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"Ode on the Death of a Favourite Cat, Drowned in a Tub of Gold Fishes"

"Ode on the Death of a Favourite Cat,
Drowned in a Tub of Gold Fishes"


1 'Twas on a lofty vase's side,
2 Where China's gayest art had dyed
3     The azure flowers, that blow;
4 Demurest of the tabby kind,
5 The pensive Selima reclined,
6     Gazed on the lake below.

7 Her conscious tail her joy declared;
8 The fair round face, the snowy beard,
9     The velvet of her paws,
10 Her coat, that with the tortoise vies,
11 Her ears of jet, and emerald eyes,
12     She saw; and purred applause.

13 Still had she gazed; but 'midst the tide
14 Two angel forms were seen to glide,
15     The genii of the stream:
16 Their scaly armour's Tyrian hue
17 Through richest purple to the view
18     Betrayed a golden gleam.

19 The hapless nymph with wonder saw:
20 A whisker first and then a claw,
21     With many an ardent wish,
22 She stretched in vain to reach the prize.
23 What female heart can gold despise?
24     What cat's averse to fish?

25 Presumptuous maid! with looks intent
26 Again she stretched, again she bent,
27     Nor knew the gulf between.
28 (Malignant Fate sat by, and smiled)
29 The slippery verge her feet beguiled,
30     She tumbled headlong in.

31 Eight times emerging from the flood
32 She mewed to every watery god,
33     Some speedy aid to send.
34 No dolphin came, no Nereid stirred:
35 Nor cruel Tom, nor Susan heard.
36     A favourite has no friend!

37 From hence, ye beauties, undeceived,
38 Know, one false step is ne'er retrieved,
39     And be with caution bold.
40 Not all that tempts your wandering eyes
41 And heedless hearts, is lawful prize;
42     Nor all that glisters gold.

Expanding the poem lines (+) shows the results of a computationally facilitated analysis of the text. These results should be considered as a basis for deeper interpretative enquiry such as can be found in the notes and queries.

0 "Ode on the Death of a Favourite Cat,
Drowned in a Tub of Gold Fishes"

Metrical notation:  -+|-+|-+|-+/ -+|-+|-+|-+/ -+|-+|-+/ -+|-+|-+|-+/ -+|-+|-+|-+/ -+|-+|-+/
Metrical foot type:  iambic (-+)
Metrical foot number:  tetrameter (4 feet), trimeter (3 feet)
Rhyme scheme:  aabccb
Rhyme (stanza position):  pair (aabb)
Syllable pattern:  8.8.6.8.8.6
Stanza:  sestet (6 lines)
Genre(s):  ballad metre, ode, Song to David-stanza, fable, mock heroic
Theme(s):  advice, moral precepts, animals, death

Notation symbols: | (foot boundary), || (caesura), / (metrical line boundary), + (metrically prominent), - (metrically non-prominent)


1 'Twas on a lofty vase's side,    
Rhyme:  aabccb   |   Rhyme word:  side   |   Rhyme sound:  /aɪd/   |   Rhyme (line position):  end
Metre:  -+|-+|-+|-+/   |   Syllables:  8
Figure:  assonance (phonological): 'Twas/on/lofty /ɒ/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): 'Twas/vase's /z/
Figure:  aphaeresis (morphological): 'Twas

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2 Where China's gayest art had dyed    
Rhyme:  aabccb   |   Rhyme word:  dyed   |   Rhyme sound:  /aɪd/   |   Rhyme (line position):  end
Metre:  -+|-+|-+|-+/   |   Syllables:  8
Figure:  assonance (phonological): China's/dyed /aɪ/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): had/dyed /d/

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3     The azure flowers, that blow;    
Rhyme:  aabccb   |   Rhyme word:  blow   |   Rhyme sound:  /əʊ/   |   Rhyme (line position):  end
Metre:  -+|-+|-+/   |   Syllables:  6
Figure:  assonance (phonological): azure/that /æ/

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4 Demurest of the tabby kind,    
Rhyme:  aabccb   |   Rhyme word:  kind   |   Rhyme sound:  /aɪnd/   |   Rhyme (line position):  end
Metre:  -+|-+|-+|-+/   |   Syllables:  8

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5 The pensive Selima reclined,    
Rhyme:  aabccb   |   Rhyme word:  reclined   |   Rhyme sound:  /aɪnd/   |   Rhyme (line position):  end
Metre:  -+|-+|-+|-+/   |   Syllables:  8
Figure:  assonance (phonological): pensive/Selima /e/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): pensive/reclined /n/

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6     Gazed on the lake below.    
Rhyme:  aabccb   |   Rhyme word:  below   |   Rhyme sound:  /əʊ/   |   Rhyme (line position):  end
Metre:  -+|-+|-+/   |   Syllables:  6
Figure:  assonance (phonological): Gazed/lake /eɪ/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): lake/below /l/

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7 Her conscious tail her joy declared;    
Rhyme:  aabccb   |   Rhyme word:  declared   |   Rhyme sound:  /eəd/   |   Rhyme (line position):  end
Metre:  -+|-+|-+|-+/   |   Syllables:  8
Figure:  alliteration (phonological): Her/her /h/
Figure:  assonance (phonological): Her/her /ɜː/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): Her/her /h/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): conscious/declared /k/
Figure:  diacope (morphological): Her/her

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8 The fair round face, the snowy beard,    
Rhyme:  aabccb   |   Rhyme word:  beard   |   Rhyme sound:  /ɪəd/   |   Rhyme (line position):  end
Metre:  -+|-+|-+|-+/   |   Syllables:  8
Figure:  alliteration (phonological): fair/face /f/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): fair/face /f/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): face/snowy /s/

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9     The velvet of her paws,    
Rhyme:  aabccb   |   Rhyme word:  paws   |   Rhyme sound:  /ɔːz/   |   Rhyme (line position):  end
Metre:  -+|-+|-+/   |   Syllables:  6
Figure:  consonance (phonological): velvet/of /v/

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10 Her coat, that with the tortoise vies,    
Rhyme:  aabccb   |   Rhyme word:  vies   |   Rhyme sound:  /iːs/   |   Rhyme (line position):  end
Metre:  -+|-+|-+|-+/   |   Syllables:  8
Figure:  consonance (phonological): coat/that/tortoise /t/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): that/with /ð/
Figure:  anaphora (morphological): Her

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11 Her ears of jet, and emerald eyes,    
Rhyme:  aabccb   |   Rhyme word:  eyes   |   Rhyme sound:  /aɪz/   |   Rhyme (line position):  end
Metre:  -+|-+|-+|-+/   |   Syllables:  8
Figure:  assonance (phonological): jet/emerald /e/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): ears/eyes /z/
Figure:  anaphora (morphological): Her

