 'toil,' as Steele shows in the Tatler no. 11, ''Avail and toil'' he says ''will never do for rhymes.'' "

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 291.

29.1 - 32.8 Let ... poor.] "Cp. Thomson, after describing 'laborious [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Cp. Thomson, after describing 'laborious man' at work in the fields, Spring 52-4: 'Nor, ye who live / In luxury and ease, in pomp and pride, / Think these lost themes unworthy of your ear.' As Tovey argues, the rhymes in this quatrain were probably exact in G[ray].'s time. Johnson rhymes smile/toil in London 222-3."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 122.

31.1 - 32.8 Nor ... poor.] "Cp. Pope's note to Iliad [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Cp. Pope's note to Iliad xiii 739, where he discusses 'Similes taken from the Ideas of a rural Life': 'since these Arts are fallen from their ancient Dignity, and become the Drudgery of the lowest People, the Images of them are likewise sunk into Meanness.'"

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 123.

32.1-8 The ... poor.] "This, like many another line [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"This, like many another line in the ''Elegy,'' may be said to be part of the English language; it was ''chiselled for immortality.''"

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], 218.

32.5-8 annals ... poor.] "Annals of the Poor, a [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"Annals of the Poor, a pretty book by Leigh Richmond [(1772-1827)], author also of the Dairyman's Daughter, takes its title and motto from this line and stanza, as Dr Bradshaw reminds us."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 142.

Contribute a note or query


33 The boast of heraldry, the pomp of power, 5 Explanatory

33.1 - 36.9 The ... grave.] "Mitford compares West's Monody on [...]" W. Lyon Phelps, 1894.

"Mitford compares West's Monody on Queen Caroline, Dodsley's Collection of Poems, vol. ii:

''Ah me! what boots us all our boasted power,
    Our golden treasure, and our purple state?
They cannot ward th' inevitable hour,
    Nor stay the fearful violence of fate.''
This Monody directly followed Gray's three odes, Eton, Spring, Cat in Dodsley."

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, 139.

33.1 - 36.9 The ... grave.] "This stanza is the second [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"This stanza is the second of the two on the east side of the monument, vide note on 13-16.
Hurd refers to these lines in his note on the following passage in Cowley: -

    ''Beauty, and strength, and wit, and wealth, and power,
    Have their short flourishing hour;
And love to see themselves, and smile,
And joy in their pre-eminence a while;
    E'en so in the same land
Poor weeds, rich corn, gay flowers together stand.
Alas! Death mows down all with an impartial hand.''
But Gray is likely to have had West and his ''Monody on Queen Caroline'' in his mind; not only as the early death of his friend, which occurred a few months before he began to write the ''Elegy,'' was almost always before him, but as West's Ode (which Gray refers to in a letter in Nov. 1747 as, ''in spite of the subject, excellent'') had been published a few months before he finished the ''Elegy,'' in Vol. II. of Dodsley's ''Collection,'' immediately after Gray's three Odes. The lines are: -
''These are thy glorious deeds, almighty Death!
    These are thy triumphs o'er the sons of men,
That now receive the miserable breath,
    Which the next moment they resign again!
Ah me! what boots us all our boasted power,
    Our golden treasure, and our purple state;
They cannot ward th' inevitable hour,
    Nor stay the fearful violence of fate.'' - 73-80."

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], 218/219.

33.1 - 36.9 The ... grave.] "Cowley had written: ''Beauty and [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"Cowley had written:

''Beauty and strength, and wit, and wealth, and power,
    Have their short flourishing hour;
And love to see themselves, and smile
And joy in their pre-eminence awhile:
    E'en so in the same land
Poor weeds, rich corn, gay flowers together stand.
Alas! Death mows down all with an impartial hand.''
A passage no doubt known to West, when he wrote, Dec. 1737, in his Monody on the death of Queen Caroline [Gray and His Friends, pp. 108, 110-114],
''Ah me! what boots us all our boasted power,
Our golden treasure, and our purpled state?
They cannot ward th' inevitable hour,
Nor stay the fearful violence of Fate.''
lines which Gray undoubtedly remembers and improves upon here."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 142.

33.1-8 The ... power,] "Akenside, Pleasures of Imagination ii [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Akenside, Pleasures of Imagination ii 729-30: 'the pomp / Of public pow'r, the majesty of rule'."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 123.

33.1 - 36.9 The ... grave.] "This quatrain seems to have [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"This quatrain seems to have been inspired by four lines in a Monody on the Death of Queen Caroline by G.'s friend Richard West (reprinted in Dodsley's Collection (1748) ii 269 ff.): 'Ah me! what boots us all our boasted power, / Our golden treasure, and our purpled state, / They cannot ward th'inevitable hour, / Nor stay the fearful violence of fate.' But the sentiment occurs frequently in Horace, e.g. Odes I iv 13-4: pallida Mors aequo pulsat pede pauperum tabernas / regumque turres (Pale Death with foot impartial knocks at the poor man's cottage and at princes' palaces); I xxviii 15-6: sed omnes una manet nox, / et calcanda semel via leti (But a common night awaiteth every man, and Death's path must be trodden once for all); and II xvii 32-4: aequa tellus / pauperi recluditur / regumque pueris (For all alike doth Earth unlock her bosom - for the poor man and for princes' sons). Cp. also Cowley, translation of Horace, Odes III i 15-16, 21: 'Beauty, and strength, and wit, and wealth, and pow'r, / Have their short flourishing hour / ... / Alas! Death mows down all with an impartial hand'; Mallet, Excursion i 290-2 'Proud greatness, too, the tyranny of power, / The grace of beauty, and the force of youth, / And name and place, are here-for ever lost!'; and Dart, Westminster Abbey I xviii (see ll. 17-20 n above): 'To prove that nor the Beauteous, nor the Great, / Nor Form, nor Pow'r, are Wards secure from Fate.' G.'s lines have also been compared to Edward Phillips's Preface to Theatrum Poetarum (1675), in J. E. Spingarn, Critical Essays of the 17th Century (1908-9) ii 258 (and cp. l. 59n below): 'no wonder if the memories of such Persons as these sink with their Bodys into the earth, and lie buried in profound obscurity and oblivion, when even among those that tread the paths of Glory and Honour, those who have signaliz'd themselves either by great actions in the field or by Noble Arts of Peace or by the Monuments of their written Works more lasting sometimes than Brass or Marble, very many ... have fallen short of their deserved immortality of Name, and lie under a total eclipse.'"

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 123.

Contribute a note or query

34 And all that beauty, all that wealth e'er gave, 4 Explanatory

33.1 - 36.9 The ... grave.] "Mitford compares West's Monody on [...]" W. Lyon Phelps, 1894.

"Mitford compares West's Monody on Queen Caroline, Dodsley's Collection of Poems, vol. ii:

''Ah me! what boots us all our boasted power,
    Our golden treasure, and our purple state?
They cannot ward th' inevitable hour,
    Nor stay the fearful violence of fate.''
This Monody directly followed Gray's three odes, Eton, Spring, Cat in Dodsley."

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, 139.

33.1 - 36.9 The ... grave.] "This stanza is the second [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"This stanza is the second of the two on the east side of the monument, vide note on 13-16.
Hurd refers to these lines in his note on the following passage in Cowley: -

    ''Beauty, and strength, and wit, and wealth, and power,
    Have their short flourishing hour;
And love to see themselves, and smile,
And joy in their pre-eminence a while;
    E'en so in the same land
Poor weeds, rich corn, gay flowers together stand.
Alas! Death mows down all with an impartial hand.''
But Gray is likely to have had West and his ''Monody on Queen Caroline'' in his mind; not only as the early death of his friend, which occurred a few months before he began to write the ''Elegy,'' was almost always before him, but as West's Ode (which Gray refers to in a letter in Nov. 1747 as, ''in spite of the subject, excellent'') had been published a few months before he finished the ''Elegy,'' in Vol. II. of Dodsley's ''Collection,'' immediately after Gray's three Odes. The lines are: -
''These are thy glorious deeds, almighty Death!
    These are thy triumphs o'er the sons of men,
That now receive the miserable breath,
    Which the next moment they resign again!
Ah me! what boots us all our boasted power,
    Our golden treasure, and our purple state;
They cannot ward th' inevitable hour,
    Nor stay the fearful violence of fate.'' - 73-80."

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], 218/219.

33.1 - 36.9 The ... grave.] "Cowley had written: ''Beauty and [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"Cowley had written:

''Beauty and strength, and wit, and wealth, and power,
    Have their short flourishing hour;
And love to see themselves, and smile
And joy in their pre-eminence awhile:
    E'en so in the same land
Poor weeds, rich corn, gay flowers together stand.
Alas! Death mows down all with an impartial hand.''
A passage no doubt known to West, when he wrote, Dec. 1737, in his Monody on the death of Queen Caroline [Gray and His Friends, pp. 108, 110-114],
''Ah me! what boots us all our boasted power,
Our golden treasure, and our purpled state?
They cannot ward th' inevitable hour,
Nor stay the fearful violence of Fate.''
lines which Gray undoubtedly remembers and improves upon here."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 142.

33.1 - 36.9 The ... grave.] "This quatrain seems to have [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"This quatrain seems to have been inspired by four lines in a Monody on the Death of Queen Caroline by G.'s friend Richard West (reprinted in Dodsley's Collection (1748) ii 269 ff.): 'Ah me! what boots us all our boasted power, / Our golden treasure, and our purpled state, / They cannot ward th'inevitable hour, / Nor stay the fearful violence of fate.' But the sentiment occurs frequently in Horace, e.g. Odes I iv 13-4: pallida Mors aequo pulsat pede pauperum tabernas / regumque turres (Pale Death with foot impartial knocks at the poor man's cottage and at princes' palaces); I xxviii 15-6: sed omnes una manet nox, / et calcanda semel via leti (But a common night awaiteth every man, and Death's path must be trodden once for all); and II xvii 32-4: aequa tellus / pauperi recluditur / regumque pueris (For all alike doth Earth unlock her bosom - for the poor man and for princes' sons). Cp. also Cowley, translation of Horace, Odes III i 15-16, 21: 'Beauty, and strength, and wit, and wealth, and pow'r, / Have their short flourishing hour / ... / Alas! Death mows down all with an impartial hand'; Mallet, Excursion i 290-2 'Proud greatness, too, the tyranny of power, / The grace of beauty, and the force of youth, / And name and place, are here-for ever lost!'; and Dart, Westminster Abbey I xviii (see ll. 17-20 n above): 'To prove that nor the Beauteous, nor the Great, / Nor Form, nor Pow'r, are Wards secure from Fate.' G.'s lines have also been compared to Edward Phillips's Preface to Theatrum Poetarum (1675), in J. E. Spingarn, Critical Essays of the 17th Century (1908-9) ii 258 (and cp. l. 59n below): 'no wonder if the memories of such Persons as these sink with their Bodys into the earth, and lie buried in profound obscurity and oblivion, when even among those that tread the paths of Glory and Honour, those who have signaliz'd themselves either by great actions in the field or by Noble Arts of Peace or by the Monuments of their written Works more lasting sometimes than Brass or Marble, very many ... have fallen short of their deserved immortality of Name, and lie under a total eclipse.'"

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 123.

Contribute a note or query

35 Awaits alike the inevitable hour. 12 Explanatory, 5 Textual

33.1 - 36.9 The ... grave.] "Mitford compares West's Monody on [...]" W. Lyon Phelps, 1894.

"Mitford compares West's Monody on Queen Caroline, Dodsley's Collection of Poems, vol. ii:

''Ah me! what boots us all our boasted power,
    Our golden treasure, and our purple state?
They cannot ward th' inevitable hour,
    Nor stay the fearful violence of fate.''
This Monody directly followed Gray's three odes, Eton, Spring, Cat in Dodsley."

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, 139.

33.1 - 36.9 The ... grave.] "This stanza is the second [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"This stanza is the second of the two on the east side of the monument, vide note on 13-16.
Hurd refers to these lines in his note on the following passage in Cowley: -

    ''Beauty, and strength, and wit, and wealth, and power,
    Have their short flourishing hour;
And love to see themselves, and smile,
And joy in their pre-eminence a while;
    E'en so in the same land
Poor weeds, rich corn, gay flowers together stand.
Alas! Death mows down all with an impartial hand.''
But Gray is likely to have had West and his ''Monody on Queen Caroline'' in his mind; not only as the early death of his friend, which occurred a few months before he began to write the ''Elegy,'' was almost always before him, but as West's Ode (which Gray refers to in a letter in Nov. 1747 as, ''in spite of the subject, excellent'') had been published a few months before he finished the ''Elegy,'' in Vol. II. of Dodsley's ''Collection,'' immediately after Gray's three Odes. The lines are: -
''These are thy glorious deeds, almighty Death!
    These are thy triumphs o'er the sons of men,
That now receive the miserable breath,
    Which the next moment they resign again!
Ah me! what boots us all our boasted power,
    Our golden treasure, and our purple state;
They cannot ward th' inevitable hour,
    Nor stay the fearful violence of fate.'' - 73-80."

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], 218/219.

33.1 - 36.9 The ... grave.] "Cowley had written: ''Beauty and [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"Cowley had written:

''Beauty and strength, and wit, and wealth, and power,
    Have their short flourishing hour;
And love to see themselves, and smile
And joy in their pre-eminence awhile:
    E'en so in the same land
Poor weeds, rich corn, gay flowers together stand.
Alas! Death mows down all with an impartial hand.''
A passage no doubt known to West, when he wrote, Dec. 1737, in his Monody on the death of Queen Caroline [Gray and His Friends, pp. 108, 110-114],
''Ah me! what boots us all our boasted power,
Our golden treasure, and our purpled state?
They cannot ward th' inevitable hour,
Nor stay the fearful violence of Fate.''
lines which Gray undoubtedly remembers and improves upon here."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 142.

33.1 - 36.9 The ... grave.] "This quatrain seems to have [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"This quatrain seems to have been inspired by four lines in a Monody on the Death of Queen Caroline by G.'s friend Richard West (reprinted in Dodsley's Collection (1748) ii 269 ff.): 'Ah me! what boots us all our boasted power, / Our golden treasure, and our purpled state, / They cannot ward th'inevitable hour, / Nor stay the fearful violence of fate.' But the sentiment occurs frequently in Horace, e.g. Odes I iv 13-4: pallida Mors aequo pulsat pede pauperum tabernas / regumque turres (Pale Death with foot impartial knocks at the poor man's cottage and at princes' palaces); I xxviii 15-6: sed omnes una manet nox, / et calcanda semel via leti (But a common night awaiteth every man, and Death's path must be trodden once for all); and II xvii 32-4: aequa tellus / pauperi recluditur / regumque pueris (For all alike doth Earth unlock her bosom - for the poor man and for princes' sons). Cp. also Cowley, translation of Horace, Odes III i 15-16, 21: 'Beauty, and strength, and wit, and wealth, and pow'r, / Have their short flourishing hour / ... / Alas! Death mows down all with an impartial hand'; Mallet, Excursion i 290-2 'Proud greatness, too, the tyranny of power, / The grace of beauty, and the force of youth, / And name and place, are here-for ever lost!'; and Dart, Westminster Abbey I xviii (see ll. 17-20 n above): 'To prove that nor the Beauteous, nor the Great, / Nor Form, nor Pow'r, are Wards secure from Fate.' G.'s lines have also been compared to Edward Phillips's Preface to Theatrum Poetarum (1675), in J. E. Spingarn, Critical Essays of the 17th Century (1908-9) ii 258 (and cp. l. 59n below): 'no wonder if the memories of such Persons as these sink with their Bodys into the earth, and lie buried in profound obscurity and oblivion, when even among those that tread the paths of Glory and Honour, those who have signaliz'd themselves either by great actions in the field or by Noble Arts of Peace or by the Monuments of their written Works more lasting sometimes than Brass or Marble, very many ... have fallen short of their deserved immortality of Name, and lie under a total eclipse.'"

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 123.

35.1 Awaits] "Await. - Egerton MS." E. Gosse, 1884.

"Await. - Egerton MS."

The Works of Thomas Gray: In Prose and Verse. Ed. by Edmund Gosse, in four vols. London: MacMillan and Co., 1884, vol. i, 74.

35.1 Awaits] "''Hour'' is the subject, not [...]" W. Lyon Phelps, 1894.

"''Hour'' is the subject, not the object of ''awaits.'' Many editors have printed ''await,'' doubtless thinking that ''the boast of heraldry,'' etc., was meant to be the subject."

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, 139.

35.1 Awaits] "This is Gray's reading in [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"This is Gray's reading in his MSS. and in the editions published by him; but almost all editors follow Mason and Mitford and read await. Scott of Amwell in his ''Critical Essay'' on the ''Elegy,'' published in 1785, writes in a footnote: ''It should be await, the plural, for it includes a number of circumstances.'' I have traced await back to the appearance of the ''Elegy'' in Dodsley's ''Collection of Poems,'' i.e., in Volume IV. published in 1755. But as in the editions of the ''Elegy'' in 1753, ''corrected by the author,'' and in his last edition, 1768, Gray prints awaits, it is clear that he intended it to be so retained; besides, it is better to take ''inevitable hour'' as the subject of ''awaits,'' and not ''boast,'' ''pomp,'' etc.; as not only is this inversion more in Gray's manner, but also the statement that the inevitable hour of death is waiting for the great, the beautiful and the wealthy, like the ''whirlwind's sway, / That hushed in grim repose expects his evening prey.'' Also see ''Epitaph on Mrs. Clarke,'' 11; and ''Shakespeare Verses,'' 8."

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], 219/220.

35.1 Awaits] "The reading 'Await' has no [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"The reading 'Await' has no MS. authority; according to Dr Bradshaw it first appeared in Dodsley's Collection, Vol. IV. published in 1755; but in editions of 1753 and 1768, for the text of which Gray has some responsibility, we have 'awaits,' as well as in every copy in his handwriting."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 142/143.

35.1 Awaits] "That 'hour' is the nominative [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"That 'hour' is the nominative the slightest reflection should show us. We pursue our several ambitions as if unconscious of our doom, it is the hour that awaits us; if we awaited the hour we should be less absorbed in our aims. The sentiment of the stanza is Horatian; omnes una manet nox - one night awaits us all, says Horace in the 28th Ode of the 1st Book; he has spoken of philosophers, Archytas, Pythagoras; heroes, Tantalus, Tithonus, Minos, Euphorbus, and proceeds to tell us how the warrior perishes in battle, and the sailor in the sea:

''Dant alios Furiae torvo spectacula Marti:
Exitio est avidum mare nautis,'' &c.
Conington translates, unluckily perpetuating the misreading in the Elegy, but acknowledging the identity of thought:
''Yes, all 'await the inevitable hour';
    The downward journey all one day must tread,
Some bleed to glut the war-god's savage eyes;
    Fate meets the sailor from the hungry brine;
Youth jostles age in funeral obsequies;
    Each brow in turn is touched by Proserpine.'' "

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 143.

35.1 Awaits] "the subject of the verb [...]" J. Crofts, 1948 [1st ed. 1926].

"the subject of the verb is the 'hour'. The inversion is not very happy. No one can read the stanza without feeling that 'The boast of heraldry', &c., should be in the nominative case. Rhetoric seems to demand it. But Gray was thinking in Latin."

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], 165.

35.1 Awaits] "Await M[ason]." H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"Await M[ason]."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 38.

35.1-5 Awaits ... hour.] "The subject of the verb [...]" H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"The subject of the verb awaits is hour. Such inverted structure is fairly common in Gray's verse."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 223.

35.1 Awaits] "Await   edd 9-12, Dodsley's [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Await   edd 9-12, Dodsley's Collection in 1775, and in 1775."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 124.

35.1-5 Awaits ... hour.] "This line has caused intermittent [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"This line has caused intermittent argument since John Young pointed out in his Criticism on the Elegy (1783) pp. 27-8, that if the text reads 'Awaits' the subject must be 'hour'; but that the reading 'Await' makes the two preceding lines the subject. G[ray]. undoubtedly intended 'Awaits', with 'hour' as the subject, in spite of the fact that 'await' appears in edd 9-12, in Dodsley's Collection in 1755, and in 1775. For some discussion see Notes and Queries clxxxiv (1943) 102-3, 174, 204, 237-8."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 123/124.

35.1 Awaits] "The mistaken emendation "Await" appears [...]" Henry Taylor, 2004.

"The mistaken emendation "Await" appears in the version of this stanza incised on one face of the memorial plinth next to the church yard at Stoke Poges."

Henry Taylor <henrystaylor@aol.com>. Contributed on Tue Nov 23 14:58:16 2004 GMT.

35.1-5 Awaits ... hour.] ""Awaits" is usually explained by [...]" Warren Reier, 2007.

""Awaits" is usually explained by calling "hour" the subject and the line an unhappy inversion. Another explanation is that "awaits" has been "attracted" into the singular by "all that wealth e'er gave", and that the four clauses in lines 33f. are the subject after all. "Attraction" leading to non-agreement of subject and verb, (cf. Smyth, Greek Grammar, sec. 925f.) is not unusual in Greek and Latin poetry, and is, in my opinion, at least as likely an explanation for "awaits" as inversion. An inversion so extensive and so ill-prepared for seems unlikely to me in an otherwise carefully crafted poem like the Elegy."

Warren Reier <warren@euphrates.com>. Contributed on Sat Jul 21 19:48:47 2007 GMT.

35.3-5 the ... hour.] "a subconscious recollection of his [...]" J. Crofts, 1948 [1st ed. 1926].

"a subconscious recollection of his friend West's 'Monody on the Death of Queen Caroline':

Ah me! what boots us all our boasted power,
Our golden treasure and our purple state?
They cannot ward the inevitable hour,
Nor stay the fearful violence of fate."

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], 165.

Contribute a note or query

36 The paths of glory lead but to the grave. 8 Explanatory, 4 Textual

33.1 - 36.9 The ... grave.] "Mitford compares West's Monody on [...]" W. Lyon Phelps, 1894.

"Mitford compares West's Monody on Queen Caroline, Dodsley's Collection of Poems, vol. ii:

''Ah me! what boots us all our boasted power,
    Our golden treasure, and our purple state?
They cannot ward th' inevitable hour,
    Nor stay the fearful violence of fate.''
This Monody directly followed Gray's three odes, Eton, Spring, Cat in Dodsley."

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, 139.

33.1 - 36.9 The ... grave.] "This stanza is the second [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"This stanza is the second of the two on the east side of the monument, vide note on 13-16.
Hurd refers to these lines in his note on the following passage in Cowley: -

    ''Beauty, and strength, and wit, and wealth, and power,
    Have their short flourishing hour;
And love to see themselves, and smile,
And joy in their pre-eminence a while;
    E'en so in the same land
Poor weeds, rich corn, gay flowers together stand.
Alas! Death mows down all with an impartial hand.''
But Gray is likely to have had West and his ''Monody on Queen Caroline'' in his mind; not only as the early death of his friend, which occurred a few months before he began to write the ''Elegy,'' was almost always before him, but as West's Ode (which Gray refers to in a letter in Nov. 1747 as, ''in spite of the subject, excellent'') had been published a few months before he finished the ''Elegy,'' in Vol. II. of Dodsley's ''Collection,'' immediately after Gray's three Odes. The lines are: -
''These are thy glorious deeds, almighty Death!
    These are thy triumphs o'er the sons of men,
That now receive the miserable breath,
    Which the next moment they resign again!
Ah me! what boots us all our boasted power,
    Our golden treasure, and our purple state;
They cannot ward th' inevitable hour,
    Nor stay the fearful violence of fate.'' - 73-80."

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], 218/219.

33.1 - 36.9 The ... grave.] "Cowley had written: ''Beauty and [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"Cowley had written:

''Beauty and strength, and wit, and wealth, and power,
    Have their short flourishing hour;
And love to see themselves, and smile
And joy in their pre-eminence awhile:
    E'en so in the same land
Poor weeds, rich corn, gay flowers together stand.
Alas! Death mows down all with an impartial hand.''
A passage no doubt known to West, when he wrote, Dec. 1737, in his Monody on the death of Queen Caroline [Gray and His Friends, pp. 108, 110-114],
''Ah me! what boots us all our boasted power,
Our golden treasure, and our purpled state?
They cannot ward th' inevitable hour,
Nor stay the fearful violence of Fate.''
lines which Gray undoubtedly remembers and improves upon here."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 142.

33.1 - 36.9 The ... grave.] "This quatrain seems to have [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"This quatrain seems to have been inspired by four lines in a Monody on the Death of Queen Caroline by G.'s friend Richard West (reprinted in Dodsley's Collection (1748) ii 269 ff.): 'Ah me! what boots us all our boasted power, / Our golden treasure, and our purpled state, / They cannot ward th'inevitable hour, / Nor stay the fearful violence of fate.' But the sentiment occurs frequently in Horace, e.g. Odes I iv 13-4: pallida Mors aequo pulsat pede pauperum tabernas / regumque turres (Pale Death with foot impartial knocks at the poor man's cottage and at princes' palaces); I xxviii 15-6: sed omnes una manet nox, / et calcanda semel via leti (But a common night awaiteth every man, and Death's path must be trodden once for all); and II xvii 32-4: aequa tellus / pauperi recluditur / regumque pueris (For all alike doth Earth unlock her bosom - for the poor man and for princes' sons). Cp. also Cowley, translation of Horace, Odes III i 15-16, 21: 'Beauty, and strength, and wit, and wealth, and pow'r, / Have their short flourishing hour / ... / Alas! Death mows down all with an impartial hand'; Mallet, Excursion i 290-2 'Proud greatness, too, the tyranny of power, / The grace of beauty, and the force of youth, / And name and place, are here-for ever lost!'; and Dart, Westminster Abbey I xviii (see ll. 17-20 n above): 'To prove that nor the Beauteous, nor the Great, / Nor Form, nor Pow'r, are Wards secure from Fate.' G.'s lines have also been compared to Edward Phillips's Preface to Theatrum Poetarum (1675), in J. E. Spingarn, Critical Essays of the 17th Century (1908-9) ii 258 (and cp. l. 59n below): 'no wonder if the memories of such Persons as these sink with their Bodys into the earth, and lie buried in profound obscurity and oblivion, when even among those that tread the paths of Glory and Honour, those who have signaliz'd themselves either by great actions in the field or by Noble Arts of Peace or by the Monuments of their written Works more lasting sometimes than Brass or Marble, very many ... have fallen short of their deserved immortality of Name, and lie under a total eclipse.'"

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 123.

36.1-9 The ... grave.] "In Hayley's ''Life of Crashaw,'' [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"In Hayley's ''Life of Crashaw,'' in the Biographia Britannica, it is said that this line is ''literally translated from the Latin prose of Bartholinus in his Danish Antiquities.''"

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], 220.

36.1-9 The ... grave.] "Gray means, after Horace, that [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"Gray means, after Horace, that whatever way to fame we select, the end is the same. Accordingly Munro renders this line: ''metaque mors, quoquo gloria flectit iter.''"

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 143.

36.1-9 The ... grave.] "In Kippis, Biographia Britannica, Vol. [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"In Kippis, Biographia Britannica, Vol. iv. p. 429, in the Life of Crashaw, written by Hayley, it is said that this line is ''literally translated from the Latin prose of Bartholinus in his Danish Antiquities.'' Mitford.
Nothing accessible to me shows that Gray was at all acquainted with Bartholin at the date of the completed Elegy (see introduction and notes to Norse Odes, infra)."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 143.

36.1-9 The ... grave.] "Cp. 'With equal steps the [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Cp. 'With equal steps the paths of glory trace', Pope, Odyssey i 392; 'once trod the ways of glory', Henry VIII III ii 435 (see l. 44 n)."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 124.

36.2-5 paths ... lead] "Here again there is the [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"Here again there is the frequent misquotation 'The path of glory leads,' &c."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 143.

36.2-5 paths ... lead] "path ... leads Foulis edition." A.L. Poole/L. Whibley, 1950 [1st ed. 1919].

"path ... leads Foulis edition."

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.

36.2-5 paths ... lead] "path . . . leads [...]" H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"path . . . leads F[oulis edition, 1768]."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 38.

36.2-5 paths ... lead] "path ... leads   Foulis." R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"path ... leads   Foulis."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 124.

Contribute a note or query


37 Nor you, ye Proud, impute to these the fault, 2 Explanatory, 6 Textual

37.1 - 38.8 Nor ... raise,] "Forgive, ye proud, th' involuntary [...]" E. Gosse, 1884.

"Forgive, ye proud, th' involuntary fault, / If Memory to these no trophies raise. - Egerton and Mason MSS."

The Works of Thomas Gray: In Prose and Verse. Ed. by Edmund Gosse, in four vols. London: MacMillan and Co., 1884, vol. i, 75.

37.1 - 38.8 Nor ... raise,] "Forgive, ye proud, th' involuntary [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"Forgive, ye proud, th' involuntary fault, / If Memory to these no trophies raise. - All MSS. The present reading is written in the margin."

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], 230.

37.1 - 38.8 Nor ... raise,] "Forgive ye proud th' involuntary [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"Forgive ye proud th' involuntary Fault / If Memory to these &c. Fraser and according to Bradshaw all MSS. Bradshaw adds 'The present reading is written in the margin'; but I did not find this so in Fraser 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], 143.

37.1 - 38.8 Nor ... raise,] "Forgive, ye Proud, th' involuntary [...]" A.L. Poole/L. Whibley, 1950 [1st ed. 1919].

"Forgive, ye Proud, th' involuntary Fault, / If Memory to These no Trophies raise These lines are found in this form in all the three MSS. and were so printed in the first edition. In the Pembroke MS. the reading given in the text is added in the margin."

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.

37.1 - 38.8 Nor ... raise,] "Forgive, ye Proud, th' involuntary [...]" H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"Forgive, ye Proud, th' involuntary Fault / If Memory to These no Trophies raise, C[ommonplace] B[ook], E[ton College MS.], Wh[arton MS.], Q[uarto]1. The present text is underlined in the margin of CB."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 39.

37.1 - 38.8 Nor ... raise,] "Eton, Wharton, Commonplace Book and [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Eton, Wharton, Commonplace Book and edd 1-7 have:   Forgive, ye Proud, th'involuntary Fault / If Memory to These no Trophies raise,   The present reading is underlined in the margin of the 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, 124.

37.1 - 40.8 Nor ... praise.] "The scene is still the [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"The scene is still the churchyard, contrasting the humble graves with the splendid tombs and memorials inside the church itself or, perhaps more probably, inside a larger church elsewhere. Cp. Parnell's Night-Piece on Death 29-46, which describes in turn the 'nameless' graves; the 'flat smooth stones that bear a name' belonging to 'A middle race of mortals'; and (in this case, also in the churchyard) 'The marble tombs that rose on high, / Whose dead in vaulted arches lie, / Whose pillars swell with sculptured stones ...'"

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 124.

37.1-9 Nor ... fault,] "Dryden, Sigismonda and Guiscardo 490-2: [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Dryden, Sigismonda and Guiscardo 490-2: 'I wonder thou shouldst oversee / Superior Causes, or impute to me / The Fault of Fortune, or the Fates Decree.'"

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 124.

Contribute a note or query

38 If Memory o'er their tomb no trophies raise, 3 Explanatory, 6 Textual

37.1 - 38.8 Nor ... raise,] "Forgive, ye proud, th' involuntary [...]" E. Gosse, 1884.

"Forgive, ye proud, th' involuntary fault, / If Memory to these no trophies raise. - Egerton and Mason MSS."

The Works of Thomas Gray: In Prose and Verse. Ed. by Edmund Gosse, in four vols. London: MacMillan and Co., 1884, vol. i, 75.

37.1 - 38.8 Nor ... raise,] "Forgive, ye proud, th' involuntary [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"Forgive, ye proud, th' involuntary fault, / If Memory to these no trophies raise. - All MSS. The present reading is written in the margin."

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], 230.

37.1 - 38.8 Nor ... raise,] "Forgive ye proud th' involuntary [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"Forgive ye proud th' involuntary Fault / If Memory to these &c. Fraser and according to Bradshaw all MSS. Bradshaw adds 'The present reading is written in the margin'; but I did not find this so in Fraser 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], 143.

37.1 - 38.8 Nor ... raise,] "Forgive, ye Proud, th' involuntary [...]" A.L. Poole/L. Whibley, 1950 [1st ed. 1919].

"Forgive, ye Proud, th' involuntary Fault, / If Memory to These no Trophies raise These lines are found in this form in all the three MSS. and were so printed in the first edition. In the Pembroke MS. the reading given in the text is added in the margin."

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.

37.1 - 38.8 Nor ... raise,] "Forgive, ye Proud, th' involuntary [...]" H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"Forgive, ye Proud, th' involuntary Fault / If Memory to These no Trophies raise, C[ommonplace] B[ook], E[ton College MS.], Wh[arton MS.], Q[uarto]1. The present text is underlined in the margin of CB."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 39.

37.1 - 38.8 Nor ... raise,] "Eton, Wharton, Commonplace Book and [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Eton, Wharton, Commonplace Book and edd 1-7 have:   Forgive, ye Proud, th'involuntary Fault / If Memory to These no Trophies raise,   The present reading is underlined in the margin of the 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, 124.

37.1 - 40.8 Nor ... praise.] "The scene is still the [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"The scene is still the churchyard, contrasting the humble graves with the splendid tombs and memorials inside the church itself or, perhaps more probably, inside a larger church elsewhere. Cp. Parnell's Night-Piece on Death 29-46, which describes in turn the 'nameless' graves; the 'flat smooth stones that bear a name' belonging to 'A middle race of mortals'; and (in this case, also in the churchyard) 'The marble tombs that rose on high, / Whose dead in vaulted arches lie, / Whose pillars swell with sculptured stones ...'"

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 124.

38.1-8 If ... raise,] "'Till we with trophies do [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"'Till we with trophies do adorn thy tomb', Titus Andronicus I i 388."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 124.

38.7 trophies] "memorials with adornments." Alexander Huber, 2000.

"memorials with adornments."

Alexander Huber <huber@thomasgray.org> (SUB Göttingen), URL: http://www.thomasgray.org/. Contributed on Sat Oct 28 11:51:36 2000 GMT.

Contribute a note or query

39 Where through the long-drawn aisle and fretted vault 6 Explanatory, 2 Textual

37.1 - 40.8 Nor ... praise.] "The scene is still the [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"The scene is still the churchyard, contrasting the humble graves with the splendid tombs and memorials inside the church itself or, perhaps more probably, inside a larger church elsewhere. Cp. Parnell's Night-Piece on Death 29-46, which describes in turn the 'nameless' graves; the 'flat smooth stones that bear a name' belonging to 'A middle race of mortals'; and (in this case, also in the churchyard) 'The marble tombs that rose on high, / Whose dead in vaulted arches lie, / Whose pillars swell with sculptured stones ...'"

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 124.

39.5 aisle] "Ile. - Mason MS." E. Gosse, 1884.

"Ile. - Mason MS."

The Works of Thomas Gray: In Prose and Verse. Ed. by Edmund Gosse, in four vols. London: MacMillan and Co., 1884, vol. i, 75.

39.5 aisle] "Spelt Ile by Gray, in [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"Spelt Ile by Gray, in Fraser MS. The word is from French aile, a wing, and the s, says Skeat, is a meaningless insertion."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 143.

39.5 aisle] "G[ray].'s spelling of 'aisle' ('isle') [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"G[ray].'s spelling of 'aisle' ('isle') is also found in Pope: e.g. 'And Arches widen, and long Iles extend', Temple of Fame 265, and 'Long-sounding isles, and intermingled graves', Eloisa to Abelard 164. Cp. also Dart, Westminster Abbey I iv, xii (see ll. 17-20 n): 'The long resounding Isle, and hallow'd Choir' and 'the long Isles and vaulted Roofs resound'."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 124.

39.7 fretted] "A fret is defined by [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"A fret is defined by Parker, Glossary of Architecture, 'an ornament used in Classical architecture, formed by small fillets intersecting each other at right angles'; a fillet, again, is a narrow band used principally between mouldings, both in Classical and Gothic architecture. It is Gothic architecture that Gray has in his mind's eye; the lines that go to make the fanshaped roof of King's College Chapel or of S. George's, Windsor, for example.
The derivation of 'fret,' 'fretted,' in this technical sense is uncertain. Skeat hesitates between tracing it to an A.-S. word meaning to 'adorn,' or through French and Low-Latin to 'ferrum.' In Heraldry fret means 'a bearing composed of bars crossed and interlaced,' and for this sense of the word Skeat suggests the latter, not the A.-S. derivation. Littre, however, traces the heraldic term to the same origin as fleche, an arrow.
It seems probable that the architectural and heraldic word, representing much the same sort of device, are one and the same, and have a common origin, whatever that may be.
Note Shakespeare's use of the word:

Dec. Here lies the east: doth not the day break here?
Casca. No.
Cinna. O pardon, sir, it doth; and yon grey lines
    That fret the clouds are messengers of day.
            Jul. Caes. (II. 1, 104).
---lines of light that shoot athwart the clouds and intersect them.
But Hamlet, II. 2, 313, 'this majestical roof fretted with golden fire' is less clear. For these frets may be 'Hyperion's shafts' or 'fretted ' may mean 'studded' or 'embossed' with stars, the 'stelled fires' of which he speaks in Lear. The word proper to the long lines that mark out the roof may be applied to the ornaments in which such lines might terminate or be concentred, - so in Cymbeline, II. 4. 88:
        ''The roof o' the chamber
With golden cherubins is fretted.''
Perhaps Munro would interpret Gray's 'fretted' in the sense of 'embossed' for he renders this line:
''longus ubi alarum ductus, crustataque fornix''
where, I think, by 'crustata' he means set with decorations moulded in plaster or the like pliable material."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 143/144.

39.7 fretted] "adorned with interlacing fillets. Cf. [...]" J. Crofts, 1948 [1st ed. 1926].

"adorned with interlacing fillets. Cf. Hamlet, II.ii, 'this Majesticall Roofe, fretted with golden fire.'"

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], 165.

39.7 fretted] "Decorated with carved work in [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Decorated with carved work in patterns. Cp. 'This majestical roof fretted with golden fire', Hamlet II ii 293; 'The Roof was fretted Gold', Par. Lost i 717; 'Wide Vaults appear, and Roofs of fretted Gold', Pope, Temple of Fame 137."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 124.

39.8 vault] "'The high embowed roof' of [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"'The high embowed roof' of Milton, Il Penseroso, 157."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 144.

Contribute a note or query

40 The pealing anthem swells the note of praise. 2 Explanatory

37.1 - 40.8 Nor ... praise.] "The scene is still the [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"The scene is still the churchyard, contrasting the humble graves with the splendid tombs and memorials inside the church itself or, perhaps more probably, inside a larger church elsewhere. Cp. Parnell's Night-Piece on Death 29-46, which describes in turn the 'nameless' graves; the 'flat smooth stones that bear a name' belonging to 'A middle race of mortals'; and (in this case, also in the churchyard) 'The marble tombs that rose on high, / Whose dead in vaulted arches lie, / Whose pillars swell with sculptured stones ...'"

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 124.

40.1-8 The ... praise.] "Cp. Milton, Il Penseroso 161, [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Cp. Milton, Il Penseroso 161, 163: 'There let the pealing Organ blow / ... / In Service high, and Anthems cleer.' G.'s letter to Anstey, the translator of the Elegy into Latin, in 1761 (Corresp ii 749) makes it clear that he had organ music in mind. Cp. also Pope, Eloisa to Abelard 272: 'And swelling organs lift the rising soul'; and T. Warton, Pleasures of Melancholy 198-9: 'The many sounding organ peals on high, / The clear slow-dittied chaunt, or varied hymn'."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 124.

Contribute a note or query


41 Can storied urn or animated bust 9 Explanatory

41.1 - 44.9 Can ... Death?] "Richard Blackmore, 'On Fame', Poems [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Richard Blackmore, 'On Fame', Poems on Various Subjects (1718) p. 307: 'Do's Maro smile, when we extol his Lays? / Or Tully listen in his Urn to Praise? / Do shouts of triumph sooth great Caesar's ear? / Or Fame, young Ammon, thy cold Ashes cheer?'"

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 125.

41.2-3 storied urn] "An urn with an inscription [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"An urn with an inscription on it, a common form of funereal monument in imitation more or less of the antique* [*Footnote: See additional note, p. 291.]. The 'pictured urn' of Progress of Poesy, l. 109, which Dr Bradshaw here compares is quite a different thing."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 144/145.

41.2 storied] "Milton perhaps first used the [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"Milton perhaps first used the word in Il Penseroso - 'storied windows,' that is representing ancient story. Pope has, Essay on Man IV. 303, 'the trophy'd arches, story'd halls.' Pattison says this is a Miltonic epithet misapplied - since it can only mean 'halls famed in story.' Why may it not mean 'halls adorned with painted records, - genealogical trees &c.'?"

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 291.

41.2 storied] "probably 'bearing an inscription'; a [...]" J. Crofts, 1948 [1st ed. 1926].

"probably 'bearing an inscription'; a rather awkward adaptation of Milton's coinage (Il Penseroso, 159): 'And storied windows richly dight,' where it means 'painted with stories, that is, histories'."

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], 165.

41.2 storied] "J. Young, in his Criticism [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"J. Young, in his Criticism on the Elegy (1783) p. 31, complained that 'storied' needed explaining as meaning 'having stories figured upon it' i.e. inscribed. Cp. 'And storied Windows richly dight', Il Penseroso 159; 'The trophy'd arches, story'd halls', Pope, Essay on Man iv 303; 'the awful bust / And storied arch', Akenside, Pleasures of Imagination ii 735-6."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 125.

41.2 storied] "inscribed or illustrated." J. Reeves, 1973.

"inscribed or illustrated."

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, 112.

41.5 animated] "Cf. Pope, Temple of Fame, [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"Cf. Pope, Temple of Fame, ll. 73, 74:

''Heroes in animated marble frown,
And legislators seem to think in stone.''
But the original both for Gray and Pope is Virgil, Aen. vi. 848, 849:
''Excudent alii spirantia mollius aera,
Credo equidem; vivos ducent de marmore vultus.''
'Others shall beat out the breathing bronze to softer lines; I believe it well; shall draw living lineaments from the marble.' (Mackail.)
Cf. Georg. III. 34:
''Stabunt et Parii lapides, spirantia signa.''
['There too shall stand breathing images in Parian stone.' Id.]
The expression is rescued from the charge of imitation or conventionalism by the thought which it is made to serve, that all the skill of the artist in simulating the breath of life cannot bring it 'back to its mansion.' "

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 145.

41.5 animated] "life-like." J. Crofts, 1948 [1st ed. 1926].

"life-like."

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], 165.

41.5 animated] "As if alive or breathing. [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"As if alive or breathing. Cp. Virgil, Georgics iii 34: Stabunt et Parii lapides, spirantia signa (Here too shall stand Parian marbles, statues that breathe); and Aeneid vi 847-8: excudent alii spirantia mollius aera, / (credo equidem), vivos ducent de marmore voltus (Others, I doubt not, shall beat out the breathing bronze with softer lines; shall from marble draw forth the features of life); and Pope, Temple of Fame 73: 'Heroes in animated Marble frown'. G[ray]. uses the conventional epithet ironically."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 125.

Contribute a note or query

42 Back to its mansion call the fleeting breath? 3 Explanatory

41.1 - 44.9 Can ... Death?] "Richard Blackmore, 'On Fame', Poems [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Richard Blackmore, 'On Fame', Poems on Various Subjects (1718) p. 307: 'Do's Maro smile, when we extol his Lays? / Or Tully listen in his Urn to Praise? / Do shouts of triumph sooth great Caesar's ear? / Or Fame, young Ammon, thy cold Ashes cheer?'"

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 125.

42.1-8 Back ... breath?] "Il Penseroso 91-2: 'The immortal [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Il Penseroso 91-2: 'The immortal mind that hath forsook / Her mansion in this fleshly nook ...'; Prior, Ode to the Memory of Col. Villiers 41, has 'fleeting breath'; and cp. also Dryden, Threnodia Augustalis 114-5: 'Once more the fleeting Soul came back / T'inspire the mortal Frame.'"

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 125.

42.1-8 Back ... breath?] "'its' refers to the 'fleeting [...]" Johan Schimanski, 2001.

"'its' refers to the 'fleeting breath', metaphorically standing for the spirit according to an archaic identification of the spirit with the respiratory system; the 'mansion' is then a metaphor for the body."

Johan Schimanski <johan.schimanski@hum.uit.no> (Dept. of Comparative Literature, University of Tromsø), URL: http://www.hum.uit.no/a/schimanski/. Contributed on Tue Nov 6 18:11:23 2001 GMT.

Contribute a note or query

43 Can Honour's voice provoke the silent dust, 5 Explanatory, 5 Textual

41.1 - 44.9 Can ... Death?] "Richard Blackmore, 'On Fame', Poems [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Richard Blackmore, 'On Fame', Poems on Various Subjects (1718) p. 307: 'Do's Maro smile, when we extol his Lays? / Or Tully listen in his Urn to Praise? / Do shouts of triumph sooth great Caesar's ear? / Or Fame, young Ammon, thy cold Ashes cheer?'"

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 125.

43.1 - 44.9 Can ... Death?] "The contents of the epitaphs [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"The contents of the epitaphs on the tombs of the great."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 125.

43.4 provoke] "Awake. - Mason MS." E. Gosse, 1884.

"Awake. - Mason MS."

The Works of Thomas Gray: In Prose and Verse. Ed. by Edmund Gosse, in four vols. London: MacMillan and Co., 1884, vol. i, 75.

43.4 provoke] "In the Latin sense, provocare [...]" W. Lyon Phelps, 1894.

"In the Latin sense, provocare [to challenge]. (Rolfe.)"

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, 139.

43.4 provoke] "Awake. - Original MS. [Mason [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"Awake. - Original MS. [Mason 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], 230.

43.4 provoke] "In Fraser MS. Gray writes [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"In Fraser MS. Gray writes 'awake' in the text, suggesting 'provoke' in the margin."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 145.

43.4 provoke] "Call to life, rouse to [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"Call to life, rouse to action, a classical use of the word, as in Pope, Ode on St Cecilia's Day, III.

''But when our country's cause provokes to arms.''
[...] The alteration [from 'awake'] is a clue to the meaning he attaches 'to honour's voice,' which Dr Bradshaw interprets to be 'words or speeches in honour of the dead.' This does not give the right significance to 'honour' here. Among the 'paths of glory,' lineage, statecraft, beauty, wealth, are named (33-36); it would be strange if the poet made no reference to the calling with which 'glory' is most associated. He has the 'brave' here specially in mind; of whose tombs Collins writes:
''There honour comes, a pilgrim gray,
To bless the turf that wraps their clay.''
Honour, whose servants they were, may bless or praise them: but they can no longer rise at that voice which in life they were so eager to obey. To this effect Munro's version:
''Voce valet cinerem succendere gloria mutum.'' "

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 145.

43.4 provoke] "awake with provoke in margin, [...]" H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"awake with provoke in margin, E[ton College MS.]."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 39.

43.4 provoke] "awake   Eton, with provoke [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"awake   Eton, with provoke in margin."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 125.

43.4 provoke] "The sense is 'arouse to [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"The sense is 'arouse to action, call forth', as Latin provoco. Cp. Pope, Ode on St Cecilia's Day 36: 'But when our Country's Cause provokes to Arms'."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 125.

Contribute a note or query

44 Or Flattery soothe the dull cold ear of Death? 5 Explanatory, 1 Textual

41.1 - 44.9 Can ... Death?] "Richard Blackmore, 'On Fame', Poems [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Richard Blackmore, 'On Fame', Poems on Various Subjects (1718) p. 307: 'Do's Maro smile, when we extol his Lays? / Or Tully listen in his Urn to Praise? / Do shouts of triumph sooth great Caesar's ear? / Or Fame, young Ammon, thy cold Ashes cheer?'"

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 125.

43.1 - 44.9 Can ... Death?] "The contents of the epitaphs [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"The contents of the epitaphs on the tombs of the great."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 125.

44.1-9 Or ... Death?] "Henry VIII III ii 434-4: [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Henry VIII III ii 434-4: 'When I am forgotten, as I shall be, / And sleep in dull cold marble.'"

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 125.

44.5-6 dull cold] "These words occur together in [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"These words occur together in Shakespeare: - ''And, when I am forgotten, as I shall be, / And sleep in dull cold marble.'' - Henry VIII. iii. 2. 433."

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], 220.

44.5-6 dull cold] "They compare Wolsey, in Henry [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"They compare Wolsey, in Henry VIII. III. 2. 434:

''And when I am forgotten, as I shall be,
And sleep in dull cold marble.''"

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 145.

44.9 Death?] "Death! B[entley's Designs]." H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"Death! B[entley's Designs]."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 39.

Contribute a note or query


45 Perhaps in this neglected spot is laid 2 Explanatory

45.1 - 51.6 Perhaps ... rage,] "For the thought from ll. [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"For the thought from ll. 45 to 51 (incl.) of the Elegy, cf. Addison, Spectator, no. 215, ''The philosopher, the saint, or the hero, the wise, the good, or the great man, very often lie hid and concealed in a plebeian; which a proper education might have disinterred and have brought to light.'' "

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 292.

45.1 - 48.7 Perhaps ... lyre.] "'There has always appeared to [...]" J. Crofts, 1948 [1st ed. 1926].

"'There has always appeared to me a vicious mixture of the figurative with the real in this admired passage. The first two lines may barely pass, as not bad. But the hands laid in the earth must mean the identical five-fingered organs of the body; and how does this consist with their occupation of swaying rods, unless their owner had been a schoolmaster; or waking lyres, unless he were literally a harper by profession? Hands that ''might have held the plough'' would have some sense, for that work is strictly manual; the others only emblematically or pictorially so. Kings nowadays sway no rods, alias sceptres, except on their coronation day; and poets do not necessarily strum upon the harp or fiddle as poets.' (Charles Lamb in The London Magazine, December 1822.)
But much good poetry would be destroyed by this criticism: e.g. 'Or whether thou to our moist vows deny'd, / Sleep'st by the fable of Bellerus old.' (Lycidas, 159.) The body of a dead man ('this identical' four-limbed structure of flesh and bone) cannot be said to 'sleep by' a 'fable', except figuratively. Yet the beauty of the passage depends upon this 'mixture of the figurative with the real'; suggesting, as it does, that the young man whom they all knew is already numbered with the heroes of half-remembered myth."

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], 165/166.

Contribute a note or query

46 Some heart once pregnant with celestial fire; 6 Explanatory

45.1 - 51.6 Perhaps ... rage,] "For the thought from ll. [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"For the thought from ll. 45 to 51 (incl.) of the Elegy, cf. Addison, Spectator, no. 215, ''The philosopher, the saint, or the hero, the wise, the good, or the great man, very often lie hid and concealed in a plebeian; which a proper education might have disinterred and have brought to light.'' "

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 292.

45.1 - 48.7 Perhaps ... lyre.] "'There has always appeared to [...]" J. Crofts, 1948 [1st ed. 1926].

"'There has always appeared to me a vicious mixture of the figurative with the real in this admired passage. The first two lines may barely pass, as not bad. But the hands laid in the earth must mean the identical five-fingered organs of the body; and how does this consist with their occupation of swaying rods, unless their owner had been a schoolmaster; or waking lyres, unless he were literally a harper by profession? Hands that ''might have held the plough'' would have some sense, for that work is strictly manual; the others only emblematically or pictorially so. Kings nowadays sway no rods, alias sceptres, except on their coronation day; and poets do not necessarily strum upon the harp or fiddle as poets.' (Charles Lamb in The London Magazine, December 1822.)
But much good poetry would be destroyed by this criticism: e.g. 'Or whether thou to our moist vows deny'd, / Sleep'st by the fable of Bellerus old.' (Lycidas, 159.) The body of a dead man ('this identical' four-limbed structure of flesh and bone) cannot be said to 'sleep by' a 'fable', except figuratively. Yet the beauty of the passage depends upon this 'mixture of the figurative with the real'; suggesting, as it does, that the young man whom they all knew is already numbered with the heroes of half-remembered myth."

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], 165/166.

46.4-7 pregnant ... fire;] "Divinely inspired." W. Lyon Phelps, 1894.

"Divinely inspired."

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, 139.

46.4-7 pregnant ... fire;] "Full of heaven-sent inspiration; cf. [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"Full of heaven-sent inspiration; cf. ''the Muse's flame,'' line 72; a ''prophet's fire,'' ''The Bard,'' 21. Cowper has the expression in ''Boadicea'': -

''Such the bard's prophetic words,
    Pregnant with celestial fire,
Bending as he swept the chords
    Of his sweet but awful lyre.''"

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], 220.

46.4-7 pregnant ... fire;] "Cowper has the expression in [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"Cowper has the expression in Boadicea:

''Such the bard's prophetic words,
    Pregnant with celestial fire,
Bending as he swept the chords
    Of his sweet but awful lyre.''   Bradshaw."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 146.

46.4-7 pregnant ... fire;] "Par. Lost vi 483: 'pregnant [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Par. Lost vi 483: 'pregnant with infernal flame'. Spenser, Tears of the Muses 391, and Hymn in Honour of Love 186, has 'celestiall fire'; and cp. Young, Night Thoughts vi 378-9: 'a soul, / Which boasts her lineage from celestial fire'."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 125.

Contribute a note or query

47 Hands that the rod of empire might have swayed, 4 Explanatory, 7 Textual

45.1 - 51.6 Perhaps ... rage,] "For the thought from ll. [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"For the thought from ll. 45 to 51 (incl.) of the Elegy, cf. Addison, Spectator, no. 215, ''The philosopher, the saint, or the hero, the wise, the good, or the great man, very often lie hid and concealed in a plebeian; which a proper education might have disinterred and have brought to light.'' "

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 292.

45.1 - 48.7 Perhaps ... lyre.] "'There has always appeared to [...]" J. Crofts, 1948 [1st ed. 1926].

"'There has always appeared to me a vicious mixture of the figurative with the real in this admired passage. The first two lines may barely pass, as not bad. But the hands laid in the earth must mean the identical five-fingered organs of the body; and how does this consist with their occupation of swaying rods, unless their owner had been a schoolmaster; or waking lyres, unless he were literally a harper by profession? Hands that ''might have held the plough'' would have some sense, for that work is strictly manual; the others only emblematically or pictorially so. Kings nowadays sway no rods, alias sceptres, except on their coronation day; and poets do not necessarily strum upon the harp or fiddle as poets.' (Charles Lamb in The London Magazine, December 1822.)
But much good poetry would be destroyed by this criticism: e.g. 'Or whether thou to our moist vows deny'd, / Sleep'st by the fable of Bellerus old.' (Lycidas, 159.) The body of a dead man ('this identical' four-limbed structure of flesh and bone) cannot be said to 'sleep by' a 'fable', except figuratively. Yet the beauty of the passage depends upon this 'mixture of the figurative with the real'; suggesting, as it does, that the young man whom they all knew is already numbered with the heroes of half-remembered myth."

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], 165/166.

47.4 rod] "Reins. - Mason MS." E. Gosse, 1884.

"Reins. - Mason MS."

The Works of Thomas Gray: In Prose and Verse. Ed. by Edmund Gosse, in four vols. London: MacMillan and Co., 1884, vol. i, 75.

47.4 rod] "He first wrote reins; and [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"He first wrote reins; and changed it probably because Tickell has it in his lines on the death of Addison ''To Earl Warwick'': - ''Proud names, who once the reins of empire held.'' - 37."

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], 220.

47.4 rod] "Reins. - Egerton MS." J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"Reins. - Egerton 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], 230.

47.4 rod] "Fraser MS. reads 'reins of [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"Fraser MS. reads 'reins of empire' here. Dr Bradshaw suggests that Gray made the alteration because Tickell (cited by Mitford) had written, Poem to Earl of Warwick, l. 37: ''Proud names that once the reins of empire held.'' "

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 146.

47.4-6 rod ... empire] "Mitford quotes Ovid [Heroides] Ep. [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"Mitford quotes Ovid [Heroides] Ep. v. l. 86 [OEnone Paridi.] ''Sunt mihi quas possint sceptra decere manus.''"

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 146.

47.4 rod] "Reins Pembroke and Wharton MSS., A.L. Poole/L. Whibley, 1950 [1st ed. 1919].

"Reins Pembroke and Wharton MSS., but in the former MS. Rod is inserted in margin. Reins is printed in the first edition."

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], 175.

47.4 rod] "Reins C[ommonplace] B[ook], E[ton College [...]" H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"Reins C[ommonplace] B[ook], E[ton College MS.], Wh[arton MS.], Q[uarto]1, Q[uarto]3. CB has Rod in the margin."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 39.

47.4 rod] "reins   Eton, Wharton, Commonplace [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"reins   Eton, Wharton, Commonplace Book, edd 1-7. Commonplace Book has rod in the margin."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 126.

47.4-6 rod ... empire] "G[ray]. may have decided that [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"G[ray]. may have decided that there was something ludicrous about 'swaying' reins or have wished to avoid echoing 'Proud names who once the reins of empire held', Tickell, On the Death of Mr Addison 37, or 'command / The Reins of Empire with a steady Hand', Blackmore, Nature of Man (1711) p. 100."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 126.

Contribute a note or query

48 Or waked to ecstasy the living lyre. 5 Explanatory

45.1 - 51.6 Perhaps ... rage,] "For the thought from ll. [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"For the thought from ll. 45 to 51 (incl.) of the Elegy, cf. Addison, Spectator, no. 215, ''The philosopher, the saint, or the hero, the wise, the good, or the great man, very often lie hid and concealed in a plebeian; which a proper education might have disinterred and have brought to light.'' "

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 292.

45.1 - 48.7 Perhaps ... lyre.] "'There has always appeared to [...]" J. Crofts, 1948 [1st ed. 1926].

"'There has always appeared to me a vicious mixture of the figurative with the real in this admired passage. The first two lines may barely pass, as not bad. But the hands laid in the earth must mean the identical five-fingered organs of the body; and how does this consist with their occupation of swaying rods, unless their owner had been a schoolmaster; or waking lyres, unless he were literally a harper by profession? Hands that ''might have held the plough'' would have some sense, for that work is strictly manual; the others only emblematically or pictorially so. Kings nowadays sway no rods, alias sceptres, except on their coronation day; and poets do not necessarily strum upon the harp or fiddle as poets.' (Charles Lamb in The London Magazine, December 1822.)
But much good poetry would be destroyed by this criticism: e.g. 'Or whether thou to our moist vows deny'd, / Sleep'st by the fable of Bellerus old.' (Lycidas, 159.) The body of a dead man ('this identical' four-limbed structure of flesh and bone) cannot be said to 'sleep by' a 'fable', except figuratively. Yet the beauty of the passage depends upon this 'mixture of the figurative with the real'; suggesting, as it does, that the young man whom they all knew is already numbered with the heroes of half-remembered myth."

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], 165/166.

48.2-4 waked ... ecstasy] "Cf. Progress of Poetry, l. [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"Cf. Progress of Poetry, l. 2. Mitford quotes from Cowley [Resurrection st. 2, l. 1]: ''Begin the song and strike the living lyre.'' Pope no doubt had this line in mind when he wrote in Windsor Forest, l. 281 (cited by Mitford): ''Who now shall charm the shades, where Cowley strung / His living harp, and lofty Denham sung?''"

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 146.

48.2-7 waked ... lyre.] "Cp. Lucretius ii 412-3: ac [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Cp. Lucretius ii 412-3: ac musaea mele, per chordas organici quae / mobilibus digitis expergefacta figurant (melodies of music which harpers awaken and shape on the strings with nimble fingers); Cowley, The Resurrection 13: 'Begin the song and strike the living lyre'; Prior, Carmen Seculare 463: 'They strike the living Lyre'; Pope, Windsor Forest 279-80: 'where Cowley strung / His living Harp'."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 126.

48.4 ecstasy] "Cp. 'Dissolve me into extasies', [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Cp. 'Dissolve me into extasies', Milton, Il Penseroso 165, and 'hearken even to extasie', Comus 625; 'Till all my soul is bath'd in ecstasies', T. Warton, Pleasures of Melancholy 200 (after the lines cited in l. 40 n above)."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 126.

Contribute a note or query


49 But Knowledge to their eyes her ample page 4 Explanatory, 2 Textual

45.1 - 51.6 Perhaps ... rage,] "For the thought from ll. [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"For the thought from ll. 45 to 51 (incl.) of the Elegy, cf. Addison, Spectator, no. 215, ''The philosopher, the saint, or the hero, the wise, the good, or the great man, very often lie hid and concealed in a plebeian; which a proper education might have disinterred and have brought to light.'' "

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 292.

49.1 - 64.8 But ... eyes,] "The germ of the four [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"The germ of the four following stanzas is probably to be found in these lines of Waller (to Zelinda):

''Great Julius on the mountains bred,
A flock perhaps or herd had led,
He that the world subdued had been
But the best wrestler on the green.
'Tis art and knowledge which draw forth
The hidden seeds of native worth;
They blow those sparks and make them rise
Into such flames as touch the skies.''
Gray possessed and had studied Waller; he has transferred this thought from a trivial setting, and placed it where it fitly exemplifies the pathos of human life. Cf. Addison, Spectator, 215.
It should be noted that Gray's Cromwell was originally Caesar, Waller's 'Great Julius.'"

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 146.

49.1 - 60.7 But ... blood.] "In E[ton College MS.] these [...]" H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"In E[ton College MS.] these lines are written in this order: 57-60, 49-56, but the numbers 1-4 beside them indicate the present order."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 39.

49.1 - 60.7 But ... blood.] "In Eton ll. 57-60 follow [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"In Eton ll. 57-60 follow l. 48, but the figures 1 to 4 in the margin indicate the present order of the stanzas."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 125.

49.1 - 60.7 But ... blood.] "Tovey cites Addison, Spectator No. [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Tovey cites Addison, Spectator No. 215: 'The Philosopher, the Saint, or the Hero, the Wise, the Good, or the Great Man, very often lie hid and concealed in a Plebean, which a proper Education might have disenterred, and have brought to Light.'"

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 125.

49.1 - 52.8 But ... soul.] "Tovey compares Waller, To Zelinda [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Tovey compares Waller, To Zelinda 19-26, and points out that G[ray].'s Cromwell (l. 60) was originally Caesar. Waller's lines deal with Caesar and Alexander: 'Great Julius, on the mountains bred, / A flock perhaps, or herd, had led: / He, that the world subdued, had been / But the best wrestler on the green. / 'Tis art, and knowledge, which draw forth / The hidden seeds of native worth'. See also Fourdrinier's frontispiece to Robert Dodsley's A Muse in Livery (1732) which depicts the poet reaching vainly up towards Happiness, Virtue and Knowledge, one hand being chained by Poverty to Misery, Folly and Ignorance, and one foot weighted down with Despair."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 126.

Contribute a note or query

50 Rich with the spoils of time did ne'er unroll; 8 Explanatory, 2 Textual

45.1 - 51.6 Perhaps ... rage,] "For the thought from ll. [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"For the thought from ll. 45 to 51 (incl.) of the Elegy, cf. Addison, Spectator, no. 215, ''The philosopher, the saint, or the hero, the wise, the good, or the great man, very often lie hid and concealed in a plebeian; which a proper education might have disinterred and have brought to light.'' "

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 292.

49.1 - 64.8 But ... eyes,] "The germ of the four [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"The germ of the four following stanzas is probably to be found in these lines of Waller (to Zelinda):

''Great Julius on the mountains bred,
A flock perhaps or herd had led,
He that the world subdued had been
But the best wrestler on the green.
'Tis art and knowledge which draw forth
The hidden seeds of native worth;
They blow those sparks and make them rise
Into such flames as touch the skies.''
Gray possessed and had studied Waller; he has transferred this thought from a trivial setting, and placed it where it fitly exemplifies the pathos of human life. Cf. Addison, Spectator, 215.
It should be noted that Gray's Cromwell was originally Caesar, Waller's 'Great Julius.'"

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 146.

49.1 - 60.7 But ... blood.] "In E[ton College MS.] these [...]" H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"In E[ton College MS.] these lines are written in this order: 57-60, 49-56, but the numbers 1-4 beside them indicate the present order."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 39.

49.1 - 60.7 But ... blood.] "In Eton ll. 57-60 follow [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"In Eton ll. 57-60 follow l. 48, but the figures 1 to 4 in the margin indicate the present order of the stanzas."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 125.

49.1 - 60.7 But ... blood.] "Tovey cites Addison, Spectator No. [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Tovey cites Addison, Spectator No. 215: 'The Philosopher, the Saint, or the Hero, the Wise, the Good, or the Great Man, very often lie hid and concealed in a Plebean, which a proper Education might have disenterred, and have brought to Light.'"

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 125.

49.1 - 52.8 But ... soul.] "Tovey compares Waller, To Zelinda [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Tovey compares Waller, To Zelinda 19-26, and points out that G[ray].'s Cromwell (l. 60) was originally Caesar. Waller's lines deal with Caesar and Alexander: 'Great Julius, on the mountains bred, / A flock perhaps, or herd, had led: / He, that the world subdued, had been / But the best wrestler on the green. / 'Tis art, and knowledge, which draw forth / The hidden seeds of native worth'. See also Fourdrinier's frontispiece to Robert Dodsley's A Muse in Livery (1732) which depicts the poet reaching vainly up towards Happiness, Virtue and Knowledge, one hand being chained by Poverty to Misery, Folly and Ignorance, and one foot weighted down with Despair."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 126.

50.1-6 Rich ... time] "Mitford quotes Sir Thomas Browne, [...]" W. Lyon Phelps, 1894.

"Mitford quotes Sir Thomas Browne, Religio Medici, section xiii (verse): ''Rich with the spoils of nature.''"

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, 140.

50.1-6 Rich ... time] "Mitford compares Sir T. Browne, [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"Mitford compares Sir T. Browne, Religio Medici [Pt. 1. Sect. XIII. where he breaks into verse],

''And then at last, when homeward I shall drive,
Rich with the spoils of nature, to my hive,
There will I sit, like that industrious fly
Buzzing thy praises'' &c.
Whether Gray needed this quaint original to inspire him may be questioned."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 146/147.

50.9 unroll;] "The word, as Bradshaw points [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"The word, as Bradshaw points out, is suggested by the primary meaning of volumen when used of a book, i.e. a scroll, unrolled in order to be read."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 147.

50.9 unroll;] "The image is of a [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"The image is of a scroll. Cp. 'Rich with the spoils of nature', Browne, Religio Medici I xiii; and 'For, rich with Spoils of many a conquer'd Land', Dryden, Palamon and Arcite ii 452."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 126.

Contribute a note or query

51 Chill Penury repressed their noble rage, 7 Explanatory, 6 Textual

45.1 - 51.6 Perhaps ... rage,] "For the thought from ll. [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"For the thought from ll. 45 to 51 (incl.) of the Elegy, cf. Addison, Spectator, no. 215, ''The philosopher, the saint, or the hero, the wise, the good, or the great man, very often lie hid and concealed in a plebeian; which a proper education might have disinterred and have brought to light.'' "

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 292.

49.1 - 64.8 But ... eyes,] "The germ of the four [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"The germ of the four following stanzas is probably to be found in these lines of Waller (to Zelinda):

''Great Julius on the mountains bred,
A flock perhaps or herd had led,
He that the world subdued had been
But the best wrestler on the green.
'Tis art and knowledge which draw forth
The hidden seeds of native worth;
They blow those sparks and make them rise
Into such flames as touch the skies.''
Gray possessed and had studied Waller; he has transferred this thought from a trivial setting, and placed it where it fitly exemplifies the pathos of human life. Cf. Addison, Spectator, 215.
It should be noted that Gray's Cromwell was originally Caesar, Waller's 'Great Julius.'"

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 146.

49.1 - 60.7 But ... blood.] "In E[ton College MS.] these [...]" H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"In E[ton College MS.] these lines are written in this order: 57-60, 49-56, but the numbers 1-4 beside them indicate the present order."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 39.

49.1 - 60.7 But ... blood.] "In Eton ll. 57-60 follow [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"In Eton ll. 57-60 follow l. 48, but the figures 1 to 4 in the margin indicate the present order of the stanzas."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 125.

49.1 - 60.7 But ... blood.] "Tovey cites Addison, Spectator No. [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Tovey cites Addison, Spectator No. 215: 'The Philosopher, the Saint, or the Hero, the Wise, the Good, or the Great Man, very often lie hid and concealed in a Plebean, which a proper Education might have disenterred, and have brought to Light.'"

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 125.

49.1 - 52.8 But ... soul.] "Tovey compares Waller, To Zelinda [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Tovey compares Waller, To Zelinda 19-26, and points out that G[ray].'s Cromwell (l. 60) was originally Caesar. Waller's lines deal with Caesar and Alexander: 'Great Julius, on the mountains bred, / A flock perhaps, or herd, had led: / He, that the world subdued, had been / But the best wrestler on the green. / 'Tis art, and knowledge, which draw forth / The hidden seeds of native worth'. See also Fourdrinier's frontispiece to Robert Dodsley's A Muse in Livery (1732) which depicts the poet reaching vainly up towards Happiness, Virtue and Knowledge, one hand being chained by Poverty to Misery, Folly and Ignorance, and one foot weighted down with Despair."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 126.

51.3 repressed] "Had damped. - Original MS. [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"Had damped. - Original MS. [Mason 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], 230.

51.3 repressed] "Had 'damp'd' with 'depress'd: repress'd' [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"Had 'damp'd' with 'depress'd: repress'd' written over, Fraser 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], 147.

51.3 repressed] "had damp'd with depress'd repress'd [...]" H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"had damp'd with depress'd repress'd written above, E[ton College MS.]."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 39.

51.3 repressed] "had damp'd   Eton, with [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"had damp'd   Eton, with depress'd repress'd written above."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 126.

51.6 rage,] "Often used for enthusiasm [poetic [...]" W. Lyon Phelps, 1894.

"Often used for enthusiasm [poetic fire]. (Hales.)"

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, 140.

51.6 rage,] "ardent ambition. Gray is thinking [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"ardent ambition. Gray is thinking of possible statesmen and warriors, as well as poets; although it is of poetic inspiration that the word was commonly used in a good sense. Mitford quotes Pope to Jervas (the painter), l. 12:

''Like them [Dryden and Fresnoy] to shine through long succeeding age,
So just thy skill, so regular my rage,''
where the epithet 'regular,' so singularly inept for that which is by its very nature without restraint, shows that this conventional use of 'rage' is really a misuse of it. It is employed, oddly enough, in connection with a reed, by Collins (1746) of Music in Ode on the Passions (quoted by Bradshaw):
'''Tis said, and I believe the tale,
Thy humblest reed could more prevail,
Had more of strength, diviner rage,
Than all which charms this laggard age.''
But the word scarcely in this use of it belongs to our best poetic diction, for example Shakespeare employs it thus only once, and then with a clear notion of exaggeration (Sonnet xvii. 11);
''The age to come would say, 'This poet lies':
So should my papers, yellowed with their age,
Be scorn'd, like old men of less truth than tongue,
And your true rights be termed a poet's rage
And stretched metre of an antique song.''
The word indeed belongs to what Burke calls 'the contortions of the Sibyll':
''et rabie fera corda tument.'' Aen. vi. 49,
from which, and the kindred inspiration of the Pythoness, the expression has been transferred to a milder enthusiasm; Shakespeare is nearest to adopting it when he speaks of 'the poet's eye in a fine frenzy rolling.' Milton never uses it in this way at all."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 147.

51.6 rage,] "Dryden was fond of the [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Dryden was fond of the phrase: cp. Hind and the Panther 305; Ovid's Metamorphoses i 1055; and Aeneid x 970; but by 'rage' he meant anger. G[ray]. means rapture, ardour, inspiration (equivalent to the favourable sense of Latin furor). Cowley has 'noble rage' in Davideis Bk iv; and see Pope, Windsor Forest 291: 'Here noble Surrey felt the sacred Rage'; and Prologue to Cato 43: 'Be justly warm'd with your own native rage'; and Collins, The Passions 111. Thomson, Winter 597-601, has a passage which is close to G.'s meaning here and in the following stanzas: 'if doomed / In powerless humble fortune to repress / These ardent risings of the kindling soul, / Then, even superior to ambition, we / Would learn the private virtues'."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 126.

Contribute a note or query

52 And froze the genial current of the soul. 7 Explanatory, 2 Textual

49.1 - 64.8 But ... eyes,] "The germ of the four [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"The germ of the four following stanzas is probably to be found in these lines of Waller (to Zelinda):

''Great Julius on the mountains bred,
A flock perhaps or herd had led,
He that the world subdued had been
But the best wrestler on the green.
'Tis art and knowledge which draw forth
The hidden seeds of native worth;
They blow those sparks and make them rise
Into such flames as touch the skies.''
Gray possessed and had studied Waller; he has transferred this thought from a trivial setting, and placed it where it fitly exemplifies the pathos of human life. Cf. Addison, Spectator, 215.
It should be noted that Gray's Cromwell was originally Caesar, Waller's 'Great Julius.'"

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 146.

49.1 - 60.7 But ... blood.] "In E[ton College MS.] these [...]" H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"In E[ton College MS.] these lines are written in this order: 57-60, 49-56, but the numbers 1-4 beside them indicate the present order."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 39.

49.1 - 60.7 But ... blood.] "In Eton ll. 57-60 follow [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"In Eton ll. 57-60 follow l. 48, but the figures 1 to 4 in the margin indicate the present order of the stanzas."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 125.

49.1 - 60.7 But ... blood.] "Tovey cites Addison, Spectator No. [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Tovey cites Addison, Spectator No. 215: 'The Philosopher, the Saint, or the Hero, the Wise, the Good, or the Great Man, very often lie hid and concealed in a Plebean, which a proper Education might have disenterred, and have brought to Light.'"

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 125.

49.1 - 52.8 But ... soul.] "Tovey compares Waller, To Zelinda [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Tovey compares Waller, To Zelinda 19-26, and points out that G[ray].'s Cromwell (l. 60) was originally Caesar. Waller's lines deal with Caesar and Alexander: 'Great Julius, on the mountains bred, / A flock perhaps, or herd, had led: / He, that the world subdued, had been / But the best wrestler on the green. / 'Tis art, and knowledge, which draw forth / The hidden seeds of native worth'. See also Fourdrinier's frontispiece to Robert Dodsley's A Muse in Livery (1732) which depicts the poet reaching vainly up towards Happiness, Virtue and Knowledge, one hand being chained by Poverty to Misery, Folly and Ignorance, and one foot weighted down with Despair."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 126.

52.1-8 And ... soul.] "Cf. Scott's Old Mortality, chap. [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"Cf. Scott's Old Mortality, chap. xiii. where with obvious reminiscence of this stanza, it is said of Henry Morton, 'the current of his soul was frozen by a sense of dependence - of poverty - above all, of an imperfect and limited education.' "

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 148.

52.4 genial] "This can hardly be taken [...]" W. Lyon Phelps, 1894.

"This can hardly be taken in the modern sense; it may be used in the sense of ''natural,'' ''belonging to one's genius,'' or possibly with the meaning ''endowed with genius.''"

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, 140.

52.4 genial] "The word connotes at once [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"The word connotes at once cheering and fertilising; the fervour and the creative power of genius. Its two senses in Latin are 'belonging to generation or birth' and 'belonging to enjoyment, jovial.' Gray has used it in the double sense of 'kindly' and 'productive' in Alliance of Education and Government, l. 3:

''Nor genial warmth, nor genial juice retains,
Their roots to feed, and fill their verdant veins.'' "

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 147/148.

52.4 genial] "Warm, creative. Ian Jack (see [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Warm, creative. Ian Jack (see headnote) compares Virgil, Georgics ii 484: frigidus obstiterit circum praecordia sanguis, translated by Thomson, Preface to 2nd edn of Winter: 'If the cold current freezes round my heart'; see also Agrippina 177-8 (p. 42 above)."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 127.

Contribute a note or query


53 Full many a gem of purest ray serene, 8 Explanatory, 2 Textual

49.1 - 64.8 But ... eyes,] "The germ of the four [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"The germ of the four following stanzas is probably to be found in these lines of Waller (to Zelinda):

''Great Julius on the mountains bred,
A flock perhaps or herd had led,
He that the world subdued had been
But the best wrestler on the green.
'Tis art and knowledge which draw forth
The hidden seeds of native worth;
They blow those sparks and make them rise
Into such flames as touch the skies.''
Gray possessed and had studied Waller; he has transferred this thought from a trivial setting, and placed it where it fitly exemplifies the pathos of human life. Cf. Addison, Spectator, 215.
It should be noted that Gray's Cromwell was originally Caesar, Waller's 'Great Julius.'"

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 146.

49.1 - 60.7 But ... blood.] "In E[ton College MS.] these [...]" H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"In E[ton College MS.] these lines are written in this order: 57-60, 49-56, but the numbers 1-4 beside them indicate the present order."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 39.

49.1 - 60.7 But ... blood.] "In Eton ll. 57-60 follow [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"In Eton ll. 57-60 follow l. 48, but the figures 1 to 4 in the margin indicate the present order of the stanzas."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 125.

49.1 - 60.7 But ... blood.] "Tovey cites Addison, Spectator No. [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Tovey cites Addison, Spectator No. 215: 'The Philosopher, the Saint, or the Hero, the Wise, the Good, or the Great Man, very often lie hid and concealed in a Plebean, which a proper Education might have disenterred, and have brought to Light.'"

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 125.

53.1 - 56.8 Full ... air.] "There are a number of [...]" W. Lyon Phelps, 1894.

"There are a number of passages strikingly similar to this. Mitford suggests the following (I give the references more exactly) from Comus, lines 22-23: ''That, like to rich and various gems, inlay / The unadorned bosom of the deep.''
From Ambrose Philips, The Fable of Thule: ''Like woodland flowers, which paint the desert glades, / And waste their sweets in unfrequented shades.''
From William Chamberlayne, Pharonnida (London, 1659), Book iv, canto 5, p. 94: ''Like beauteous flowers which vainly waste the scent / Of odors in unhanted desarts.''
From Bishop Joseph Hall, Contemplations, Book vi, Cont. i (Complete Works, Oxford, 1863, I, 137): ''There is many a rich stone laid up in the bowels of the earth, many a fair pearl laid up in the bosom of the sea, that never was seen nor never shall be.''
Wakefield quotes Pope, Rape of the Lock, iv, 157, 158: ''There kept my charms conceal'd from mortal eye, / Like roses, that in deserts bloom and die.''
A writer in the Gentleman's Magazine for January, 1782, calls attention to the following lines from Young, Love of Fame, Satire v, On Women, lines 229-232:

''In distant wilds, by human eyes unseen,
She rears her flow'rs and spreads her velvet green:
Pure gurgling rills, the lowly desert trace,
And waste their music on the savage race.''"

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, 140.

53.1 - 56.8 Full ... air.] "Various originals have been cited [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"Various originals have been cited for this famous stanza, but often as the thought may have occurred before Gray it is in the form in which he has worded it that it is known the world over. Mitford quotes: -
''There is many a rich stone laid up in the bowels of the earth, many a fair pearl in the bosom of the sea, that never was seen, nor never shall be.'' Bishop Hall's ''Contemplations,'' vi. 872.
A writer in the ''Gentleman's Magazine'' for May, 1782, refers to Young, ''Universal Passion'': -

''In distant wilds, by human eyes unseen,
She rears her flow'rs and spreads her velvet green;
Pure gurgling rills, the lowly desert trace,
And waste their music on the savage race.'' - Sat. v.
Gray introduces ''the gem and the flower'' in his ''Ode at the Installation'' (written nearly twenty years later) thus: -
''Thy liberal heart, thy judging eye,
The flower unheeded shall descry,
And bid it round heaven's altars shed
The fragrance of its blushing head:
Shall raise from earth the latent gem
To glitter on the diadem.'' - 71-76."

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], 220/221.

53.1 - 54.7 Full ... bear:] "Mitford cites Milton, Comus, 22: [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"Mitford cites Milton, Comus, 22:

''That like to rich and various gems inlay
The unadorned bosom of the deep;''
but, very inappositely, since the 'sea-girt isles' to which the simile refers are conspicuous and on the surface, whilst it is of the essence of Gray's thought that the gems are invisible and at the bottom. Milton's thought is in fact Shakespeare's (Rich. II. II. 1. 46):
''This precious stone, set in the silver sea.''
The quotation from Bishop Hall's Contemplations, vi. 872, is better: ''There is many a rich stone laid up in the bowells of the earth, many a fair pearle in the bosome of the sea, that never was seene nor never shall bee.'' Noteworthy perhaps as a coincidence is the line Mitford quotes from the Greek of an Italian poet (I think), of the Renaissance:
[Greek line (omitted)]
[Many a pearl far under the waves lies hidden of Ocean.]"

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 148.

53.1 - 56.8 Full ... air.] "Many parallels have been cited [...]" H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"Many parallels have been cited for this passage. Perhaps the closest (if Gray had read it, and the concept and phrasing are not unusual) is the one by Celio Magno (1536-1602) cited in O. Shepard and P. S. Woods, eds., English Prose and Poetry, 1660-1800 (Boston, 1934), pp. 1007-8:

Ma (qual in parte ignota
Ben ricca gemma altrui cela il suo pregio,
O fior, ch' alta virtu ha in se riposta
Visse in sen di castita nascosta,)
In sua virtute e 'n Dio contento visse,
Lunge dal visco mondan, che l' alma intrica.
[But (as in an unknown place
A very rich gem conceals its value from its neighbour,
Or a flower, which has great virtue reposed in it,
Has lived hidden in the bosom of chastity,)
He lived content in his virtue and in God
Far from the worldly birdlime which entangles the soul.]"

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 223.