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12     She saw; and purred applause.    
Rhyme:  aabccb   |   Rhyme word:  applause   |   Rhyme sound:  /ɔːz/   |   Rhyme (line position):  end
Metre:  -+|-+|-+/   |   Syllables:  6
Figure:  assonance (phonological): saw/applause /ɔː/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): purred/applause /p/

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13 Still had she gazed; but 'midst the tide    
Rhyme:  aabccb   |   Rhyme word:  tide   |   Rhyme sound:  /aɪd/   |   Rhyme (line position):  end
Metre:  -+|-+|-+|-+/   |   Syllables:  8
Figure:  assonance (phonological): Still/'midst /ɪ/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): had/'midst/tide /d/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): but/tide /t/
Figure:  aphaeresis (morphological): 'midst

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14 Two angel forms were seen to glide,    
Rhyme:  aabccb   |   Rhyme word:  glide   |   Rhyme sound:  /aɪd/   |   Rhyme (line position):  end
Metre:  -+|-+|-+|-+/   |   Syllables:  8
Figure:  assonance (phonological): Two/to /uː/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): angel/seen /n/

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15     The genii of the stream:    
Rhyme:  aabccb   |   Rhyme word:  stream   |   Rhyme sound:  /iːm/   |   Rhyme (line position):  end
Metre:  -+|-+|-+/   |   Syllables:  6
Figure:  assonance (phonological): genii/stream /iː/

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16 Their scaly armour's Tyrian hue    
Rhyme:  aabccb   |   Rhyme word:  hue   |   Rhyme sound:  /uː/   |   Rhyme (line position):  end
Metre:  -+|-+|-+|-+/   |   Syllables:  8

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17 Through richest purple to the view    
Rhyme:  aabccb   |   Rhyme word:  view   |   Rhyme sound:  /uː/   |   Rhyme (line position):  end
Metre:  -+|-+|-+|-+/   |   Syllables:  8
Figure:  assonance (phonological): Through/to/view /uː/

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18     Betrayed a golden gleam.    
Rhyme:  aabccb   |   Rhyme word:  gleam   |   Rhyme sound:  /iːm/   |   Rhyme (line position):  end
Metre:  -+|-+|-+/   |   Syllables:  6
Figure:  alliteration (phonological): golden/gleam /g/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): golden/gleam /g/

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19 The hapless nymph with wonder saw:    
Rhyme:  aabccb   |   Rhyme word:  saw   |   Rhyme sound:  /ɔː/   |   Rhyme (line position):  end
Metre:  -+|-+|-+|-+/   |   Syllables:  8
Figure:  assonance (phonological): nymph/with /ɪ/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): nymph/wonder /n/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): with/wonder /w/

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20 A whisker first and then a claw,    
Rhyme:  aabccb   |   Rhyme word:  claw   |   Rhyme sound:  /ɔː/   |   Rhyme (line position):  end
Metre:  -+|-+|-+|-+/   |   Syllables:  8
Figure:  consonance (phonological): whisker/first /s/

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21     With many an ardent wish,    
Rhyme:  aabccb   |   Rhyme word:  wish   |   Rhyme sound:  /ɪʃ/   |   Rhyme (line position):  end
Metre:  -+|-+|-+/   |   Syllables:  6
Figure:  assonance (phonological): With/wish /ɪ/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): With/wish /w/

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22 She stretched in vain to reach the prize.    
Rhyme:  aabccb   |   Rhyme word:  prize   |   Rhyme sound:  /aɪz/   |   Rhyme (line position):  end
Metre:  -+|-+|-+|-+/   |   Syllables:  8
Figure:  assonance (phonological): She/reach /iː/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): stretched/reach /tʃ/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): in/vain /n/

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23 What female heart can gold despise?    
Rhyme:  aabccb   |   Rhyme word:  despise   |   Rhyme sound:  /aɪz/   |   Rhyme (line position):  end
Metre:  -+|-+|-+|-+/   |   Syllables:  8
Figure:  consonance (phonological): What/heart /t/
Figure:  anaphora (morphological): What
Figure:  pysma (pragmatic)

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24     What cat's averse to fish?    
Rhyme:  aabccb   |   Rhyme word:  fish   |   Rhyme sound:  /ɪʃ/   |   Rhyme (line position):  end
Metre:  -+|-+|-+/   |   Syllables:  6
Figure:  consonance (phonological): What/cat's /t/
Figure:  anaphora (morphological): What
Figure:  pysma (pragmatic)

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25 Presumptuous maid! with looks intent    
Rhyme:  aabccb   |   Rhyme word:  intent   |   Rhyme sound:  /ent/   |   Rhyme (line position):  end
Metre:  -+|-+|-+|-+/   |   Syllables:  8
Figure:  assonance (phonological): Presumptuous/with/intent /ɪ/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): Presumptuous/maid /m/

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26 Again she stretched, again she bent,    
Rhyme:  aabccb   |   Rhyme word:  bent   |   Rhyme sound:  /ent/   |   Rhyme (line position):  end
Metre:  -+|-+|-+|-+/   |   Syllables:  8
Figure:  alliteration (phonological): she/she /ʃ/
Figure:  assonance (phonological): Again/stretched/again/bent /e/
Figure:  assonance (phonological): Again/again /ə/
Figure:  assonance (phonological): she/she /iː/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): Again/again/bent /n/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): Again/again /g/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): she/she /ʃ/
Figure:  diacope (morphological): Again/again
Figure:  diacope (morphological): she/she

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27     Nor knew the gulf between.    
Rhyme:  aabccb   |   Rhyme word:  between   |   Rhyme sound:  /iːn/   |   Rhyme (line position):  end
Metre:  -+|-+|-+/   |   Syllables:  6
Figure:  alliteration (phonological): Nor/knew /n/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): Nor/knew/between /n/

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28 (Malignant Fate sat by, and smiled)    
Rhyme:  aabccb   |   Rhyme word:  smiled   |   Rhyme sound:  /aɪld/   |   Rhyme (line position):  end
Metre:  -+|-+|-+|-+/   |   Syllables:  8
Figure:  alliteration (phonological): sat/smiled /s/
Figure:  assonance (phonological): sat/and /æ/
Figure:  assonance (phonological): by/smiled /aɪ/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): Malignant/smiled /l/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): Fate/sat /t/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): sat/smiled /s/

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29 The slippery verge her feet beguiled,    
Rhyme:  aabccb   |   Rhyme word:  beguiled   |   Rhyme sound:  /aɪld/   |   Rhyme (line position):  end
Metre:  -+|-+|-+|-+/   |   Syllables:  8
Figure:  assonance (phonological): verge/her /ɜː/

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30     She tumbled headlong in.    
Rhyme:  aabccb   |   Rhyme word:  in   |   Rhyme sound:  /ɪn/   |   Rhyme (line position):  end
Metre:  -+|-+|-+/   |   Syllables:  6

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31 Eight times emerging from the flood    
Rhyme:  aabccb   |   Rhyme word:  flood   |   Rhyme sound:  /ʌd/   |   Rhyme (line position):  end
Metre:  -+|-+|-+|-+/   |   Syllables:  8
Figure:  alliteration (phonological): from/flood /f/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): Eight/times /t/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): times/emerging/from /m/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): from/flood /f/

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32 She mewed to every watery god,    
Rhyme:  aabccb   |   Rhyme word:  god   |   Rhyme sound:  /ɒd/   |   Rhyme (line position):  end
Metre:  -+|-+|-+|-+/   |   Syllables:  8
Figure:  assonance (phonological): mewed/to /uː/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): mewed/god /d/

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33     Some speedy aid to send.    
Rhyme:  aabccb   |   Rhyme word:  send   |   Rhyme sound:  /end/   |   Rhyme (line position):  end
Metre:  -+|-+|-+/   |   Syllables:  6
Figure:  alliteration (phonological): Some/speedy/send /s/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): Some/speedy/send /s/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): speedy/aid /d/

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34 No dolphin came, no Nereid stirred:    
Rhyme:  aabccb   |   Rhyme word:  stirred   |   Rhyme sound:  /ɜːd/   |   Rhyme (line position):  end
Metre:  -+|-+|-+|-+/   |   Syllables:  8
Figure:  alliteration (phonological): No/no/Nereid /n/
Figure:  assonance (phonological): No/no /əʊ/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): No/no/Nereid /n/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): dolphin/stirred /d/
Figure:  diacope (morphological): No/no

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35 Nor cruel Tom, nor Susan heard.    
Rhyme:  aabccb   |   Rhyme word:  heard   |   Rhyme sound:  /ɜːd/   |   Rhyme (line position):  end
Metre:  -+|-+|-+|-+/   |   Syllables:  8
Figure:  alliteration (phonological): Nor/nor /n/
Figure:  assonance (phonological): Nor/nor /ɔː/
Figure:  assonance (phonological): cruel/Susan /uː/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): Nor/nor /n/
Figure:  diacope (morphological): Nor/nor

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36     A favourite has no friend!    
Rhyme:  aabccb   |   Rhyme word:  friend   |   Rhyme sound:  /end/   |   Rhyme (line position):  end
Metre:  -+|-+|-+/   |   Syllables:  6
Figure:  alliteration (phonological): favourite/friend /f/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): favourite/friend /f/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): no/friend /n/

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37 From hence, ye beauties, undeceived,    
Rhyme:  aabccb   |   Rhyme word:  undeceived   |   Rhyme sound:  /iːvd/   |   Rhyme (line position):  end
Metre:  -+|-+|-+|-+/   |   Syllables:  8
Figure:  assonance (phonological): ye/undeceived /iː/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): hence/undeceived /n/

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38 Know, one false step is ne'er retrieved,    
Rhyme:  aabccb   |   Rhyme word:  retrieved   |   Rhyme sound:  /iːvd/   |   Rhyme (line position):  end
Metre:  -+|-+|-+|-+/   |   Syllables:  8
Figure:  alliteration (phonological): Know/ne'er /n/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): Know/one/ne'er /n/
Figure:  syncope (morphological): ne'er

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39     And be with caution bold.    
Rhyme:  aabccb   |   Rhyme word:  bold   |   Rhyme sound:  /əʊld/   |   Rhyme (line position):  end
Metre:  -+|-+|-+/   |   Syllables:  6

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40 Not all that tempts your wandering eyes    
Rhyme:  aabccb   |   Rhyme word:  eyes   |   Rhyme sound:  /aɪz/   |   Rhyme (line position):  end
Metre:  -+|-+|-+|-+/   |   Syllables:  8
Figure:  assonance (phonological): Not/wandering /ɒ/
Figure:  assonance (phonological): all/your /ɔː/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): Not/wandering /n/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): Not/that/tempts /t/

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41 And heedless hearts, is lawful prize;    
Rhyme:  aabccb   |   Rhyme word:  prize   |   Rhyme sound:  /aɪz/   |   Rhyme (line position):  end
Metre:  -+|-+|-+|-+/   |   Syllables:  8
Figure:  alliteration (phonological): heedless/hearts /h/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): heedless/hearts /h/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): is/prize /z/

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42     Nor all that glisters gold.    
Rhyme:  aabccb   |   Rhyme word:  gold   |   Rhyme sound:  /əʊld/   |   Rhyme (line position):  end
Metre:  -+|-+|-+/   |   Syllables:  6
Figure:  alliteration (phonological): glisters/gold /g/
Figure:  assonance (phonological): Nor/all /ɔː/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): all/gold /l/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): glisters/gold /g/

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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 62 textual and 68 explanatory notes/queries.

All notes and queries are shown by default.

0 "Ode on the Death of a Favourite Cat,
Drowned in a Tub of Gold Fishes" 10 Explanatory, 10 Textual

Title/Paratext] "[Several copies of this poem [...]" E. Gosse, 1884.

"[Several copies of this poem exist in Gray's handwriting. One in a letter to Walpole, dated March 1, 1747, one in a letter a few days later to Wharton, and one at Pembroke College. The subject was the death of one of Horace Walpole's favourite cats, Zara and Selima (''Selima, was it? or Fatima?''), who fell into a china bowl and was drowned. Walpole, after the death of Gray, placed the bowl on a pedestal at Strawberry Hill, with a few lines from this poem for its inscription. The Ode, which was written at Cambridge towards the end of February 1747, was first printed in Dodsley's Collection of Poems by several Hands, 1748, ii. 274, and forms the second piece in the 1753 edition of Gray's Six Poems. - Ed.]"

The Works of Thomas Gray: In Prose and Verse. Ed. by Edmund Gosse, in four vols. London: MacMillan and Co., 1884, vol. i, 10.

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

"This Ode was written early in the year 1747, and first saw the light in a letter to Horace Walpole, dated 1 March, 1747, in which we learn that the poem was playfully written by Gray to commemorate the untimely drowning of one of his friend's pet cats. (See p. 69.) Walpole seems to have admired the poem fully as much as he had loved its object; and after Gray's death the china bowl in which the cat was drowned was placed on a pedestal at Strawberry Hill, with a quotation from the present poem.
This Ode was first published in Vol. II of Dodsley's Collection of Poems, 1748, and that Gray himself liked it may be seen from the fact that it appeared also in the Six Poems of 1753, and in Gray's own carefully edited volume of 1768. The Ode is a trifle, but is polished with all of Gray's fastidious workmanship. Gray sent it to his friend Thomas Wharton, with some playful comments, March, 1747 (Works, II, 164)."

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, 134.