53.1-8 Full ... serene,] "Cp. 'There is many a [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Cp. 'There is many a rich stone laid up in the bowels of the earth, many a fair pearl in the bosom of the sea, that never was seen, nor never shall be', Joseph Hall, Works, ed. P. Wynter, 1863, i 137."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 127.

53.8 serene,] "bright and clear." Alexander Huber, 2000.

"bright and clear."

Alexander Huber <huber@thomasgray.org> (SUB Göttingen), URL: http://www.thomasgray.org/. Contributed on Sun Oct 22 13:39:49 2000 GMT.

Contribute a note or query

54 The dark unfathomed caves of ocean bear: 7 Explanatory, 2 Textual

49.1 - 64.8 But ... eyes,] "The germ of the four [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"The germ of the four following stanzas is probably to be found in these lines of Waller (to Zelinda):

''Great Julius on the mountains bred,
A flock perhaps or herd had led,
He that the world subdued had been
But the best wrestler on the green.
'Tis art and knowledge which draw forth
The hidden seeds of native worth;
They blow those sparks and make them rise
Into such flames as touch the skies.''
Gray possessed and had studied Waller; he has transferred this thought from a trivial setting, and placed it where it fitly exemplifies the pathos of human life. Cf. Addison, Spectator, 215.
It should be noted that Gray's Cromwell was originally Caesar, Waller's 'Great Julius.'"

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 146.

49.1 - 60.7 But ... blood.] "In E[ton College MS.] these [...]" H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"In E[ton College MS.] these lines are written in this order: 57-60, 49-56, but the numbers 1-4 beside them indicate the present order."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 39.

49.1 - 60.7 But ... blood.] "In Eton ll. 57-60 follow [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"In Eton ll. 57-60 follow l. 48, but the figures 1 to 4 in the margin indicate the present order of the stanzas."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 125.

49.1 - 60.7 But ... blood.] "Tovey cites Addison, Spectator No. [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Tovey cites Addison, Spectator No. 215: 'The Philosopher, the Saint, or the Hero, the Wise, the Good, or the Great Man, very often lie hid and concealed in a Plebean, which a proper Education might have disenterred, and have brought to Light.'"

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 125.

53.1 - 56.8 Full ... air.] "There are a number of [...]" W. Lyon Phelps, 1894.

"There are a number of passages strikingly similar to this. Mitford suggests the following (I give the references more exactly) from Comus, lines 22-23: ''That, like to rich and various gems, inlay / The unadorned bosom of the deep.''
From Ambrose Philips, The Fable of Thule: ''Like woodland flowers, which paint the desert glades, / And waste their sweets in unfrequented shades.''
From William Chamberlayne, Pharonnida (London, 1659), Book iv, canto 5, p. 94: ''Like beauteous flowers which vainly waste the scent / Of odors in unhanted desarts.''
From Bishop Joseph Hall, Contemplations, Book vi, Cont. i (Complete Works, Oxford, 1863, I, 137): ''There is many a rich stone laid up in the bowels of the earth, many a fair pearl laid up in the bosom of the sea, that never was seen nor never shall be.''
Wakefield quotes Pope, Rape of the Lock, iv, 157, 158: ''There kept my charms conceal'd from mortal eye, / Like roses, that in deserts bloom and die.''
A writer in the Gentleman's Magazine for January, 1782, calls attention to the following lines from Young, Love of Fame, Satire v, On Women, lines 229-232:

''In distant wilds, by human eyes unseen,
She rears her flow'rs and spreads her velvet green:
Pure gurgling rills, the lowly desert trace,
And waste their music on the savage race.''"

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, 140.

53.1 - 56.8 Full ... air.] "Various originals have been cited [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"Various originals have been cited for this famous stanza, but often as the thought may have occurred before Gray it is in the form in which he has worded it that it is known the world over. Mitford quotes: -
''There is many a rich stone laid up in the bowels of the earth, many a fair pearl in the bosom of the sea, that never was seen, nor never shall be.'' Bishop Hall's ''Contemplations,'' vi. 872.
A writer in the ''Gentleman's Magazine'' for May, 1782, refers to Young, ''Universal Passion'': -

''In distant wilds, by human eyes unseen,
She rears her flow'rs and spreads her velvet green;
Pure gurgling rills, the lowly desert trace,
And waste their music on the savage race.'' - Sat. v.
Gray introduces ''the gem and the flower'' in his ''Ode at the Installation'' (written nearly twenty years later) thus: -
''Thy liberal heart, thy judging eye,
The flower unheeded shall descry,
And bid it round heaven's altars shed
The fragrance of its blushing head:
Shall raise from earth the latent gem
To glitter on the diadem.'' - 71-76."

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], 220/221.

53.1 - 54.7 Full ... bear:] "Mitford cites Milton, Comus, 22: [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"Mitford cites Milton, Comus, 22:

''That like to rich and various gems inlay
The unadorned bosom of the deep;''
but, very inappositely, since the 'sea-girt isles' to which the simile refers are conspicuous and on the surface, whilst it is of the essence of Gray's thought that the gems are invisible and at the bottom. Milton's thought is in fact Shakespeare's (Rich. II. II. 1. 46):
''This precious stone, set in the silver sea.''
The quotation from Bishop Hall's Contemplations, vi. 872, is better: ''There is many a rich stone laid up in the bowells of the earth, many a fair pearle in the bosome of the sea, that never was seene nor never shall bee.'' Noteworthy perhaps as a coincidence is the line Mitford quotes from the Greek of an Italian poet (I think), of the Renaissance:
[Greek line (omitted)]
[Many a pearl far under the waves lies hidden of Ocean.]"

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 148.

53.1 - 56.8 Full ... air.] "Many parallels have been cited [...]" H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"Many parallels have been cited for this passage. Perhaps the closest (if Gray had read it, and the concept and phrasing are not unusual) is the one by Celio Magno (1536-1602) cited in O. Shepard and P. S. Woods, eds., English Prose and Poetry, 1660-1800 (Boston, 1934), pp. 1007-8:

Ma (qual in parte ignota
Ben ricca gemma altrui cela il suo pregio,
O fior, ch' alta virtu ha in se riposta
Visse in sen di castita nascosta,)
In sua virtute e 'n Dio contento visse,
Lunge dal visco mondan, che l' alma intrica.
[But (as in an unknown place
A very rich gem conceals its value from its neighbour,
Or a flower, which has great virtue reposed in it,
Has lived hidden in the bosom of chastity,)
He lived content in his virtue and in God
Far from the worldly birdlime which entangles the soul.]"

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 223.

54.1-7 The ... bear:] "Blackmore, Alfred. An Epick Poem [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Blackmore, Alfred. An Epick Poem (1723) p. 97: 'Thou mak'st the secret Chambers of the Deep / Thy Walks, where peaceful ancient Waters sleep, / And searchest dark unfathom'd Caves beneath.'"

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 127.

Contribute a note or query

55 Full many a flower is born to blush unseen, 8 Explanatory, 2 Textual

49.1 - 64.8 But ... eyes,] "The germ of the four [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"The germ of the four following stanzas is probably to be found in these lines of Waller (to Zelinda):

''Great Julius on the mountains bred,
A flock perhaps or herd had led,
He that the world subdued had been
But the best wrestler on the green.
'Tis art and knowledge which draw forth
The hidden seeds of native worth;
They blow those sparks and make them rise
Into such flames as touch the skies.''
Gray possessed and had studied Waller; he has transferred this thought from a trivial setting, and placed it where it fitly exemplifies the pathos of human life. Cf. Addison, Spectator, 215.
It should be noted that Gray's Cromwell was originally Caesar, Waller's 'Great Julius.'"

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 146.

49.1 - 60.7 But ... blood.] "In E[ton College MS.] these [...]" H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"In E[ton College MS.] these lines are written in this order: 57-60, 49-56, but the numbers 1-4 beside them indicate the present order."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 39.

49.1 - 60.7 But ... blood.] "In Eton ll. 57-60 follow [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"In Eton ll. 57-60 follow l. 48, but the figures 1 to 4 in the margin indicate the present order of the stanzas."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 125.

49.1 - 60.7 But ... blood.] "Tovey cites Addison, Spectator No. [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Tovey cites Addison, Spectator No. 215: 'The Philosopher, the Saint, or the Hero, the Wise, the Good, or the Great Man, very often lie hid and concealed in a Plebean, which a proper Education might have disenterred, and have brought to Light.'"

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 125.

53.1 - 56.8 Full ... air.] "There are a number of [...]" W. Lyon Phelps, 1894.

"There are a number of passages strikingly similar to this. Mitford suggests the following (I give the references more exactly) from Comus, lines 22-23: ''That, like to rich and various gems, inlay / The unadorned bosom of the deep.''
From Ambrose Philips, The Fable of Thule: ''Like woodland flowers, which paint the desert glades, / And waste their sweets in unfrequented shades.''
From William Chamberlayne, Pharonnida (London, 1659), Book iv, canto 5, p. 94: ''Like beauteous flowers which vainly waste the scent / Of odors in unhanted desarts.''
From Bishop Joseph Hall, Contemplations, Book vi, Cont. i (Complete Works, Oxford, 1863, I, 137): ''There is many a rich stone laid up in the bowels of the earth, many a fair pearl laid up in the bosom of the sea, that never was seen nor never shall be.''
Wakefield quotes Pope, Rape of the Lock, iv, 157, 158: ''There kept my charms conceal'd from mortal eye, / Like roses, that in deserts bloom and die.''
A writer in the Gentleman's Magazine for January, 1782, calls attention to the following lines from Young, Love of Fame, Satire v, On Women, lines 229-232:

''In distant wilds, by human eyes unseen,
She rears her flow'rs and spreads her velvet green:
Pure gurgling rills, the lowly desert trace,
And waste their music on the savage race.''"

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, 140.

53.1 - 56.8 Full ... air.] "Various originals have been cited [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"Various originals have been cited for this famous stanza, but often as the thought may have occurred before Gray it is in the form in which he has worded it that it is known the world over. Mitford quotes: -
''There is many a rich stone laid up in the bowels of the earth, many a fair pearl in the bosom of the sea, that never was seen, nor never shall be.'' Bishop Hall's ''Contemplations,'' vi. 872.
A writer in the ''Gentleman's Magazine'' for May, 1782, refers to Young, ''Universal Passion'': -

''In distant wilds, by human eyes unseen,
She rears her flow'rs and spreads her velvet green;
Pure gurgling rills, the lowly desert trace,
And waste their music on the savage race.'' - Sat. v.
Gray introduces ''the gem and the flower'' in his ''Ode at the Installation'' (written nearly twenty years later) thus: -
''Thy liberal heart, thy judging eye,
The flower unheeded shall descry,
And bid it round heaven's altars shed
The fragrance of its blushing head:
Shall raise from earth the latent gem
To glitter on the diadem.'' - 71-76."

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], 220/221.

53.1 - 56.8 Full ... air.] "Many parallels have been cited [...]" H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"Many parallels have been cited for this passage. Perhaps the closest (if Gray had read it, and the concept and phrasing are not unusual) is the one by Celio Magno (1536-1602) cited in O. Shepard and P. S. Woods, eds., English Prose and Poetry, 1660-1800 (Boston, 1934), pp. 1007-8:

Ma (qual in parte ignota
Ben ricca gemma altrui cela il suo pregio,
O fior, ch' alta virtu ha in se riposta
Visse in sen di castita nascosta,)
In sua virtute e 'n Dio contento visse,
Lunge dal visco mondan, che l' alma intrica.
[But (as in an unknown place
A very rich gem conceals its value from its neighbour,
Or a flower, which has great virtue reposed in it,
Has lived hidden in the bosom of chastity,)
He lived content in his virtue and in God
Far from the worldly birdlime which entangles the soul.]"

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 223.

55.1-9 Full ... unseen,] "Mitford gives these parallels (the [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"Mitford gives these parallels (the exact references are due to Dr Phelps):
William Chamberlayne, Pharonnida (London, 1659, Book IV. canto 5, p. 94):

''Like beauteous flowers which vainly waste the scent
Of odors in unhaunted deserts.''
From Ambrose Philips (1671-1749) The Fable of Thule:
''Like beauteous flowers, which paint the desert glades,
And waste their sweets in unfrequented shades.''
From Young, Universal Passion [1725], Sat. V. ll. 229-232:
''In distant wilds, by human eyes unseen
She rears her flow'rs, and spreads her velvet green.
Pure gurgling rills the lonely desert trace
And waste their music on the savage race.''
Mr Yardley in Notes and Queries (Sept. 1, 1894) suggests that Gray imitated Waller's 'Go, lovely Rose':
''Tell her that's young
And shuns to have her graces spied
That, hadst thou sprung
In deserts where no men abide,
Thou must have uncommended died.''
Perhaps this is the starting-point in the line of succession of the poetical idea for Gray: but it passes through Pope and comes nearer in the form:
''There kept my charms concealed from mortal eye,
Like roses that in deserts bloom and die.''
            Rape of the Lock, iv. 157, 158.
This idea Pope cherished, for he gave it, in an improved form, to Thomson for the Seasons: the lines in the episode of Lavinia, Autumn, 209-214,
''As in the hollow breast of Apennine,
Beneath the shelter of encircling hills,
A myrtle rises, far from human eye,
And breathes its balmy fragrance o'er the hills,
So flourished blooming, and unseen by all,
The sweet Lavinia.''
are to be seen, in a handwriting, probably Pope's, in an interleaved copy of the Seasons (ed. 1738) in the British Museum [C 28 E.] Whether Gray had seen these lines, not published until 1744, will depend upon the date we assign to this portion of the Elegy."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 148/149.

55.1-9 Full ... unseen,] "Cf. also Racine, Athalie Act [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"Cf. also Racine, Athalie Act II. Sc. 9

''Tel en un secret vallon,
Sur le bord d'une onde pure,
Croit a l'abri de l'aquilon,
Un jeune lis, l'amour de la nature.
Loin du monde eleve, de tous les dons des cieux
Il est orne des sa naissance, et du mechant l'abord contagieux
N'altere point son innocence.''
Pope, Thomson and Gray had all read Racine, and this perhaps is the true succession after all."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 292.

55.1 - 56.8 Full ... air.] "Many sources for this famous [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Many sources for this famous image have been suggested: W. Chamberlayne, Pharonnida (1659) IV v: 'Like beauteous flowers which vainly waste the scent / Of odours in unhaunted deserts'; Ambrose Philips, Fable of Thule 39-40: 'Like woodland flowers, which paint the desert glades, / And waste their sweets in unfrequented shades'; Pope, Rape of the Lock iv 157-158: 'There kept my Charms conceal'd from mortal Eye, / Like Roses that in Deserts bloom and die'; Young, Universal Passion v 229-232: 'In distant wilds, by human eyes unseen, / She rears her flowers and spreads her velvet green. / Pure gurgling rills the lonely desert trace, / And waste their music on the savage race'; Thomson, Autumn 211-13: 'A myrtle rises, far from human eye, / And breathes its balmy fragrance o'er the wild - / So flourished blooming, and unseen by all'; Thomson, Liberty i 167-8: 'In vain, forlorn in wilds, the citron blows; / And flowering plants perfume the desert gale.' Cp. also Waller's Go, Lovely Rose 6-15; Racine, Athalie II ix 778-85; J. Armstrong, The Oeconomy of Love 120-1, suggested by J. D. Short, Notes and Queries ccx (1965) 454. Images of both the gem and the flower occur in a canzone, Chi di lagrime un fiume a gli occhi presta, by Celio Magno, a minor sixteenth-century Italian poet. For other suggested parallels with his poetry in G[ray]., see European Mag. I (1806) 295."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 127.

Contribute a note or query

56 And waste its sweetness on the desert air. 10 Explanatory, 2 Textual

49.1 - 64.8 But ... eyes,] "The germ of the four [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"The germ of the four following stanzas is probably to be found in these lines of Waller (to Zelinda):

''Great Julius on the mountains bred,
A flock perhaps or herd had led,
He that the world subdued had been
But the best wrestler on the green.
'Tis art and knowledge which draw forth
The hidden seeds of native worth;
They blow those sparks and make them rise
Into such flames as touch the skies.''
Gray possessed and had studied Waller; he has transferred this thought from a trivial setting, and placed it where it fitly exemplifies the pathos of human life. Cf. Addison, Spectator, 215.
It should be noted that Gray's Cromwell was originally Caesar, Waller's 'Great Julius.'"

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 146.

49.1 - 60.7 But ... blood.] "In E[ton College MS.] these [...]" H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"In E[ton College MS.] these lines are written in this order: 57-60, 49-56, but the numbers 1-4 beside them indicate the present order."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 39.

49.1 - 60.7 But ... blood.] "In Eton ll. 57-60 follow [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"In Eton ll. 57-60 follow l. 48, but the figures 1 to 4 in the margin indicate the present order of the stanzas."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 125.

49.1 - 60.7 But ... blood.] "Tovey cites Addison, Spectator No. [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Tovey cites Addison, Spectator No. 215: 'The Philosopher, the Saint, or the Hero, the Wise, the Good, or the Great Man, very often lie hid and concealed in a Plebean, which a proper Education might have disenterred, and have brought to Light.'"

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 125.

53.1 - 56.8 Full ... air.] "There are a number of [...]" W. Lyon Phelps, 1894.

"There are a number of passages strikingly similar to this. Mitford suggests the following (I give the references more exactly) from Comus, lines 22-23: ''That, like to rich and various gems, inlay / The unadorned bosom of the deep.''
From Ambrose Philips, The Fable of Thule: ''Like woodland flowers, which paint the desert glades, / And waste their sweets in unfrequented shades.''
From William Chamberlayne, Pharonnida (London, 1659), Book iv, canto 5, p. 94: ''Like beauteous flowers which vainly waste the scent / Of odors in unhanted desarts.''
From Bishop Joseph Hall, Contemplations, Book vi, Cont. i (Complete Works, Oxford, 1863, I, 137): ''There is many a rich stone laid up in the bowels of the earth, many a fair pearl laid up in the bosom of the sea, that never was seen nor never shall be.''
Wakefield quotes Pope, Rape of the Lock, iv, 157, 158: ''There kept my charms conceal'd from mortal eye, / Like roses, that in deserts bloom and die.''
A writer in the Gentleman's Magazine for January, 1782, calls attention to the following lines from Young, Love of Fame, Satire v, On Women, lines 229-232:

''In distant wilds, by human eyes unseen,
She rears her flow'rs and spreads her velvet green:
Pure gurgling rills, the lowly desert trace,
And waste their music on the savage race.''"

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, 140.

53.1 - 56.8 Full ... air.] "Various originals have been cited [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"Various originals have been cited for this famous stanza, but often as the thought may have occurred before Gray it is in the form in which he has worded it that it is known the world over. Mitford quotes: -
''There is many a rich stone laid up in the bowels of the earth, many a fair pearl in the bosom of the sea, that never was seen, nor never shall be.'' Bishop Hall's ''Contemplations,'' vi. 872.
A writer in the ''Gentleman's Magazine'' for May, 1782, refers to Young, ''Universal Passion'': -

''In distant wilds, by human eyes unseen,
She rears her flow'rs and spreads her velvet green;
Pure gurgling rills, the lowly desert trace,
And waste their music on the savage race.'' - Sat. v.
Gray introduces ''the gem and the flower'' in his ''Ode at the Installation'' (written nearly twenty years later) thus: -
''Thy liberal heart, thy judging eye,
The flower unheeded shall descry,
And bid it round heaven's altars shed
The fragrance of its blushing head:
Shall raise from earth the latent gem
To glitter on the diadem.'' - 71-76."

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], 220/221.

53.1 - 56.8 Full ... air.] "Many parallels have been cited [...]" H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"Many parallels have been cited for this passage. Perhaps the closest (if Gray had read it, and the concept and phrasing are not unusual) is the one by Celio Magno (1536-1602) cited in O. Shepard and P. S. Woods, eds., English Prose and Poetry, 1660-1800 (Boston, 1934), pp. 1007-8:

Ma (qual in parte ignota
Ben ricca gemma altrui cela il suo pregio,
O fior, ch' alta virtu ha in se riposta
Visse in sen di castita nascosta,)
In sua virtute e 'n Dio contento visse,
Lunge dal visco mondan, che l' alma intrica.
[But (as in an unknown place
A very rich gem conceals its value from its neighbour,
Or a flower, which has great virtue reposed in it,
Has lived hidden in the bosom of chastity,)
He lived content in his virtue and in God
Far from the worldly birdlime which entangles the soul.]"

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 223.

55.1 - 56.8 Full ... air.] "Many sources for this famous [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Many sources for this famous image have been suggested: W. Chamberlayne, Pharonnida (1659) IV v: 'Like beauteous flowers which vainly waste the scent / Of odours in unhaunted deserts'; Ambrose Philips, Fable of Thule 39-40: 'Like woodland flowers, which paint the desert glades, / And waste their sweets in unfrequented shades'; Pope, Rape of the Lock iv 157-158: 'There kept my Charms conceal'd from mortal Eye, / Like Roses that in Deserts bloom and die'; Young, Universal Passion v 229-232: 'In distant wilds, by human eyes unseen, / She rears her flowers and spreads her velvet green. / Pure gurgling rills the lonely desert trace, / And waste their music on the savage race'; Thomson, Autumn 211-13: 'A myrtle rises, far from human eye, / And breathes its balmy fragrance o'er the wild - / So flourished blooming, and unseen by all'; Thomson, Liberty i 167-8: 'In vain, forlorn in wilds, the citron blows; / And flowering plants perfume the desert gale.' Cp. also Waller's Go, Lovely Rose 6-15; Racine, Athalie II ix 778-85; J. Armstrong, The Oeconomy of Love 120-1, suggested by J. D. Short, Notes and Queries ccx (1965) 454. Images of both the gem and the flower occur in a canzone, Chi di lagrime un fiume a gli occhi presta, by Celio Magno, a minor sixteenth-century Italian poet. For other suggested parallels with his poetry in G[ray]., see European Mag. I (1806) 295."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 127.

56.1-8 And ... air.] "This line almost immediately became [...]" W. Lyon Phelps, 1894.

"This line almost immediately became proverbial."

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, 140.

56.1-8 And ... air.] "This line occurs in Churchill's [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"This line occurs in Churchill's ''Gotham,'' ii. 19, 20, published 1764, by which time it was probably a familiar quotation: - ''So that they neither give a tawdry glare, / 'Nor waste their sweetness on the desert air.' ''"

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], 221.

56.1-8 And ... air.] "Wakefield compares Pindar, Ol. I. [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"Wakefield compares Pindar, Ol. I. 10, [Greek line (omitted)]; and Rogers, Macbeth, IV. 3. 194,

        ''I have words
That would be howl'd out into the desert air.''
This line, as the present editor pointed out to Dr Bradshaw, soon became proverbial. It is found in Churchill's Gotham, 1764:
''So that they neither give a tawdry glare
Nor 'waste their sweetness on the desert air.' '' "

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 149.

56.1-8 And ... air.] "'The desert air', Macbeth IV [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"'The desert air', Macbeth IV iii 194."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 127.

Contribute a note or query


57 Some village-Hampden, that with dauntless breast 11 Explanatory, 8 Textual

49.1 - 64.8 But ... eyes,] "The germ of the four [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"The germ of the four following stanzas is probably to be found in these lines of Waller (to Zelinda):

''Great Julius on the mountains bred,
A flock perhaps or herd had led,
He that the world subdued had been
But the best wrestler on the green.
'Tis art and knowledge which draw forth
The hidden seeds of native worth;
They blow those sparks and make them rise
Into such flames as touch the skies.''
Gray possessed and had studied Waller; he has transferred this thought from a trivial setting, and placed it where it fitly exemplifies the pathos of human life. Cf. Addison, Spectator, 215.
It should be noted that Gray's Cromwell was originally Caesar, Waller's 'Great Julius.'"

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 146.

49.1 - 60.7 But ... blood.] "In E[ton College MS.] these [...]" H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"In E[ton College MS.] these lines are written in this order: 57-60, 49-56, but the numbers 1-4 beside them indicate the present order."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 39.

49.1 - 60.7 But ... blood.] "In Eton ll. 57-60 follow [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"In Eton ll. 57-60 follow l. 48, but the figures 1 to 4 in the margin indicate the present order of the stanzas."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 125.

49.1 - 60.7 But ... blood.] "Tovey cites Addison, Spectator No. [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Tovey cites Addison, Spectator No. 215: 'The Philosopher, the Saint, or the Hero, the Wise, the Good, or the Great Man, very often lie hid and concealed in a Plebean, which a proper Education might have disenterred, and have brought to Light.'"

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 125.

57.1 - 60.7 Some ... blood.] "See remark in Introduction, p. [...]" W. Lyon Phelps, 1894.

"See remark in Introduction, p. xxvi, on this passage. Observe that Gray praises Hampden more than Cromwell, who was at that time still generally misunderstood. John Hampden, who lived in the same county that contained this church-yard, refused in 1636 to pay the ship-money tax levied by King Charles I."

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, 140/141.

57.1 - 60.7 Some ... blood.] "For the allusions to Hampden [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"For the allusions to Hampden (1594-1643), Milton (1608-1674), and Cromwell (1599-1658), the student should refer to a History.
Instead of these three names there are, in the Original MS., Cato, Tully, and Caesar; but the change to well-known characters of our own country has added to the vividness as well as fixed the nationality of a poem that has been translated into so many languages.
It is noteworthy that both Hampden and Milton lived in Buckinghamshire - the county in which is the Stoke-Poges Churchyard. Hampden was M.P. for Buckingham, and it was as a resident of that county that he refused to pay ship money. Chalfont, in which is the cottage where Milton finished ''Paradise Lost,'' is only a few miles from the ''Churchyard'' of the ''Elegy.''
Mitford quotes the following from Plautus as the thought in brief of this stanza and lines 45-48: - ''Ut saepe summa ingenia in occulto latent, / Hic qualis imperator, nunc privatus est.'' - Captiv. iv. 2."

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], 221/222.

57.1 - 60.7 Some ... blood.] "Why did Gray [in the [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"Why did Gray [in the Fraser MS.] select Cato? I think (and this tends to confirm my notion that his original was Waller) it was because in the order of his thoughts, though not of his setting of them, he began with Caesar. This suggests Cato of Utica, and his resistance to Caesar's tyranny. Otherwise the withstander of the 'tyrant of the fields' might well have found his greater counterpart in Gracchus, as the champion of the fast dwindling class of small landed proprietors against the large landowners of Italy. It is both for this reason, and because Cato, a true oligarch and the opponent of the popular party in Rome, was no fitting analogue to Hampden that Munro in translating this line, instead of reverting to Gray's original hero, writes:

''forsitan hic olim intrepido qui pectore ruris
restiterat parvo Graccus agrestis ero
vel mutus sine honore Maro, vel Julius alter
immunis patrii sanguinis ille, cubet.''
Of course Virgil was inevitable as the counterpart to Milton. But note that both in Gray's first conception and in his second his types are all contemporary; Caesar, Cato, Cicero suggested one another irresistibly to his student-mind, and it must not be forgotten that the debates on the Catilinarian conspiracy bring precisely these three names into prominence in the pages of Sallust. When he changed his terrain Gray again sought and found contemporaries; with the additional link in common that Hampden, Milton, Cromwell, were all associated in the same cause, and all, in some sense, champions of liberty.
By a happy coincidence the English examples which Gray substituted for the Roman had all some connection with the neighbourhood of Gray's churchyard. It was at Horton, which is at no great distance from Stoke Pogis, that Milton in his younger days composed L'Allegro, Il Penseroso, Arcades, Comus, Lycidas; it was to Chalfont St Giles within a few miles of the churchyard that in his old age he retired from the Great Plague of London with the finished MS. of Paradise Lost. Hampden was a Buckinghamshire squire, his family seat was Great Hampden, in the hundred of Aylesbury, he represented first Wendover, and then the county in Parliament. Cromwell was his cousin, and often visited both Hampden and his sister, Mrs Waller (the mother of the poet), who lived at Beaconsfield [footnote: ''Waller's mother, though related to Cromwell and Hampden, was zealous for the royal cause, and when Cromwell visited her used to reproach him; he in return would throw a napkin at her, and say he would not dispute with his aunt [i.e. cousin]: but finding in time that she acted for the king as well as talked he made her a prisoner to her own daughter, in her own house.'' Johnson's Waller in Lives of the Poets.]. Mitford records a line of Gray's in pencil:
The rude Columbus of an infant world.
This is possibly an afterthought for another stanza (of which it might have formed the first line), pointing to other lines of enterprise in embryo.
We lack a context by which to determine the sense of 'an infant world,' which may be used much as Berkeley writes of 'happy climes the seat of innocence,' or of 'Time's noblest offspring' as 'the last.' But on more general grounds we may safely conjecture that Gray had some thought of developing amid humbler scenes the picture sketched in the Eton Ode of those 'bold adventurers' [ll. 35-37]
        ''who disdain
The limits of their little reign
And unknown regions dare descry.''
One thinks of Wordsworth's Blind Highland Boy, who had heard how, in a tortoise-shell,
''An English boy, oh thought of bliss!
Had stoutly launch'd from shore,''
and was tempted to follow his example."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 149-151.

57.1 - 60.7 Some ... blood.] "In Table-talk, Guardian Newspaper of [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"In Table-talk, Guardian Newspaper of Jan. 25, 1871, under the head ''Stanzas published in great poems and afterwards rejected'' there are given besides the well-known lines ''There scattered oft,'' &c. which Gray indeed wrote but never published, the following which he certainly neither wrote nor published:

''Some rural Laïs, with all conquering charms,
    Perhaps now moulders in this grassy bourne,
Some Helen, vain to set the fields in arms,
    Some Emma dead, of gentle love forlorn.''
(I owe this quotation to the Rev. Lewis Hensley, Vicar of Hitchin.)
There is no trace whatever, as far as I can discover, connecting these lines with Gray. They seem to be the work of some early champion of the claims of Womanhood.
The stanza in Fraser MS. follows l. 48 of present 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], 292.

57.1 - 60.7 Some ... blood.] "From the original manuscript, now [...]" J. Crofts, 1948 [1st ed. 1926].

"From the original manuscript, now preserved at Eton College, it appears that for Hampden he first wrote 'Cato', for Milton 'Tully', and for Cromwell 'Caesar'. His second thoughts were, as usual, an improvement."

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], 166.

57.1-6 Some ... breast] "Dryden has: 'with dauntless breast [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Dryden has: 'with dauntless breast / Contemn the bad, and Emulate the best', To Kneller 79-80; and 'Stems a wild Deluge with a dauntless brest', Eleonora 362."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 127.

57.1 - 60.7 Some ... blood.] "These lines on unfulfilled greatness [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"These lines on unfulfilled greatness among the villagers have been compared to Dryden, Annus Mirabilis 849-54: 'As when some dire Usurper Heav'n provides, / To scourge his Country with a lawless sway: / His birth, perhaps, some petty Village hides, / And sets his Cradle out of Fortune's way: // Till fully ripe his swelling fate breaks out, / And hurries him to mighty mischief on'; and Shenstone, The Schoolmistress (1745) st. xxvii-xxix, in which 'The firm fixed breast which fit and right requires, / Like Vernon's patriot soul', a potential Milton, and other great men are seen in embryo among the schoolchildren. Thomson's panegyric of England's 'sons of glory' in Summer 1488-91, 1493, includes: 'a steady More, / Who, with a generous though mistaken zeal, / Withstood a brutal tyrant's useful rage; / Like Cato firm ... / A dauntless soul erect, who smiled on death.' Thomson goes on to mention in this passage (not expanded to this form until 1744) Hampden, l. 1515: 'Wise, strenuous, firm, of unsubmitting soul'; and Milton, ll. 1567-71. As is shown below, G[ray].'s instances of greatness were originally classical in the Eton MS. The alteration to Hampden, Milton and Cromwell corresponds to the fact that the continuation of the poem after the original ending is markedly less classical and more English in character. But G. also wanted examples of greatness which had proved dangerous to society (as opposed to the innocence of the villagers) and the Civil War, 100 years earlier, provided him with three convenient examples. For all their individual qualities, these three men had been responsible in one way or another for bringing turmoil to their country. Without assenting to the identification of the churchyard with Stoke Poges, it is possible to accept Tovey's suggestion that G. may also have been influenced to some extent by the Buckinghamshire connections of Milton, who spent several early years at Horton, and Hampden, whose family home was at Great Hampden, where he was often visited by Cromwell."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 127/128.

57.2 village-Hampden,] "Cato. - Mason MS." E. Gosse, 1884.

"Cato. - Mason MS."

The Works of Thomas Gray: In Prose and Verse. Ed. by Edmund Gosse, in four vols. London: MacMillan and Co., 1884, vol. i, 76.

57.2 village-Hampden,] "Cato. - Original MS. [Mason [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"Cato. - Original MS. [Mason 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], 230.

57.2 village-Hampden,] "The line in Fraser MS. [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"The line in Fraser MS. stands thus: 'Some village Cato         with dauntless Breast.' the missing word is, I suppose, either now invisible or was never written. (I have only seen the facsimile.) [Footnote: ''See additional note, p. 292.'']"

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 149.

57.2 village-Hampden,] "Cato E[ton College MS.]." H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"Cato E[ton College MS.]."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 39.

57.2 village-Hampden,] "John Hampden (1594-1643)." H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"John Hampden (1594-1643)."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 223.

57.2 village-Hampden,] "Cato   Eton." R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Cato   Eton."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 127.

57.2 village-Hampden,] "a champion of civil liberty [...]" J. Reeves, 1973.

"a champion of civil liberty in the time of Charles I."

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, 112.

57.2 village-Hampden,] "John Hampden (1594-1643), imprisoned in [...]" J. Heath-Stubbs, 1981.

"John Hampden (1594-1643), imprisoned in 1627 for refusing to pay a share of a forced loan by Charles I."

Thomas Gray: Selected Poems. Ed. by John Heath-Stubbs. Manchester: Carcanet New Press Ltd., 1981, 77.

Contribute a note or query

58 The little tyrant of his fields withstood; 8 Explanatory, 6 Textual

49.1 - 64.8 But ... eyes,] "The germ of the four [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"The germ of the four following stanzas is probably to be found in these lines of Waller (to Zelinda):

''Great Julius on the mountains bred,
A flock perhaps or herd had led,
He that the world subdued had been
But the best wrestler on the green.
'Tis art and knowledge which draw forth
The hidden seeds of native worth;
They blow those sparks and make them rise
Into such flames as touch the skies.''
Gray possessed and had studied Waller; he has transferred this thought from a trivial setting, and placed it where it fitly exemplifies the pathos of human life. Cf. Addison, Spectator, 215.
It should be noted that Gray's Cromwell was originally Caesar, Waller's 'Great Julius.'"

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 146.

49.1 - 60.7 But ... blood.] "In E[ton College MS.] these [...]" H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"In E[ton College MS.] these lines are written in this order: 57-60, 49-56, but the numbers 1-4 beside them indicate the present order."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 39.

49.1 - 60.7 But ... blood.] "In Eton ll. 57-60 follow [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"In Eton ll. 57-60 follow l. 48, but the figures 1 to 4 in the margin indicate the present order of the stanzas."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 125.

49.1 - 60.7 But ... blood.] "Tovey cites Addison, Spectator No. [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Tovey cites Addison, Spectator No. 215: 'The Philosopher, the Saint, or the Hero, the Wise, the Good, or the Great Man, very often lie hid and concealed in a Plebean, which a proper Education might have disenterred, and have brought to Light.'"

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 125.

57.1 - 60.7 Some ... blood.] "See remark in Introduction, p. [...]" W. Lyon Phelps, 1894.

"See remark in Introduction, p. xxvi, on this passage. Observe that Gray praises Hampden more than Cromwell, who was at that time still generally misunderstood. John Hampden, who lived in the same county that contained this church-yard, refused in 1636 to pay the ship-money tax levied by King Charles I."

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, 140/141.

57.1 - 60.7 Some ... blood.] "For the allusions to Hampden [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"For the allusions to Hampden (1594-1643), Milton (1608-1674), and Cromwell (1599-1658), the student should refer to a History.
Instead of these three names there are, in the Original MS., Cato, Tully, and Caesar; but the change to well-known characters of our own country has added to the vividness as well as fixed the nationality of a poem that has been translated into so many languages.
It is noteworthy that both Hampden and Milton lived in Buckinghamshire - the county in which is the Stoke-Poges Churchyard. Hampden was M.P. for Buckingham, and it was as a resident of that county that he refused to pay ship money. Chalfont, in which is the cottage where Milton finished ''Paradise Lost,'' is only a few miles from the ''Churchyard'' of the ''Elegy.''
Mitford quotes the following from Plautus as the thought in brief of this stanza and lines 45-48: - ''Ut saepe summa ingenia in occulto latent, / Hic qualis imperator, nunc privatus est.'' - Captiv. iv. 2."

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], 221/222.

57.1 - 60.7 Some ... blood.] "Why did Gray [in the [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"Why did Gray [in the Fraser MS.] select Cato? I think (and this tends to confirm my notion that his original was Waller) it was because in the order of his thoughts, though not of his setting of them, he began with Caesar. This suggests Cato of Utica, and his resistance to Caesar's tyranny. Otherwise the withstander of the 'tyrant of the fields' might well have found his greater counterpart in Gracchus, as the champion of the fast dwindling class of small landed proprietors against the large landowners of Italy. It is both for this reason, and because Cato, a true oligarch and the opponent of the popular party in Rome, was no fitting analogue to Hampden that Munro in translating this line, instead of reverting to Gray's original hero, writes:

''forsitan hic olim intrepido qui pectore ruris
restiterat parvo Graccus agrestis ero
vel mutus sine honore Maro, vel Julius alter
immunis patrii sanguinis ille, cubet.''
Of course Virgil was inevitable as the counterpart to Milton. But note that both in Gray's first conception and in his second his types are all contemporary; Caesar, Cato, Cicero suggested one another irresistibly to his student-mind, and it must not be forgotten that the debates on the Catilinarian conspiracy bring precisely these three names into prominence in the pages of Sallust. When he changed his terrain Gray again sought and found contemporaries; with the additional link in common that Hampden, Milton, Cromwell, were all associated in the same cause, and all, in some sense, champions of liberty.
By a happy coincidence the English examples which Gray substituted for the Roman had all some connection with the neighbourhood of Gray's churchyard. It was at Horton, which is at no great distance from Stoke Pogis, that Milton in his younger days composed L'Allegro, Il Penseroso, Arcades, Comus, Lycidas; it was to Chalfont St Giles within a few miles of the churchyard that in his old age he retired from the Great Plague of London with the finished MS. of Paradise Lost. Hampden was a Buckinghamshire squire, his family seat was Great Hampden, in the hundred of Aylesbury, he represented first Wendover, and then the county in Parliament. Cromwell was his cousin, and often visited both Hampden and his sister, Mrs Waller (the mother of the poet), who lived at Beaconsfield [footnote: ''Waller's mother, though related to Cromwell and Hampden, was zealous for the royal cause, and when Cromwell visited her used to reproach him; he in return would throw a napkin at her, and say he would not dispute with his aunt [i.e. cousin]: but finding in time that she acted for the king as well as talked he made her a prisoner to her own daughter, in her own house.'' Johnson's Waller in Lives of the Poets.]. Mitford records a line of Gray's in pencil:
The rude Columbus of an infant world.
This is possibly an afterthought for another stanza (of which it might have formed the first line), pointing to other lines of enterprise in embryo.
We lack a context by which to determine the sense of 'an infant world,' which may be used much as Berkeley writes of 'happy climes the seat of innocence,' or of 'Time's noblest offspring' as 'the last.' But on more general grounds we may safely conjecture that Gray had some thought of developing amid humbler scenes the picture sketched in the Eton Ode of those 'bold adventurers' [ll. 35-37]
        ''who disdain
The limits of their little reign
And unknown regions dare descry.''
One thinks of Wordsworth's Blind Highland Boy, who had heard how, in a tortoise-shell,
''An English boy, oh thought of bliss!
Had stoutly launch'd from shore,''
and was tempted to follow his example."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 149-151.

57.1 - 60.7 Some ... blood.] "In Table-talk, Guardian Newspaper of [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"In Table-talk, Guardian Newspaper of Jan. 25, 1871, under the head ''Stanzas published in great poems and afterwards rejected'' there are given besides the well-known lines ''There scattered oft,'' &c. which Gray indeed wrote but never published, the following which he certainly neither wrote nor published:

''Some rural Laïs, with all conquering charms,
    Perhaps now moulders in this grassy bourne,
Some Helen, vain to set the fields in arms,
    Some Emma dead, of gentle love forlorn.''
(I owe this quotation to the Rev. Lewis Hensley, Vicar of Hitchin.)
There is no trace whatever, as far as I can discover, connecting these lines with Gray. They seem to be the work of some early champion of the claims of Womanhood.
The stanza in Fraser MS. follows l. 48 of present 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], 292.

57.1 - 60.7 Some ... blood.] "From the original manuscript, now [...]" J. Crofts, 1948 [1st ed. 1926].

"From the original manuscript, now preserved at Eton College, it appears that for Hampden he first wrote 'Cato', for Milton 'Tully', and for Cromwell 'Caesar'. His second thoughts were, as usual, an improvement."