Title/Paratext] "This Ode was sent in [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"This Ode was sent in a letter to Horace Walpole, dated March 1, 1747, on the occasion of the death of one of his cats; at the same time, Gray sent a copy of it to Thomas Wharton, describing it, in mock-heroic style, as the ''most noble of my performances latterly.'' There is a third copy in his handwriting in the Pembroke MSS. The letter to Walpole is as follows: -

        ''Cambridge, March 1, 1747.
''As one ought to be particularly careful to avoid blunders in a compliment of condolence, it would be a sensible satisfaction to me (before I testify my sorrow, and the sincere part I take in your misfortune) to know, for certain, who it is I lament. I knew Zara and Selima (Selima, was it? or Fatima?) or rather I knew them both together; for I cannot justly say which was which. Then as to your handsome Cat, the name you distinguish her by, I am no less at a loss, as well knowing one's handsome cat is always the cat one likes best; or, if one be alive and the other dead, it is usually the latter that is the handsomest. Besides, if the point were never so clear, I hope you do not think me so ill-bred or so imprudent as to forfeit all my interest in the survivor; oh no! I would rather seem to mistake, and imagine to be sure it must be the tabby one that had met with this sad accident. Till this affair is a little better determined, you will excuse me if I do not begin to cry: -

'Tempus inane peto, requiem, spatiumque doloris.'

Which interval is the more convenient, as it gives time to rejoice with you on your new honours [footnote: 'Walpole had been elected a Fellow of the Royal Society.']. This is only a beginning; I reckon next week we shall hear you are a free-mason, or a Gormogon [footnote: 'There is a print of Hogarth's with this title, ''The Mystery of Masonry brought to light by the Gormogons.'' See Nicholl's ''Life of Hogarth,'' and Pope's ''Dunciad,'' iv. 576.'] at least. - Heigh ho! I feel (as you to be sure have done long since) that I have very little to say, at least in prose. Somebody will be the better for it; I do not mean you, but your Cat, feue Mademoiselle Selime, whom I am about to immortalize for one week or fortnight, as follows: -

[Here followed the Ode.]

There's a poem for you, it is rather too long for an Epitaph.''"

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], 180/181.

Title/Paratext] "The Ode was first printed [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"The Ode was first printed in 1748 in Vol. II of Dodsley's ''Collection of Poems,'' and forms the second piece in the 1753 edition of Gray's ''Six Poems'' and in the subsequent editions."

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], 181.

Title/Paratext] "The drowning of the cat [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"The drowning of the cat took place in Arlington Street; and, after the death of Gray, Walpole placed the vase on a pedestral at Strawberry Hill, with a label containing the first stanza of the poem. I am indebted to the kindness of Lord Derby for the information that the vase and pedestal were bought at the sale at Strawberry Hill, in 1842, for £42, by the grandfather of the present Earl, and the vase is now in the picture gallery at Lord Derby's seat at Knowsley."

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], 181.

Title/Paratext] "This copy is in the [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"This copy is in the Wharton Correspondence of Gray in the British Museum. Gray there entitles it ''On a favourite Cat, call'd Selima that fell into a China Tub with Gold-Fishes in it and was drown'd.'' I print it as it stands there, except where I indicate variations. There is another copy in Gray's hand at Pembroke, Cambridge, but this I have had no opportunity of working from. In the copy to Wharton Gray had already made some of the alterations which he adopted after the publication in Dodsley's Miscellany of 1748, in which the text was probably that of the copy which he sent to Walpole (March 1, 1747). The mishap occurred at Walpole's house in Arlington street, not long before Walpole purchased the little house at Twickenham which he converted into the famous Strawberry Hill. To Strawberry Hill the vase was ultimately transferred; Walpole wrote to Mason, July 29, 1773, ''I have a pedestal making for the tub in which my cat was drowned; the first stanza of the Ode is to be written on it, beginning thus: 'Twas on this lofty vase's side, &c.'' This tub was sold says Cunningham (in a note l. c.) at the Strawberry Hill sale in 1842 for £42, and is now at Knowsley, the seat of the Earl of Derby."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 107.

Title/Paratext] "Gray from Cambridge, March 1, [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"Gray from Cambridge, March 1, 1747, in a letter to Walpole containing this Ode, writes ''As one ought to be particularly careful to avoid blunders in a compliment of condolence, it would be a sensible satisfaction to me (before I testify my sorrow, and the sincere part I take in your misfortune) to know for certain, who it is I lament. I knew Zara and Selima (Selima was it? or Fatima?), or rather I knew them both together; for I cannot justly say which was which. Then as to your handsome cat, the name you distinguish her by, I am no less at a loss, as well knowing one's handsome cat is always the cat one likes best; or if one be alive and the other dead, it is usually the latter that is the handsomest. Besides, if the point were never so clear, I hope you do not think me so ill-bred or so imprudent as to forfeit all my interest in the survivor: oh no! I would rather seem to mistake, and imagine to be sure it must be the tabby one that had met with this sad accident. Till this affair is a little better determined, you will excuse me if I do not begin to cry.
      'Tempus inane peto, requiem, spatiumque doloris.' ''
He adds that he is ''about to immortalize feuë Madame Selima for one week or fortnight'' and then gives the poem.
Mystified himself, Gray has mystified his commentators. Yet it is clear, I think, that he believes that the deceased cat was not 'the tabby' - but the other, presumably a tortoise-shell; but he wishes to be in the good graces of the survivor; and therefore he will pretend that it is the 'tabby' whose death he is mourning; that the 'tabby' may be charmed with the fine things which the poet has said about her, under the impression that she is no more. Therefore to please her he writes
      ''Demurest of the tabby kind.''
And, though he says also
      ''Her coat, that with the tortoise vies,''
that, to the 'tabby,' will mean that she was quite as beautiful as her deceased rival. If, as Gray rather anticipates, the victim of 'Malignant Fate' was the tortoise-shell, then 'the tabby kind' is simply a synonym for 'cats,' and the other ambiguous line has its more obvious meaning. But this is the exoteric doctrine of the poem; the esoteric doctrine is for the private ear of the 'tabby.'
A little later Gray wrote to his friend Wharton a letter which Wharton has endorsed ''Mr Gray, March 1747, Ode on the Cat.'' He says ''the most noble of my Performances latterly is a Pome on the uncommon Death of Mr Ws. Cat wch being of a proper Size and Subject for a Gentleman in your Condition to peruse (besides that I flatter myself Miss --- [the lady to whom Wharton was engaged] will give her Judgement upon it too, I herewith send you, it won't detain you long.'' "

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 106/107.

Title/Paratext] "See Letter XX. After Gray's [...]" J. Crofts, 1948 [1st ed. 1926].

"See Letter XX. After Gray's death Walpole placed the bowl on a pedestal at Strawberry-hill, with the first four lines of this Ode for an inscription: reading 'Twas on this vase's lofty side, &c."

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], 159.

Title/Paratext] "[Two copies of this poem [...]" A.L. Poole/L. Whibley, 1950 [1st ed. 1919].