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], 166.

57.1 - 60.7 Some ... blood.] "These lines on unfulfilled greatness [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"These lines on unfulfilled greatness among the villagers have been compared to Dryden, Annus Mirabilis 849-54: 'As when some dire Usurper Heav'n provides, / To scourge his Country with a lawless sway: / His birth, perhaps, some petty Village hides, / And sets his Cradle out of Fortune's way: // Till fully ripe his swelling fate breaks out, / And hurries him to mighty mischief on'; and Shenstone, The Schoolmistress (1745) st. xxvii-xxix, in which 'The firm fixed breast which fit and right requires, / Like Vernon's patriot soul', a potential Milton, and other great men are seen in embryo among the schoolchildren. Thomson's panegyric of England's 'sons of glory' in Summer 1488-91, 1493, includes: 'a steady More, / Who, with a generous though mistaken zeal, / Withstood a brutal tyrant's useful rage; / Like Cato firm ... / A dauntless soul erect, who smiled on death.' Thomson goes on to mention in this passage (not expanded to this form until 1744) Hampden, l. 1515: 'Wise, strenuous, firm, of unsubmitting soul'; and Milton, ll. 1567-71. As is shown below, G[ray].'s instances of greatness were originally classical in the Eton MS. The alteration to Hampden, Milton and Cromwell corresponds to the fact that the continuation of the poem after the original ending is markedly less classical and more English in character. But G. also wanted examples of greatness which had proved dangerous to society (as opposed to the innocence of the villagers) and the Civil War, 100 years earlier, provided him with three convenient examples. For all their individual qualities, these three men had been responsible in one way or another for bringing turmoil to their country. Without assenting to the identification of the churchyard with Stoke Poges, it is possible to accept Tovey's suggestion that G. may also have been influenced to some extent by the Buckinghamshire connections of Milton, who spent several early years at Horton, and Hampden, whose family home was at Great Hampden, where he was often visited by Cromwell."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 127/128.

58.1-7 The ... withstood;] "In C[ommonplace] B[ook] Fields is [...]" H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"In C[ommonplace] B[ook] Fields is written above a deleted word, probably Lands."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 39.

58.1-7 The ... withstood;] "G.'s meaning is best explained [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"G.'s meaning is best explained by a passage in Blair's The Grave 219-23: 'Here too the petty tyrant, / Whose scant domains geographer ne'er noticed, / And, well for neighbouring grounds, of arm as short, / Who fixed his iron talons on the poor, / And gripped them like some lordly beast of prey ...'"

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 128.

58.6 fields] "lands erased in Pembroke MS." D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"lands erased in Pembroke 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], 151.

58.6 fields] "written above Lands deleted in [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"written above Lands deleted in 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, 128.

Contribute a note or query

59 Some mute inglorious Milton here may rest, 9 Explanatory, 8 Textual

49.1 - 64.8 But ... eyes,] "The germ of the four [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"The germ of the four following stanzas is probably to be found in these lines of Waller (to Zelinda):

''Great Julius on the mountains bred,
A flock perhaps or herd had led,
He that the world subdued had been
But the best wrestler on the green.
'Tis art and knowledge which draw forth
The hidden seeds of native worth;
They blow those sparks and make them rise
Into such flames as touch the skies.''
Gray possessed and had studied Waller; he has transferred this thought from a trivial setting, and placed it where it fitly exemplifies the pathos of human life. Cf. Addison, Spectator, 215.
It should be noted that Gray's Cromwell was originally Caesar, Waller's 'Great Julius.'"

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 146.

49.1 - 60.7 But ... blood.] "In E[ton College MS.] these [...]" H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"In E[ton College MS.] these lines are written in this order: 57-60, 49-56, but the numbers 1-4 beside them indicate the present order."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 39.

49.1 - 60.7 But ... blood.] "In Eton ll. 57-60 follow [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"In Eton ll. 57-60 follow l. 48, but the figures 1 to 4 in the margin indicate the present order of the stanzas."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 125.

49.1 - 60.7 But ... blood.] "Tovey cites Addison, Spectator No. [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Tovey cites Addison, Spectator No. 215: 'The Philosopher, the Saint, or the Hero, the Wise, the Good, or the Great Man, very often lie hid and concealed in a Plebean, which a proper Education might have disenterred, and have brought to Light.'"

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 125.

57.1 - 60.7 Some ... blood.] "See remark in Introduction, p. [...]" W. Lyon Phelps, 1894.

"See remark in Introduction, p. xxvi, on this passage. Observe that Gray praises Hampden more than Cromwell, who was at that time still generally misunderstood. John Hampden, who lived in the same county that contained this church-yard, refused in 1636 to pay the ship-money tax levied by King Charles I."

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, 140/141.

57.1 - 60.7 Some ... blood.] "For the allusions to Hampden [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"For the allusions to Hampden (1594-1643), Milton (1608-1674), and Cromwell (1599-1658), the student should refer to a History.
Instead of these three names there are, in the Original MS., Cato, Tully, and Caesar; but the change to well-known characters of our own country has added to the vividness as well as fixed the nationality of a poem that has been translated into so many languages.
It is noteworthy that both Hampden and Milton lived in Buckinghamshire - the county in which is the Stoke-Poges Churchyard. Hampden was M.P. for Buckingham, and it was as a resident of that county that he refused to pay ship money. Chalfont, in which is the cottage where Milton finished ''Paradise Lost,'' is only a few miles from the ''Churchyard'' of the ''Elegy.''
Mitford quotes the following from Plautus as the thought in brief of this stanza and lines 45-48: - ''Ut saepe summa ingenia in occulto latent, / Hic qualis imperator, nunc privatus est.'' - Captiv. iv. 2."

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], 221/222.

57.1 - 60.7 Some ... blood.] "Why did Gray [in the [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"Why did Gray [in the Fraser MS.] select Cato? I think (and this tends to confirm my notion that his original was Waller) it was because in the order of his thoughts, though not of his setting of them, he began with Caesar. This suggests Cato of Utica, and his resistance to Caesar's tyranny. Otherwise the withstander of the 'tyrant of the fields' might well have found his greater counterpart in Gracchus, as the champion of the fast dwindling class of small landed proprietors against the large landowners of Italy. It is both for this reason, and because Cato, a true oligarch and the opponent of the popular party in Rome, was no fitting analogue to Hampden that Munro in translating this line, instead of reverting to Gray's original hero, writes:

''forsitan hic olim intrepido qui pectore ruris
restiterat parvo Graccus agrestis ero
vel mutus sine honore Maro, vel Julius alter
immunis patrii sanguinis ille, cubet.''
Of course Virgil was inevitable as the counterpart to Milton. But note that both in Gray's first conception and in his second his types are all contemporary; Caesar, Cato, Cicero suggested one another irresistibly to his student-mind, and it must not be forgotten that the debates on the Catilinarian conspiracy bring precisely these three names into prominence in the pages of Sallust. When he changed his terrain Gray again sought and found contemporaries; with the additional link in common that Hampden, Milton, Cromwell, were all associated in the same cause, and all, in some sense, champions of liberty.
By a happy coincidence the English examples which Gray substituted for the Roman had all some connection with the neighbourhood of Gray's churchyard. It was at Horton, which is at no great distance from Stoke Pogis, that Milton in his younger days composed L'Allegro, Il Penseroso, Arcades, Comus, Lycidas; it was to Chalfont St Giles within a few miles of the churchyard that in his old age he retired from the Great Plague of London with the finished MS. of Paradise Lost. Hampden was a Buckinghamshire squire, his family seat was Great Hampden, in the hundred of Aylesbury, he represented first Wendover, and then the county in Parliament. Cromwell was his cousin, and often visited both Hampden and his sister, Mrs Waller (the mother of the poet), who lived at Beaconsfield [footnote: ''Waller's mother, though related to Cromwell and Hampden, was zealous for the royal cause, and when Cromwell visited her used to reproach him; he in return would throw a napkin at her, and say he would not dispute with his aunt [i.e. cousin]: but finding in time that she acted for the king as well as talked he made her a prisoner to her own daughter, in her own house.'' Johnson's Waller in Lives of the Poets.]. Mitford records a line of Gray's in pencil:
The rude Columbus of an infant world.
This is possibly an afterthought for another stanza (of which it might have formed the first line), pointing to other lines of enterprise in embryo.
We lack a context by which to determine the sense of 'an infant world,' which may be used much as Berkeley writes of 'happy climes the seat of innocence,' or of 'Time's noblest offspring' as 'the last.' But on more general grounds we may safely conjecture that Gray had some thought of developing amid humbler scenes the picture sketched in the Eton Ode of those 'bold adventurers' [ll. 35-37]
        ''who disdain
The limits of their little reign
And unknown regions dare descry.''
One thinks of Wordsworth's Blind Highland Boy, who had heard how, in a tortoise-shell,
''An English boy, oh thought of bliss!
Had stoutly launch'd from shore,''
and was tempted to follow his example."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 149-151.

57.1 - 60.7 Some ... blood.] "In Table-talk, Guardian Newspaper of [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"In Table-talk, Guardian Newspaper of Jan. 25, 1871, under the head ''Stanzas published in great poems and afterwards rejected'' there are given besides the well-known lines ''There scattered oft,'' &c. which Gray indeed wrote but never published, the following which he certainly neither wrote nor published:

''Some rural Laïs, with all conquering charms,
    Perhaps now moulders in this grassy bourne,
Some Helen, vain to set the fields in arms,
    Some Emma dead, of gentle love forlorn.''
(I owe this quotation to the Rev. Lewis Hensley, Vicar of Hitchin.)
There is no trace whatever, as far as I can discover, connecting these lines with Gray. They seem to be the work of some early champion of the claims of Womanhood.
The stanza in Fraser MS. follows l. 48 of present 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], 292.

57.1 - 60.7 Some ... blood.] "From the original manuscript, now [...]" J. Crofts, 1948 [1st ed. 1926].

"From the original manuscript, now preserved at Eton College, it appears that for Hampden he first wrote 'Cato', for Milton 'Tully', and for Cromwell 'Caesar'. His second thoughts were, as usual, an improvement."

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], 166.

57.1 - 60.7 Some ... blood.] "These lines on unfulfilled greatness [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"These lines on unfulfilled greatness among the villagers have been compared to Dryden, Annus Mirabilis 849-54: 'As when some dire Usurper Heav'n provides, / To scourge his Country with a lawless sway: / His birth, perhaps, some petty Village hides, / And sets his Cradle out of Fortune's way: // Till fully ripe his swelling fate breaks out, / And hurries him to mighty mischief on'; and Shenstone, The Schoolmistress (1745) st. xxvii-xxix, in which 'The firm fixed breast which fit and right requires, / Like Vernon's patriot soul', a potential Milton, and other great men are seen in embryo among the schoolchildren. Thomson's panegyric of England's 'sons of glory' in Summer 1488-91, 1493, includes: 'a steady More, / Who, with a generous though mistaken zeal, / Withstood a brutal tyrant's useful rage; / Like Cato firm ... / A dauntless soul erect, who smiled on death.' Thomson goes on to mention in this passage (not expanded to this form until 1744) Hampden, l. 1515: 'Wise, strenuous, firm, of unsubmitting soul'; and Milton, ll. 1567-71. As is shown below, G[ray].'s instances of greatness were originally classical in the Eton MS. The alteration to Hampden, Milton and Cromwell corresponds to the fact that the continuation of the poem after the original ending is markedly less classical and more English in character. But G. also wanted examples of greatness which had proved dangerous to society (as opposed to the innocence of the villagers) and the Civil War, 100 years earlier, provided him with three convenient examples. For all their individual qualities, these three men had been responsible in one way or another for bringing turmoil to their country. Without assenting to the identification of the churchyard with Stoke Poges, it is possible to accept Tovey's suggestion that G. may also have been influenced to some extent by the Buckinghamshire connections of Milton, who spent several early years at Horton, and Hampden, whose family home was at Great Hampden, where he was often visited by Cromwell."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 127/128.

59.2-4 mute ... Milton] "The glorious Milton rested for [...]" W. Lyon Phelps, 1894.

"The glorious Milton rested for some time in a cottage in the little village of Chalfont St. Giles, where he finished Paradise Lost. This cottage is a very short distance from Stoke Poges."

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, 141.

59.3-4 inglorious Milton] "Cp. Virgil, Aeneid xii 397: [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Cp. Virgil, Aeneid xii 397: et mutas agitare inglorius artis (and to ply, inglorious, the silent arts); inglorius also occurs in Georgics ii 486, in the passage (0 fortunatos nimium) which underlies this central section of the poem (see ll. 67-72): flumina amem silvasque inglorius (may I love the waters and the woods, though fame be lost). (See l. 75 n.) See also E. Phillips, Preface to Theatrum Poetarum (see ll. 33-6 n): 'there is some thing of compassion due to extinguisht vertue, and the loss of many ingenuous, elaborate, and useful Works, and even the very names of some, who having perhaps been comparable to Homer for Heroic Poesy, or to Euripides for Tragedy, yet nevertheless sleep inglorious in the croud of the forgotten vulgar.'"

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 128.

59.4 Milton] "Tully. - Mason MS." E. Gosse, 1884.

"Tully. - Mason MS."

The Works of Thomas Gray: In Prose and Verse. Ed. by Edmund Gosse, in four vols. London: MacMillan and Co., 1884, vol. i, 76.

59.4 Milton] "Tully. - Original MS. [Mason [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"Tully. - Original MS. [Mason 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], 230.

59.4 Milton] "Tully   Fraser MS." D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"Tully   Fraser 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], 151.

59.4 Milton] "Tully E[ton College MS.]." H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"Tully E[ton College MS.]."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 39.

59.4 Milton] "Tully   Eton." R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Tully   Eton."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 128.

Contribute a note or query

60 Some Cromwell guiltless of his country's blood. 8 Explanatory, 8 Textual

49.1 - 64.8 But ... eyes,] "The germ of the four [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"The germ of the four following stanzas is probably to be found in these lines of Waller (to Zelinda):

''Great Julius on the mountains bred,
A flock perhaps or herd had led,
He that the world subdued had been
But the best wrestler on the green.
'Tis art and knowledge which draw forth
The hidden seeds of native worth;
They blow those sparks and make them rise
Into such flames as touch the skies.''
Gray possessed and had studied Waller; he has transferred this thought from a trivial setting, and placed it where it fitly exemplifies the pathos of human life. Cf. Addison, Spectator, 215.
It should be noted that Gray's Cromwell was originally Caesar, Waller's 'Great Julius.'"

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 146.

49.1 - 60.7 But ... blood.] "In E[ton College MS.] these [...]" H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"In E[ton College MS.] these lines are written in this order: 57-60, 49-56, but the numbers 1-4 beside them indicate the present order."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 39.

49.1 - 60.7 But ... blood.] "In Eton ll. 57-60 follow [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"In Eton ll. 57-60 follow l. 48, but the figures 1 to 4 in the margin indicate the present order of the stanzas."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 125.

49.1 - 60.7 But ... blood.] "Tovey cites Addison, Spectator No. [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Tovey cites Addison, Spectator No. 215: 'The Philosopher, the Saint, or the Hero, the Wise, the Good, or the Great Man, very often lie hid and concealed in a Plebean, which a proper Education might have disenterred, and have brought to Light.'"

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 125.

57.1 - 60.7 Some ... blood.] "See remark in Introduction, p. [...]" W. Lyon Phelps, 1894.

"See remark in Introduction, p. xxvi, on this passage. Observe that Gray praises Hampden more than Cromwell, who was at that time still generally misunderstood. John Hampden, who lived in the same county that contained this church-yard, refused in 1636 to pay the ship-money tax levied by King Charles I."

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, 140/141.

57.1 - 60.7 Some ... blood.] "For the allusions to Hampden [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"For the allusions to Hampden (1594-1643), Milton (1608-1674), and Cromwell (1599-1658), the student should refer to a History.
Instead of these three names there are, in the Original MS., Cato, Tully, and Caesar; but the change to well-known characters of our own country has added to the vividness as well as fixed the nationality of a poem that has been translated into so many languages.
It is noteworthy that both Hampden and Milton lived in Buckinghamshire - the county in which is the Stoke-Poges Churchyard. Hampden was M.P. for Buckingham, and it was as a resident of that county that he refused to pay ship money. Chalfont, in which is the cottage where Milton finished ''Paradise Lost,'' is only a few miles from the ''Churchyard'' of the ''Elegy.''
Mitford quotes the following from Plautus as the thought in brief of this stanza and lines 45-48: - ''Ut saepe summa ingenia in occulto latent, / Hic qualis imperator, nunc privatus est.'' - Captiv. iv. 2."

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], 221/222.

57.1 - 60.7 Some ... blood.] "Why did Gray [in the [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"Why did Gray [in the Fraser MS.] select Cato? I think (and this tends to confirm my notion that his original was Waller) it was because in the order of his thoughts, though not of his setting of them, he began with Caesar. This suggests Cato of Utica, and his resistance to Caesar's tyranny. Otherwise the withstander of the 'tyrant of the fields' might well have found his greater counterpart in Gracchus, as the champion of the fast dwindling class of small landed proprietors against the large landowners of Italy. It is both for this reason, and because Cato, a true oligarch and the opponent of the popular party in Rome, was no fitting analogue to Hampden that Munro in translating this line, instead of reverting to Gray's original hero, writes:

''forsitan hic olim intrepido qui pectore ruris
restiterat parvo Graccus agrestis ero
vel mutus sine honore Maro, vel Julius alter
immunis patrii sanguinis ille, cubet.''
Of course Virgil was inevitable as the counterpart to Milton. But note that both in Gray's first conception and in his second his types are all contemporary; Caesar, Cato, Cicero suggested one another irresistibly to his student-mind, and it must not be forgotten that the debates on the Catilinarian conspiracy bring precisely these three names into prominence in the pages of Sallust. When he changed his terrain Gray again sought and found contemporaries; with the additional link in common that Hampden, Milton, Cromwell, were all associated in the same cause, and all, in some sense, champions of liberty.
By a happy coincidence the English examples which Gray substituted for the Roman had all some connection with the neighbourhood of Gray's churchyard. It was at Horton, which is at no great distance from Stoke Pogis, that Milton in his younger days composed L'Allegro, Il Penseroso, Arcades, Comus, Lycidas; it was to Chalfont St Giles within a few miles of the churchyard that in his old age he retired from the Great Plague of London with the finished MS. of Paradise Lost. Hampden was a Buckinghamshire squire, his family seat was Great Hampden, in the hundred of Aylesbury, he represented first Wendover, and then the county in Parliament. Cromwell was his cousin, and often visited both Hampden and his sister, Mrs Waller (the mother of the poet), who lived at Beaconsfield [footnote: ''Waller's mother, though related to Cromwell and Hampden, was zealous for the royal cause, and when Cromwell visited her used to reproach him; he in return would throw a napkin at her, and say he would not dispute with his aunt [i.e. cousin]: but finding in time that she acted for the king as well as talked he made her a prisoner to her own daughter, in her own house.'' Johnson's Waller in Lives of the Poets.]. Mitford records a line of Gray's in pencil:
The rude Columbus of an infant world.
This is possibly an afterthought for another stanza (of which it might have formed the first line), pointing to other lines of enterprise in embryo.
We lack a context by which to determine the sense of 'an infant world,' which may be used much as Berkeley writes of 'happy climes the seat of innocence,' or of 'Time's noblest offspring' as 'the last.' But on more general grounds we may safely conjecture that Gray had some thought of developing amid humbler scenes the picture sketched in the Eton Ode of those 'bold adventurers' [ll. 35-37]
        ''who disdain
The limits of their little reign
And unknown regions dare descry.''
One thinks of Wordsworth's Blind Highland Boy, who had heard how, in a tortoise-shell,
''An English boy, oh thought of bliss!
Had stoutly launch'd from shore,''
and was tempted to follow his example."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 149-151.

57.1 - 60.7 Some ... blood.] "In Table-talk, Guardian Newspaper of [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"In Table-talk, Guardian Newspaper of Jan. 25, 1871, under the head ''Stanzas published in great poems and afterwards rejected'' there are given besides the well-known lines ''There scattered oft,'' &c. which Gray indeed wrote but never published, the following which he certainly neither wrote nor published:

''Some rural Laïs, with all conquering charms,
    Perhaps now moulders in this grassy bourne,
Some Helen, vain to set the fields in arms,
    Some Emma dead, of gentle love forlorn.''
(I owe this quotation to the Rev. Lewis Hensley, Vicar of Hitchin.)
There is no trace whatever, as far as I can discover, connecting these lines with Gray. They seem to be the work of some early champion of the claims of Womanhood.
The stanza in Fraser MS. follows l. 48 of present 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], 292.

57.1 - 60.7 Some ... blood.] "From the original manuscript, now [...]" J. Crofts, 1948 [1st ed. 1926].

"From the original manuscript, now preserved at Eton College, it appears that for Hampden he first wrote 'Cato', for Milton 'Tully', and for Cromwell 'Caesar'. His second thoughts were, as usual, an improvement."

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], 166.

57.1 - 60.7 Some ... blood.] "These lines on unfulfilled greatness [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"These lines on unfulfilled greatness among the villagers have been compared to Dryden, Annus Mirabilis 849-54: 'As when some dire Usurper Heav'n provides, / To scourge his Country with a lawless sway: / His birth, perhaps, some petty Village hides, / And sets his Cradle out of Fortune's way: // Till fully ripe his swelling fate breaks out, / And hurries him to mighty mischief on'; and Shenstone, The Schoolmistress (1745) st. xxvii-xxix, in which 'The firm fixed breast which fit and right requires, / Like Vernon's patriot soul', a potential Milton, and other great men are seen in embryo among the schoolchildren. Thomson's panegyric of England's 'sons of glory' in Summer 1488-91, 1493, includes: 'a steady More, / Who, with a generous though mistaken zeal, / Withstood a brutal tyrant's useful rage; / Like Cato firm ... / A dauntless soul erect, who smiled on death.' Thomson goes on to mention in this passage (not expanded to this form until 1744) Hampden, l. 1515: 'Wise, strenuous, firm, of unsubmitting soul'; and Milton, ll. 1567-71. As is shown below, G[ray].'s instances of greatness were originally classical in the Eton MS. The alteration to Hampden, Milton and Cromwell corresponds to the fact that the continuation of the poem after the original ending is markedly less classical and more English in character. But G. also wanted examples of greatness which had proved dangerous to society (as opposed to the innocence of the villagers) and the Civil War, 100 years earlier, provided him with three convenient examples. For all their individual qualities, these three men had been responsible in one way or another for bringing turmoil to their country. Without assenting to the identification of the churchyard with Stoke Poges, it is possible to accept Tovey's suggestion that G. may also have been influenced to some extent by the Buckinghamshire connections of Milton, who spent several early years at Horton, and Hampden, whose family home was at Great Hampden, where he was often visited by Cromwell."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 127/128.

60.2 Cromwell] "Caesar. - Mason MS." E. Gosse, 1884.

"Caesar. - Mason MS."

The Works of Thomas Gray: In Prose and Verse. Ed. by Edmund Gosse, in four vols. London: MacMillan and Co., 1884, vol. i, 76.

60.2 Cromwell] "Caesar. - Original MS. [Mason [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"Caesar. - Original MS. [Mason 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], 230.

60.2 Cromwell] "Caesar   Fraser MS." D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"Caesar   Fraser 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], 151.

60.2 Cromwell] " ''See Cromwell damned to [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

" ''See Cromwell damned to everlasting fame,'' Pope, Essay on Man, iv. 284. Mark Pattison observes of Pope, that 'in estimating historical characters he seems to have been without any proper standard, and wholly at the mercy of prevailing social prejudices.' But the prejudice against Cromwell in the eighteenth century was shared by men of very various opinions; literature in the seventeenth century was, on its lower levels, more vituperative, but on its higher, more appreciative and generous; the tributes of Milton and Marvell to Cromwell were of course spontaneous, but even those of Waller and Dryden were not altogether forced; they have a certain ring of sincerity about them. It is in the main Carlyle who has rehabilitated Cromwell in the popular mind."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 151.

60.2 Cromwell] "Caesar E[ton College MS.]." H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"Caesar E[ton College MS.]."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 39.

60.2 Cromwell] "Caesar   Eton." R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Caesar   Eton."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 128.

Contribute a note or query


61 The applause of listening senates to command, 4 Explanatory

49.1 - 64.8 But ... eyes,] "The germ of the four [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"The germ of the four following stanzas is probably to be found in these lines of Waller (to Zelinda):

''Great Julius on the mountains bred,
A flock perhaps or herd had led,
He that the world subdued had been
But the best wrestler on the green.
'Tis art and knowledge which draw forth
The hidden seeds of native worth;
They blow those sparks and make them rise
Into such flames as touch the skies.''
Gray possessed and had studied Waller; he has transferred this thought from a trivial setting, and placed it where it fitly exemplifies the pathos of human life. Cf. Addison, Spectator, 215.
It should be noted that Gray's Cromwell was originally Caesar, Waller's 'Great Julius.'"

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 146.

61.1-7 The ... command,] "Pope, Moral Essays I. 184 [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"Pope, Moral Essays I. 184 (speaking of Wharton). 'Though wondering senates hung on all he spoke.'   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], 151.

61.1-7 The ... command,] "'Edwards, the author of The [...]" J. Crofts, 1948 [1st ed. 1926].

"'Edwards, the author of The Canons of Criticism, here added the two following stanzas, to supply what he deemed a defect in the poem' (Mitford):

Some lovely Fair, whose unaffected charms
    Shone with attraction to herself unknown:
Whose beauty might have bless'd a Monarch's arms,
    Whose virtue cast a lustre on a throne.

That humble beauty warm'd an honest heart,
    And cheer'd the labours of a faithful spouse;
That virtue form'd for every decent part
    The healthful offspring that adorn'd their house."

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], 166.

61.1-7 The ... command,] "Cp. Agrippina 77 (p. 36); [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Cp. Agrippina 77 (p. 36); and 'While listening senates hang upon thy tongue', Thomson, Autumn 15, and 'the listening senate', Winter 680; and Akenside, To Sleep 34-7: 'The rescued people'd glad applause, / The listening senate and the laws / Bent on the dictates of Timoleon's tongue, / Are scenes too grand for fortune's private ways.'"

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 129.

Contribute a note or query

62 The threats of pain and ruin to despise, 3 Explanatory

49.1 - 64.8 But ... eyes,] "The germ of the four [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"The germ of the four following stanzas is probably to be found in these lines of Waller (to Zelinda):

''Great Julius on the mountains bred,
A flock perhaps or herd had led,
He that the world subdued had been
But the best wrestler on the green.
'Tis art and knowledge which draw forth
The hidden seeds of native worth;
They blow those sparks and make them rise
Into such flames as touch the skies.''
Gray possessed and had studied Waller; he has transferred this thought from a trivial setting, and placed it where it fitly exemplifies the pathos of human life. Cf. Addison, Spectator, 215.
It should be noted that Gray's Cromwell was originally Caesar, Waller's 'Great Julius.'"

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 146.

62.1-8 The ... despise,] "As Sir Thomas More, Sir [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"As Sir Thomas More, Sir John Eliot, Hampden, Algernon Sidney, Lord William Russell - heroes commemorated in Thomson's Summer, ll. 1488-1530; More as a 'dauntless soul erect, who smiled on death,' and Sidney as the British Cassius who 'fearless bled.'"

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 151.

62.1-8 The ... despise,] "Cp. Horace's description of iustum [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Cp. Horace's description of iustum et tenacem propositi virum (the man tenacious of his purpose in a righteous cause), Odes III iii 7-8: si fractus inlabatur orbis, / impavidum ferient ruinae (Were the vault of heaven to break and fall upon him, its ruins would smite him undismayed)."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 129.

Contribute a note or query

63 To scatter plenty o'er a smiling land, 5 Explanatory

49.1 - 64.8 But ... eyes,] "The germ of the four [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"The germ of the four following stanzas is probably to be found in these lines of Waller (to Zelinda):

''Great Julius on the mountains bred,
A flock perhaps or herd had led,
He that the world subdued had been
But the best wrestler on the green.
'Tis art and knowledge which draw forth
The hidden seeds of native worth;
They blow those sparks and make them rise
Into such flames as touch the skies.''
Gray possessed and had studied Waller; he has transferred this thought from a trivial setting, and placed it where it fitly exemplifies the pathos of human life. Cf. Addison, Spectator, 215.
It should be noted that Gray's Cromwell was originally Caesar, Waller's 'Great Julius.'"

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 146.

63.1-7 To ... land,] "Mitford quotes a line from [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"Mitford quotes a line from Tickell, and one from Mrs. Behn containing these expressions; but Gray repeats what he wrote in ''Education and Government'': -

''If equal Justice with unclouded face
Smile not indulgent on the rising race,
And scatter with a free, though frugal, hand
Like golden showers of plenty o'er the land.'' - 15-18.
The early poems and translations of Gray, unpublished in his lifetime, and now so little read, are like a storehouse from which he took thoughts and expressions for the ''Odes'' and ''Elegy.'' In ''Agrippina'' he has ''the senate's joint applause,'' 77 (''Elegy,'' 61); ''he lived unknown to fame or fortune,'' 38 (''Elegy,'' 118), and (besides several others): -
''Thus ever grave and undisturbed reflection
Pours its cool dictates in the madding ear
Of rage, and thinks to quench the fire it feels not.'' - 81-83."

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], 222.

63.1-7 To ... land,] "Bradshaw compares Education and Government, [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"Bradshaw compares Education and Government, ll. 17, 18, where it is the attribute of Justice to ''Scatter with a free, though frugal, hand / Light golden showers of plenty o'er the land.''"

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 152.

63.1-7 To ... land,] "See The Alliance of Education [...]" H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"See The Alliance of Education and Government, ll. 17-18, and Agrippina, l. 77."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 223.

63.1-7 To ... land,] "Cp. Education and Government 17-18 [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Cp. Education and Government 17-18 (p. 93)."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 129.

Contribute a note or query

64 And read their history in a nation's eyes, 2 Explanatory

49.1 - 64.8 But ... eyes,] "The germ of the four [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"The germ of the four following stanzas is probably to be found in these lines of Waller (to Zelinda):

''Great Julius on the mountains bred,
A flock perhaps or herd had led,
He that the world subdued had been
But the best wrestler on the green.
'Tis art and knowledge which draw forth
The hidden seeds of native worth;
They blow those sparks and make them rise
Into such flames as touch the skies.''
Gray possessed and had studied Waller; he has transferred this thought from a trivial setting, and placed it where it fitly exemplifies the pathos of human life. Cf. Addison, Spectator, 215.
It should be noted that Gray's Cromwell was originally Caesar, Waller's 'Great Julius.'"

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 146.

64.2 read] "G[ray]. uses the word to [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"G[ray]. uses the word to mean 'discern', as in Shakespeare: e.g. 'Let not my sister read it in your eye' and 'let her read it in thy looks', Comedy of Errors III ii 9, 18. But the combination with 'history' makes it hard to exclude the more common modern sense."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 129.

Contribute a note or query


65 Their lot forbade: nor circumscribed alone 2 Explanatory, 3 Textual

65.1 - 66.7 Their ... confined;] "'circumscrib'd' and 'confin'd' are finite [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"'circumscrib'd' and 'confin'd' are finite verbs, the nominative being 'lot.'"

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 152.

65.1 - 66.7 Their ... confined;] "Cp. G[ray].'s comments on Plato's [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Cp. G[ray].'s comments on Plato's Republic Bk vi in his Commonplace Book i 340, quoted in headnote to Education and Government (p. 89), probably made in about 1748, especially the last sentence: 'every extraordinary Wickedness, every action superlatively unjust is the Product of a vigorous Spirit ill-nurtured; weak Minds are alike incapable of anything greatly good, or greatly ill.'"

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 129.

65.2 lot] "Fate in Fraser MS. with [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"Fate in Fraser MS. with lot written over it."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 152.

65.2 lot] "Fate with Lot written above, [...]" H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"Fate with Lot written above, E[ton College MS.]."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 40.

65.2 lot] "Fate Eton, with Lot written [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Fate Eton, with Lot written above."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 129.

Contribute a note or query

66 Their growing virtues, but their crimes confined; 2 Explanatory, 4 Textual

65.1 - 66.7 Their ... confined;] "'circumscrib'd' and 'confin'd' are finite [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"'circumscrib'd' and 'confin'd' are finite verbs, the nominative being 'lot.'"

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 152.

65.1 - 66.7 Their ... confined;] "Cp. G[ray].'s comments on Plato's [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Cp. G[ray].'s comments on Plato's Republic Bk vi in his Commonplace Book i 340, quoted in headnote to Education and Government (p. 89), probably made in about 1748, especially the last sentence: 'every extraordinary Wickedness, every action superlatively unjust is the Product of a vigorous Spirit ill-nurtured; weak Minds are alike incapable of anything greatly good, or greatly ill.'"

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 129.

66.2 growing] "Struggling. - Original MS. [Mason [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"Struggling. - Original MS. [Mason 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], 230.

66.2 growing] "struggling in Fraser MS. with [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"struggling in Fraser MS. with growing written over it."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 152.

66.2 growing] "struggling with growing written above, [...]" H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"struggling with growing written above, E[ton College MS.]."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 40.

66.2 growing] "struggling   Eton, with growing [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"struggling   Eton, with growing written above."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 129.

Contribute a note or query

67 Forbade to wade through slaughter to a throne, 3 Explanatory

67.1-8 Forbade ... throne,] "Wakefield compares Pope's Temple of [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"Wakefield compares Pope's Temple of Fame, l. 347, where heroes addressing the goddess say:

''[For thee...amidst alarms and strife
We sailed in tempests down the stream of life;]
For thee whole nations fill'd with flames and blood,
And swam to empire through the purple flood.'' "

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 152.

67.1 - 72.7 Forbade ... flame.] "Cp. Virgil's contrast of the [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Cp. Virgil's contrast of the 'happy husbandmen' with the ambitious citizen, Georgics ii 503-10: sollicitant alii remis freta caeca, ruuntque / in ferrum, penetrant aulas et limina regum; / hic petit excidiis urbem miserosque penates, / ut gemma bibat et Sarrano dormiat ostro; / condit opes alius defossoque incubat auro; / hic stupet attonitus rostris; hunc plausus hiantem / per cuneos geminatus enim plebisque patrumque / corripuit; gaudent perfusi sanguine fratrum (Others vex with oars seas unknown, dash upon the sword, or press into courts and the portals of kings. One wreaks ruin on a city and its hapless homes, that he may drink from a jewelled cup and sleep on Tyrian purple; another hoards up wealth and broods over buried gold; one is dazed and astounded by the Rostra; another, open-mouthed, is carried away by the plaudits of princes and of people, rolling again and again on the benches. Gleefully they steep themselves in their brothers' blood)."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 129.

67.3-5 wade ... slaughter] "For the image see Richard [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"For the image see Richard II I iii 138; King John II i 42; Macbeth III iv 137; Pope, Temple of Fame 346-7: 'For thee whole Nations fill'd with Flames and Blood, / And swam to Empire thro' the purple Flood'; Blair, The Grave 209-10: 'the mighty troublers of the earth, / Who swam to sovereign rule through seas of blood'; and 631-2: 'Whilst deep-mouth'd slaughter ... / Wades deep in blood new-spilt'."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 129/130.

Contribute a note or query

68 And shut the gates of mercy on mankind, 3 Explanatory, 6 Textual

67.1 - 72.7 Forbade ... flame.] "Cp. Virgil's contrast of the [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Cp. Virgil's contrast of the 'happy husbandmen' with the ambitious citizen, Georgics ii 503-10: sollicitant alii remis freta caeca, ruuntque / in ferrum, penetrant aulas et limina regum; / hic petit excidiis urbem miserosque penates, / ut gemma bibat et Sarrano dormiat ostro; / condit opes alius defossoque incubat auro; / hic stupet attonitus rostris; hunc plausus hiantem / per cuneos geminatus enim plebisque patrumque / corripuit; gaudent perfusi sanguine fratrum (Others vex with oars seas unknown, dash upon the sword, or press into courts and the portals of kings. One wreaks ruin on a city and its hapless homes, that he may drink from a jewelled cup and sleep on Tyrian purple; another hoards up wealth and broods over buried gold; one is dazed and astounded by the Rostra; another, open-mouthed, is carried away by the plaudits of princes and of people, rolling again and again on the benches. Gleefully they steep themselves in their brothers' blood)."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 129.

68.1 And] "Or. - Egerton MS." E. Gosse, 1884.

"Or. - Egerton MS."

The Works of Thomas Gray: In Prose and Verse. Ed. by Edmund Gosse, in four vols. London: MacMillan and Co., 1884, vol. i, 76.

68.1 And] "Or. - Egerton MS." J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"Or. - Egerton 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], 230.

68.1 And] "Or   Egerton MS." D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"Or   Egerton 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], 152.

68.1-8 And ... mankind,] "Henry V. III. 3. 10. [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"Henry V. III. 3. 10. 'The gates of mercy shall be all shut up.'   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], 152.

68.1 And] "Or Wharton MS." A.L. Poole/L. Whibley, 1950 [1st ed. 1919].

"Or 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], 175.

68.1 And] "Or C[ommonplace] B[ook], Wh[arton MS.]." H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"Or C[ommonplace] B[ook], Wh[arton MS.]."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 40.

68.1 And] "Or   Wharton, Commonplace Book." R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Or   Wharton, 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, 130.

68.1-8 And ... mankind,] "Cp. III Henry VI I [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Cp. III Henry VI I iv 177: 'Open thy gate of mercy', and cp. Henry V III iii 10: 'The gates of mercy shall be all shut up'; and Congreve, Mourning Bride III i: 'So did it tear the ears of Mercy, from / His Voice, shutting the Gates of Pray'r against him.'"

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 130.

Contribute a note or query


69 The struggling pangs of conscious truth to hide, 4 Explanatory, 1 Textual

67.1 - 72.7 Forbade ... flame.] "Cp. Virgil's contrast of the [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Cp. Virgil's contrast of the 'happy husbandmen' with the ambitious citizen, Georgics ii 503-10: sollicitant alii remis freta caeca, ruuntque / in ferrum, penetrant aulas et limina regum; / hic petit excidiis urbem miserosque penates, / ut gemma bibat et Sarrano dormiat ostro; / condit opes alius defossoque incubat auro; / hic stupet attonitus rostris; hunc plausus hiantem / per cuneos geminatus enim plebisque patrumque / corripuit; gaudent perfusi sanguine fratrum (Others vex with oars seas unknown, dash upon the sword, or press into courts and the portals of kings. One wreaks ruin on a city and its hapless homes, that he may drink from a jewelled cup and sleep on Tyrian purple; another hoards up wealth and broods over buried gold; one is dazed and astounded by the Rostra; another, open-mouthed, is carried away by the plaudits of princes and of people, rolling again and again on the benches. Gleefully they steep themselves in their brothers' blood)."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 129.

69.1-3 The ... pangs] "The struggleings pangs, &c. Fraser [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"The struggleings pangs, &c. Fraser MS. showing that Gray had some thought of making 'struggleing' a trisyllabic substantive, and changed his mind. He spells the same word without e in l. 66 (note) when it is a dissyllable."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 152.

69.1 - 72.7 The ... flame.] "The general sense of the [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"The general sense of the stanza seems to be: Their lot forbade them to be eminent persecutors (l. 69), unscrupulous place-hunters, or ministers to vice in high places (l. 70), or courtly and venal poets (ll. 71, 72)."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 152.

69.1 - 72.7 The ... flame.] "Young, Ocean, An Ode st. [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Young, Ocean, An Ode st. lvii-lviii: 'The public Scene / Of harden'd Men / Teach me, O teach me to despise! / The World few know, / But to their Woe, / Our Crimes with our Experience rise; // And tender Sense / Is banish'd thence, / All maiden Nature's first Alarms; / What shock'd before, / Disgusts no more, / And what disgusted has its Charms.'"

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 130.

69.1 - 70.7 The ... shame,] "'And to suppress reluctant Conscience [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"'And to suppress reluctant Conscience strive', Blackmore, Poems (1718) p. 295."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 130.

Contribute a note or query

70 To quench the blushes of ingenuous shame, 8 Explanatory

67.1 - 72.7 Forbade ... flame.] "Cp. Virgil's contrast of the [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Cp. Virgil's contrast of the 'happy husbandmen' with the ambitious citizen, Georgics ii 503-10: sollicitant alii remis freta caeca, ruuntque / in ferrum, penetrant aulas et limina regum; / hic petit excidiis urbem miserosque penates, / ut gemma bibat et Sarrano dormiat ostro; / condit opes alius defossoque incubat auro; / hic stupet attonitus rostris; hunc plausus hiantem / per cuneos geminatus enim plebisque patrumque / corripuit; gaudent perfusi sanguine fratrum (Others vex with oars seas unknown, dash upon the sword, or press into courts and the portals of kings. One wreaks ruin on a city and its hapless homes, that he may drink from a jewelled cup and sleep on Tyrian purple; another hoards up wealth and broods over buried gold; one is dazed and astounded by the Rostra; another, open-mouthed, is carried away by the plaudits of princes and of people, rolling again and again on the benches. Gleefully they steep themselves in their brothers' blood)."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 129.

69.1 - 72.7 The ... flame.] "The general sense of the [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"The general sense of the stanza seems to be: Their lot forbade them to be eminent persecutors (l. 69), unscrupulous place-hunters, or ministers to vice in high places (l. 70), or courtly and venal poets (ll. 71, 72)."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 152.

69.1 - 72.7 The ... flame.] "Young, Ocean, An Ode st. [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Young, Ocean, An Ode st. lvii-lviii: 'The public Scene / Of harden'd Men / Teach me, O teach me to despise! / The World few know, / But to their Woe, / Our Crimes with our Experience rise; // And tender Sense / Is banish'd thence, / All maiden Nature's first Alarms; / What shock'd before, / Disgusts no more, / And what disgusted has its Charms.'"

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 130.

69.1 - 70.7 The ... shame,] "'And to suppress reluctant Conscience [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"'And to suppress reluctant Conscience strive', Blackmore, Poems (1718) p. 295."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 130.

70.2-4 quench ... blushes] "This is in Shakespeare, ''Winter's [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"This is in Shakespeare, ''Winter's Tale,'' iv. 4. 67: - ''Come, quench your blushes, and present yourself.''"

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], 222/223.

70.2-4 quench ... blushes] "Winter's Tale IV iv 67: [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Winter's Tale IV iv 67: 'Quench your blushes.'"

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 130.

70.6 ingenuous] "Genuine, natural; the ''in'' has [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"Genuine, natural; the ''in'' has not a negative force."

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], 223.

70.6-7 ingenuous shame,] "Neither word has its modern [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Neither word has its modern meaning. Cp. ingenuus pudor, Catullus lxi 79, and puer ingenuique pudoris, Juvenal, Sat xi 154. Johnson's definitions confirm that G.'s meaning was close to the Latin ingenuus: natural, or noble ('Freeborn; not of servile extraction' - Johnson) or, combining these senses, innately noble or honourable. Cp. also Johnson's definition of 'shame': 'The passion felt when reputation is supposed to be lost; the passion expressed sometimes by blushes.'"

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 130.

Contribute a note or query

71 Or heap the shrine of Luxury and Pride 3 Explanatory, 11 Textual

67.1 - 72.7 Forbade ... flame.] "Cp. Virgil's contrast of the [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Cp. Virgil's contrast of the 'happy husbandmen' with the ambitious citizen, Georgics ii 503-10: sollicitant alii remis freta caeca, ruuntque / in ferrum, penetrant aulas et limina regum; / hic petit excidiis urbem miserosque penates, / ut gemma bibat et Sarrano dormiat ostro; / condit opes alius defossoque incubat auro; / hic stupet attonitus rostris; hunc plausus hiantem / per cuneos geminatus enim plebisque patrumque / corripuit; gaudent perfusi sanguine fratrum (Others vex with oars seas unknown, dash upon the sword, or press into courts and the portals of kings. One wreaks ruin on a city and its hapless homes, that he may drink from a jewelled cup and sleep on Tyrian purple; another hoards up wealth and broods over buried gold; one is dazed and astounded by the Rostra; another, open-mouthed, is carried away by the plaudits of princes and of people, rolling again and again on the benches. Gleefully they steep themselves in their brothers' blood)."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 129.

69.1 - 72.7 The ... flame.] "The general sense of the [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"The general sense of the stanza seems to be: Their lot forbade them to be eminent persecutors (l. 69), unscrupulous place-hunters, or ministers to vice in high places (l. 70), or courtly and venal poets (ll. 71, 72)."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 152.

69.1 - 72.7 The ... flame.] "Young, Ocean, An Ode st. [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Young, Ocean, An Ode st. lvii-lviii: 'The public Scene / Of harden'd Men / Teach me, O teach me to despise! / The World few know, / But to their Woe, / Our Crimes with our Experience rise; // And tender Sense / Is banish'd thence, / All maiden Nature's first Alarms; / What shock'd before, / Disgusts no more, / And what disgusted has its Charms.'"

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 130.

71.1-2 Or heap] "And at. - Original MS. [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"And at. - Original MS. [Mason 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], 230.

71.1 - 72.7 Or ... flame.] "Thus in Fraser MS.:And at [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"Thus in Fraser MS.:
And at the Shrine (crown written above) of Luxury and Pride / Burn (deleted, With written above) Incense hallowed in (by written above, kindled at written below) the Muse's Flame."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 152.

71.1-2 Or heap] "And at with crown written [...]" H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"And at with crown written above at E[ton College MS.]."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 40.

71.1-2 Or heap] "And at   Eton, with [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"And at   Eton, with crown written above at."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 130.

71.2 heap] "At the. - Mason MS." E. Gosse, 1884.

"At the. - Mason MS."

The Works of Thomas Gray: In Prose and Verse. Ed. by Edmund Gosse, in four vols. London: MacMillan and Co., 1884, vol. i, 76.

71.4 shrine] "Shrines. - Egerton MS." E. Gosse, 1884.

"Shrines. - Egerton MS."

The Works of Thomas Gray: In Prose and Verse. Ed. by Edmund Gosse, in four vols. London: MacMillan and Co., 1884, vol. i, 76.

71.4 shrine] "Shrines. - Egerton MS." J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"Shrines. - Egerton 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], 230.

71.4 shrine] "Shrines   Egerton MS." D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"Shrines   Egerton 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], 152.

71.4 shrine] "Shrines Wharton MS." A.L. Poole/L. Whibley, 1950 [1st ed. 1919].

"Shrines 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], 175.

71.4 shrine] "Shrines Wh[arton MS.]." H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"Shrines Wh[arton MS.]."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 40.

71.4 shrine] "Shrines   Wharton." R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Shrines   Wharton."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 130.

Contribute a note or query

72 With incense kindled at the Muse's flame. 4 Explanatory, 15 Textual

67.1 - 72.7 Forbade ... flame.] "Cp. Virgil's contrast of the [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Cp. Virgil's contrast of the 'happy husbandmen' with the ambitious citizen, Georgics ii 503-10: sollicitant alii remis freta caeca, ruuntque / in ferrum, penetrant aulas et limina regum; / hic petit excidiis urbem miserosque penates, / ut gemma bibat et Sarrano dormiat ostro; / condit opes alius defossoque incubat auro; / hic stupet attonitus rostris; hunc plausus hiantem / per cuneos geminatus enim plebisque patrumque / corripuit; gaudent perfusi sanguine fratrum (Others vex with oars seas unknown, dash upon the sword, or press into courts and the portals of kings. One wreaks ruin on a city and its hapless homes, that he may drink from a jewelled cup and sleep on Tyrian purple; another hoards up wealth and broods over buried gold; one is dazed and astounded by the Rostra; another, open-mouthed, is carried away by the plaudits of princes and of people, rolling again and again on the benches. Gleefully they steep themselves in their brothers' blood)."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 129.

69.1 - 72.7 The ... flame.] "The general sense of the [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"The general sense of the stanza seems to be: Their lot forbade them to be eminent persecutors (l. 69), unscrupulous place-hunters, or ministers to vice in high places (l. 70), or courtly and venal poets (ll. 71, 72)."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 152.

69.1 - 72.7 The ... flame.] "Young, Ocean, An Ode st. [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Young, Ocean, An Ode st. lvii-lviii: 'The public Scene / Of harden'd Men / Teach me, O teach me to despise! / The World few know, / But to their Woe, / Our Crimes with our Experience rise; // And tender Sense / Is banish'd thence, / All maiden Nature's first Alarms; / What shock'd before, / Disgusts no more, / And what disgusted has its Charms.'"

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 130.

71.1 - 72.7 Or ... flame.] "Thus in Fraser MS.:And at [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"Thus in Fraser MS.:
And at the Shrine (crown written above) of Luxury and Pride / Burn (deleted, With written above) Incense hallowed in (by written above, kindled at written below) the Muse's Flame."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 152.

72.1 With] "Burn. - Mason MS." E. Gosse, 1884.

"Burn. - Mason MS."

The Works of Thomas Gray: In Prose and Verse. Ed. by Edmund Gosse, in four vols. London: MacMillan and Co., 1884, vol. i, 76.

72.1-7 With ... flame.] "After this verse, in the [...]" E. Gosse, 1884.

"After this verse, in the Mason MS. of the poem, are the four following stanzas: -

The thoughtless World to Majesty may bow,
    Exalt the brave, and idolize Success;
But more to Innocence their Safety owe
    Than Pow'r and Genius e'er conspir'd to bless.

And thou, who mindful of th' unhonour'd Dead,
    Dost in these Notes their artless Tale relate,
By Night and lonely Contemplation led
    To linger in the gloomy Walks of Fate:

Hark! how the sacred Calm, that broods around,
    Bids ev'ry fierce tumultuous Passion cease;
In still small Accents whisp'ring from the Ground,
    A grateful Earnest of eternal Peace.

No more, with Reason and thyself at Strife
    Give anxious Cares and endless Wishes room;
But thro' the cool sequester'd Vale of Life
    Pursue the silent Tenour of thy Doom."

The Works of Thomas Gray: In Prose and Verse. Ed. by Edmund Gosse, in four vols. London: MacMillan and Co., 1884, vol. i, 76/77.

72.1-7 With ... flame.] "Here Gray originally inserted the [...]" W. Lyon Phelps, 1894.

"Here Gray originally inserted the following four stanzas:

''The thoughtless world to Majesty may bow,
    Exalt the brave, and idolize success;
But more to innocence their safety owe,
    Than Pow'r, or Genius, e'er conspir'd to bless.

''And thou, who mindful of th' unhonour'd Dead,
    Dost in these notes their artless tale relate,
By night and lonely contemplation led
    To wander in the gloomy walks of fate:

''Hark! how the sacred Calm, that breathes around,
    Bids every fierce tumultuous passion cease;
In still small accents whispering from the ground,
    A grateful earnest of eternal peace.

''No more, with reason and thyself at stife,
    Give anxious cares and endless wishes room;
But through the cool sequestered vale of life
    Pursue the silent tenor of thy doom.''
One must agree with Mason who said, ''I think the third of these rejected stanzas equal to any in the whole Elegy.''"

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, 141.

72.1-7 With ... flame.] "After this verse, in the [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"After this verse, in the Original MS. of the poem, are the four following stanzas: -

The thoughtless world to Majesty may bow,
    Exalt the brave, and idolize success;
But more to innocence their safety owe
    Than power and genius e'er conspired to bless.

And thou, who mindful of th' unhonoured dead
    Dost in these notes their artless tale relate,
By Night and lonely Contemplation led
    To linger in the gloomy walks of Fate;

Hark! how the sacred Calm, that broods around,
    Bids ev'ry fierce tumultuous passion cease;
In still small accents whispering from the ground
    A grateful earnest of eternal Peace.

No more with reason and thyself at strife,
    Give anxious cares and endless wishes room;
But thro' the cool sequestered vale of life
    Pursue the silent tenor of thy doom."

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], 223.

72.1 With] "Burn. - Original MS. [Mason [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"Burn. - Original MS. [Mason 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], 230.

72.1-7 With ... flame.] "After this follows in Fraser [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"After this follows in Fraser MS.,

''The thoughtless World to Majesty may bow
Exalt the brave, and idolize Success
But more to Innocence their Safety owe
Than Power and Genius e'er conspired to bless
    And thou, who mindful of the unhonour'd Dead
Dost in these Notes thy (their written above) artless Tale relate
By Night and lonely Contemplation led
To linger in the gloomy walks of Fate
    Hark how the sacred Calm, that broods around
Bids ev'ry fierce tumultuous Passion cease
In still small Accents whisp'ring from the Ground
A grateful Earnest of eternal Peace [Footnote: ''see additional note, p. 292.'']
    No more with Reason and thyself at Strife
Give anxious Cares and endless Wishes room
But thro the cool sequester'd Vale of Life
Pursue the silent Tenour of thy Doom''
''And here,'' says Mason, ''the poem was originally intended to conclude, before the happy idea of 'the hoary-headed Swain &c.' suggested itself to him.''
Mason perhaps converted Walpole by a reference to the state of this MS., which no doubt establishes an interval between the first and second half of the poem. But he ante-dated, it maybe suspected, the composition of the first half.
The Fraser MS. (to judge from the facsimile) has a line drawn along the side of the last three, and possibly meant (as Sir W. Fraser's reprint interprets it) to include the first also of these four stanzas.
The stanzas which follow these four are: Far from the madding crowd's &c. as in the received text (with minor variations to be noted), down to 'fires,' l. 92.
All the MS. to the end of the four rejected Stanzas is in a much more faded character; and Mason must be at least so far right that the Poem from 'Far from the madding %c.' was resumed after a considerable interval.
But we have only Mason's authority for the statement that the Elegy was ever meant to end with these four stanzas, and it is very questionable. We may be biased by the completeness of the poem in its published form, - but surely without this contrast to assist our judgment it would have seemed to us to finish badly and abruptly with ''Pursue the silent Tenour of thy Doom.''
And if this ending would not satisfy us it could not have satisfied Gray. Again, it is probable from the MS. that down to 'Doom' the Elegy was all written much about the same time, or as the Germans say, in einem Guss. Suppose then it had reached that point in 1742, and this is probably what Mason means when he suggests that it may have been concluded then; is it conceivable that Gray, who had communicated to Walpole other completed poems of that date, and even the fragmentary Agrippina, would have kept back the Elegy, which ex hypothesi he must have regarded as finished? Yet Walpole, as we have seen, is certain that Gray sent him only the first three stanzas, two or three years after the year 1742. Surely either these twelve lines were all that Gray had then written, or they were a specimen only of the unfinished poem."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 152-154.

72.1-7 With ... flame.] "After this verse, in the [...]" J. Crofts, 1948 [1st ed. 1926].

"After this verse, in the original manuscript of the poem, are the four following stanzas:

The thoughtless World to Majesty may bow
    Exalt the brave, & idolize Success
But more to Innocence their Safety owe
    Than Power & Genius e'er conspired to bless

And thou, who mindful of the unhonour'd Dead
    Dost in these Notes their artless Tale relate
By Night & lonely Contemplation led
    To linger in the gloomy Walks of Fate

Hark how the sacred Calm, that broods around
    Bids ev'ry fierce tumultuous Passion cease
In still small Accents whisp'ring from the Ground
    A grateful Earnest of eternal Peace

No more with Reason & thyself at Strife;
    Give anxious Cares & endless Wishes room
But thro' the cool sequester'd Vale of Life
    Pursue the silent Tenour of thy Doom.
'And here the Poem was originally intended to conclude, before the happy idea of the hoary-headed Swain, &c., suggested itself to him.' (Mason.)
Some of the phrases he was able to use in his final version, but he could find no place for the beautiful third stanza and, with his scrupulous care for design, refused to make one. Compare the similar instance at l. 116."

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], 166.

72.1 With] "Burn (del) E[ton College MS.]." H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"Burn (del) E[ton College MS.]."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 40.

72.1-7 With ... flame.] "After l. 72 in E[ton [...]" H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"After l. 72 in E[ton College MS.] there appear the following lines with an irregular line drawn down the margin beside them:

The thoughtless World to Majesty may bow
Exalt the brave, & idolize Success
But more to Innocence their Safety owe
Than Power & Genius e'er conspired to bless

And thou, who mindful of the unhonour'd Dead
Dost in these Notes thyeir [above] artless Tale relate
By Night & lonely Contemplation led
To linger in the gloomy Walks of Fate

Hark how the sacred Calm, that broods around
Bids ev'ry fierce tumultuous Passion cease
In still small Accents whisp'ring from the Ground
A grateful Earnest of eternal Peace

No more with Reason & thyself at Strife;
Give anxious Cares & endless Wishes room
But thro' the cool sequester'd Vale of Life
Pursue the silent Tenour of thy Doom."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 40.

72.1 With] "Burn   Eton, deleted." R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Burn   Eton, deleted."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 130.

72.1-7 With ... flame.] "After this line Eton has [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"After this line Eton has the following four stanzas, with an irregular vertical line beside them in the margin:

The thoughtless World to Majesty may bow
Exalt the brave, & idolize Success
But more to Innocence their Safety owe
Than Power & Genius e'er conspired to bless

And thou, who mindful of the unhonour'd Dead
Dost in these Notes thy [corr to their] artless Tale relate
By Night & lonely Contemplation led
To linger in the gloomy Walks of Fate

Hark how the sacred Calm, that broods around
Bids ev'ry fierce tumultuous Passion cease
In still small Accents whisp'ring from the Ground
A grateful Earnest of eternal Peace

No more with Reason & thyself at strife;
Give anxious Cares & endless Wishes room
But thro' the cool sequester'd Vale of Life
Pursue the silent Tenour of thy Doom.
Mason (Poems p. 109) states: 'And here the Poem was originally intended to conclude, before the happy idea of the hoary-headed Swain, &c., suggested itself to him. I cannot help hinting to the reader, that I think the third of these rejected stanzas equal to any in the whole Elegy.' See also headnote, p. 104, and for parallels with these stanzas, the Appendix (p. 140)."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 130/131.

72.1-7 With ... flame.] "Appendix [see the extensive explanatory [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Appendix [see the extensive explanatory note in Lonsdale's edition, p. 140/141.]"

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 140/141.

72.1-7 With ... flame.] "APPENDIX The following representative parallels [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"APPENDIX

The following representative parallels to the four rejected stanzas in the Eton MS (see l. 72 n) are intended to stress the mood of Christian Stoicism which underlies the first conclusion to the Elegy and which G[ray]. almost entirely removed in his revision of the poem. Most of the parallels are drawn from James Hervey's popular Meditations among the Tombs (1746) and his other Meditations and Contemplations (references here are to the 4th collected edn of 1748 in 2 vols), a work which acknowledged the influence of Young's slightly earlier Night Thoughts (1742-5). Certain features of the Elegy, in particular the churchyard setting, the silent darkness, the graves, the bell and the owl, although found in other writers, are exploited with sensational effect by Hervey, but the following parallels are confined to the four rejected stanzas:
1-2.   Hervey i 72: 'Let Others, if they please, pay their obsequious Court to your wealthy Sons; and ignobly fawn, or anxiously sue, for Preferments; my Thoughts shall often resort, in pensive Contemplation, to the Sepulchres of their Sires; and learn, from their sleeping Dust, - to moderate my Expectations from Mortals: - to stand disengaged from every undue Attachment, to the little Interests of Time: - to get above the delusive Amusements of Honour; the gaudy Tinsels of Wealth; and all the empty Shadows of a perishing World.'
This passage is followed immediately, i 73, by a description of the bell: 'Hark! What Sound is That! - In such a Situation, every Noise alarms. - Solemn and slow, it breaks again upon the silent Air. - 'Tis the Striking of the Clock: Designed, one would imagine, to ratify all my serious Meditations ...'
3-4.   Young, Night Thoughts v 253-4: 'Grief! more proficients in thy school are made / Than genius or proud learning e'er could boast'; Hervey ii 12: 'Our Innocence, is of so tender a Constitution, that it suffers in the promiscuous Croud; our Purity of so delicate a Complexion, that it scarce touches on the World, without contracting a Stain. We see, we hear, with Peril. But here Safety dwells. Every meddling and intrusive Avocation is secluded. Silence holds the Door against the Strife of Tongues, and all the Impertinencies of idle Conversation. The busy Swarm of vain Images, and cajoling Temptations; that beset Us, with a buzzing Importunity, amidst the Gaieties of Life; are chased by these thickening Shades.'
5-8.   See Elegy 93-6 n (p. 135) for a parallel to this stanza from Thomas Warton's Pleasures of Melancholy (1747).
9-12.   Young, Night Thoughts v 195-200: 'auspicious midnight! hail! / The world excluded, every passion hushed, / And opened a calm intercourse with heaven, / Here the soul sits in council; ponders past, / Predestines future action; sees, not feels, / Tumultuous life, and reasons with the storm'; and ibid ix at end: 'Thus, darkness aiding intellectual light, / And sacred silence whisp'ring truths divine, / And truths divine converting peace to pain'; Joseph Warton, Ode to Evening 21-4: 'Now ev'ry Passion sleeps; desponding Love, / And pining Envy, ever-restless Pride; / An holy Calm creeps o'er my peaceful Soul, / Anger and mad Ambition's storms subside'; Hervey i 3: 'The deep Silence, added to the gloomy Aspect, and both heightened by the Loneliness of the Place, greatly increased the Solemnity of the Scene. - A sort of religious Dread stole insensibly on my Mind, as I advanced, all pensive and thoughtful, along the inmost Isle. Such as hushed every ruder Passion, and dissipated all the gay Images of an alluring World'; ibid i 11: 'Drowned is this gentle Whisper, amidst the Noise of mortal affairs; but speaks distinctly, in the Retirements of serious Contemplation'; ibid i 13-14: 'Oh! that we might learn from these friendly Ashes, not to perpetuate the Memory of Injuries; not to foment the Fever of Resentment; nor cherish the Turbulence of Passion; that there may be as little Animosity and Disagreement in the Land of the Living, as there is in the Congregation of the Dead!'; ibid ii xvi: 'The Evening, drawing her Sables over the World, and gently darkening into Night, is a Season peculiarly proper for sedate Consideration. All Circumstances concur, to hush our Passions, and sooth our Cares; to tempt our Steps abroad, and prompt our Thoughts to serious Reflection.'
13-14.   Dryden, Lucretius, Latter Part of Book III, Against the Fear of Death 267-70: 'Eternal troubles haunt thy anxious mind, / Whose cause and cure thou never hop'st to find; / But still uncertain, with thyself at strife, / Thou wander'st in the Labyrinth of Life.'"

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 140/141.

72.2-4 incense ... at] "Incense hallowd in [by above] [...]" H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"Incense hallowd in [by above] with kindled at written below, E[ton College MS.]."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 40.

72.2-4 incense ... at] "Incense hallowd in   Eton, [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Incense hallowd in   Eton, with kindled at written below."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 130.

Contribute a note or query


73 Far from the madding crowd's ignoble strife, 10 Explanatory

73.1-7 Far ... strife,] "Cf. the well-known line from [...]" W. Lyon Phelps, 1894.

"Cf. the well-known line from Drummond (ed. Turnbull, p. 38): ''Far from the madding worldling's hoarse discords.''"

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, 141.

73.1-7 Far ... strife,] "''Maddening'' would be the more [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"''Maddening'' would be the more correct formation; but Gray's use of madding has given it currency, and ''Far from the Madding Crowd'' has been adopted as the title of a novel [by Thomas Hardy (1874)], just as ''Annals of the Poor,'' 32, supplies the title of Leigh Richmond's well known work. Rogers quotes from one of Drummond's ''Sonnets'': - ''Far from the madding worldling's hoarse discord.'' Madding occurs in ''Paradise Lost'': - ''the madding wheels / Of brazen chariots raged.'' - vi. 210. Gray has it in ''Agrippina,'' 83, already quoted."

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], 223.

73.1-7 Far ... strife,] "In Fraser MS., the punctuation [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"In Fraser MS., the punctuation showing that it was the poet's first intention to make the line part of the apostrophe to himself. It echoes the sentiment of Gray's beautiful Alcaic Ode written in the album of the Grande Chartreuse Aug. 1741, as he was returning from his sojourn in Italy, in which he says, - if he cannot have the silence of the cloistered cell:---

Saltem remoto des, Pater, angulo
Horas senectae ducere liberas
    Tutumque vulgari tumultu
        Surripias, hominumque curis.
At least, O Father, ere the close of life
    Vouchsafe, I pray thee, some sequestered glen,
And there seclude me, rescued from the strife
    Of vulgar tumults and the cares of men.
    [R. E. Warburton in Notes and Queries, June 9, 1883.]
Mason is perhaps so far right that it was with this wish that the Elegy, like the Alcaic Ode was meant to end; we may admit this without supposing that it was intended to close with 'Doom.'
But whilst it is probable, from the punctuation of 'strife,' that Gray meant through this and possibly other stanzas to end the Elegy after the manner of the Alcaic Ode, it is quite clear that he soon abandoned that intention; for 'strife' here necessitated in the ending of the first line of previous stanza:
'No more with reason and thyself at strife,'---
and in the corresponding rhyme, some alteration which he never took the trouble to make, preferring to give his thoughts a more general scope and to use the four stanzas above cited as far only as they could be set in a natural sequence on this new model. This is the explanation of his side line. He in fact could avail himself only of two stanzas, the second and the fourth; the first 'The thoughtless World' &c. has in either sequence a little too much the character of a detached sentiment to please him, and, upon the altered plan, it was, for the same reason, difficult to introduce the third. We may well regret this, for Mason is right in saying that it is equal to any in the whole Elegy.
'Far from the Madding Crowd' is the title of one of Thomas Hardy's best novels, in which every one of the characters is drawn from humble life."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 154/155.

73.1-7 Far ... strife,] "Cf. Richardson's Clarissa (1749) vol. [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"Cf. Richardson's Clarissa (1749) vol. II. Letter XI., ''Friday, midnight, I have now a calmer moment: Envy, ambition, high and selfish resentment, and all the violent passions are now, most probably, asleep around me; and shall not my own angry ones give way to the silent hour and subside likewise?'' Is this mere coincidence?"

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 292.

73.1 - 76.8 Far ... way.] "Cp. G[ray].'s Alcaic Ode 17-20 [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Cp. G[ray].'s Alcaic Ode 17-20 (p. 317)."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 131.

73.4 madding] "'Far from the madding worldling's [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"'Far from the madding worldling's harsh discords' Drummond, cited by Rogers. Once, as Bradshaw notes, in Milton, P. L. VI. 210:

''[arms on armour clashing brayed
Horrible discord, and] the madding wheels
Of brazen chariots raged.''
Gray himself in Agrippina, l. 83: 'the madding ear of rage.'
It may be questioned whether either Drummond or Gray used the word exactly in the sense of 'maddening.' It seems with them to mean 'frenzied.'"

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 155.

73.4 madding] "Wild, furious. See Agrippina, ll. [...]" H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"Wild, furious. See Agrippina, ll. 83-84."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 224.

73.4 madding] "Cp. William Drummond, Sonnet xlix [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Cp. William Drummond, Sonnet xlix 11: 'Far from the madding worldling's hoarse discords'. Milton uses the word, Par. Lost vi 210. The madding/cool antithesis also occurs in Agrippina 83 (p. 36). Cp. also Dryden, Aeneid i 213-4: 'As when in Tumults rise th'ignoble Crowd, / Mad are their Motions, and their Tongues are loud', and xii 1359: ''tis mean ignoble Strife'; Dart, Westminster Abbey I viii (see ll. 17-20 n above): 'By thee secure, we leave the Road of Strife, / And tread the pleasing silent Path of Life: / Where unconcern'd we hear the Noise afar / Of wrangling Traveller's, and the Din of War.'"

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 131.

73.7 strife,] "If there were no comma [...]" W. Lyon Phelps, 1894.

"If there were no comma after ''strife,'' the sense of this couplet would be precisely the opposite of what Gray intended. No wonder he was particular about his punctuation."

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, 141.

73.7 strife,] " 'If there were no [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

" 'If there were no comma after ''strife,'' the sense of this couplet would be precisely the opposite of what Gray intended.' Phelps.
Even with the comma, there is some carelessness in employing the word 'stray' so close upon 'far from' &c. &c. with which there is a natural temptation to connect it. It is not in perfect lucidity of expression that Gray shines. It may be that he was disposed to retain the semicolon after 'strife' (vide supra) as avoiding the ambiguity, which is traceable in part to Gray's change of mind."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 155.

Contribute a note or query

74 Their sober wishes never learned to stray; 2 Explanatory, 3 Textual

73.1 - 76.8 Far ... way.] "Cp. G[ray].'s Alcaic Ode 17-20 [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Cp. G[ray].'s Alcaic Ode 17-20 (p. 317)."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 131.

74.1-7 Their ... stray;] "Cp. 'His soul proud Science [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Cp. 'His soul proud Science never taught to stray', Pope, Essay on Man i 102."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 131.

74.5 learned] "Knew. - Original MS. [Mason [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"Knew. - Original MS. [Mason 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], 230.

74.5 learned] "knew E[ton College MS.]." H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"knew E[ton College MS.]."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 40.

74.5 learned] "knew   Eton." R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"knew   Eton."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 131.

Contribute a note or query

75 Along the cool sequestered vale of life 2 Explanatory

73.1 - 76.8 Far ... way.] "Cp. G[ray].'s Alcaic Ode 17-20 [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Cp. G[ray].'s Alcaic Ode 17-20 (p. 317)."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 131.

75.1-7 Along ... life] "Cowley, Imitation of Virgil, Georgics [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Cowley, Imitation of Virgil, Georgics II 458ff 45-7: 'let woods and rivers be / My quiet, though inglorious destiny: / In life's cool vale let my low scene be laid.' Cp. also 'In life's low vale', Pope, Epistles to Several Persons i 95; and 'O may I steal / Along the vale / Of humble life, secure from foes', Young, Ocean st. lxi."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 131.

Contribute a note or query

76 They kept the noiseless tenor of their way. 2 Explanatory, 4 Textual

73.1 - 76.8 Far ... way.] "Cp. G[ray].'s Alcaic Ode 17-20 [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Cp. G[ray].'s Alcaic Ode 17-20 (p. 317)."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 131.

76.1-8 They ... way.] "Cp. Dryden (cited by Johnson [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Cp. Dryden (cited by Johnson under 'noiseless'): 'So noiseless would I live, such death to find, / Like timely fruit, not shaken by the wind, / But ripely dropping from the sapless bough'; and Pope, Temple of Fame 330: 'The constant Tenour of whose well-spent Days'. There may also be a curious reminiscence of Essay on Criticism 240-1: 'Correctly cold, and regularly low, / That shunning Faults, one quiet Tenour keep'. It seems more likely that G. was remembering these passages than the parallel in Tacitus, Agricola vi 4, noted by J. C. Maxwell, Notes and Queries cxcvi (1951) 262: idem praeturae tenor et silentium (his praetorship followed the same quiet course). G. himself uses the phrase serventque tenorem in his Latin Verses at Eton (p. 290). For the sense see also Horace, Epistles I xviii 102-3: Quid pure tranquillet, honos an dulce lucellum, / an secretum iter et fallentis semita vitae (What gives you unruffled calm-honour, or the sweets of dear gain, or a secluded journey along the pathway of a life unnoticed?). Pope inscribed the second of these lines over his grotto."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 131/132.

76.4 noiseless] "Silent. - Original MS. [Mason [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"Silent. - Original MS. [Mason 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], 230.

76.4 noiseless] "'silent' in Fraser MS., with [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"'silent' in Fraser MS., with 'noiseless' written over it."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 155.

76.4 noiseless] "silent with noiseless written above, [...]" H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"silent with noiseless written above, E[ton College MS.]."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 40.

76.4 noiseless] "silent   Eton, with noiseless [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"silent   Eton, with noiseless written above."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 131.

Contribute a note or query


77 Yet even these bones from insult to protect 2 Explanatory

77.1 - 92.8 Yet ... fires.] "''The four stanzas, beginning 'Yet [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"''The four stanzas, beginning 'Yet even these bones,' are to me original: I have never seen the notions in any other place: yet he that reads them here persuades himself that he has always felt them.'' Johnson (cf. Boswell's Johnson, 1775, aetat. 66).
Johnson's comment well illustrates Pope's line in the Essay on Criticism: 'What oft was thought but ne'er so well expressed' which gives us briefly the aim and achievement of the best 18th century poetry."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 155.

77.1 - 84.7 Yet ... die.] "Arthur Johnston, Selected Poems of [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Arthur Johnston, Selected Poems of Gray and Collins (1967) p. 44, cites Swift's Thoughts on Various Subjects (Works (1735) vol i): 'There is in most people a reluctance and unwillingness to be forgotten. We observe even among the vulgar, how fond they are to have an inscription over their grave. It requires but little philosophy to discover and observe that there is no intrinsic value in all this; however, if it be founded in our nature, as an incitement to virtue, it ought not to be ridiculed.'"

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 132.

Contribute a note or query

78 Some frail memorial still erected nigh, 5 Explanatory

77.1 - 92.8 Yet ... fires.] "''The four stanzas, beginning 'Yet [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"''The four stanzas, beginning 'Yet even these bones,' are to me original: I have never seen the notions in any other place: yet he that reads them here persuades himself that he has always felt them.'' Johnson (cf. Boswell's Johnson, 1775, aetat. 66).
Johnson's comment well illustrates Pope's line in the Essay on Criticism: 'What oft was thought but ne'er so well expressed' which gives us briefly the aim and achievement of the best 18th century poetry."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 155.

77.1 - 84.7 Yet ... die.] "Arthur Johnston, Selected Poems of [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Arthur Johnston, Selected Poems of Gray and Collins (1967) p. 44, cites Swift's Thoughts on Various Subjects (Works (1735) vol i): 'There is in most people a reluctance and unwillingness to be forgotten. We observe even among the vulgar, how fond they are to have an inscription over their grave. It requires but little philosophy to discover and observe that there is no intrinsic value in all this; however, if it be founded in our nature, as an incitement to virtue, it ought not to be ridiculed.'"

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 132.

78.4 still] "= always, as commonly in [...]" W. Lyon Phelps, 1894.

"= always, as commonly in Shakspere."

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, 141.

78.4 still] "Both Dr Bradshaw and Dr [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"Both Dr Bradshaw and Dr Phelps explain 'still' as 'always,' Dr Phelps adds 'as commonly in Shakespeare.' I question this explanation, which is only encouraged by the absence of the comma, and I cannot agree with Dr Phelps that Gray was particular about his punctuation; from my experience of his otherwise most carefully written MSS., I should say that he sometimes errs by excess and sometimes by defect in this. It is surely more natural to suppose that he means 'though they have no stately tombs, and though their lives were most obscure, there remains some frail memorial of them still, in the gravestones around, to plead that they may not be quite forgotten.' Is it true that every grave in a country churchyard has had its stone and its inscription at some time or other?"

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 155/156.

78.4-5 still erected] "always erected." J. Crofts, 1948 [1st ed. 1926].

"always erected."

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], 166.

Contribute a note or query

79 With uncouth rhymes and shapeless sculpture decked, 3 Explanatory, 6 Textual

77.1 - 92.8 Yet ... fires.] "''The four stanzas, beginning 'Yet [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"''The four stanzas, beginning 'Yet even these bones,' are to me original: I have never seen the notions in any other place: yet he that reads them here persuades himself that he has always felt them.'' Johnson (cf. Boswell's Johnson, 1775, aetat. 66).
Johnson's comment well illustrates Pope's line in the Essay on Criticism: 'What oft was thought but ne'er so well expressed' which gives us briefly the aim and achievement of the best 18th century poetry."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 155.

77.1 - 84.7 Yet ... die.] "Arthur Johnston, Selected Poems of [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Arthur Johnston, Selected Poems of Gray and Collins (1967) p. 44, cites Swift's Thoughts on Various Subjects (Works (1735) vol i): 'There is in most people a reluctance and unwillingness to be forgotten. We observe even among the vulgar, how fond they are to have an inscription over their grave. It requires but little philosophy to discover and observe that there is no intrinsic value in all this; however, if it be founded in our nature, as an incitement to virtue, it ought not to be ridiculed.'"

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 132.

79.1 With] "Written above a deleted word, [...]" H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"Written above a deleted word, perhaps In E[ton College MS.]."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 40.

79.1 With] "Written above a deletion in [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Written above a deletion in Eton, perhaps In."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 132.

79.2-3 uncouth rhymes] "Cp. Spenser, Faerie Queene V [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Cp. Spenser, Faerie Queene V v 37, 1: 'uncouth speach', and VI viii 18, 4: 'uncouth words'; and Philips, Cyder Bk ii: 'uncouth Rhythms'."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 132.

79.3 rhymes] "Rhime. - Mason MS." E. Gosse, 1884.

"Rhime. - Mason MS."

The Works of Thomas Gray: In Prose and Verse. Ed. by Edmund Gosse, in four vols. London: MacMillan and Co., 1884, vol. i, 77.

79.3 rhymes] "Rhime. - Original MS. [Mason [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"Rhime. - Original MS. [Mason 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], 230.

79.3 rhymes] "Rhime E[ton College MS.]." H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"Rhime E[ton College MS.]."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 40.

79.7 decked,] "Deckt. - Mason MS." E. Gosse, 1884.

"Deckt. - Mason MS."

The Works of Thomas Gray: In Prose and Verse. Ed. by Edmund Gosse, in four vols. London: MacMillan and Co., 1884, vol. i, 77.

Contribute a note or query

80 Implores the passing tribute of a sigh. 3 Explanatory

77.1 - 92.8 Yet ... fires.] "''The four stanzas, beginning 'Yet [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"''The four stanzas, beginning 'Yet even these bones,' are to me original: I have never seen the notions in any other place: yet he that reads them here persuades himself that he has always felt them.'' Johnson (cf. Boswell's Johnson, 1775, aetat. 66).
Johnson's comment well illustrates Pope's line in the Essay on Criticism: 'What oft was thought but ne'er so well expressed' which gives us briefly the aim and achievement of the best 18th century poetry."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 155.

77.1 - 84.7 Yet ... die.] "Arthur Johnston, Selected Poems of [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Arthur Johnston, Selected Poems of Gray and Collins (1967) p. 44, cites Swift's Thoughts on Various Subjects (Works (1735) vol i): 'There is in most people a reluctance and unwillingness to be forgotten. We observe even among the vulgar, how fond they are to have an inscription over their grave. It requires but little philosophy to discover and observe that there is no intrinsic value in all this; however, if it be founded in our nature, as an incitement to virtue, it ought not to be ridiculed.'"

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 132.

80.1-7 Implores ... sigh.] "Pope, Odyssey xi 89-90: 'The [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Pope, Odyssey xi 89-90: 'The tribute of a tear is all I crave, / And the possession of a peaceful grave.'"

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 132.

Contribute a note or query


81 Their name, their years, spelt by the unlettered muse, 6 Explanatory

77.1 - 92.8 Yet ... fires.] "''The four stanzas, beginning 'Yet [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"''The four stanzas, beginning 'Yet even these bones,' are to me original: I have never seen the notions in any other place: yet he that reads them here persuades himself that he has always felt them.'' Johnson (cf. Boswell's Johnson, 1775, aetat. 66).
Johnson's comment well illustrates Pope's line in the Essay on Criticism: 'What oft was thought but ne'er so well expressed' which gives us briefly the aim and achievement of the best 18th century poetry."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 155.

77.1 - 84.7 Yet ... die.] "Arthur Johnston, Selected Poems of [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Arthur Johnston, Selected Poems of Gray and Collins (1967) p. 44, cites Swift's Thoughts on Various Subjects (Works (1735) vol i): 'There is in most people a reluctance and unwillingness to be forgotten. We observe even among the vulgar, how fond they are to have an inscription over their grave. It requires but little philosophy to discover and observe that there is no intrinsic value in all this; however, if it be founded in our nature, as an incitement to virtue, it ought not to be ridiculed.'"

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 132.

81.5-9 spelt ... muse,] "means composed or engraved by [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"means composed or engraved by an illiterate person. Gray had probably in mind that under the yew-tree there is a tombstone with several words wrongly spelt and some letters ill-formed, and that even in the inscription which he composed for his aunt's tomb the word resurrection is spelt incorrectly by the unlettered stone-cutter."

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], 223/224.

81.5-9 spelt ... muse,] "'Under the yew tree [in [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"'Under the yew tree [in the churchyard at Stoke] there is a tombstone with several words wrongly spelt, and some letters ill-formed, and even in the inscription which Gray composed for his aunt's tomb, the word ''resurrection'' is spelt incorrectly by the unlettered stone-cutter.'   Bradshaw."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 156.

81.7-9 the ... muse,] "Epitaphs are famous for ridiculous [...]" W. Lyon Phelps, 1894.

"Epitaphs are famous for ridiculous errors."

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, 141.

81.7-9 the ... muse,] "Milton, Comus 174: 'unleter'd Hinds'." R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Milton, Comus 174: 'unleter'd Hinds'."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 132.

Contribute a note or query

82 The place of fame and elegy supply: 2 Explanatory, 6 Textual

77.1 - 92.8 Yet ... fires.] "''The four stanzas, beginning 'Yet [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"''The four stanzas, beginning 'Yet even these bones,' are to me original: I have never seen the notions in any other place: yet he that reads them here persuades himself that he has always felt them.'' Johnson (cf. Boswell's Johnson, 1775, aetat. 66).
Johnson's comment well illustrates Pope's line in the Essay on Criticism: 'What oft was thought but ne'er so well expressed' which gives us briefly the aim and achievement of the best 18th century poetry."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 155.