"[Two copies of this poem exist in Gray's handwriting : (1) in a letter to Wharton, March 17, 1747, and (2) among the Pembroke MSS. It was first published in Dodsley's Collection, 1748 (first edition), ii. 267.]"

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], 24.

Title/Paratext] "[Title] Variations : On the [...]" A.L. Poole/L. Whibley, 1950 [1st ed. 1919].

"[Title] Variations : On the Death of Selima, a favourite Cat, who fell into a China-Tub with Gold-fishes in it, & was drown'd is the title given to this Ode in Pembroke MS. : On a favourite Cat, call'd Selima, that fell, &c. 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], 169.

Title/Paratext] "This, like the former ["Ode [...]" W.C. Eppstein, 1959.

"This, like the former ["Ode on the Spring"], first appeared in Dodsley's Collection. It seems to have been written soon after an interview between Hogarth and Gray, arranged by Walpole; but the surliness of the one and the melancholy of the other did not contribute to their host's gaity. But that Gray could sparkle is shown by this poem, recounting the drowning, in a china vase of goldfish, of ''your cat, feue Mademoiselle Selime, whom I am about to immortalize for one week or fortnight''. We forget the frivolous charge made against Gray, that cats really like goldfish and not gold, in the delicate humour permeating the whole poem."

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

Title/Paratext] "First published in Dodsley's Collection, [...]" H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"First published in Dodsley's Collection, 1748, ii. 267."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 5.

Title/Paratext] "Title: On the Death of [...]" H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"Title: On the Death of Selima, a favourite Cat, who fell into a China-Tub with Goldfishes in it, & was drown'd. C[ommonplace] B[ook]; On a favourite Cat, call'd Selima, that . . . [Remainder as in CB]. [Letter to] Wh[arton, 17 Mar. 1747]."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 5.

Title/Paratext] "Walpole's cat was drowned at [...]" H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"Walpole's cat was drowned at his home in Arlington Street, and Gray evidently wrote the poem shortly thereafter, early in 1747, for in a letter (T & W no. 133) to Walpole, 22 Feb. 1747, he made this comment: 'As one ought to be particularly careful to avoid blunders in a compliment of condolence, it would be a sensible satisfaction to me (before I testify my sorrow, and the sincere part I take in your misfortune) to know for certain, who it is I lament. I knew Zara and Selima [Gray actually wrote 'Zara I know & Selima I know', but Mason altered the phrasing because he disapproved of the scriptural parallel ('Jesus I know, and Paul I know', Acts xix. 15); see T & W no. 133, n. 1], (Selima, was it? or Fatima) or rather I knew them both together; for I cannot justly say which was which. Then as to your handsome Cat, the name you distinguish her by I am no less at a loss, as well knowing one's handsome cat is always the cat one likes best; or, if one be alive and the other dead, it is usually the latter that is the handsomest. Besides, if the point were never so clear, I hope you do not think me so ill-bred or so imprudent as to forfeit all my interest in the survivor: Oh no! I would rather seem to mistake, and imagine to be sure it must be the tabby one that had met with this sad accident. Till this affair is a little better determined, you will excuse me if I do not begin to cry:

''Tempus inane peto, requiem, spatiumque doloris.''

[The passage from the Aeneid, iv. 433-4, that Gray has in mind is one in which Dido is begging Anna to ask Aeneas to delay his sailing for a short time which will have no effect on his ultimate plans (inane) but which will give her a chance to adjust to her sorrow at losing him: Tempus inane peto, requiem spatiumque furori, / Dum mea me victam doceat fortuna dolere. (I ask only for a short time [that will be] meaningless [to him], an interval of rest from my madness until my fortune, now that I have been conquered, teaches me to bear my pain.)] Which interval is the more convenient, as it gives time to rejoice with you on your new honours [Walpole's election to the Royal Society].' See also T & W nos. 134, 135. The remarks in this letter and Gray's references (ll. 4, 10) in the poem to both 'tabby' and 'tortoise' are rather confusing. Tovey gives this explanation: 'Yet it is clear, I think, that he believes that the deceased cat was not ''the tabby'' - but the other, presumably a tortoise-shell; but he wishes to be in the good graces of the survivor; and therefore he will pretend that it is the ''tabby'' whose death he is mourning; that the ''tabby'' may be charmed with the fine things which the poet has said about her, under the impression that she is no more. Therefore to please her he writes

''Demurest of the tabby kind.''

And, though he says also

''Her coat, that with the tortoise vies,''

that, to the ''tabby'', will mean that she was quite as beautiful as her deceased rival. If, as Gray rather anticipates, the victim of ''Malignant Fate'' was the tortoise-shell, then ''the tabby kind'' is simply a synonym for ''cats'', and the other ambiguous line has its more obvious meaning. But this is the exoteric doctrine of the poem; the esoteric doctrine is for the private ear of the ''tabby''.' In any event, Walpole finally had a pedestal made for the tub and engraved on it the first stanza 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, 202/203.

Title/Paratext] "Written between 22 Feb. and [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Written between 22 Feb. and 1 March 1747. In a letter of about 22 Feb. 1747 (Corresp i 271), G[ray]. replied to a request from Horace Walpole for an epitaph on one of his cats, which had been recently drowned in a goldfish bowl at his house in Arlington Street:
'As one ought to be particularly careful to avoid blunders in a compliment of condolence, it would be a sensible satisfaction to me (before I testify my sorrow, and the sincere part I take in your misfortune) to know for certain, who it is I lament. I knew Zara and Selima, (Selima, was it? or Fatima) or rather I knew them both together; for I cannot justly say which was which. Then as to your handsome Cat, the name you distinguish her by, I am no less at a loss, as well knowing one's handsome cat is always the cat one likes best; or, if one be alive and the other dead, it is usually the latter that is the handsomest. Besides, if the point were never so clear, I hope you do not think me so ill-bred or so imprudent as to forfeit all my interest in the survivor: Oh no! I would rather seem to mistake, and imagine to be sure it must be the tabby one that had met with this sad accident. Till this affair is a little better determined, you will excuse me if I do not begin to cry: 'Tempus inane peto, requiem, spatiumque doloris.'[']
G. here adapted Aeneid iv 433: Tempus inane peto, requiem spatiumque furori (For empty time I ask, for peace and reprieve for my frenzy). Instead of 'I knew Zara and Selima', as printed by Mason in 1775, G. actually wrote 'Zara I know & Selima I know', a parody of Acts xix 15, which Bedingfield persuaded Mason to alter (Corresp i 271 n).
G. sent the poem to Walpole on 1 March, having identified the cat in question, 'feüe Mademoiselle Selime, whom I am about to immortalise for one week or fortnight, as follows' (Corresp i 272). This text has not survived but, after giving it, G. added, 'There's a Poem for you, it is rather too long for an Epitaph.' On 17 March 1747 G. sent another copy of the poem to Thomas Wharton (Corresp i 277-8) entitled 'On a favourite Cat, call'd Selima, that fell into a China Tub with Gold-Fishes in it & was drown'd'. He introduced it by saying that 'the most noble of my Performances latterly is a Pome on the uncommon Death of Mr W:s Cat'. The poem was first printed on 15 Jan. 1748, in Dodsley's Collection of Poems ii 267-9, no doubt as a result of Walpole's enthusiasm for it. This text, probably based on that originally sent to Walpole, appears to be the earliest. A number of changes were made in that sent to Wharton and in the transcript in G.'s Commonplace Book (i 381), which is entitled 'On the Death of Selima, a favourite Cat, who fell into a China-Tub with Goldfishes in it, & was drown'd'. Final revisions were made for 1753. Two early printings of the poem are noted by T.C.D. Eaves, in Philological Quarterly xxviii (1949) 512-5, and xxx (1951) 91-4. The first was in the Newcastle General Magazine for Jan. 1748, p. 24, and the second in the Scots Magazine for June 1748, pp. 279-80. These two texts are related, both being closer to the revised text sent to Thomas Wharton than to that recently printed in Dodsley's Collection. It is therefore possible that Wharton was responsible for these appearances of the poem, or another revised MS of the poem may have been in circulation before Dodsley's Collection appeared."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 78/79.