77.1 - 84.7 Yet ... die.] "Arthur Johnston, Selected Poems of [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Arthur Johnston, Selected Poems of Gray and Collins (1967) p. 44, cites Swift's Thoughts on Various Subjects (Works (1735) vol i): 'There is in most people a reluctance and unwillingness to be forgotten. We observe even among the vulgar, how fond they are to have an inscription over their grave. It requires but little philosophy to discover and observe that there is no intrinsic value in all this; however, if it be founded in our nature, as an incitement to virtue, it ought not to be ridiculed.'"

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 132.

82.6 elegy] "Epitaph. - Mason MS." E. Gosse, 1884.

"Epitaph. - Mason MS."

The Works of Thomas Gray: In Prose and Verse. Ed. by Edmund Gosse, in four vols. London: MacMillan and Co., 1884, vol. i, 77.

82.6 elegy] "Epitaph. - Original MS. [Mason [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"Epitaph. - Original MS. [Mason 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], 230.

82.6 elegy] "epitaph   Fraser MS. The [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"epitaph   Fraser MS. The change is a distinct improvement, for the rustic inscriptions are epitaphs, however rude."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 156.

82.6 elegy] "Epitaph Pembroke MS." A.L. Poole/L. Whibley, 1950 [1st ed. 1919].

"Epitaph 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], 175.

82.6 elegy] "Epitaph C[ommonplace] B[ook], E[ton College [...]" H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"Epitaph C[ommonplace] B[ook], E[ton College MS.]."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 41.

82.6 elegy] "Epitaph   Eton, Commonplace Book." R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Epitaph   Eton, 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, 132.

Contribute a note or query

83 And many a holy text around she strews, 3 Explanatory

77.1 - 92.8 Yet ... fires.] "''The four stanzas, beginning 'Yet [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"''The four stanzas, beginning 'Yet even these bones,' are to me original: I have never seen the notions in any other place: yet he that reads them here persuades himself that he has always felt them.'' Johnson (cf. Boswell's Johnson, 1775, aetat. 66).
Johnson's comment well illustrates Pope's line in the Essay on Criticism: 'What oft was thought but ne'er so well expressed' which gives us briefly the aim and achievement of the best 18th century poetry."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 155.

77.1 - 84.7 Yet ... die.] "Arthur Johnston, Selected Poems of [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Arthur Johnston, Selected Poems of Gray and Collins (1967) p. 44, cites Swift's Thoughts on Various Subjects (Works (1735) vol i): 'There is in most people a reluctance and unwillingness to be forgotten. We observe even among the vulgar, how fond they are to have an inscription over their grave. It requires but little philosophy to discover and observe that there is no intrinsic value in all this; however, if it be founded in our nature, as an incitement to virtue, it ought not to be ridiculed.'"

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 132.

83.1 - 84.7 And ... die.] "Here again want of lucidity [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"Here again want of lucidity is the one defect in a beautiful stanza. Gray seems to mean 'who ever was so much a prey to dumb Forgetfulness as to resign life and its possibilities of joy and sorrow without some regret?' But not only is it patent that millions have been so much a prey to the 'second childishness and mere oblivion' of age that they have passed away without the power to feel regret, but the whole sequence of thought shows that this cannot be Gray's meaning. He uses 'prey' in a prospective sense, the destined prey; accordingly Munro translates

Quis subiturus enim Lethaea silentia &c.
It is perhaps Gray's classicism which betrays him here, for Horace, who has sometimes the same sort of obscurity due to condensation, has just this anticipatory use when he says (Odes, II. 3. 21 sq.) that it makes no difference whether as rich and high-born or poor and low-born you linger out life's little day, the victim of merciless Orcus; i.e. certain in either case to become so at last.
Again, Gray seems to be shaping anew the question in Paradise Lost (II. 146 sq.):
        ''For who would lose,
Though full of pain, this intellectual being,
These thoughts that wander through eternity,
To perish rather, swallowed up and lost
In the wide womb of uncreated Night,
Devoid of sense and motion?''
and when he speaks of 'this pleasing anxious being' and 'the warm precincts of the cheerful day,' he may be supposed to express the same horror of the annihilation of thought, the same dread of eternal darkness. Yet, in the main, the terror of which Gray speaks is the forgetfulness of the dead by the living. In this and the following stanza the true significance of the 'frail memorials' is explained. Though men are destined to oblivion they crave to be remembered, as they have craved for human support and affection in their last hours; it is thus that 'even from the tomb the voice of nature cries.' In fact whilst we find the form and some of the accessories of Gray's thought in Milton, we find the substance of it rather in Homer, Virgil and Dante, who give us the same voice of nature as heard from the further shore; as when the spirits say to Dante, Inferno, xvi. 85 sq.:
        ''if thou escape this darksome clime
Returning to behold the radiant stars,
See that of us thou speak amongst mankind'' "

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 156/157.

Contribute a note or query

84 That teach the rustic moralist to die. 5 Explanatory, 1 Textual

77.1 - 92.8 Yet ... fires.] "''The four stanzas, beginning 'Yet [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"''The four stanzas, beginning 'Yet even these bones,' are to me original: I have never seen the notions in any other place: yet he that reads them here persuades himself that he has always felt them.'' Johnson (cf. Boswell's Johnson, 1775, aetat. 66).
Johnson's comment well illustrates Pope's line in the Essay on Criticism: 'What oft was thought but ne'er so well expressed' which gives us briefly the aim and achievement of the best 18th century poetry."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 155.

77.1 - 84.7 Yet ... die.] "Arthur Johnston, Selected Poems of [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Arthur Johnston, Selected Poems of Gray and Collins (1967) p. 44, cites Swift's Thoughts on Various Subjects (Works (1735) vol i): 'There is in most people a reluctance and unwillingness to be forgotten. We observe even among the vulgar, how fond they are to have an inscription over their grave. It requires but little philosophy to discover and observe that there is no intrinsic value in all this; however, if it be founded in our nature, as an incitement to virtue, it ought not to be ridiculed.'"

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 132.

83.1 - 84.7 And ... die.] "Here again want of lucidity [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"Here again want of lucidity is the one defect in a beautiful stanza. Gray seems to mean 'who ever was so much a prey to dumb Forgetfulness as to resign life and its possibilities of joy and sorrow without some regret?' But not only is it patent that millions have been so much a prey to the 'second childishness and mere oblivion' of age that they have passed away without the power to feel regret, but the whole sequence of thought shows that this cannot be Gray's meaning. He uses 'prey' in a prospective sense, the destined prey; accordingly Munro translates

Quis subiturus enim Lethaea silentia &c.
It is perhaps Gray's classicism which betrays him here, for Horace, who has sometimes the same sort of obscurity due to condensation, has just this anticipatory use when he says (Odes, II. 3. 21 sq.) that it makes no difference whether as rich and high-born or poor and low-born you linger out life's little day, the victim of merciless Orcus; i.e. certain in either case to become so at last.
Again, Gray seems to be shaping anew the question in Paradise Lost (II. 146 sq.):
        ''For who would lose,
Though full of pain, this intellectual being,
These thoughts that wander through eternity,
To perish rather, swallowed up and lost
In the wide womb of uncreated Night,
Devoid of sense and motion?''
and when he speaks of 'this pleasing anxious being' and 'the warm precincts of the cheerful day,' he may be supposed to express the same horror of the annihilation of thought, the same dread of eternal darkness. Yet, in the main, the terror of which Gray speaks is the forgetfulness of the dead by the living. In this and the following stanza the true significance of the 'frail memorials' is explained. Though men are destined to oblivion they crave to be remembered, as they have craved for human support and affection in their last hours; it is thus that 'even from the tomb the voice of nature cries.' In fact whilst we find the form and some of the accessories of Gray's thought in Milton, we find the substance of it rather in Homer, Virgil and Dante, who give us the same voice of nature as heard from the further shore; as when the spirits say to Dante, Inferno, xvi. 85 sq.:
        ''if thou escape this darksome clime
Returning to behold the radiant stars,
See that of us thou speak amongst mankind'' "

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 156/157.

84.1-2 That teach] "Mitford writes in second Life [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"Mitford writes in second Life of Gray, ''As this construction is not, as it now stands, correct, I think that Gray originally wrote 'to teach' but altered it afterwards, euphoniae gratia, and made the grammar give way to the sound.'' That euphony was Gray's motive is probable, but the Fraser MS. shows that it was his motive from the first; there is no such alteration there, as Mitford supposes."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 156.

84.1-7 That ... die.] "Tickell, On the Death of [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Tickell, On the Death of Mr Addison 81-2: 'There taught us how to live; and (oh! too high / The price for knowledge) taught us how to die.'"

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 132.

84.7 die.] "dye B[entley's Designs]." H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"dye B[entley's Designs]."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 41.

Contribute a note or query


85 For who to dumb Forgetfulness a prey, 7 Explanatory

77.1 - 92.8 Yet ... fires.] "''The four stanzas, beginning 'Yet [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"''The four stanzas, beginning 'Yet even these bones,' are to me original: I have never seen the notions in any other place: yet he that reads them here persuades himself that he has always felt them.'' Johnson (cf. Boswell's Johnson, 1775, aetat. 66).
Johnson's comment well illustrates Pope's line in the Essay on Criticism: 'What oft was thought but ne'er so well expressed' which gives us briefly the aim and achievement of the best 18th century poetry."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 155.

85.1 - 86.6 For ... resigned,] "This may mean one of [...]" W. Lyon Phelps, 1894.

"This may mean one of two things, (a) ''For who, a prey to dumb Forgetfulness, e'er resigned this pleasing anxious being?'' or (b), ''For who e'er resigned this pleasing anxious being to be a prey to dumb Forgetfulness?'' Hales has discussed the matter at length."

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, 141/142.

85.1 - 88.7 For ... behind?] "This stanza is capable of [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"This stanza is capable of two constructions, according as we take prey in agreement with who or with being. I prefer the former: - For what person, a prey to forgetfulness, ever resigned his life, and left the world, without casting a regretful look behind? If prey be taken with being, then ''to dumb Forgetfulness a prey'' is the completion of the predicate resigned, and we have two questions asked: - For who ever resigned this life to be a prey to forgetfulness, and left the world without, etc.?"

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], 224.

85.1-7 For ... prey,] "The For refers to what [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"The For refers to what has gone before, lines 77-84; even to these poor rustics there are memorials that ask for the sympathy of the passer-by, because who ever left the world without a regretful look and a desire to be remembered?"

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], 224.

85.1 - 92.8 For ... fires.] "A reflection upon the fact, [...]" J. Crofts, 1948 [1st ed. 1926].

"A reflection upon the fact, noted in the preceding stanzas, that even the humblest of mankind try to perpetuate themselves by monuments and inscriptions. 'For who, even when death's hand was upon his very speech and memory, ever turned to die without regret for the pleasures and anxieties which fill human life, and without a desire to retain the human sympathy that he found there? Why! the instinct is so strong that even from the tomb itself, nay, even from our very ashes, it manages to find expression.' (Witness the 'uncouth rhymes' and inscriptions by which even these insignificant and ignorant dead strive to preserve their identity.)"

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], 167.

85.1 - 86.6 For ... resigned,] "The link in G[ray].'s thought [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"The link in G[ray].'s thought is not clear, since the causal connection implied could be with either the memorials or the texts in the previous stanza: man's reluctance to be forgotten after death could have caused either the inscriptions on the graves or the need to have texts on the graves to teach those still living how to consider death. But these two lines are ambiguous in themselves and could be read in three ways: 'For who, about to become a prey to dumb forgetfulness (= oblivion)'; 'For who ever resigned this being to dumb forgetfulness (= oblivion)'; and 'For who was already so much the prey of forgetfulness (= insensibility) as to resign' etc. The first of these readings seems most likely: for 'forgetfulness' as 'oblivion' see Spenser, Ruins of Time 377-8: 'And them immortal make, which els would die / In foule forgetfulnesse'; and Visions of Bellay i 3: 'the forgetfulnes of sleepe'. See also Par. Lost ii 146-51: 'for who would loose, / Though full of pain, this intellectual being, / Those thoughts that wander through Eternity, / To perish rather, swallowd up and lost / In the wide womb of uncreated night, / Devoid of sense and motion?'"

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 132/133.

85.6-7 a prey,] "given over to, the victim [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"given over to, the victim of."

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], 224.

Contribute a note or query

86 This pleasing anxious being e'er resigned, 6 Explanatory

77.1 - 92.8 Yet ... fires.] "''The four stanzas, beginning 'Yet [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"''The four stanzas, beginning 'Yet even these bones,' are to me original: I have never seen the notions in any other place: yet he that reads them here persuades himself that he has always felt them.'' Johnson (cf. Boswell's Johnson, 1775, aetat. 66).
Johnson's comment well illustrates Pope's line in the Essay on Criticism: 'What oft was thought but ne'er so well expressed' which gives us briefly the aim and achievement of the best 18th century poetry."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 155.

85.1 - 86.6 For ... resigned,] "This may mean one of [...]" W. Lyon Phelps, 1894.

"This may mean one of two things, (a) ''For who, a prey to dumb Forgetfulness, e'er resigned this pleasing anxious being?'' or (b), ''For who e'er resigned this pleasing anxious being to be a prey to dumb Forgetfulness?'' Hales has discussed the matter at length."

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, 141/142.

85.1 - 88.7 For ... behind?] "This stanza is capable of [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"This stanza is capable of two constructions, according as we take prey in agreement with who or with being. I prefer the former: - For what person, a prey to forgetfulness, ever resigned his life, and left the world, without casting a regretful look behind? If prey be taken with being, then ''to dumb Forgetfulness a prey'' is the completion of the predicate resigned, and we have two questions asked: - For who ever resigned this life to be a prey to forgetfulness, and left the world without, etc.?"

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], 224.

85.1 - 92.8 For ... fires.] "A reflection upon the fact, [...]" J. Crofts, 1948 [1st ed. 1926].

"A reflection upon the fact, noted in the preceding stanzas, that even the humblest of mankind try to perpetuate themselves by monuments and inscriptions. 'For who, even when death's hand was upon his very speech and memory, ever turned to die without regret for the pleasures and anxieties which fill human life, and without a desire to retain the human sympathy that he found there? Why! the instinct is so strong that even from the tomb itself, nay, even from our very ashes, it manages to find expression.' (Witness the 'uncouth rhymes' and inscriptions by which even these insignificant and ignorant dead strive to preserve their identity.)"

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], 167.

85.1 - 86.6 For ... resigned,] "The link in G[ray].'s thought [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"The link in G[ray].'s thought is not clear, since the causal connection implied could be with either the memorials or the texts in the previous stanza: man's reluctance to be forgotten after death could have caused either the inscriptions on the graves or the need to have texts on the graves to teach those still living how to consider death. But these two lines are ambiguous in themselves and could be read in three ways: 'For who, about to become a prey to dumb forgetfulness (= oblivion)'; 'For who ever resigned this being to dumb forgetfulness (= oblivion)'; and 'For who was already so much the prey of forgetfulness (= insensibility) as to resign' etc. The first of these readings seems most likely: for 'forgetfulness' as 'oblivion' see Spenser, Ruins of Time 377-8: 'And them immortal make, which els would die / In foule forgetfulnesse'; and Visions of Bellay i 3: 'the forgetfulnes of sleepe'. See also Par. Lost ii 146-51: 'for who would loose, / Though full of pain, this intellectual being, / Those thoughts that wander through Eternity, / To perish rather, swallowd up and lost / In the wide womb of uncreated night, / Devoid of sense and motion?'"

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 132/133.

86.2-3 pleasing anxious] "Milton's 'intellectual being,' delightful in [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"Milton's 'intellectual being,' delightful in spite of pain and trouble. Grammarians call this figure oxymoron, something which is the more pointed because it seems paradoxical. It abounds in Shakespeare. Munro here renders ''dulce / tormentum hanc animam &c.''"

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 157.

Contribute a note or query

87 Left the warm precincts of the cheerful day, 9 Explanatory

77.1 - 92.8 Yet ... fires.] "''The four stanzas, beginning 'Yet [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"''The four stanzas, beginning 'Yet even these bones,' are to me original: I have never seen the notions in any other place: yet he that reads them here persuades himself that he has always felt them.'' Johnson (cf. Boswell's Johnson, 1775, aetat. 66).
Johnson's comment well illustrates Pope's line in the Essay on Criticism: 'What oft was thought but ne'er so well expressed' which gives us briefly the aim and achievement of the best 18th century poetry."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 155.

85.1 - 88.7 For ... behind?] "This stanza is capable of [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"This stanza is capable of two constructions, according as we take prey in agreement with who or with being. I prefer the former: - For what person, a prey to forgetfulness, ever resigned his life, and left the world, without casting a regretful look behind? If prey be taken with being, then ''to dumb Forgetfulness a prey'' is the completion of the predicate resigned, and we have two questions asked: - For who ever resigned this life to be a prey to forgetfulness, and left the world without, etc.?"

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], 224.

85.1 - 92.8 For ... fires.] "A reflection upon the fact, [...]" J. Crofts, 1948 [1st ed. 1926].

"A reflection upon the fact, noted in the preceding stanzas, that even the humblest of mankind try to perpetuate themselves by monuments and inscriptions. 'For who, even when death's hand was upon his very speech and memory, ever turned to die without regret for the pleasures and anxieties which fill human life, and without a desire to retain the human sympathy that he found there? Why! the instinct is so strong that even from the tomb itself, nay, even from our very ashes, it manages to find expression.' (Witness the 'uncouth rhymes' and inscriptions by which even these insignificant and ignorant dead strive to preserve their identity.)"

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], 167.

87.1-8 Left ... day,] "Correspondingly, in Homer, Virgil, Dante, [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"Correspondingly, in Homer, Virgil, Dante, the desiderium of the departed is for the light of the upper air."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 157.

87.1-8 Left ... day,] "Lucretius i 23: dias in [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Lucretius i 23: dias in luminis oras (the shining borders of light i.e. the created world); and Par. Lost iii 88: 'the Precincts of light'."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 133.

87.4 precincts] "This word, and the phrase [...]" W. Lyon Phelps, 1894.

"This word, and the phrase ''pleasing anxious being,'' sound thoroughly Augustan; no wonder Dr. Johnson thought this stanza especially fine."

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, 142.

87.4-8 precincts ... day,] "Gray probably took this expression [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"Gray probably took this expression from ''Paradise Lost,'' iii. 88, the only place in Milton's poems where ''precincts'' occurs: - ''Not far off Heaven, in the precincts of light.''"

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], 224.

87.4 precincts] "Gray probably took this expression [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"Gray probably took this expression from Paradise Lost, III. 88, the only place in Milton's poems where 'precincts' occurs: 'Not far off Heaven in the precincts of light.'   Bradshaw.
Note that Milton accentuates the word on the last syllable, Gray, in modern fashion, on the first."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 157.

87.8 day,] "Equivalent to 'life', like Latin [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Equivalent to 'life', like Latin lux: e.g. Virgil, Aeneid iv 631: invisam ... lucem (hateful life); and Lucretius v 989: dulcia linquebant labentis lumina vitae (they left the sweet light of lapsing life). Spenser has 'chearfull day', Faerie Queene I iii 27, 7 and II vii 29, 4; and Colin Clout 856; and Pope, Odyssey xi 116 and 570."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 133.

Contribute a note or query

88 Nor cast one longing lingering look behind? 4 Explanatory

77.1 - 92.8 Yet ... fires.] "''The four stanzas, beginning 'Yet [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"''The four stanzas, beginning 'Yet even these bones,' are to me original: I have never seen the notions in any other place: yet he that reads them here persuades himself that he has always felt them.'' Johnson (cf. Boswell's Johnson, 1775, aetat. 66).
Johnson's comment well illustrates Pope's line in the Essay on Criticism: 'What oft was thought but ne'er so well expressed' which gives us briefly the aim and achievement of the best 18th century poetry."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 155.

85.1 - 88.7 For ... behind?] "This stanza is capable of [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"This stanza is capable of two constructions, according as we take prey in agreement with who or with being. I prefer the former: - For what person, a prey to forgetfulness, ever resigned his life, and left the world, without casting a regretful look behind? If prey be taken with being, then ''to dumb Forgetfulness a prey'' is the completion of the predicate resigned, and we have two questions asked: - For who ever resigned this life to be a prey to forgetfulness, and left the world without, etc.?"

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], 224.

85.1 - 92.8 For ... fires.] "A reflection upon the fact, [...]" J. Crofts, 1948 [1st ed. 1926].

"A reflection upon the fact, noted in the preceding stanzas, that even the humblest of mankind try to perpetuate themselves by monuments and inscriptions. 'For who, even when death's hand was upon his very speech and memory, ever turned to die without regret for the pleasures and anxieties which fill human life, and without a desire to retain the human sympathy that he found there? Why! the instinct is so strong that even from the tomb itself, nay, even from our very ashes, it manages to find expression.' (Witness the 'uncouth rhymes' and inscriptions by which even these insignificant and ignorant dead strive to preserve their identity.)"

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], 167.

88.1-7 Nor ... behind?] "Rowe, Fair Penitent II i [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Rowe, Fair Penitent II i Song: 'Nor casts one pitying look behind'; and Blair, The Grave 358-61: 'How wishfully she [the soul] looks / On all she's leaving, now no longer her's! / A little longer, yet a little longer, / Oh! might she stay ...'"

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 133.

Contribute a note or query


89 On some fond breast the parting soul relies, 6 Explanatory

77.1 - 92.8 Yet ... fires.] "''The four stanzas, beginning 'Yet [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"''The four stanzas, beginning 'Yet even these bones,' are to me original: I have never seen the notions in any other place: yet he that reads them here persuades himself that he has always felt them.'' Johnson (cf. Boswell's Johnson, 1775, aetat. 66).
Johnson's comment well illustrates Pope's line in the Essay on Criticism: 'What oft was thought but ne'er so well expressed' which gives us briefly the aim and achievement of the best 18th century poetry."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 155.

85.1 - 92.8 For ... fires.] "A reflection upon the fact, [...]" J. Crofts, 1948 [1st ed. 1926].

"A reflection upon the fact, noted in the preceding stanzas, that even the humblest of mankind try to perpetuate themselves by monuments and inscriptions. 'For who, even when death's hand was upon his very speech and memory, ever turned to die without regret for the pleasures and anxieties which fill human life, and without a desire to retain the human sympathy that he found there? Why! the instinct is so strong that even from the tomb itself, nay, even from our very ashes, it manages to find expression.' (Witness the 'uncouth rhymes' and inscriptions by which even these insignificant and ignorant dead strive to preserve their identity.)"

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], 167.

89.1 - 92.8 On ... fires.] "This stanza poetically answers the [...]" W. Lyon Phelps, 1894.

"This stanza poetically answers the question put in the preceding one. The last two lines are strongly imaginative. Some editors think they refer to the epitaph cut on the stone, though no such interpretation is really necessary. Could Gray have had in mind Chaucer's line, as Mitford suggests? ''Yet in oure asshen colde is fyr i-reke'' Prologue Reeve's Tale, 28."

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, 142.

89.1 - 92.8 On ... fires.] "This stanza may be regarded [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"This stanza may be regarded as an answer to the question in the last: When dying one rests on some loving friend, and needs the tears of affection; and even after one is buried the same natural desire for loving rememberance shows itself; and when all is dust and ashes the fire that was accustomed to be in those ashes lives in them (and finds expression in the inscription on the tombs).
Here Mitford quotes Drayton and Pope: -

''It is some comfort to a wretch to die,
    (If there be comfort in the way of death)
To have some friend, or kind alliance by
    To be officious at the parting breath.'' - Moses

''No friend's complaint, no kind domestic tear
Pleased thy pale ghost, or graced thy mournful bier,
By foreign hands thy dying eyes were closed.'' - Elegy, 81."

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], 224/225.

89.1 - 92.8 On ... fires.] "So Drayton in his Moses, [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"So Drayton in his Moses, p. 1564, vol. iv. ed. 1753:

''It is some comfort to a wretch to die,
    (If there be comfort in the way of death)
To have some friend, or kind alliance by
    To be officious at the parting breath.''   Mitford.
'It has been suggested that the first line of Gray's stanza seems to regard the near approach of death; the second its actual advent; the third, the time immediately succeeding its advent; the fourth, a time still later.'   Bradshaw."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 157/158.

89.1 - 90.7 On ... requires;] "Mitford cites Drayton, Moses's Birth [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Mitford cites Drayton, Moses's Birth and Miracles Bk i: 'It is some comfort to a wretch to die, / (If there be comfort in the way of death) / To have some friend or kind alliance by, / To be officious at the parting breath'. Cp. also C. Hopkins, 'Leander to Nero', The Art of Love (1709) p. 444: 'While on thy Lips I pour my parting Breath, / Look thee all o'er, and clasp thee close in Death; / Sigh out my Soul upon thy panting Breast.'"

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 133.

Contribute a note or query

90 Some pious drops the closing eye requires; 9 Explanatory, 1 Textual

77.1 - 92.8 Yet ... fires.] "''The four stanzas, beginning 'Yet [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"''The four stanzas, beginning 'Yet even these bones,' are to me original: I have never seen the notions in any other place: yet he that reads them here persuades himself that he has always felt them.'' Johnson (cf. Boswell's Johnson, 1775, aetat. 66).
Johnson's comment well illustrates Pope's line in the Essay on Criticism: 'What oft was thought but ne'er so well expressed' which gives us briefly the aim and achievement of the best 18th century poetry."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 155.

85.1 - 92.8 For ... fires.] "A reflection upon the fact, [...]" J. Crofts, 1948 [1st ed. 1926].

"A reflection upon the fact, noted in the preceding stanzas, that even the humblest of mankind try to perpetuate themselves by monuments and inscriptions. 'For who, even when death's hand was upon his very speech and memory, ever turned to die without regret for the pleasures and anxieties which fill human life, and without a desire to retain the human sympathy that he found there? Why! the instinct is so strong that even from the tomb itself, nay, even from our very ashes, it manages to find expression.' (Witness the 'uncouth rhymes' and inscriptions by which even these insignificant and ignorant dead strive to preserve their identity.)"

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], 167.

89.1 - 92.8 On ... fires.] "This stanza poetically answers the [...]" W. Lyon Phelps, 1894.

"This stanza poetically answers the question put in the preceding one. The last two lines are strongly imaginative. Some editors think they refer to the epitaph cut on the stone, though no such interpretation is really necessary. Could Gray have had in mind Chaucer's line, as Mitford suggests? ''Yet in oure asshen colde is fyr i-reke'' Prologue Reeve's Tale, 28."

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, 142.

89.1 - 92.8 On ... fires.] "This stanza may be regarded [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"This stanza may be regarded as an answer to the question in the last: When dying one rests on some loving friend, and needs the tears of affection; and even after one is buried the same natural desire for loving rememberance shows itself; and when all is dust and ashes the fire that was accustomed to be in those ashes lives in them (and finds expression in the inscription on the tombs).
Here Mitford quotes Drayton and Pope: -

''It is some comfort to a wretch to die,
    (If there be comfort in the way of death)
To have some friend, or kind alliance by
    To be officious at the parting breath.'' - Moses

''No friend's complaint, no kind domestic tear
Pleased thy pale ghost, or graced thy mournful bier,
By foreign hands thy dying eyes were closed.'' - Elegy, 81."

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], 224/225.

89.1 - 92.8 On ... fires.] "So Drayton in his Moses, [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"So Drayton in his Moses, p. 1564, vol. iv. ed. 1753:

''It is some comfort to a wretch to die,
    (If there be comfort in the way of death)
To have some friend, or kind alliance by
    To be officious at the parting breath.''   Mitford.
'It has been suggested that the first line of Gray's stanza seems to regard the near approach of death; the second its actual advent; the third, the time immediately succeeding its advent; the fourth, a time still later.'   Bradshaw."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 157/158.

89.1 - 90.7 On ... requires;] "Mitford cites Drayton, Moses's Birth [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Mitford cites Drayton, Moses's Birth and Miracles Bk i: 'It is some comfort to a wretch to die, / (If there be comfort in the way of death) / To have some friend or kind alliance by, / To be officious at the parting breath'. Cp. also C. Hopkins, 'Leander to Nero', The Art of Love (1709) p. 444: 'While on thy Lips I pour my parting Breath, / Look thee all o'er, and clasp thee close in Death; / Sigh out my Soul upon thy panting Breast.'"

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 133.

90.1-7 Some ... requires;] "In C[ommonplace] B[ook] l. 90 [...]" H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"In C[ommonplace] B[ook] l. 90 is mistakenly numbered 100, an error which is carried through the rest of the poem."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 41.

90.2 pious] "'Careful of the duties of [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"'Careful of the duties of a near relation' (Johnson). Cp. Latin pius: e.g. Ovid, Tristia IV iii 41-4: spiritus hie per te patrias exisset in auras / sparsissent lacrimae pectora nostra piae, / supremoque die notum spectantia caelum / texissent digiti lumina nostra tui (This spirit of mine through thy aid would have gone forth to its native air, pious tears would have wet my breast, my eyes upon the last day gazing at a familiar sky would have been closed by thy fingers). Dryden has 'pious tears', Annus Mirabilis 958; Aeneid vi 641; and Sigismonda and Guiscardo 669. See also Pope, Elegy to an Unfortunate Lady 49-51, where the 'pious' acts are done by 'foreign hands'."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 133.

90.5-6 closing eye] "Cp. Pope, Elegy to an [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Cp. Pope, Elegy to an Unfortunate Lady 77-9: 'Ev'n he whose soul now melts in mournful lays, / Shall shortly want the gen'rous tear he pays; / Then from his closing eyes thy form shall part ...'"

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 133.

90.7 requires;] "See Sonnet on West 6 [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"See Sonnet on West 6 and n, for this sense of both needing and seeking; and cp. Annus Mirabilis 1021-4, a quatrain which G[ray]. seems unconsciously to have recalled: 'Those who have none sit round where once it was, / And with full eyes each wonted room require; / Haunting the yet warm ashes of the place, / As murder'd men walk where they did expire.'"

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 133.

Contribute a note or query

91 Ev'n from the tomb the voice of nature cries, 7 Explanatory

77.1 - 92.8 Yet ... fires.] "''The four stanzas, beginning 'Yet [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"''The four stanzas, beginning 'Yet even these bones,' are to me original: I have never seen the notions in any other place: yet he that reads them here persuades himself that he has always felt them.'' Johnson (cf. Boswell's Johnson, 1775, aetat. 66).
Johnson's comment well illustrates Pope's line in the Essay on Criticism: 'What oft was thought but ne'er so well expressed' which gives us briefly the aim and achievement of the best 18th century poetry."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 155.

85.1 - 92.8 For ... fires.] "A reflection upon the fact, [...]" J. Crofts, 1948 [1st ed. 1926].

"A reflection upon the fact, noted in the preceding stanzas, that even the humblest of mankind try to perpetuate themselves by monuments and inscriptions. 'For who, even when death's hand was upon his very speech and memory, ever turned to die without regret for the pleasures and anxieties which fill human life, and without a desire to retain the human sympathy that he found there? Why! the instinct is so strong that even from the tomb itself, nay, even from our very ashes, it manages to find expression.' (Witness the 'uncouth rhymes' and inscriptions by which even these insignificant and ignorant dead strive to preserve their identity.)"

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], 167.

89.1 - 92.8 On ... fires.] "This stanza poetically answers the [...]" W. Lyon Phelps, 1894.

"This stanza poetically answers the question put in the preceding one. The last two lines are strongly imaginative. Some editors think they refer to the epitaph cut on the stone, though no such interpretation is really necessary. Could Gray have had in mind Chaucer's line, as Mitford suggests? ''Yet in oure asshen colde is fyr i-reke'' Prologue Reeve's Tale, 28."

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, 142.

89.1 - 92.8 On ... fires.] "This stanza may be regarded [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"This stanza may be regarded as an answer to the question in the last: When dying one rests on some loving friend, and needs the tears of affection; and even after one is buried the same natural desire for loving rememberance shows itself; and when all is dust and ashes the fire that was accustomed to be in those ashes lives in them (and finds expression in the inscription on the tombs).
Here Mitford quotes Drayton and Pope: -

''It is some comfort to a wretch to die,
    (If there be comfort in the way of death)
To have some friend, or kind alliance by
    To be officious at the parting breath.'' - Moses

''No friend's complaint, no kind domestic tear
Pleased thy pale ghost, or graced thy mournful bier,
By foreign hands thy dying eyes were closed.'' - Elegy, 81."

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], 224/225.

89.1 - 92.8 On ... fires.] "So Drayton in his Moses, [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"So Drayton in his Moses, p. 1564, vol. iv. ed. 1753:

''It is some comfort to a wretch to die,
    (If there be comfort in the way of death)
To have some friend, or kind alliance by
    To be officious at the parting breath.''   Mitford.
'It has been suggested that the first line of Gray's stanza seems to regard the near approach of death; the second its actual advent; the third, the time immediately succeeding its advent; the fourth, a time still later.'   Bradshaw."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 157/158.

91.1-9 Ev'n ... cries,] "Some lines in the Anthologia [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"Some lines in the Anthologia Latina, p. 680, Ep. CLIII. have a strong resemblance to those in the text:

''Crede mihi, vires aliquas natura sepulchris
Adtribuit, tumulos vindicat umbra suos.''
See also Ausonius (Parentalia), ed. Tollii, p. 109:
''Gaudent compositi cineres sua nomina dici.'' Mitford.
(The quotation from Ausonius may illustrate also v. 81.)"

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 158.

91.1-9 Ev'n ... cries,] "Prior, Solomon iii 319-20: 'can [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Prior, Solomon iii 319-20: 'can Nature's Voice / Plaintive be drown'd'; Thomson, Liberty iii 122: 'The voice of pleading nature'; Akenside, Pleasures of Imagination ii 357-8: 'the faithful voice of nature'. Lucretius has vocem rerum natura ... / mittat, iii 931-2. Cp. also Dart, Westminster Abbey I xxvii: 'Thus Learning blossoms ev'n in the Tomb.'"

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 134.

Contribute a note or query

92 Ev'n in our ashes live their wonted fires. 9 Explanatory, 7 Textual

77.1 - 92.8 Yet ... fires.] "''The four stanzas, beginning 'Yet [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"''The four stanzas, beginning 'Yet even these bones,' are to me original: I have never seen the notions in any other place: yet he that reads them here persuades himself that he has always felt them.'' Johnson (cf. Boswell's Johnson, 1775, aetat. 66).
Johnson's comment well illustrates Pope's line in the Essay on Criticism: 'What oft was thought but ne'er so well expressed' which gives us briefly the aim and achievement of the best 18th century poetry."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 155.

85.1 - 92.8 For ... fires.] "A reflection upon the fact, [...]" J. Crofts, 1948 [1st ed. 1926].

"A reflection upon the fact, noted in the preceding stanzas, that even the humblest of mankind try to perpetuate themselves by monuments and inscriptions. 'For who, even when death's hand was upon his very speech and memory, ever turned to die without regret for the pleasures and anxieties which fill human life, and without a desire to retain the human sympathy that he found there? Why! the instinct is so strong that even from the tomb itself, nay, even from our very ashes, it manages to find expression.' (Witness the 'uncouth rhymes' and inscriptions by which even these insignificant and ignorant dead strive to preserve their identity.)"

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], 167.

89.1 - 92.8 On ... fires.] "This stanza poetically answers the [...]" W. Lyon Phelps, 1894.

"This stanza poetically answers the question put in the preceding one. The last two lines are strongly imaginative. Some editors think they refer to the epitaph cut on the stone, though no such interpretation is really necessary. Could Gray have had in mind Chaucer's line, as Mitford suggests? ''Yet in oure asshen colde is fyr i-reke'' Prologue Reeve's Tale, 28."

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, 142.

89.1 - 92.8 On ... fires.] "This stanza may be regarded [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"This stanza may be regarded as an answer to the question in the last: When dying one rests on some loving friend, and needs the tears of affection; and even after one is buried the same natural desire for loving rememberance shows itself; and when all is dust and ashes the fire that was accustomed to be in those ashes lives in them (and finds expression in the inscription on the tombs).
Here Mitford quotes Drayton and Pope: -

''It is some comfort to a wretch to die,
    (If there be comfort in the way of death)
To have some friend, or kind alliance by
    To be officious at the parting breath.'' - Moses

''No friend's complaint, no kind domestic tear
Pleased thy pale ghost, or graced thy mournful bier,
By foreign hands thy dying eyes were closed.'' - Elegy, 81."

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], 224/225.

89.1 - 92.8 On ... fires.] "So Drayton in his Moses, [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"So Drayton in his Moses, p. 1564, vol. iv. ed. 1753:

''It is some comfort to a wretch to die,
    (If there be comfort in the way of death)
To have some friend, or kind alliance by
    To be officious at the parting breath.''   Mitford.
'It has been suggested that the first line of Gray's stanza seems to regard the near approach of death; the second its actual advent; the third, the time immediately succeeding its advent; the fourth, a time still later.'   Bradshaw."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 157/158.

92.1-5 Ev'n ... live] "And buried ashes glow with [...]" E. Gosse, 1884.

"And buried ashes glow with social fires. - Mason MS. And ... glow. - Egerton MS."

The Works of Thomas Gray: In Prose and Verse. Ed. by Edmund Gosse, in four vols. London: MacMillan and Co., 1884, vol. i, 78.

92.1-8 Ev'n ... fires.] "Petrarch, Sonnet 170, lines 12, [...]" W. Lyon Phelps, 1894.

"Petrarch, Sonnet 170, lines 12, 13, 14."

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, 142.

92.1-8 Ev'n ... fires.] "The translation (by Nott) of [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"The translation (by Nott) of the lines Gray quotes from Petrarch is: -

''These, my sweet fair, so warns prophetic thought,
(Closed thy bright eye, and mute thy poet's tongue)
E'en after death shall still with sparks be fraught.''
Gray translated this sonnet into Latin Elegiacs, the last two lines of his version being: - ''Infelix musa aeternos spirabit amores, / Ardebitque urna multa favilla mea.''
Still more closely does line 92 resemble one in Chaucer, in the ''Reeve's Prologue,'' speaking of old men not forgetting the passions of their youth: - ''Yet in our ashen cold is fire yreken.'' - 3880.
It has been suggested that the first line of this stanza seems to ragard the near approach of death; the second, its actual advent; the third, the time immediately succeeding its advent; the fourth, a time still later."

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], 225.

92.1-8 Ev'n ... fires.] "And buried ashes glow with [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"And buried ashes glow with social fires. - Original MS. [Mason 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], 230.

92.1-8 Ev'n ... fires.] "And in our ashes glow [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"And in our ashes glow their wonted fires. - Egerton and 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], 230.

92.1-8 Ev'n ... fires.] "And buried Ashes glow with [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"And buried Ashes glow with Social Fires. Fraser MS.
And in our Ashes glow their wonted Fires. Egerton and Pembroke MS.
Awake and faithful to her wonted Fires. 1st and 2nd editions."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 158.

92.1-8 Ev'n ... fires.] "Gray himself quotes here in [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"Gray himself quotes here in illustration:

''Ch'i veggio nel pensier, dolce mio fuoco,
Fredda una lingua, e due begli occhi chiusi
Rimaner dopo noi pien di faville.''
Petrarch, Son. CLXIX. CLI.
He had already, I believe, made the translation of this sonnet, which is preserved among his Latin poems; perhaps even the turn which he has given to it in the lines
''Nos duo cumque erimus parvus uterque cinis,''
and
''Ardebitque urna multa favilla mea,''
may have set him on embodying in this place of the Elegy the passage quoted. Petrarch's words serve Gray's purpose best if severed from their context. In this sonnet the poet plays with the image of flame. He is burning; all believe this, save her whom alone he wishes to believe it; his ardour, of which she makes no account, and the glory he has given her in his rhyme, may yet inflame a thousand others:
''For in my thought I see, - sweet fire of mine!---
A tongue though chilled, and two fair eyes, though sealed,
Fraught with immortal sparks, survive us still.''
Mitford quotes Chaucer, Cant. Tales, Reeve's prologue (3880):
''Yet in our ashen cold is fire yreken.''
But the Reeve is speaking of the passions of youth surviving in old age."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 158.

92.1-5 Ev'n ... live] "And ... glow Pembroke and [...]" A.L. Poole/L. Whibley, 1950 [1st ed. 1919].

"And ... glow Pembroke and Wharton MSS. In Pembroke MS. the present reading is given in margin. In the first edition the line read 'Awake, and faithful to her wonted Fires'."

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], 175.

92.1-8 Ev'n ... fires.] "And buried Ashes glow with [...]" H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"And buried Ashes glow with social Fires E[ton College MS.]; Awake, and faithful to her wonted Fires. [This is the version given by Gray in his instructions to Walpole (T & W no. 157). His later comment to Walpole was 'I humbly propose, for the benefit of Mr. Dodsley and his matrons, that take awake for a verb, that they should read asleep, and all will be right.' (T & W no. 159)] Q[uarto]1, Q[uarto]3; And in our Ashes glow their ... C[ommonplace] B[ook], Wh[arton MS.], with Ev'n and live in margin of CB; Wh adds the note Even in our ashes live &c:"

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 41.

92.1-8 Ev'n ... fires.] "And buried Ashes glow with [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"And buried Ashes glow with social Fires   Eton; And in our Ashes glow their wonted Fires   Wharton, with Even in our ashes lives &c noted, and Commonplace Book, with Ev'n a[n]d live in margin; Awake, & faithful to her wonted Fires G[ray]. to Walpole, 11 Feb 1751 (Corresp i 341), edd 1-7."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 134.

92.1-8 Ev'n ... fires.] "G[ray]. wrote to Walpole, 3 [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"G[ray]. wrote to Walpole, 3 March 1751 (Corresp i 344): 'I humbly propose, for the benefit of Mr. Dodsley and his matrons, that take awake for a verb, that they should read asleep, and all will be right.' If G. was referring to the comma which appeared after 'Awake', the fault was his own (see his letter to Walpole of 11 Feb. above). It was removed in ed 3.
In 1768 G. acknowledged as the source of this line Petrarch's Sonnet 169 (more usually numbered 170), which he himself had earlier translated into Latin (see p. 309): Ch'i veggio nel pensier, dolce mio fuoco, / Fredda una lingua, & due begli occhi chiusi / Rimaner doppa noi pien di faville (For I see in my thoughts, my sweet fire, one cold tongue and two beautiful closed eyes will remain full of sparks after our death). But there are other parallels with G.'s image and thought: e.g. Lucretius iv 925-6: Quippe ubi nulla latens animai pars remaneret / in membris, cinere ut multa latet obrutus ignis (Since, if no part of the spirit were left hidden in the limbs, like fire covered in a heap of ashes); Ovid, Tristia III iii 81-4: Tu tamen extincto feralia munera semper / deque tuis lacrimis umida serta dato. / quamvis in cineres corpus mutaverit ignis, / sentiet officium maesta favilla pium (Yet do you ever give to the dead the funeral offerings and garlands moist with your own tears. Although the fire change my body to ashes, the sorrowing dust shall feel the pious care); Propertius, Elegies II xiii 42: Non nihil ad verum conscia terra sapit (Not at all unconscious and witless of the truth are the ashes of man: i.e. of the way his memory is regarded after death); Ausonius, Parentalia, Praefatio 11-12: Gaudent compositi cineres sua nomina dici: / frontibus hoc scriptis et monumenta iubent (Our dead ones laid to rest rejoice to hear their names: and thus even the lettered stones above their graves would have us do). Arthur Johnston, Selected Poems of Gray and Collins (1967) p. 46, cites the translation of Euripides, Bacchae 8, in the life of Solon in Plutarch's Lives (1683) vol i: 'Still in their embers living the strong fire'. See also Young, Night Thoughts i 105-7: 'Why wanders wretched Thought their tombs around, / In infidel Distress? Are Angels there? / Slumbers, rak'd up in dust, Etherial fire?' The version of the line which appeared in edd 1-7 echoes Pope, Eloisa to Abelard 54: 'Warm from the soul, and faithful to its fires'."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 134.

Contribute a note or query


93 For thee, who mindful of the unhonoured dead 2 Explanatory, 5 Textual

93.1 - 96.7 For ... fate,] "If chance that e'er some [...]" E. Gosse, 1884.

"If chance that e'er some pensive spirit more
    By sympathetic musings here delayed,
With vain tho' kind enquiry shall explore,
    Thy once loved haunt, this long deserted shade. -
            Mason MS."

The Works of Thomas Gray: In Prose and Verse. Ed. by Edmund Gosse, in four vols. London: MacMillan and Co., 1884, vol. i, 78.

93.1 - 96.7 For ... fate,] "This stanza is altered from [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"This stanza is altered from the second of the rejected stanzas quoted above as coming after line 72 in the Original MS.; and in that MS. instead of this stanza (lines 93-96) there are two, the entry in the MS. being: - ''For thee who mindful, etc., as above,'' i.e., the remainder of the rejected stanza, and after that the following: -

''If chance that e'er some pensive spirit more
    By sympathetic musings here delayed,
With vain tho' kind inquiry shall explore
    Thy once loved haunt, this long deserted shade.''"

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], 225.

93.1 - 96.7 For ... fate,] "In Fraser MS. Gray thus [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"In Fraser MS. Gray thus writes: 'For Thee, who mindful &c.: as above.' He meant to bring in the second of the four rejected stanzas, followed by this, (Fraser MS.):

    If chance that e'er some pensive Spirit more,
By sympathetic Musings here delay'd
With vain, tho' kind, Enquiry shall explore
Thy once-loved Haunt, this long-deserted Shade.
    Haply &c."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 159.

93.1 - 96.7 For ... fate,] "In E[ton College MS.] there [...]" H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"In E[ton College MS.] there appears only For Thee, who mindful &c: as above [a reference back to the second stanza quoted in the note to ll. 72 ff.], after which is written:

If chance that e'er some pensive Spirit more,
By sympathetic Musings here delay'd,
With vain, tho' kind, Enquiry shall explore
Thy once-loved Haunt, this long-deserted Shade."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 41.

93.1 - 96.7 For ... fate,] "At this point Eton has: [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"At this point Eton has:

For Thee, who mindful &c: as above.

If chance that e'er some pensive Spirit more,
By sympathetic Musings here delay'd,
With vain, tho' kind, Enquiry shall explore
Thy once-loved Haunt, this long-deserted Shade.
The first of these lines refers back to the second of the rejected stanzas (see l. 72 n). These two repetitive stanzas, which G[ray]. was to compress into one, are close to T. Warton, Pleasures of Melancholy 17-21, where Contemplation is invoked as follows: 'O lead me, queen sublime, to solemn glooms / Congenial with my soul; to cheerless shades, / To ruin's seats, to twilight cells and bow'rs, / Where thoughtful melancholy loves to muse, / Her fav'rite midnight haunts.'"

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 135.

93.2 - 94.7 thee, ... tale] "The 'thee' who relates the [...]" H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"The 'thee' who relates the 'artless tale' is somewhat ambiguous. Presumably Gray is referring to the unnamed individual who is writing the Elegy, but he may have had in mind merely an idealized rustic poet who is described in the succeeding stanzas. When he first began the poem it is likely that he had the former interpretation in mind, but as he revised it over a rather long period he may have changed his views and also, because of the very intensity of the care which he lavished on minor revisions, may very likely have overlooked the ambiguous reference of 'thee'."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 224.

93.2 thee,] "In Eton the poet clearly [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"In Eton the poet clearly addresses himself, in spite of the shift to the second person (cp. l. 4), and there is no reason to suppose that G[ray]. refers to anyone else in his revised version of these lines. But the view has recently been fashionable that G. was referring either to a 'village poet' other than himself or, specifically, to the village stonecutter responsible for the rhymes and inscriptions on the gravestones mentioned in ll. 79-84. No stonecutter is actually mentioned (only a female Muse) and it is unlikely that 'these lines' (l. 94) can refer back as far as l. 79. For discussion of the 'stonecutter' theory still held in some quarters, see F. H. Ellis, PMLA lvi (1951) 992-1004; M. Peckham, MLN lxxi (1956) 409-11; J. H. Sutherland, MP lv (1957) 11-13 (a cogent refutation of the theory)."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 135.

Contribute a note or query

94 Dost in these lines their artless tale relate; 1 Explanatory, 5 Textual

93.1 - 96.7 For ... fate,] "If chance that e'er some [...]" E. Gosse, 1884.

"If chance that e'er some pensive spirit more
    By sympathetic musings here delayed,
With vain tho' kind enquiry shall explore,
    Thy once loved haunt, this long deserted shade. -
            Mason MS."

The Works of Thomas Gray: In Prose and Verse. Ed. by Edmund Gosse, in four vols. London: MacMillan and Co., 1884, vol. i, 78.

93.1 - 96.7 For ... fate,] "This stanza is altered from [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"This stanza is altered from the second of the rejected stanzas quoted above as coming after line 72 in the Original MS.; and in that MS. instead of this stanza (lines 93-96) there are two, the entry in the MS. being: - ''For thee who mindful, etc., as above,'' i.e., the remainder of the rejected stanza, and after that the following: -

''If chance that e'er some pensive spirit more
    By sympathetic musings here delayed,
With vain tho' kind inquiry shall explore
    Thy once loved haunt, this long deserted shade.''"

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], 225.

93.1 - 96.7 For ... fate,] "In Fraser MS. Gray thus [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"In Fraser MS. Gray thus writes: 'For Thee, who mindful &c.: as above.' He meant to bring in the second of the four rejected stanzas, followed by this, (Fraser MS.):

    If chance that e'er some pensive Spirit more,
By sympathetic Musings here delay'd
With vain, tho' kind, Enquiry shall explore
Thy once-loved Haunt, this long-deserted Shade.
    Haply &c."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 159.

93.1 - 96.7 For ... fate,] "In E[ton College MS.] there [...]" H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"In E[ton College MS.] there appears only For Thee, who mindful &c: as above [a reference back to the second stanza quoted in the note to ll. 72 ff.], after which is written:

If chance that e'er some pensive Spirit more,
By sympathetic Musings here delay'd,
With vain, tho' kind, Enquiry shall explore
Thy once-loved Haunt, this long-deserted Shade."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 41.

93.1 - 96.7 For ... fate,] "At this point Eton has: [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"At this point Eton has:

For Thee, who mindful &c: as above.

If chance that e'er some pensive Spirit more,
By sympathetic Musings here delay'd,
With vain, tho' kind, Enquiry shall explore
Thy once-loved Haunt, this long-deserted Shade.
The first of these lines refers back to the second of the rejected stanzas (see l. 72 n). These two repetitive stanzas, which G[ray]. was to compress into one, are close to T. Warton, Pleasures of Melancholy 17-21, where Contemplation is invoked as follows: 'O lead me, queen sublime, to solemn glooms / Congenial with my soul; to cheerless shades, / To ruin's seats, to twilight cells and bow'rs, / Where thoughtful melancholy loves to muse, / Her fav'rite midnight haunts.'"

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 135.

93.2 - 94.7 thee, ... tale] "The 'thee' who relates the [...]" H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"The 'thee' who relates the 'artless tale' is somewhat ambiguous. Presumably Gray is referring to the unnamed individual who is writing the Elegy, but he may have had in mind merely an idealized rustic poet who is described in the succeeding stanzas. When he first began the poem it is likely that he had the former interpretation in mind, but as he revised it over a rather long period he may have changed his views and also, because of the very intensity of the care which he lavished on minor revisions, may very likely have overlooked the ambiguous reference of 'thee'."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 224.

Contribute a note or query

95 If chance, by lonely Contemplation led, 3 Explanatory, 5 Textual

93.1 - 96.7 For ... fate,] "If chance that e'er some [...]" E. Gosse, 1884.

"If chance that e'er some pensive spirit more
    By sympathetic musings here delayed,
With vain tho' kind enquiry shall explore,
    Thy once loved haunt, this long deserted shade. -
            Mason MS."

The Works of Thomas Gray: In Prose and Verse. Ed. by Edmund Gosse, in four vols. London: MacMillan and Co., 1884, vol. i, 78.

93.1 - 96.7 For ... fate,] "This stanza is altered from [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"This stanza is altered from the second of the rejected stanzas quoted above as coming after line 72 in the Original MS.; and in that MS. instead of this stanza (lines 93-96) there are two, the entry in the MS. being: - ''For thee who mindful, etc., as above,'' i.e., the remainder of the rejected stanza, and after that the following: -

''If chance that e'er some pensive spirit more
    By sympathetic musings here delayed,
With vain tho' kind inquiry shall explore
    Thy once loved haunt, this long deserted shade.''"

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], 225.

93.1 - 96.7 For ... fate,] "In Fraser MS. Gray thus [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"In Fraser MS. Gray thus writes: 'For Thee, who mindful &c.: as above.' He meant to bring in the second of the four rejected stanzas, followed by this, (Fraser MS.):

    If chance that e'er some pensive Spirit more,
By sympathetic Musings here delay'd
With vain, tho' kind, Enquiry shall explore
Thy once-loved Haunt, this long-deserted Shade.
    Haply &c."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 159.

93.1 - 96.7 For ... fate,] "In E[ton College MS.] there [...]" H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"In E[ton College MS.] there appears only For Thee, who mindful &c: as above [a reference back to the second stanza quoted in the note to ll. 72 ff.], after which is written:

If chance that e'er some pensive Spirit more,
By sympathetic Musings here delay'd,
With vain, tho' kind, Enquiry shall explore
Thy once-loved Haunt, this long-deserted Shade."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 41.

93.1 - 96.7 For ... fate,] "At this point Eton has: [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"At this point Eton has:

For Thee, who mindful &c: as above.

If chance that e'er some pensive Spirit more,
By sympathetic Musings here delay'd,
With vain, tho' kind, Enquiry shall explore
Thy once-loved Haunt, this long-deserted Shade.
The first of these lines refers back to the second of the rejected stanzas (see l. 72 n). These two repetitive stanzas, which G[ray]. was to compress into one, are close to T. Warton, Pleasures of Melancholy 17-21, where Contemplation is invoked as follows: 'O lead me, queen sublime, to solemn glooms / Congenial with my soul; to cheerless shades, / To ruin's seats, to twilight cells and bow'rs, / Where thoughtful melancholy loves to muse, / Her fav'rite midnight haunts.'"

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 135.

95.1-2 If chance,] "= perchance." W. Lyon Phelps, 1894.

"= perchance."

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, 142.

95.1-2 If chance,] "Shakespeare certainly seems to use [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"Shakespeare certainly seems to use 'chance' as a verb in such instances as 'How chance thou art returned so soon?' (Com. of Errors I. 2. 42), and Lear II. 3. 62 'How chance the King comes with so small a train?' Yet it is probable that 'if chance' is 'if perchance,' the substantive used adverbially. Cf. the similar use of 'if case.' ('Case' is not, I think, found as a verb.) 'If case some one of you would fly from us' (3 Henry VI. V. 4. 34[)]; and ('to a Painted Lady' a poem doubtfully attributed to Donne), 'But case there be a difference in the mould' &c. (in case, probably)."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 159.

95.1-2 If chance,] "If by chance or if [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"If by chance or if it should chance that: so used by Spenser, Faerie Queene III ii 16, 4; and Milton, Par. Lost ix 452. Cp. Rowe, [Lady] Jane Grey II i: 'Where lonely contemplation keeps her cave'."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 135.

Contribute a note or query

96 Some kindred spirit shall inquire thy fate, 8 Textual

93.1 - 96.7 For ... fate,] "If chance that e'er some [...]" E. Gosse, 1884.

"If chance that e'er some pensive spirit more
    By sympathetic musings here delayed,
With vain tho' kind enquiry shall explore,
    Thy once loved haunt, this long deserted shade. -
            Mason MS."

The Works of Thomas Gray: In Prose and Verse. Ed. by Edmund Gosse, in four vols. London: MacMillan and Co., 1884, vol. i, 78.

93.1 - 96.7 For ... fate,] "This stanza is altered from [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"This stanza is altered from the second of the rejected stanzas quoted above as coming after line 72 in the Original MS.; and in that MS. instead of this stanza (lines 93-96) there are two, the entry in the MS. being: - ''For thee who mindful, etc., as above,'' i.e., the remainder of the rejected stanza, and after that the following: -

''If chance that e'er some pensive spirit more
    By sympathetic musings here delayed,
With vain tho' kind inquiry shall explore
    Thy once loved haunt, this long deserted shade.''"

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], 225.

93.1 - 96.7 For ... fate,] "In Fraser MS. Gray thus [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"In Fraser MS. Gray thus writes: 'For Thee, who mindful &c.: as above.' He meant to bring in the second of the four rejected stanzas, followed by this, (Fraser MS.):

    If chance that e'er some pensive Spirit more,
By sympathetic Musings here delay'd
With vain, tho' kind, Enquiry shall explore
Thy once-loved Haunt, this long-deserted Shade.
    Haply &c."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 159.

93.1 - 96.7 For ... fate,] "In E[ton College MS.] there [...]" H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"In E[ton College MS.] there appears only For Thee, who mindful &c: as above [a reference back to the second stanza quoted in the note to ll. 72 ff.], after which is written:

If chance that e'er some pensive Spirit more,
By sympathetic Musings here delay'd,
With vain, tho' kind, Enquiry shall explore
Thy once-loved Haunt, this long-deserted Shade."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 41.

93.1 - 96.7 For ... fate,] "At this point Eton has: [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"At this point Eton has:

For Thee, who mindful &c: as above.

If chance that e'er some pensive Spirit more,
By sympathetic Musings here delay'd,
With vain, tho' kind, Enquiry shall explore
Thy once-loved Haunt, this long-deserted Shade.
The first of these lines refers back to the second of the rejected stanzas (see l. 72 n). These two repetitive stanzas, which G[ray]. was to compress into one, are close to T. Warton, Pleasures of Melancholy 17-21, where Contemplation is invoked as follows: 'O lead me, queen sublime, to solemn glooms / Congenial with my soul; to cheerless shades, / To ruin's seats, to twilight cells and bow'rs, / Where thoughtful melancholy loves to muse, / Her fav'rite midnight haunts.'"

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 135.

96.2 kindred] "hidden first edition." A.L. Poole/L. Whibley, 1950 [1st ed. 1919].

"hidden first edition."

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], 175.

96.2 kindred] "hidden Q[uarto]1 [a misprint]." H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"hidden Q[uarto]1 [a misprint]."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 41.

96.2 kindred] "hidden   ed 1, noted [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"hidden   ed 1, noted as erratum by G[ray]. (Corresp i 344)."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 135.

Contribute a note or query


97 Haply some hoary-headed swain may say, 3 Explanatory, 5 Textual

97.1 - 100.8 Haply ... lawn.] "After this stanza Gray originally [...]" W. Lyon Phelps, 1894.

"After this stanza Gray originally inserted the following:

''Him have we seen the greenwood side along,
While o'er the heath we hied our labour done,
Oft as the woodlark pip'd her farewell song,
With wistful eyes pursue the setting sun.''"

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, 142.

97.1 Haply] "Perhaps." Alexander Huber, 2000.

"Perhaps."

Alexander Huber <huber@thomasgray.org> (SUB Göttingen), URL: http://www.thomasgray.org/. Contributed on Sun Oct 22 13:53:09 2000 GMT.

97.3 hoary-headed] "Shakespeare has 'hoary-headed frosts', Midsummer [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Shakespeare has 'hoary-headed frosts', Midsummer Night's Dream II i 107; and 'his hoary head' is common in Spenser and Dryden. But G[ray].'s source was probably Blair, The Grave 453-4, 458-60: 'See yonder maker of the dead man's bed, / The sexton, hoary-headed chronicle ... / ... Scarce a skull's cast up, / But well he knew its owner and can tell / Some passage of his life.'"

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 135.

97.3-4 hoary-headed swain] "a countryman grey with age." Alexander Huber, 2000.

"a countryman grey with age."

Alexander Huber <huber@thomasgray.org> (SUB Göttingen), URL: http://www.thomasgray.org/. Contributed on Sun Oct 22 14:00:14 2000 GMT.

97.5 may] "Shall. - Original MS. [Mason [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"Shall. - Original MS. [Mason 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], 230.

97.5 may] "shall   Fraser MS." D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"shall   Fraser 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], 159.

97.5 may] "shall E[ton College MS.]." H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"shall E[ton College MS.]."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 41.

97.5 may] "shall   Eton." R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"shall   Eton."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 135.

Contribute a note or query

98 'Oft have we seen him at the peep of dawn 3 Explanatory, 1 Textual

97.1 - 100.8 Haply ... lawn.] "After this stanza Gray originally [...]" W. Lyon Phelps, 1894.

"After this stanza Gray originally inserted the following:

''Him have we seen the greenwood side along,
While o'er the heath we hied our labour done,
Oft as the woodlark pip'd her farewell song,
With wistful eyes pursue the setting sun.''"

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, 142.

98.1-10 'Oft ... dawn] "Both here and in the [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"Both here and in the ''Installation Ode'' Gray has Milton's expressions in view: -

''See the blabbing eastern scout,
The nice Morn, on the Indian steep,
From her cabined loophole peep,
And to the tell-tale sun descry
Our concealed solemnity.'' - Comus, 138-142.
And in the ''Installation Ode'' he puts the following words into Milton's mouth, - drawn rhyming as here with lawn: - ''Oft at the blush of dawn / I trod your level lawn.'' - 30, 31."

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], 226.

98.1-10 'Oft ... dawn] "Bradshaw compares Milton, Comus 138 [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"Bradshaw compares Milton, Comus 138 sq.:

''Ere the blabbing eastern scout
The nice Morn, on the Indian steep
From her cabined loophole peep.''
And in the Installation Ode (where the words are assigned to Milton, with the same rhyme as here): ''Oft at the blush of dawn / I trod your level lawn.'' ll. 30, 31."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 159.

98.1-10 'Oft ... dawn] "Fairfax's Tasso XIV lxxix 4 [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Fairfax's Tasso XIV lxxix 4 and XIX lxvi 3: 'by Peep of springing Day'; and Milton, Comus 139-40: 'Morn ... / From her cabin'd loop hole peep'. Spenser also uses 'peep' as a verb of the dawn, Faerie Queene I i 39, 5 and IV v 45, 4."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 135.

Contribute a note or query

99 'Brushing with hasty steps the dews away 3 Explanatory, 6 Textual

97.1 - 100.8 Haply ... lawn.] "After this stanza Gray originally [...]" W. Lyon Phelps, 1894.

"After this stanza Gray originally inserted the following:

''Him have we seen the greenwood side along,
While o'er the heath we hied our labour done,
Oft as the woodlark pip'd her farewell song,
With wistful eyes pursue the setting sun.''"

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, 142.

99.1 'Brushing] "With hasty footsteps brush. - [...]" E. Gosse, 1884.

"With hasty footsteps brush. - Mason MS."

The Works of Thomas Gray: In Prose and Verse. Ed. by Edmund Gosse, in four vols. London: MacMillan and Co., 1884, vol. i, 78.

99.1 - 100.8 'Brushing ... lawn.] "Milton's words again: -... ''though [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"Milton's words again: -

... ''though from off the boughs each morn
We brush mellifluous dews.'' - Par. Lost, v. 428, 429.

''Together both, ere the high lawns appeared
Under the opening eyelids of the morn,
We drove afield.'' - Lycidas, 25-27.
After this stanza there is the following in the Original MS.: -
Him have we seen the greenwood side along,
    While o'er the heath we hied, our labours done,
Oft as the woodlark piped her farewell song,
    With wistful eyes pursue the setting sun.
''I rather wonder that he rejected this stanza, as it not only has the same sort of Doric delicacy which charms us peculiarly in this part of the poem, but also completes the account of his whole day; whereas, this evening scene being omitted, we have only his morning walk, and his noon-tide repose.'' - Mason.
In a footnote the reviewer of Mason's edition of Gray's Poems, in the ''Gentleman's Magazine,'' June, 1775, says Gray plainly alludes to this stanza and this evening employment when in a subsequent stanza he mentions not only the customed hill, etc., but also the heath."

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], 226/227.

99.1 - 100.8 'Brushing ... lawn.] "With hasty footsteps brush the [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"With hasty footsteps brush the dews away. / On the high brow of yonder hanging lawn. - Original MS. [Mason 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], 230.

99.1 - 100.8 'Brushing ... lawn.] "With hasty Footsteps brush the [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"With hasty Footsteps brush the Dews away / On the high Brow of yonder hanging Lawn.   Fraser 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], 159.

99.1 - 100.8 'Brushing ... lawn.] "Milton's words again: ''...though from [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"Milton's words again:

''...though from off the boughs each morn
We brush mellifluous dews.''
    Par. Lost v. 428, 429.
''Together both, ere the high lawns appeared
Under the opening eyelids of the morn
We drove afield.''   Lycidas 25-27.   Bradshaw."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 159.

99.1-4 'Brushing ... steps] "With hasty Footsteps brush E[ton [...]" H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"With hasty Footsteps brush E[ton College MS.]."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 41.

99.1 - 100.8 'Brushing ... lawn.] "Eton has:With hasty Footsteps brush [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Eton has:

With hasty Footsteps brush the dews away
On the high Brow of yonder hanging Lawn."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 136.

99.1 - 100.8 'Brushing ... lawn.] "Cp. Par. Lost v 428-9: [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Cp. Par. Lost v 428-9: 'though from off the boughs each Morn / We brush mellifluous Dewes'; Thomson, Spring 103-6: 'Oft let me wander o'er the dewy fields / Where freshness breathes, and dash the trembling drops / From the bent bush, as through the verdant maze / Of sweet-briar hedges I pursue my walk'; and J. Warton, To a Lady who hates the Country (1746) 13-14: 'By health awoke at early morn, / We'll brush sweet dews from every thorn.' Spenser, Faerie Queene II i 34, 9, has 'hasty steps'."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 136.

Contribute a note or query

100 'To meet the sun upon the upland lawn. 11 Explanatory, 10 Textual

97.1 - 100.8 Haply ... lawn.] "After this stanza Gray originally [...]" W. Lyon Phelps, 1894.

"After this stanza Gray originally inserted the following:

''Him have we seen the greenwood side along,
While o'er the heath we hied our labour done,
Oft as the woodlark pip'd her farewell song,
With wistful eyes pursue the setting sun.''"

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, 142.

99.1 - 100.8 'Brushing ... lawn.] "Milton's words again: -... ''though [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"Milton's words again: -

... ''though from off the boughs each morn
We brush mellifluous dews.'' - Par. Lost, v. 428, 429.

''Together both, ere the high lawns appeared
Under the opening eyelids of the morn,
We drove afield.'' - Lycidas, 25-27.
After this stanza there is the following in the Original MS.: -
Him have we seen the greenwood side along,
    While o'er the heath we hied, our labours done,
Oft as the woodlark piped her farewell song,
    With wistful eyes pursue the setting sun.
''I rather wonder that he rejected this stanza, as it not only has the same sort of Doric delicacy which charms us peculiarly in this part of the poem, but also completes the account of his whole day; whereas, this evening scene being omitted, we have only his morning walk, and his noon-tide repose.'' - Mason.
In a footnote the reviewer of Mason's edition of Gray's Poems, in the ''Gentleman's Magazine,'' June, 1775, says Gray plainly alludes to this stanza and this evening employment when in a subsequent stanza he mentions not only the customed hill, etc., but also the heath."

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], 226/227.

99.1 - 100.8 'Brushing ... lawn.] "With hasty footsteps brush the [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"With hasty footsteps brush the dews away. / On the high brow of yonder hanging lawn. - Original MS. [Mason 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], 230.

99.1 - 100.8 'Brushing ... lawn.] "With hasty Footsteps brush the [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"With hasty Footsteps brush the Dews away / On the high Brow of yonder hanging Lawn.   Fraser 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], 159.

99.1 - 100.8 'Brushing ... lawn.] "Milton's words again: ''...though from [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"Milton's words again:

''...though from off the boughs each morn
We brush mellifluous dews.''
    Par. Lost v. 428, 429.
''Together both, ere the high lawns appeared
Under the opening eyelids of the morn
We drove afield.''   Lycidas 25-27.   Bradshaw."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 159.

99.1 - 100.8 'Brushing ... lawn.] "Eton has:With hasty Footsteps brush [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Eton has:

With hasty Footsteps brush the dews away
On the high Brow of yonder hanging Lawn."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 136.

99.1 - 100.8 'Brushing ... lawn.] "Cp. Par. Lost v 428-9: [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Cp. Par. Lost v 428-9: 'though from off the boughs each Morn / We brush mellifluous Dewes'; Thomson, Spring 103-6: 'Oft let me wander o'er the dewy fields / Where freshness breathes, and dash the trembling drops / From the bent bush, as through the verdant maze / Of sweet-briar hedges I pursue my walk'; and J. Warton, To a Lady who hates the Country (1746) 13-14: 'By health awoke at early morn, / We'll brush sweet dews from every thorn.' Spenser, Faerie Queene II i 34, 9, has 'hasty steps'."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 136.

100.1-8 'To ... lawn.] "On the high brow of [...]" E. Gosse, 1884.

"On the high brow of yonder hanging lawn. - Mason MS. After which, in that MS., follows this stanza: -

Him have we seen the Greenwood Side along,
    While o'er the Heath we hied, our Labours done,
Oft as the Woodlark piped her farewell Song,
    With whistful eyes pursue the setting sun."

The Works of Thomas Gray: In Prose and Verse. Ed. by Edmund Gosse, in four vols. London: MacMillan and Co., 1884, vol. i, 78.

100.1-8 'To ... lawn.] "Gray, as Mitford suggests, may [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"Gray, as Mitford suggests, may be influenced by the phrase 'incontro al sol' as used by Petrarch and Tasso in a similar connection."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 159.

100.1-8 'To ... lawn.] " ''I rather wonder that [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

" ''I rather wonder that he rejected this [omitted] stanza, as it not only has the same sort of Doric delicacy, which charms us peculiarly in this part of the Poem, but also compleats the account of his whole day: whereas, this Evening scene being omitted, we have only his Morning walk, and his Noon-tide repose.'' Mason.
The stanza is here [in this edition] replaced in brackets, although it is conceivable that Gray may have rejected it, because, though the day is completed by it, it is not completed in sequence. But he might easily have achieved the exact sequence if he had written the rejected lines after ll. 10[1]-10[4] instead of before them. As Dr Bradshaw points out, in ll. 1[09], 1[10], the custom'd hill, the heath, and his favorite tree, have obvious reference to the three scenes which the youth was known to haunt; so again have the rill, the lawn and the wood on ll. 1[11], 1[12]. But, if the bracket should be removed, it is indispensable that we should return to the reading 'With gestures quaint' (l. 109 [105]) of Fraser MS. For it is obvious that Gray wrote 'Hard by yon wood' instead of it, when he had made up his mind to excise this stanza, yet saw that ll. 1[11], 1[12] implied a previous mention of three scenes."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 159/160.

100.1-8 'To ... lawn.] "[v. 3 of omitted stanza] [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"[v. 3 of omitted stanza] Cf. the impromptu couplet preserved by Norton Nicholls, p. 75 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], 160.

100.1-8 'To ... lawn.] "[v. 4 of omitted stanza:] [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"[v. 4 of omitted stanza:] Whistful sic in Fraser MS. It is possible that this spelling represents some vague etymological notion on Gray's part (though he could scarcely have connected the word with 'whist' in the sense of silent), and shows at any rate that he did not derive it from 'wist' in the sense either of 'knew' or 'known' - which derivation, says Skeat, 'is stark nonsense.' Skeat believes that wistful stands for wishful, the change in form being due to confusion with wistly, which was itself a corruption of the Middle-English wisly, certainly, verily, exactly. The sense which 'wistly' bears in two passages of Shakespeare (in whom alone and in the Passionate Pilgrim the word has been found) is 'attentively,' 'with scrutiny,' and this sense Skeat thinks may have arisen out of that of wisly. But in Richard II. V. 4. 7:

...speaking it, he wistly [Q. 2, wishtly] looked on me
As who should say 'I would thou wert the man' &c.;
and in Passionate Pilgrim vi. 12 the sense is more probably wishfully, longingly."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 160.

100.1-8 'To ... lawn.] "In Gray's original draft this [...]" J. Crofts, 1948 [1st ed. 1926].

"In Gray's original draft this line was followed by the following stanza:

Him have we seen the Green-wood Side along
    While o'er the Heath we hied, our Labours done,
Oft as the Woodlark piped his farewell Song
    With whistful Eyes pursue the setting Sun.
'I rather wonder that he rejected this stanza, as it not only has the same sort of Doric delicacy which charms us peculiarly in this part of the poem, but also completes the account of his whole day: whereas, this evening scene being omitted, we have only his morning walk, and his noontide repose.' (Mason.) Gray probably rejected it as being merely descriptive. 'As to description,' he writes to Dr. Beattie, 'I have always thought it made the most graceful ornament of poetry but never ought to make the subject.'"

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], 167.

100.1-8 'To ... lawn.] "On the high Brow of [...]" H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"On the high Brow of yonder hanging Lawn E[ton College MS.]."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 41.

100.1-8 'To ... lawn.] "In E[ton College MS.] the [...]" H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"In E[ton College MS.] the following lines appear here:

Him have we seen the Green-wood Side along,
While o'er the Heath we hied, our Labours done,
Oft as the Woodlark piped her farewell Song
With whistful Eyes pursue the setting Sun."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 41.

100.1-8 'To ... lawn.] "See textual notes. Mason adds, [...]" H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"See textual notes. Mason adds, concerning the rejected stanza: 'I rather wonder that he rejected this stanza, as it not only has the same sort of Doric delicacy, which charms us peculiarly in this part of the Poem, but also compleats the account of his whole day: whereas, this Evening scene being omitted, we have only his Morning walk, and his Noon-tide repose' (M[ason], ii. 110)."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 224.

100.1-8 'To ... lawn.] "After this line Eton has [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"After this line Eton has an additional stanza:

Him have we seen the Green-wood Side along,
While o'er the Heath we hied, our Labours done,
Oft as the Woodlark piped her farewell Song
With whistful Eyes pursue the setting Sun."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 136.

100.1-8 'To ... lawn.] "Lycidas 25-6: 'ere the high [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Lycidas 25-6: 'ere the high Lawns appear'd / Under the opening eye-lids of the morn'; and L'Allegro 92: 'up-land Hamlets'."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 136.

100.1-8 'To ... lawn.] "Mason (Poems p. 110) wrote: [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Mason (Poems p. 110) wrote: 'I rather wonder that he rejected this stanza, as it not only has the same sort of Doric delicacy, which charms us peculiarly in this part of the Poem, but also compleats the account of his whole day: whereas, this Evening scene being omitted, we have only his Morning walk, and his Noon-tide repose.' But G[ray]. may have felt that he had already described 'the poet' at evening in the opening lines of the poem as a whole. With l. 3 of this rejected stanza cp. G.'s impromptu Couplet about Birds (p. 280). Spenser twice has 'green woods syde', Faerie Queene II iii 3, 6 and VI iv 39, 2."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 136.

100.1-8 'To ... lawn.] "Gray's manuscript included here the [...]" J. Heath-Stubbs, 1981.

"Gray's manuscript included here the following stanza:

Him have we seen the Green-wood Side along,
While o'er the Heath we hied, our Labours done,
Oft as the Woodlark piped her farewell Song
With wistful Eyes pursue the setting Sun."

Thomas Gray: Selected Poems. Ed. by John Heath-Stubbs. Manchester: Carcanet New Press Ltd., 1981, 77.

100.8 lawn.] "This means strictly, ''a cleared [...]" W. Lyon Phelps, 1894.

"This means strictly, ''a cleared place in a wood.'' The word indicates nothing artificial, but is used as in Milton: Lycidas, 25, 26: ''Together both, ere the high lawns appeared / Under the opening eyelids of the Morn.'' Mitford quotes (incorrectly) Par. Lost, v, 428, 429: ''Though from off the boughs each morn we brush mellifluous dews.''"

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, 142.

Contribute a note or query


101 'There at the foot of yonder nodding beech 4 Explanatory, 9 Textual

101.1 'There] "Oft. - Mason MS." E. Gosse, 1884.

"Oft. - Mason MS."

The Works of Thomas Gray: In Prose and Verse. Ed. by Edmund Gosse, in four vols. London: MacMillan and Co., 1884, vol. i, 79.

101.1 'There] "Oft. - Original MS. [Mason [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"Oft. - Original MS. [Mason 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], 230.

101.1 'There] "Oft   Fraser MS." D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"Oft   Fraser 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], 160.

101.1 'There] "Oft E[ton College MS.]." H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"Oft E[ton College MS.]."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 42.

101.1 'There] "Oft   Eton." R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Oft   Eton."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 136.

101.1 - 104.8 'There ... by.] "Cp. Ode on the Spring [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Cp. Ode on the Spring 13-17 and nn (p. 50); and the Lines on Beech Trees (p. 20) from which G[ray]. seems at first to have taken 'hoary' (see below)."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 136.

101.5-8 of ... beech] "Cf. Gray's letter to Walpole, [...]" W. Lyon Phelps, 1894.

"Cf. Gray's letter to Walpole, Sept., 1737, p. 93, line 18 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, 142.

101.6-8 yonder ... beech] "It is ''at the foot'' [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"It is ''at the foot'' of a beech that Gray describes himself as ''squatting,'' in a letter to Walpole (already quoted, note on line 17 of the ''Ode on the Spring''), and there he ''grows to the trunk for a whole morning.''"

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], 227.

101.7 nodding] "Hoary. - Original MS. [Mason [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"Hoary. - Original MS. [Mason 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], 230.

101.7 nodding] "hoary, Fraser MS., with spreading [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"hoary, Fraser MS., with spreading and nodding superscribed."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 160.

101.7-8 nodding beech] "Gray wrote from Burnham to [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"Gray wrote from Burnham to Walpole, Sept. 1737, a descriplicn of the now much frequented Burnham Beeches:
'I have at the distance of half-a-mile, through a green lane, a forest (the vulgar call it a common) all my own, at least as good as so, for I spy no human thing in it but myself. It is a little chaos of mountains and precipices; mountains, it is true, that do not ascend much above the clouds, nor are the declivities quite so amazing as Dover cliff; but just such hills as people who love their necks as well as I do may venture to climb, and craggs that give the eye as much pleasure as if they were dangerous: Both vale and hill are covered with most venerable beeches, and other very reverend vegetables, that, like most other ancient people, are always dreaming out their old stories to the winds:

And as they bow their hoary tops relate,
In murmuring sounds, the dark decrees of fate;
While visions, as poetic eyes avow,
Cling to each leaf, and swarm on every bough.
At the foot of one of these squats me I (il penseroso) and there grow to a trunk the whole morning.'
It was amid the same scenes that he wrote in 1742, Ode on Spring (13-15):
''Where'er the rude and moss-grown beech
O'ercanopies the glade
Beside some water's rushy brink'' &c.
which anticipate this place in the Elegy.
If the four verses in the letter to Walpole are not Gray's, I am unable to trace them. The first line illustrates the 'nodding beech' of the Elegy. Cf. the Var. Lect. of Fraser MS. here."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 160/161.

101.7 nodding] "hoary with spreading written above [...]" H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"hoary with spreading written above and nodding in margin, E[ton College MS.]."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 42.

101.7 nodding] "hoary   Eton, with spreading [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"hoary   Eton, with spreading written above and nodding in margin."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 136.

Contribute a note or query

102 'That wreathes its old fantastic roots so high, 3 Explanatory

101.1 - 104.8 'There ... by.] "Cp. Ode on the Spring [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Cp. Ode on the Spring 13-17 and nn (p. 50); and the Lines on Beech Trees (p. 20) from which G[ray]. seems at first to have taken 'hoary' (see below)."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 136.

102.1-8 'That ... high,] "Nowhere do beeches assume more [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"Nowhere do beeches assume more 'fantastic' forms than at Burnham.
Luke compares Spenser, Ruines of Rome, stanza XXVIII, which combines Gray's scattered details, in the picture of an aged tree,

''Lifting to heaven her aged hoarie head,
Whose foot in ground hath left but feeble holde,
But halfe disbowel'd lies above the ground,
Showing her wreathed rootes'' &c."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 161.

102.1-8 'That ... high,] "Cp. Spenser's description of an [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Cp. Spenser's description of an oak, Ruins of Rome 381-2, 384: 'Lifting to heaven her aged hoarie head, / Whose foote in ground hath left but feeble holde ... / Shewing her wreathed rootes, and naked armes'; and As You Like It II i 30-2 (of Jacques): 'he lay along / Under an oak whose antique root peeps out / Upon the brook that brawls along this wood.' Mason, in a note to his own Elegy in a Churchyard in South Wales (1787) refers to Jacques as 'a character to which in its best parts Mr. Gray's was not dissimilar', Works (1811) i 115 n."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 136.

Contribute a note or query

103 'His listless length at noontide would he stretch, 3 Explanatory

101.1 - 104.8 'There ... by.] "Cp. Ode on the Spring [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Cp. Ode on the Spring 13-17 and nn (p. 50); and the Lines on Beech Trees (p. 20) from which G[ray]. seems at first to have taken 'hoary' (see below)."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 136.

103.1-3 'His ... length] "Cf. in ''As You Like [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"Cf. in ''As You Like It,'' ii. 1, 31: -

          ''he lay along
Under an oak, whose antique roots peep out
Upon the brook that brawls along this wood.''"

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], 227.

103.1 - 104.8 'His ... by.]     "''He lay [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

    "''He lay along
Under an oak, whose antique root peep'd out
Upon the brook that brawls along this wood.''
    As You Like It II. i. 30-32.
This is said of the melancholy Jaques, between whom and himself the melancholy and self-conscious Gray could scarcely fail, in a similar scene, to make a fugitive comparison. But, as he himself suggests to Walpole, his nearer analogue in character is Milton's Il Penseroso: 'in close covert by some brook' &c."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 161/162.

Contribute a note or query

104 'And pore upon the brook that babbles by. 4 Explanatory

101.1 - 104.8 'There ... by.] "Cp. Ode on the Spring [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Cp. Ode on the Spring 13-17 and nn (p. 50); and the Lines on Beech Trees (p. 20) from which G[ray]. seems at first to have taken 'hoary' (see below)."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 136.