Title/Paratext] "A minor misunderstanding about the [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"A minor misunderstanding about the poem should be cleared up. In a discussion of Lord Lyttelton's celebrated Monody (1747) on the death of his wife, in a letter dated 17 Sept. 1751, William Shenstone wrote: 'I heard, once before, it was burlesqued under the title of ''An Elegy on the Death of a favourite Cat'' ' (Letters, ed. M. Williams, (Oxford, 1939) p. 319). It is natural to assume that Shenstone was referring to G[ray].'s poem, as Horace Walpole did, who denied that G. had any such intention of burlesquing Lyttelton in a letter to William Cole, Walpole Correspondence i 165. But Shenstone was referring to another poem with a very similar title, published in May 1748: A Sorrowful Ditty; Or, the Lady's Lamentation for the Death of her Favourite Cat. A Parody, which parodies Lyttelton's Monody in detail and imitates G.'s poem only in the title. (The parody has been claimed for Smollett by some scholars: see The Rothschild Library (1954) ii 519.) Professor William Scott has called to my attention an amusing allusion to the poem ('a most elegant little ode') in Francis Coventry's History of Pompey the Little (1751) p. 90. Another unusual tribute to the currency of G.'s Ode was its appearance in Mary Masters's Familiar Letters and Poems on Several Occasions (1755) pp. 248-50, where it is attributed to 'Mr De Grey' and followed by a poem addressed by a lady to Selima's 'mistress' and further verses in answer to a gentleman who had asked why Phoebus should have rescued Selima. The text of G.'s Ode given by Mrs Masters contains several unique if unimportant readings, which have not been recorded here, though, together with the poems written in answer to it, they tend to confirm the suggestion made above that it had been enjoying an independent circulation in MS, perhaps in the form of 'album verses'."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 79.

Title/Paratext] "On 29 July 1773 Walpole [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"On 29 July 1773 Walpole wrote to tell Mason that he was having a pedestal made for the original tub in which the cat had been drowned, with the first stanza of the Ode inscribed on it (Walpole Correspondence xxviii 101). Mason (Poems p. 76) confirmed in 1775 that this had been done. The tub (described as 'The celebrated large blue and white oriental china cistern, on a Gothic carved pedestal, in which Horace Walpole's cat was drowned; this gave occasion to Mr Gray, the poet, to write his beautiful ode') was sold as Lot 32 at the Strawberry Hill Sale on 16 May 1842 and was bought by the Earl of Derby for 40 guineas. It remained at Knowsley until its recent return to Strawberry Hill, now St Mary's Training College for Teachers. Walpole's letter concerning the tub mentioned above is illustrated in Walpole Correspondence by John Carter's watercolour of the tub as it was placed by Walpole in the Little Cloister at the entrance to Strawberry Hill. It also appears as plate 71 in Randolph Churchill's Fifteen Famous Houses (1954)."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 79/80.

Title/Paratext] "The most detailed discussion of [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"The most detailed discussion of the Ode occurs in Geoffrey Tillotson's Augustan Studies (1961) pp. 216-23, but his conclusions about the poem are questionable. Tillotson is concerned to refute Johnson's criticism, Lives of the Poets, ed. G. B. Hill, iii 434: 'Selima, the Cat, is called a nymph [l. 19], with some violence both to language and sense; but there is good use made of it when it is done; for of the two lines [ll. 23-4], the first relates merely to the nymph, and second only to the cat.' Starting from a possible echo in ll. 4-5 of the Ode of Pope's description of Helen in his translation of the Iliad, Tillotson argues that the echoes of Pope are so frequent that we are obliged to bring Helen into the poem, to see her standing behind the cat throughout, her own disastrous career a parallel to that of Selima. Johnson's objections are irrelevant because the cat and the nymph were intended to remain distinct, while both of them remain actively in the poem. In fact the possible echoes of Pope's Iliad in G.'s poem are more scattered and dubious than Tillotson suggests, many being merely stock heroic diction. Moreover, with a habitual borrower like G., it is never easy to prove that an echo of another poem is actually an allusion to it. Many young women could be imported into the poem on the same terms as those on which Tillotson admits Helen of Troy and the plurality of such identifications of Selima makes a single parallel impossible. At different points in the poem Selima resembles Milton's Eve (ll. 6-18), Camilla in Virgil's Aeneid Bk. xi (ll. 16-24), Lydia, the discarded mistress or 'favourite' in Gay's 'Town Eclogue', The Toilette (ll. 2-3, 4-5, 19) and Ovid's Daphne pursued by Apollo (ll. 32-5). The most striking resemblance is that to Virgil's Camilla (in Dryden's translation and Addison's account of her in the Spectator as well as the original), which may explain some of the diction used in the poem, although the parallel is not enforced so obtrusively that the fate of less heroic young ladies cannot be blended with it. Tillotson describes the poem as mock heroic tout simple and the parallel with Camilla certainly introduces such a note into the poem. But G. blends with it some elements of animal fable, which always concludes with a lightly moralistic application of the story to humanity, as well as of the kind of poem which moralizes ironically about women. Gay's The Toilette and Edward Moore's Fables for the Female Sex (1744) are examples of this minor genre which G. appears to echo. One of the fables in Moore's collection, 'The Female Seducers' (actually by Henry Brooke) enforces the moral that female honour once lost can never be retrieved and uses the image of drowning for the loss of that honour."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 80.

Title/Paratext] "Written in 1747. First printed [...]" J. Heath-Stubbs, 1981.

"Written in 1747. First printed in Dodsley's collection, 1748. The cat belonged to Horace Walpole, and was drowned in his house in Arlington Street."

Thomas Gray: Selected Poems. Ed. by John Heath-Stubbs. Manchester: Carcanet New Press Ltd., 1981, 82.

Title/Paratext] "The tragic feline belonged to [...]" D. Fairer/C. Gerrard, 1999.

"The tragic feline belonged to Horace Walpole. Promising his friend a poem of 'condolence', Gray was anxious to get things right: 'it would be a sensible satisfaction to me ... to know for certain, who it is I lament. I knew Zara and Selima, (Selima, was it? or Fatima) or rather I knew them both together; for I cannot justly say which was which ... one's handsome cat is always the cat one likes best; or, if one be alive and the other dead, it is usually the latter that is the handsomest' (Correspondence, 1:271). This combination of levity and sententiousness (being a 'Favourite' is precarious) found its way into the poem. It was completed between c. 22 February (the date of this letter) and 1 March, when Gray sent it to Walpole. The heroicomical note is struck from the outset, and Selima is Helen of Troy, Eve in Paradise and Pope's Belinda, emblems of pride and beauty awaiting their fall. Roger Lonsdale compares her with Virgil's reckless Camilla (Aeneid, 11:759-804), the Volscian queen killed while she is distracted by a warrior's glittering armour - the episode had been moralized by Addison in Spectator, 15 as showing woman's love for 'everything that is showy and superficial'. Gray's poem was first printed in Dodsley's Collection of Poems (1748), 2:267-9, and was lightly revised for 1753".

Eighteenth-Century Poetry. An Annotated Anthology. Edited by David Fairer and Christine Gerrard. Blackwell annotated anthologies. Oxford: Blackwell, 1999, 327-328.

Contribute a note or query


1 'Twas on a lofty vase's side, 3 Explanatory

1.1 - 6.5 'Twas ... below.] "The exordium of this mock-heroic [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"The exordium of this mock-heroic is in imitation of the opening lines of Dryden's ''Alexander's Feast''. -

'''Twas at the royal feast for Persia won
    By Philip's warlike son;
Aloft in awful state
The godlike hero sat
    On his imperial throne.''"

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], 181/182.

1.1 - 6.5 'Twas ... below.] "The exordium of this mock-heroic [...]" H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"The exordium of this mock-heroic is in imitation of the opening lines of Dryden's Alexander's Feast. Br.

'Twas at the royal feast for Persia won
    By Philip's warlike son;
Aloft in awful state
The godlike hero sat
    On his imperial throne."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 203.

1.1-6 'Twas ... side,] "Perhaps a reminiscence of Dryden, [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Perhaps a reminiscence of Dryden, Alexander's Feast 1-5: ' 'Twas at the Royal Feast, for Persia won, / By Philip's Warlike Son: / Aloft in awful State / The God-like Heroe sate / On his Imperial Throne.'"

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 81.

Contribute a note or query

2 Where China's gayest art had dyed 5 Explanatory

1.1 - 6.5 'Twas ... below.] "The exordium of this mock-heroic [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"The exordium of this mock-heroic is in imitation of the opening lines of Dryden's ''Alexander's Feast''. -

'''Twas at the royal feast for Persia won
    By Philip's warlike son;
Aloft in awful state
The godlike hero sat
    On his imperial throne.''"

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], 181/182.

1.1 - 6.5 'Twas ... below.] "The exordium of this mock-heroic [...]" H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"The exordium of this mock-heroic is in imitation of the opening lines of Dryden's Alexander's Feast. Br.

'Twas at the royal feast for Persia won
    By Philip's warlike son;
Aloft in awful state
The godlike hero sat
    On his imperial throne."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 203.

2.1 - 3.5 Where ... blow;] "''On which China vase the [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"''On which China vase the full-blown flowers had been painted in blue.'' Azure is derived from the Persian lajaward, through the Arabic azr-aq, in which the l is dropped, the lapis lazulli. Cf. Lady M. W. Montagu's ''Town Eclogues'': - ''Where the tall jar erects its stately pride, / With antic shapes in China's azure dyed.''"

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], 182.

2.1-6 Where ... dyed] "Dr Bradshaw quotes from Lady [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"Dr Bradshaw quotes from Lady Mary Wortley Montagu's Town Eclogues

''Where the tall jar erects its stately pride
With antic shapes in China's azure dyed.''
Gray probably had read this, for most of these eclogues had been published before 1747, though his reference to them in his correspondence is of later date."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 107.

2.1 - 3.5 Where ... blow;] "Gay, The Toilette 53-4: 'Where [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Gay, The Toilette 53-4: 'Where the tall jar erects his costly pride, / With antic shapes in china's azure dy'd'; and Tickell, Kensington Garden 383-4: 'As some frail cup of China's purest mould, / With azure varnish'd and bedropt with gold.'"

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 81.

Contribute a note or query

3     The azure flowers, that blow; 9 Explanatory

1.1 - 6.5 'Twas ... below.] "The exordium of this mock-heroic [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"The exordium of this mock-heroic is in imitation of the opening lines of Dryden's ''Alexander's Feast''. -

'''Twas at the royal feast for Persia won
    By Philip's warlike son;
Aloft in awful state
The godlike hero sat
    On his imperial throne.''"

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], 181/182.

1.1 - 6.5 'Twas ... below.] "The exordium of this mock-heroic [...]" H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"The exordium of this mock-heroic is in imitation of the opening lines of Dryden's Alexander's Feast. Br.

'Twas at the royal feast for Persia won
    By Philip's warlike son;
Aloft in awful state
The godlike hero sat
    On his imperial throne."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 203.

2.1 - 3.5 Where ... blow;] "''On which China vase the [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"''On which China vase the full-blown flowers had been painted in blue.'' Azure is derived from the Persian lajaward, through the Arabic azr-aq, in which the l is dropped, the lapis lazulli. Cf. Lady M. W. Montagu's ''Town Eclogues'': - ''Where the tall jar erects its stately pride, / With antic shapes in China's azure dyed.''"

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], 182.

2.1 - 3.5 Where ... blow;] "Gay, The Toilette 53-4: 'Where [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Gay, The Toilette 53-4: 'Where the tall jar erects his costly pride, / With antic shapes in china's azure dy'd'; and Tickell, Kensington Garden 383-4: 'As some frail cup of China's purest mould, / With azure varnish'd and bedropt with gold.'"

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 81.

3.1-5 The ... blow;] "Johnson says ''In the first [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"Johnson says ''In the first stanza the azure flowers that blow, shew how resolutely a rhyme is sometimes made when it cannot easily be found.'' It is certain that there is redundancy or some sort of weakness in the expression here. Those of Gray's apologists who admit redundancy, defend it by classical examples, some of which are not redundant at all. And how is Johnson answered by saying that ancient poets were sometimes guilty of redundancy? Again Gray is quoted in defence of himself. In the Progress of Poesy I. 1. 5, he has written ''the laughing flowers that round them blow.'' But this is not redundant; Gray says that the 'thousand rills' of which he has just spoken are engarlanded with flowers which 'draw life and fragrance' from them; the added words 'round them' here make all the difference, especially in such a context.
On the other hand if Gray meant, as Dr Bradshaw says, - 'so that we, as it were, see the flower in full blow' - if, that is, we are to understand that the flowers are represented vividly, and with truth to nature, Gray has expressed this feebly and inadequately."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 107/108.