103.1 - 104.8 'His ... by.]     "''He lay [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

    "''He lay along
Under an oak, whose antique root peep'd out
Upon the brook that brawls along this wood.''
    As You Like It II. i. 30-32.
This is said of the melancholy Jaques, between whom and himself the melancholy and self-conscious Gray could scarcely fail, in a similar scene, to make a fugitive comparison. But, as he himself suggests to Walpole, his nearer analogue in character is Milton's Il Penseroso: 'in close covert by some brook' &c."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 161/162.

104.1-8 'And ... by.] "Horace, Odes III xiii 15-16: [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Horace, Odes III xiii 15-16: unde loquaces / lymphae desiliunt tuae (whence thy babbling waters leap). Cp. also 'divided by a babbling brook', Thomson, Spring 646."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 137.

104.7 babbles] "Cf. (after Mitford) the 'loquaces [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"Cf. (after Mitford) the 'loquaces lymphae' of Horace, Carm. III. 13, 15."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 162.

Contribute a note or query


105 'Hard by yon wood, now smiling as in scorn, 3 Explanatory, 8 Textual

105.1-4 'Hard ... wood,] "With gestures quaint. - Mason [...]" E. Gosse, 1884.

"With gestures quaint. - Mason MS."

The Works of Thomas Gray: In Prose and Verse. Ed. by Edmund Gosse, in four vols. London: MacMillan and Co., 1884, vol. i, 79.

105.1 - 112.10 'Hard ... he;] "These two stanzas are now [...]" W. Lyon Phelps, 1894.

"These two stanzas are now inscribed on the large and unsightly memorial to Gray, which stands close by the church-yard in Stoke Park."

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, 142.

105.1 - 112.10 'Hard ... he;] "These two stanzas form the [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"These two stanzas form the inscription on the monument to Gray, in Stoke Park, on the side that faces the church."

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], 227.

105.1-4 'Hard ... wood,] "With gestures quaint. - Original [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"With gestures quaint. - Original MS. [Mason 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], 230.

105.1-4 'Hard ... wood,] "With gestures quaint now smileing [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"With gestures quaint now smileing &c.   Fraser 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], 162.

105.1-4 'Hard ... wood,] "With Gestures quaint E[ton College [...]" H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"With Gestures quaint E[ton College MS.]."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 42.

105.1-4 'Hard ... wood,] "With Gestures quaint   Eton. [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"With Gestures quaint   Eton. [...] G[ray]. was probably obliged to make the [...] alteration by his decision to drop the stanza after l. 100, which refers to the wood. Some mention of the wood was necessary because of l. 112. Cp. 'hard by a forests side', Faerie Queene I i xxxiv, 2; and 'Hard by, a Cottage chimney smokes', L'Allegro 81. Cp. also 'To love a cheek that smiles at thee in scorn', Venus and Adonis 252."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 137.

105.6 smiling] "'Smiling as in scorn' is [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"'Smiling as in scorn' is certainly much like Jaques."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 162.

105.6 smiling] "frowning first edition." A.L. Poole/L. Whibley, 1950 [1st ed. 1919].

"frowning first edition."

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], 175.

105.6 smiling] "frowning [a misprint] Q[uarto]1." H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"frowning [a misprint] Q[uarto]1."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 42.

105.6 smiling] "frowning   edd 1-2, 6-7, [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"frowning   edd 1-2, 6-7, (noted as an erratum by G[ray]., Corresp i 344)."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 137.

Contribute a note or query

106 'Muttering his wayward fancies he would rove, 2 Explanatory, 9 Textual

105.1 - 112.10 'Hard ... he;] "These two stanzas are now [...]" W. Lyon Phelps, 1894.

"These two stanzas are now inscribed on the large and unsightly memorial to Gray, which stands close by the church-yard in Stoke Park."

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, 142.

105.1 - 112.10 'Hard ... he;] "These two stanzas form the [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"These two stanzas form the inscription on the monument to Gray, in Stoke Park, on the side that faces the church."

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], 227.

106.1-7 'Muttering ... rove,] "Mutt'ring his fond conceits (wayward [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"Mutt'ring his fond conceits (wayward fancies, written above) he went to (del) rove: (loved [del] would he, written above)   Fraser 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], 162.

106.1-7 'Muttering ... rove,] "Mutt'ring his fond Conceits he [...]" H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"Mutt'ring his fond Conceits he went to rove: [above fond...: wayward fancies loved would he] E[ton College MS.]."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 42.

106.3-4 wayward fancies] "fond Conceits   Eton, with [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"fond Conceits   Eton, with wayward fancies written above. [...] Cp. Spenser, Faerie Queene I i 42, 7-8: 'whose dryer braine / Is tost with troubled sights and fancies weake'; and III iv 54, 4: 'And thousand fancies bet his idle braine'."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 137.

106.5-6 he would] "Would he. - Egerton MS." E. Gosse, 1884.

"Would he. - Egerton MS."

The Works of Thomas Gray: In Prose and Verse. Ed. by Edmund Gosse, in four vols. London: MacMillan and Co., 1884, vol. i, 79.

106.5-6 he would] "Would he. - Egerton and [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"Would he. - Egerton and 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], 230.

106.5-6 he would] "would he, Egerton and Pembroke [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"would he, Egerton and 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], 162.

106.5-6 he would] "would he Pembroke and Wharton [...]" A.L. Poole/L. Whibley, 1950 [1st ed. 1919].

"would he 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], 175.

106.5-6 he would] "would he C[ommonplace] B[ook], Wh[arton [...]" H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"would he C[ommonplace] B[ook], Wh[arton MS.]."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 42.

106.5-6 he would] "he wont to   Eton, [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"he wont to   Eton, with wont to and then loved above deleted and would he written above; would he   Wharton, 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, 137.

Contribute a note or query

107 'Now drooping, woeful wan, like one forlorn, 4 Explanatory, 7 Textual

105.1 - 112.10 'Hard ... he;] "These two stanzas are now [...]" W. Lyon Phelps, 1894.

"These two stanzas are now inscribed on the large and unsightly memorial to Gray, which stands close by the church-yard in Stoke Park."

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, 142.

105.1 - 112.10 'Hard ... he;] "These two stanzas form the [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"These two stanzas form the inscription on the monument to Gray, in Stoke Park, on the side that faces the church."

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], 227.

107.1-7 'Now ... forlorn,] "In the Pembroke MS. there [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"In the Pembroke MS. there is no comma after drooping, and there is a hyphen between woful and wan. Mitford prints ''woful-wan,'' but in the printed copies published in Gray's lifetime the line stands as in this edition."

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], 227.

107.1-7 'Now ... forlorn,] "Now woful wan he dropped, [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"Now woful wan he dropped, as one forlorn. - Original MS. [Mason 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], 230.

107.1-7 'Now ... forlorn,] "Now woeful (drooping above) wan, [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"Now woeful (drooping above) wan, he droop'd (both del), as one forlorn.   Fraser 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], 162.

107.1-7 'Now ... forlorn,] "Now woeful [above drooping] wan, [...]" H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"Now woeful [above drooping] wan, he droop'd, as one forlorn E[ton College MS.]."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 42.

107.1-7 'Now ... forlorn,] "Now woeful wan, he droop'd, [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Now woeful wan, he droop'd, as one forlorn   Eton, with he droop'd deleted and drooping, written above woeful wan."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 137.

107.1 - 108.9 'Now ... love.] "Cp. Spenser, Shepheardes Calender, 'Jan'. [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Cp. Spenser, Shepheardes Calender, 'Jan'. 8-9: 'For pale and wanne he was, (alas the while,) / May seeme he lovd, or els some care he tooke'; and 47: 'Thou weake, I wanne; thou leane, I quite forlorne'. See also Collins, The Passions 25. G[ray].'s 'woeful wan' probably imitates Spenser's 'solemne sad', Faerie Queene I i 2, 8; II vi 37, 5."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 137.

107.3-4 woeful wan,] "woful wan means sad and [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"woful wan means sad and pale, not ''wofully pale.''"

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], 227.

107.3-4 woeful wan,] "I have printed 'woeful-wan' (with [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"I have printed 'woeful-wan' (with a hyphen) on the faith of Mr Gosse, who professes to print from the edition of 1768. But Dr Bradshaw affirms that there is no hyphen in the printed copies published in Gray's lifetime. Non nostrum inter vos &c. The hyphen is a mere convention, and it is admitted that it is found in the Pembroke MS. here. Dr Bradshaw says ''woeful-wan means sad and pale, not 'wofully pale'.'' The second interpretation being just that which the hyphen precludes, the hyphen is better retained."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 162.

107.5 like] "As. - Mason MS." E. Gosse, 1884.

"As. - Mason MS."

The Works of Thomas Gray: In Prose and Verse. Ed. by Edmund Gosse, in four vols. London: MacMillan and Co., 1884, vol. i, 79.

Contribute a note or query

108 'Or crazed with care, or crossed in hopeless love. 3 Explanatory

105.1 - 112.10 'Hard ... he;] "These two stanzas are now [...]" W. Lyon Phelps, 1894.

"These two stanzas are now inscribed on the large and unsightly memorial to Gray, which stands close by the church-yard in Stoke Park."

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, 142.

105.1 - 112.10 'Hard ... he;] "These two stanzas form the [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"These two stanzas form the inscription on the monument to Gray, in Stoke Park, on the side that faces the church."

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], 227.

107.1 - 108.9 'Now ... love.] "Cp. Spenser, Shepheardes Calender, 'Jan'. [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Cp. Spenser, Shepheardes Calender, 'Jan'. 8-9: 'For pale and wanne he was, (alas the while,) / May seeme he lovd, or els some care he tooke'; and 47: 'Thou weake, I wanne; thou leane, I quite forlorne'. See also Collins, The Passions 25. G[ray].'s 'woeful wan' probably imitates Spenser's 'solemne sad', Faerie Queene I i 2, 8; II vi 37, 5."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 137.

Contribute a note or query


109 'One morn I missed him on the customed hill, 3 Explanatory, 10 Textual

105.1 - 112.10 'Hard ... he;] "These two stanzas are now [...]" W. Lyon Phelps, 1894.

"These two stanzas are now inscribed on the large and unsightly memorial to Gray, which stands close by the church-yard in Stoke Park."

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, 142.

105.1 - 112.10 'Hard ... he;] "These two stanzas form the [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"These two stanzas form the inscription on the monument to Gray, in Stoke Park, on the side that faces the church."

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], 227.

109.3 I] "We. - Mason MS." E. Gosse, 1884.

"We. - Mason MS."

The Works of Thomas Gray: In Prose and Verse. Ed. by Edmund Gosse, in four vols. London: MacMillan and Co., 1884, vol. i, 79.

109.3 I] "We. - Original MS. [Mason [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"We. - Original MS. [Mason 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], 230.

109.3 I] "we   Fraser MS." D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"we   Fraser 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], 162.

109.3 I] "we E[ton College MS.]." H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"we E[ton College MS.]."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 42.

109.3 I] "we   Eton." R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"we   Eton."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 137.

109.6 on] "from Pembroke MS." A.L. Poole/L. Whibley, 1950 [1st ed. 1919].

"from 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], 175.

109.6 on] "from C[ommonplace] B[ook]." H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"from 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, 42.

109.6 on] "from   Commonplace Book." R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"from   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, 137.

109.8 customed] "accustom'd E[ton College MS.]." H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"accustom'd E[ton College MS.]."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 42.

109.8 customed] "accustom'd   Eton." R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"accustom'd   Eton."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 137.

109.8-9 customed hill,] "Cp. 'th'accustom'd Oke', Il Penseroso [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Cp. 'th'accustom'd Oke', Il Penseroso 60."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 137.

Contribute a note or query

110 'Along the heath and near his favourite tree; 4 Explanatory, 4 Textual

105.1 - 112.10 'Hard ... he;] "These two stanzas are now [...]" W. Lyon Phelps, 1894.

"These two stanzas are now inscribed on the large and unsightly memorial to Gray, which stands close by the church-yard in Stoke Park."

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, 142.

105.1 - 112.10 'Hard ... he;] "These two stanzas form the [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"These two stanzas form the inscription on the monument to Gray, in Stoke Park, on the side that faces the church."

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], 227.

110.1-3 'Along ... heath] "the reference is to the [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"the reference is to the heath mentioned in the rejected stanza which came after line 100."

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], 227.

110.1-8 'Along ... tree;] "By the heath-side and at [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"By the heath-side and at his fav'rite tree. - Original MS. [Mason 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], 230.

110.1-8 'Along ... tree;] "By the (Along the, written [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"By the (Along the, written above) Heath-side and at his fav'rite Tree.   Fraser 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], 162.

110.1-8 'Along ... tree;] "By the [above Along the] [...]" H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"By the [above Along the] Heath-side, & at [above near] his fav'rite Tree. E[ton College MS.]."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 42.

110.1-8 'Along ... tree;] "By the Heath-side, & at [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"By the Heath-side, & at   Eton, with Along the written above By the, side deleted, and near written above at."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 137.

110.7-8 favourite tree;] "the tree that he was [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"the tree that he was fond of lying under (lines 101-104); not necessarily that he preferred the beech to other kinds of trees, but this beech was his favourite resort."

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], 227.

Contribute a note or query

111 'Another came; nor yet beside the rill, 2 Explanatory

105.1 - 112.10 'Hard ... he;] "These two stanzas are now [...]" W. Lyon Phelps, 1894.

"These two stanzas are now inscribed on the large and unsightly memorial to Gray, which stands close by the church-yard in Stoke Park."

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, 142.

105.1 - 112.10 'Hard ... he;] "These two stanzas form the [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"These two stanzas form the inscription on the monument to Gray, in Stoke Park, on the side that faces the church."

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], 227.

Contribute a note or query

112 'Nor up the lawn, nor at the wood was he; 2 Explanatory, 3 Textual

105.1 - 112.10 'Hard ... he;] "These two stanzas are now [...]" W. Lyon Phelps, 1894.

"These two stanzas are now inscribed on the large and unsightly memorial to Gray, which stands close by the church-yard in Stoke Park."

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, 142.

105.1 - 112.10 'Hard ... he;] "These two stanzas form the [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"These two stanzas form the inscription on the monument to Gray, in Stoke Park, on the side that faces the church."

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], 227.

112.1-10 'Nor ... he;] "by is written over [...] D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"by is written over [...] [at] in Fraser MS. After [...] [112] Gray began to write in Fraser MS.: 'There scattered oft the earliest,' but struck it through."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 162.

112.1-10 'Nor ... he;] "After l. 112 is written [...]" H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"After l. 112 is written but deleted There scatter'd oft, the earliest E[ton College MS.]."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 42.

112.1-10 'Nor ... he;] "After this line Eton has [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"After this line Eton has   There scatter'd oft, the earliest   deleted; see 116 n below."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 137.

Contribute a note or query


113 'The next with dirges due in sad array 5 Textual

113.5 due] "Meet. - Mason MS." E. Gosse, 1884.

"Meet. - Mason MS."

The Works of Thomas Gray: In Prose and Verse. Ed. by Edmund Gosse, in four vols. London: MacMillan and Co., 1884, vol. i, 79.

113.5 due] "Meet. - Original MS. [Mason [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"Meet. - Original MS. [Mason 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], 230.

113.5 due] "meet, Fraser MS." D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"meet, Fraser 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], 162.

113.5 due] "meet E[ton College MS.]." H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"meet E[ton College MS.]."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 42.

113.5 due] "meet   Eton." R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"meet   Eton."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 137.

Contribute a note or query

114 'Slow through the church-way path we saw him borne. 3 Explanatory, 3 Textual

114.2 through] "has 'by' written over it [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"has 'by' written over it in Fraser 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], 162.

114.2 through] "thro with by written above, [...]" H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"thro with by written above, E[ton College MS.]."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 42.

114.2 through] "thro   Eton, with by [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"thro   Eton, with by written above."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 137.

114.3-5 the ... path] "the path leading (from the [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"the path leading (from the main road) to the church. Shakespeare has the phrase in ''Midsummer Night's Dream'': -

''Now it is the time of night
That, the graves all gaping wide,
Every one lets forth his sprite,
In the church-way paths to glide.'' - v. 1. 386-389.
Gray may not have taken the words from Shakespeare; the graveyard at Stoke-Poges is reached by paths leading from the road; and it is one of these paths rather than a path in the graveyard that is referred to."

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], 227/228.

114.4-5 church-way path] "Wakefield compares     ''the [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"Wakefield compares

    ''the graves all gaping wide
Every one lets forth his sprite
In the church-way paths to glide.''
    Shakespeare, Mids. Night's Dream, V. 1. 389.
Shakespeare's paths may be in the church-yard; the church-way paths at Stoke Pogis are, as is common in country churches, paths from the high-road to the churchyard, as Bradshaw notes."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 162.

114.4-5 church-way path] "Cp. Midsummer Night's Dream V [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Cp. Midsummer Night's Dream V ii 391: 'In the church-way paths to glide'."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 137.

Contribute a note or query

115 'Approach and read (for thou can'st read) the lay, 4 Explanatory, 1 Textual

115.1-9 'Approach ... lay,] "Approach and read, for thou [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"Approach and read, for thou canst read the Lay   Fraser MS.; Gray's first meaning probably was only 'the Lay is there for any one to read.' But by bracketing 'for thou canst read' he has given the words more significance. As Professor Hales says ''reading was not such a common accomplishment that it could be taken for granted.'' The 'hoary headed swain' is perhaps himself 'no scholar' (as he would put it), but presumes that the enquirer is more accomplished.
The change has the further advantage that Gray thus adopts a poetic device, such as Pope's ''Tell (for you can) what is it to be wise.'' Pope, Essay on Man, IV. 260. Or Young (quoted by Mitford without ref.): ''And steal (for you can steal) celestial fire.'' "

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 162/163.

115.4-7 (for ... read)] "This may mean that the [...]" W. Lyon Phelps, 1894.

"This may mean that the ''hoary-headed swain'' could not read; or it may be a bit of poetical emphasis."

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, 142.

115.4-7 (for ... read)] "Mr. Hales considers that these [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"Mr. Hales considers that these words are introduced because ''reading was not such a common accomplishment then that it could be taken for granted''; and Mr. Rolfe says ''the 'hoary-headed swain' of course could not read.'' I rather take it as a poetical turn, a repetition that gives vividness to the speech of the old swain, and well brought in as he had not hitherto personally addressed the kindred spirit. Cf. the following from Milton and Young: - ''And chiefly thou, O Spirit!.. / Instruct me (for thou knowest)...'' - Par. Lost, i. 17, 19. ''And steal (for you can steal) celestial fire.''"

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], 228.

115.4-7 (for ... read)] "Cp. Pope, Essay on Man [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Cp. Pope, Essay on Man iv 260: 'Tell (for You can) what is it to be wise?'"

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 138.

115.9 lay,] "lay is used for the [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"lay is used for the sake of the rhyme, and not in its strict sense of song or lyrical poem, but here stands for verse or poetry; cf. ''Ode for Music,'' 14, and ''Imitations from the Welsh,'' 5."

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], 228.

Contribute a note or query

116 'Graved on the stone beneath yon aged thorn.' 3 Explanatory, 27 Textual

116.1 'Graved] "Wrote. - Mason MS." E. Gosse, 1884.

"Wrote. - Mason MS."

The Works of Thomas Gray: In Prose and Verse. Ed. by Edmund Gosse, in four vols. London: MacMillan and Co., 1884, vol. i, 79.

116.1-8 'Graved ... thorn.'] "Gray originally inserted at this [...]" E. Gosse, 1884.

"Gray originally inserted at this place a very beautiful stanza, which was printed in some of the first editions, but afterwards omitted, Mason says, because Gray thought that it formed too long a parenthesis. He continued, however, to vacillate between discarding and retaining it, and it can hardly be regarded as cancelled: -

There scatter'd oft, the earliest of ye Year,
    By Hands unseen are Showers of vi'lets found:
The Redbreast loves to build and warble there,
    And little Footsteps lightly print the Ground. - [Ed.]"

The Works of Thomas Gray: In Prose and Verse. Ed. by Edmund Gosse, in four vols. London: MacMillan and Co., 1884, vol. i, 79.

116.1-8 'Graved ... thorn.'] "After this stanza Gray originally [...]" W. Lyon Phelps, 1894.

"After this stanza Gray originally inserted the following beautiful quatrain, which, as Mr. Lowell justly said, cannot be obliterated from the memory of men, even if Gray did run his pen through it:

''There scatter'd oft, the earliest of the year,
    By hands unseen are show'rs of violets found;
The redbreast loves to build and warble there,
    And little footsteps lightly print the ground.''"

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, 142/143.

116.1-8 'Graved ... thorn.'] "In the Pembroke MS. of [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"In the Pembroke MS. of the ''Elegy'' Gray has entered after this stanza: ''Insert

There scattered oft, the earliest of the year,
    By hands unseen, are showers of violets found;
The red-breast loves to build, and warble there,
    And little footsteps lightly print the ground.''
This stanza, which may be described as ''the redbreast stanza,'' was first printed in the third edition of the ''Elegy,'' the date of which I have been able to fix as March, 1751, as I find the ''Elegy'' with the redbreast stanza in the ''Scots' Magazine'' for that month, and it was then published in the end of the month. Opposite this stanza in the Pembroke MS. Gray has written ''Omitted, 1753.'' Mason states that the reason for his omitting it was ''because he thought that it was too long a parenthesis in this place.'' Another reason may be that this stanza was different in character from the preceding, as it dealt in fancies whereas the former described facts. Also he may have noted the resemblence it bears to some expressions and lines in Collins' ''Dirge in Cymbeline'' (pub. 1747): -
''Soft maids and village hinds shall bring
Each opening sweet of earliest bloom. ...
The red-breast oft, at evening hours,
Shall kindly lend its little aid,'' etc."

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], 228/229.

116.1 'Graved] "Wrote. - Original MS. [Mason [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"Wrote. - Original MS. [Mason 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], 230.

116.1 'Graved] "Wrote   Fraser MS. with [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"Wrote   Fraser MS. with Graved and carved written over it."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 163.

116.1-8 'Graved ... thorn.'] "That Gray was inclined to [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"That Gray was inclined to retain [...] [the Red-breast] stanza is probable because he has written over it in Pembroke MS. 'Insert.' And the stanza itself as it there appears is obviously written much later than the rest of the MS. for the ink is much darker. Gray has noted also ''Omitted 1753.'' Dr Bradshaw has ascertained that it was first printed in the third edition of the Elegy, March 1751. Mason says it was omitted because Gray thought that it was ''too long a parenthesis in this place.'' Dr Bradshaw adds ''he may have noted the resemblence it bears to some expressions and lines in Collins' Dirge in Cymbeline, published 1747 [Footnote: ''Really 1746, but dated 1747.'']'':

''To fair Fidele's grassy tomb
    Soft maids and village hinds shall bring
Each opening sweet of earliest bloom,
    And rifle all the breathing spring.
...
The redbreast oft, at evening hours,
    Shall kindly lend its little aid,
With hoary moss, and gathered flowers
    To deck the ground where thou art laid.''
That Gray had read these stanzas on their first appearance is perfectly certain, and the resemblance between the two pictures can scarcely be accidental. But, as usual, he condenses; and in describing his own grave, he has a modest regard for probability. The redbreast of Collins is the sympathetic bird of those ''Babes in the Wood,'' who received no burial ''Till Robin-red-breast piously / Did cover them with leaves,'' which ''little poetical ornament,'' says Addison in the Spectator (no. 85), ''shews the genius of the author amidst all his simplicity, being just the same kind of fiction which Horace has made use of upon a parallel occasion in that passage where he describes himself, when he was a child, fallen asleep in a desert wood, and covered with leaves by the doves that took pity on him'' (Od. III. 4. 959)."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 163/164.

116.1-8 'Graved ... thorn.'] "The Epitaph, which is not [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"The Epitaph, which is not so headed in Fraser MS., is there written along the side of the page."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 164.

116.1-8 'Graved ... thorn.'] "[Variations in the 'Red-breast' stanza:] [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"[Variations in the 'Red-breast' stanza:]
[v. 1] Spring, Fraser MS. with Year written above.
[v. 2] frequent, Fraser MS. with Showers of superscribed.
[v. 2] Vi'lets, Fraser MS.
[v. 3] Robin, Fraser MS. Redbreast superscribed."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 164.

116.1-8 'Graved ... thorn.'] "'Between this line and the [...]" J. Crofts, 1948 [1st ed. 1926].

"'Between this line and the Epitaph Mr. Gray originally inserted a very beautiful stanza which was printed in some of the first editions, but afterwards omitted; because he thought (and in my own opinion very justly) that it was too long a parenthesis in this place. The lines however are in themselves exquisitely fine, and demand preservation.' (Mason.) It was printed thus:

There scatter'd oft, the earliest of the Year,
    By Hands unseen, are show'rs of Violets found;
The Red-breast loves to build and warble there,
    And little Footsteps lightly print the Ground.
This stanza was first printed in the third edition, 1751, and was omitted in 1753."

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], 167.

116.1-8 'Graved ... thorn.'] "The following stanza appears [after [...]" A.L. Poole/L. Whibley, 1950 [1st ed. 1919].

"The following stanza appears [after this line] in the Eton MS. and at the end of the Pembroke MS. It is not in Wharton MS. It was first printed in the third edition 1751, and was omitted again in 1753.

There scatter'd oft, the Earliest of the Year,
    By Hands unseen, are Showers of Violets found:
The Red-breast loves to build, & warble there,
    And little Footsteps lightly print the ground."

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], 175.

116.1 'Graved] "Wrote with Graved carved written [...]" H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"Wrote with Graved carved written above, E[ton College MS.]."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 42.

116.1-8 'Graved ... thorn.'] "The Epitaph. The is omitted [...]" H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"The Epitaph. The is omitted in C[ommonplace] B[ook] and Wh[arton MS.], and The Epitaph is written in the margin of E[ton College MS.]."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 42.

116.1-8 'Graved ... thorn.'] "At the bottom of the [...]" H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"At the bottom of the page there appears in C[ommonplace] B[ook]:

Insert.
There scatter'd oft, the earliest of the Year,
By Hands unseen, are Show'rs of Violets found:
The Red-breast loves to build, & warble there,
And little Footsteps lightly print the Ground.     Omitted in 1753.
It first appears in print in Q[uarto]3 and in E[ton College MS.] is placed after l. 116 with the following variants:
1. Year] Spring (del).
2. Show'rs of] frequent with Showers of written above.
3. Red-breast] Robin with Redbreast written above."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 42.

116.1-8 'Graved ... thorn.'] "See textual notes. Mason says [...]" H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"See textual notes. Mason says of this 'redbreast' stanza: 'Between this line [l. 116] and the Epitaph, Mr. Gray originally inserted a very beautiful stanza, which was printed in some of the first editions, but afterwards omitted; because he thought (and in my own opinion very justly) that it was too long a parenthesis in this place. The lines however are, in themselves, exquisitely fine, and demand preservation' (M[ason]. ii. 110-11)."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 224.

116.1 'Graved] "Wrote   Eton, with Graved [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Wrote   Eton, with Graved carved written above."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 138.

116.1-8 'Graved ... thorn.'] "After this line in Eton [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"After this line in Eton appears an additional stanza, also added at the foot of the page in Commonplace Book, with the note Omitted in 1753, and printed in edd 3-7 as follows:

There scatter'd oft, the earliest of the Year,
By Hands unseen, are show'rs of Violets found;
The Red-breast loves to build and warble there,
And little Footsteps lightly print the Ground.
Eton has the following variants: Year] Spring deleted with year written above.   show'rs of] frequent with Showers of written above.   Red-breast] Robin with Redbreast written above.
Mason, Poems pp. 110-11, wrote of this 'very beautiful stanza' that G[ray]. eventually omitted it 'because he thought (and in my own opinion very justly) that it was too long a parenthesis in this place. The lines however are, in themselves, exquisitely fine, and demand preservation.' G. also may have felt that he was echoing too closely Collins's Ode, Written in the Beginning of 1746 and Song from Cymbeline 3-4, 13-16 (see pp. 401-2, 437 below)."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 138.

116.1-8 'Graved ... thorn.'] "The Epitaph] Written in the [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"The Epitaph] Written in the margin in Eton; Wharton and Commonplace Book omit The."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 138.

116.1-8 'Graved ... thorn.'] "After this, Gray's manuscript included [...]" J. Heath-Stubbs, 1981.

"After this, Gray's manuscript included the following stanza:

There scatter'd oft, the earliest of the Year.
By Hands unseen, are show'rs of Violets found;
The Red-breast loves to build and warble there,
And little Footsteps lightly print the Ground."

Thomas Gray: Selected Poems. Ed. by John Heath-Stubbs. Manchester: Carcanet New Press Ltd., 1981, 77.

116.3 the] "his F[oulis edition, 1768]." H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"his F[oulis edition, 1768]."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 42.

116.3 the] "his   Foulis." R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"his   Foulis."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 138.

116.6 yon] "that   Fraser MS. with [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"that   Fraser MS. with yon written over it."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 163.

116.6 yon] "that with yon written above, [...]" H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"that with yon written above, E[ton College MS.]."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 42.

116.6 yon] "that   Eton, with you [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"that   Eton, with you written above."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 138.

116.7 aged] "ancient obliterated in the Pembroke [...]" A.L. Poole/L. Whibley, 1950 [1st ed. 1919].

"ancient obliterated in the Pembroke MS. and aged written above."

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], 175.

116.7 aged] "ancient E[ton College MS.], ancient [...]" H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"ancient E[ton College MS.], ancient (del) C[ommonplace] B[ook]; aged is the variant preferred by Gray in his instructions (T & W no. 157)."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 42.

116.7 aged] "ancient   Eton; aged   [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"ancient   Eton; aged   Commonplace Book, with ancient deleted. G[ray]. told Walpole of the change, 11 Feb. 1751 (Corresp i 342)."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 138.

116.8 thorn.'] "thorn. B[entley's Designs]." H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"thorn. B[entley's Designs]."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 42.

116.8 thorn.'] "'The thorn in Glastonbury churchyard [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"'The thorn in Glastonbury churchyard is known to have suggested to Gray, in the Elegy, the idea of that thorn, under which he supposes himself to be buried', John Young, Criticism on the Elegy (1783) p. 82. Whether or not the Glastonbury thorn suggested the idea to G[ray]., it is not obvious that he would want to refer to its miraculous powers as part of the meaning of 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, 138.

116.8 thorn.'] "thorny tree." Alexander Huber, 2000.

"thorny tree."

Alexander Huber <huber@thomasgray.org> (SUB Göttingen), URL: http://www.thomasgray.org/. Contributed on Sun Oct 22 14:47:05 2000 GMT.

Contribute a note or query


The Epitaph

117 Here rests his head upon the lap of earth 3 Explanatory

117.1-9 Here ... earth] "''how glad would lay me [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"''how glad would lay me down / As in my mother's lap.'' Par. Lost X. 777.   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], 164.

117.1 - 128.8 Here ... God.] "The 'Epitaph' was perhaps inspired [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"The 'Epitaph' was perhaps inspired by the inscription in the church in Mallet, The Excursion i 299-311: 'Lamented shade! whom every gift of heaven / Profusely blest: all learning was his own. / Pleasing his speech , by nature taught to flow, / Persuasive sense and strong, sincere and clear. / His manners greatly plain; a noble grace, / Self-taught, beyond the reach of mimic art, / Adorn'd him: his calmer temper winning mild; / Nor pity softer, nor was truth more bright. / Constant in doing well, he neither sought / Nor shunned applause. No bashful merit sighed / Near him neglected: sympathising he / Wiped off the tear from sorrow's clouded eye / With kindly hand, and taught her heart to smile.' Cp. also the epitaph at the end of Hammond's Elegy ix 41-4: 'Here lies a youth, borne down with love and care, / He could not long his Delia's loss abide, / Joy left his bosom with the parting fair, / And when he durst no longer hope, he died.'"

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 138/139.

117.1-9 Here ... earth] "Aeneid iii 509: gremio telluris [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Aeneid iii 509: gremio telluris (lap of earth), borrowed by G[ray]. for his Latin Verses at Eton 10 (p. 290); Faerie Queene V vii 9, 2: 'mother Earths deare lap', the same phrase occurring in Par. Lost x 777 and xi 536; Dryden, Of the Pythagorean Philosophy 373: 'Lies on the lap of Earth'. See also Progress of Poesy 84 n (p. 172)."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 139.

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118 A youth to fortune and to fame unknown. 6 Explanatory

117.1 - 128.8 Here ... God.] "The 'Epitaph' was perhaps inspired [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"The 'Epitaph' was perhaps inspired by the inscription in the church in Mallet, The Excursion i 299-311: 'Lamented shade! whom every gift of heaven / Profusely blest: all learning was his own. / Pleasing his speech , by nature taught to flow, / Persuasive sense and strong, sincere and clear. / His manners greatly plain; a noble grace, / Self-taught, beyond the reach of mimic art, / Adorn'd him: his calmer temper winning mild; / Nor pity softer, nor was truth more bright. / Constant in doing well, he neither sought / Nor shunned applause. No bashful merit sighed / Near him neglected: sympathising he / Wiped off the tear from sorrow's clouded eye / With kindly hand, and taught her heart to smile.' Cp. also the epitaph at the end of Hammond's Elegy ix 41-4: 'Here lies a youth, borne down with love and care, / He could not long his Delia's loss abide, / Joy left his bosom with the parting fair, / And when he durst no longer hope, he died.'"

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 138/139.

118.1-8 A ... unknown.] "This line, which soon became [...]" W. Lyon Phelps, 1894.

"This line, which soon became proverbial, was certainly not descriptive of Gray after the Elegy was published."

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, 143.

118.1-8 A ... unknown.] "This line has become a [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"This line has become a hackneyed quotation. In Gray's translation of Propertius, he has - ''Happy the youth, and not unknown to Fame.''"

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], 229.

118.1-8 A ... unknown.] "'he lived unknown / To [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"'he lived unknown / To fame or fortune.' Agrippina, ll. 39, 40."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 164.

118.1-8 A ... unknown.] "See Gray's translation From Propertius, [...]" H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"See Gray's translation From Propertius, To Mecaenas, Lib. II, El. 1, l. 65, and Agrippina, ll. 38-39."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 224.

118.1-8 A ... unknown.] "Richard West, Monody on Queen [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Richard West, Monody on Queen Caroline st. viii: 'A muse as yet unheeded and unknown'; and G[ray].'s translation from Propertius II i 65, and Agrippina 38-9 (p. 34, 46)."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 139.

Contribute a note or query

119 Fair Science frowned not on his humble birth, 8 Explanatory

117.1 - 128.8 Here ... God.] "The 'Epitaph' was perhaps inspired [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"The 'Epitaph' was perhaps inspired by the inscription in the church in Mallet, The Excursion i 299-311: 'Lamented shade! whom every gift of heaven / Profusely blest: all learning was his own. / Pleasing his speech , by nature taught to flow, / Persuasive sense and strong, sincere and clear. / His manners greatly plain; a noble grace, / Self-taught, beyond the reach of mimic art, / Adorn'd him: his calmer temper winning mild; / Nor pity softer, nor was truth more bright. / Constant in doing well, he neither sought / Nor shunned applause. No bashful merit sighed / Near him neglected: sympathising he / Wiped off the tear from sorrow's clouded eye / With kindly hand, and taught her heart to smile.' Cp. also the epitaph at the end of Hammond's Elegy ix 41-4: 'Here lies a youth, borne down with love and care, / He could not long his Delia's loss abide, / Joy left his bosom with the parting fair, / And when he durst no longer hope, he died.'"

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 138/139.

119.1-8 Fair ... birth,] "Science is here simply a [...]" W. Lyon Phelps, 1894.

"Science is here simply a general term for Knowledge. The line means that Knowledge looked favorably upon him at his birth (a quasi-astrological figure)."

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, 143.

119.1 - 120.7 Fair ... own.] "See note on Eton Ode [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"See note on Eton Ode l. 3.
To these two lines it has been objected that they are obscurely expressed, and seem to combine a blessing and a curse as if they were cognate ideas. But Gray defines his melancholy to West, May 27, 1742 'Mine, you are to know, is a white Melancholy, or rather Leucocholy for the most part, which though it seldom laughs or dances, nor ever amounts to what one calls Joy or Pleasure, yet is a good easy sort of state' &c. His melancholy was closely connected with his studious retirement, and its nature is exactly fixed in these two lines. Milton's Il Penseroso is Gray all over, and it is noteworthy that whereas Milton is certainly indebted to the verses prefixed to Burton's Anatomy of Melanchol for his two companion poems, Burton has given to his melancholy man some of the pleasures which Milton has transferred to L'Allegro. Gray might say with La Fontaine:

    J'aime ... les livres, la musique
La ville et la campagne, enfin tout; il n'est rien,
    Qui ne me soit souverain bien,
Jusqu'aux sombres plaisirs d'un coeur melancolique."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 164.

119.2 Science] "Knowledge in general; see ''Ode [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"Knowledge in general; see ''Ode on Eton,'' 3, where it is applied to the learning that is to be had in that College."

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], 229.

119.2 Science] "Knowledge or learning in general, [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Knowledge or learning in general, described as 'fair' because conceived by G[ray]. as one of the Muses: cp. Horace, Odes IV iii 1-2: Quem tu, Melpomene, semel / nascentem placido lumine videris (Whom thou, Melpomene, hast once beheld with favouring gaze at his natal hour)."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 139.

119.2 Science] "knowledge in general." J. Reeves, 1973.

"knowledge in general."

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, 112.

119.3-8 frowned ... birth,] "looked favourably on him. Wakefield [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"looked favourably on him. Wakefield quotes from Horace: - ''Quem tu, Melpomene, seme! / Nascentem placido lumine videris.'' - Odes, iv. 3. Whom thou, Melpomene, may have looked on with a favourable eye at the hour of his birth."

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], 229.

119.3-4 frowned not] "Wakefield compares Horace IV 3. [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"Wakefield compares Horace IV 3. 1, 2:

''Quem tu Melpomene semel
Nascentem placido lumine videris'' &c.
[He on whose birth the lyric Queen
Of numbers smiled &c.   Atterbury.]"

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 165.

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120 And Melancholy marked him for her own. 3 Explanatory

117.1 - 128.8 Here ... God.] "The 'Epitaph' was perhaps inspired [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"The 'Epitaph' was perhaps inspired by the inscription in the church in Mallet, The Excursion i 299-311: 'Lamented shade! whom every gift of heaven / Profusely blest: all learning was his own. / Pleasing his speech , by nature taught to flow, / Persuasive sense and strong, sincere and clear. / His manners greatly plain; a noble grace, / Self-taught, beyond the reach of mimic art, / Adorn'd him: his calmer temper winning mild; / Nor pity softer, nor was truth more bright. / Constant in doing well, he neither sought / Nor shunned applause. No bashful merit sighed / Near him neglected: sympathising he / Wiped off the tear from sorrow's clouded eye / With kindly hand, and taught her heart to smile.' Cp. also the epitaph at the end of Hammond's Elegy ix 41-4: 'Here lies a youth, borne down with love and care, / He could not long his Delia's loss abide, / Joy left his bosom with the parting fair, / And when he durst no longer hope, he died.'"

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 138/139.

119.1 - 120.7 Fair ... own.] "See note on Eton Ode [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"See note on Eton Ode l. 3.
To these two lines it has been objected that they are obscurely expressed, and seem to combine a blessing and a curse as if they were cognate ideas. But Gray defines his melancholy to West, May 27, 1742 'Mine, you are to know, is a white Melancholy, or rather Leucocholy for the most part, which though it seldom laughs or dances, nor ever amounts to what one calls Joy or Pleasure, yet is a good easy sort of state' &c. His melancholy was closely connected with his studious retirement, and its nature is exactly fixed in these two lines. Milton's Il Penseroso is Gray all over, and it is noteworthy that whereas Milton is certainly indebted to the verses prefixed to Burton's Anatomy of Melanchol for his two companion poems, Burton has given to his melancholy man some of the pleasures which Milton has transferred to L'Allegro. Gray might say with La Fontaine:

    J'aime ... les livres, la musique
La ville et la campagne, enfin tout; il n'est rien,
    Qui ne me soit souverain bien,
Jusqu'aux sombres plaisirs d'un coeur melancolique."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 164.

120.2 Melancholy] "The meaning of this word [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"The meaning of this word is crucial to the 'Epitaph'. G[ray]. does not mean simply that the poet has been made melancholy (= gloomy) because his education made him aware of abilities which he has been unable to fulfil; if that had been the case the 'And' of this line would have logically been a 'But'. The favourable sense of 'melancholy', implying a valuable kind of sensibility, though not found in Johnson's Dictionary, was becoming fashionable at this time. The heightened sensibility of the melancholy man ideally expresses itself in benevolence and other social virtues, rather than merely in solitary wandering, although that usually precedes it. Thomson, Autumn 1004-10, speaks of the