3.1-3 The ... flowers,] "See Johnson's remarks [...] [in [...]" J. Crofts, 1948 [1st ed. 1926].

"See Johnson's remarks [...] [in his Life of Gray (1781)]".

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], 159.

3.4-5 that blow;] "The flowers are painted on [...]" W. Lyon Phelps, 1894.

"The flowers are painted on the vase in full bloom."

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, 134.

3.4-5 that blow;] "Exception was taken by Dr. [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"Exception was taken by Dr. Johnson to the redundaney of ''that blow,'' but not only is redundaney of the kind poetical, but here the expression requires no such defence - ''that blow'' = ''that are blowing on it,'' so that we, as it were, see the flowers in full blow. The same expression occurs in the ''Progress of Poesy,'' line 5, where also it is not redundant."

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], 182.

3.4-5 that blow;] "Johnson (Lives of the Poets, [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Johnson (Lives of the Poets, ed. Hill, iii 434) thought that this line showed 'how resolutely a rhyme is sometimes made when it cannot easily be found'. 'Blow' itself means 'bloom' or 'blossom' and was a common enough word but it does seem unnecessarily emphatic. A writer in the Gentleman's Mag. lii (Jan. 1782) 76, replied to Johnson's objection by asserting that G. was actually making a definite distinction: 'China vessels are generally ornamented with fictitious flowers; whereas those on the bowl in question are not imaginary, but real ones; they are azure flowers THAT BLOW.' Tillotson, Augustan Studies p. 219, suggests that 'redundancies of this cheerful jingling sort are part of the method of a true ballad, and so a grace in a mock-ballad'. G. may however have been influenced by Comus 993-4: 'Waters the odorous banks that blow / Flowers...' See also Progress of Poesy 5 (p. 162 below)."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 81.

Contribute a note or query

4 Demurest of the tabby kind, 7 Explanatory, 6 Textual

1.1 - 6.5 'Twas ... below.] "The exordium of this mock-heroic [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"The exordium of this mock-heroic is in imitation of the opening lines of Dryden's ''Alexander's Feast''. -

'''Twas at the royal feast for Persia won
    By Philip's warlike son;
Aloft in awful state
The godlike hero sat
    On his imperial throne.''"

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], 181/182.

1.1 - 6.5 'Twas ... below.] "The exordium of this mock-heroic [...]" H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"The exordium of this mock-heroic is in imitation of the opening lines of Dryden's Alexander's Feast. Br.

'Twas at the royal feast for Persia won
    By Philip's warlike son;
Aloft in awful state
The godlike hero sat
    On his imperial throne."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 203.

4.1 - 5.4 Demurest ... reclined,] "In the Walpole MS. and [...]" E. Gosse, 1884.

"In the Walpole MS. and in the 1748 edition the order of these lines was reversed: ''The pensive Selima reclin'd, / Demurest of the tabby kind.''"

The Works of Thomas Gray: In Prose and Verse. Ed. by Edmund Gosse, in four vols. London: MacMillan and Co., 1884, vol. i, 11.

4.1 - 6.5 Demurest ... below.] "When first published, the last [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"When first published, the last three lines of this stanza stood: -

''The pensive Selima reclined,
Demurest of the tabby kind,
    Gazed on the lake below.''
The punctuation was then correct, but in the next edition Gray transposed lines four and five as they now stand, and retained the comma after reclined, thus separating the subject (Selima) from its verb by one comma. Stephen Jones was the first (1799) to correct the punctuation by putting a comma after Selima also."

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], 182.

4.1 - 5.4 Demurest ... reclined,] "These lines are transposed in [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"These lines are transposed in the edition of 1748."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 108.

4.1 - 5.4 Demurest ... reclined,] "The lines are transposed in [...]" A.L. Poole/L. Whibley, 1950 [1st ed. 1919].

"The lines are transposed in Dodsley's Collection, 1748."

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], 169.

4.1 - 5.4 Demurest ... reclined,] "Lines transposed in Dodsley." H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"Lines transposed in Dodsley."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 5.

4.1 - 5.4 Demurest ... reclined,] "These lines were transposed in [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"These lines were transposed in Dodsley."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 81.

4.1 - 5.4 Demurest ... reclined,] "J. C. Maxwell, Notes and [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"J. C. Maxwell, Notes and Queries cxcvi (1951) 498, points out that these lines echo Pope, Iliad iii 473-4: 'Meantime the brightest of the female kind, / The matchless Helen o'er the walls reclined.' This echo was the basis of Tillotson's case that G[ray]. is deliberately alluding to Helen's fate as parallel to that of Selima. The second line is however a commonplace: cp. 'His pensive Cheek upon his Hand reclin'd', Dryden, Iliad i 458; and 'Reclined upon her arm she pensive sat', Gay, The Toilette 21."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 81.

4.1 Demurest] "Tillotson, Augustan Studies p. 217 [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Tillotson, Augustan Studies p. 217 n, suggests that 'By Gray's time demure had become a sort of Homeric epithet for a cat, whether male or female, but more usually the latter'. Under 'demure' and 'demurely' Johnson's Dictionary gives quotations from Bacon, L'Estrange and Dryden using these words of cats."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 81.

4.4 tabby] "Skeat gives the meaning of [...]" W. Lyon Phelps, 1894.

"Skeat gives the meaning of this word as ''a kind of waved silk,'' and adds, ''A tabby cat is one marked like the silk.'' The word comes from the Arabic. A tabby cat would, therefore, strictly mean a cat whose fur is streaked black and gray; but in line 10 Gray seems to imply that the cat in question was a tortoise-shell. Tortoise-shell cats are often called tabby; indeed, the adjective is not infrequently applied to cats in general. Gray uses the word again in his letter to Walpole. (See p. 70.) In Bentley's Print the cat is gray, with pronounced black streaks; not a tortoise-shell."

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, 134/135.

4.4 tabby] "Walpole had two cats, and [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"Walpole had two cats, and seems to have written to Gray that ''his handsome cat was dead.'' Gray wrote the Ode, not knowing which cat it was, but (as he says in the letter in which he sent the Ode) he did not wish to appear not to know which cat was dead, so he would imagine ''it must be the tabby one.'' A tabby cat is one whose coat is brindled, black and grey, like the waves of watered silk. Tabby is from Fr. tabis, watered silk, from Arabic attabi, a part of Bagdad, where it was made.
From line 10 Mr. Gosse argues ''she cannot have been a tabby,'' but a tortoise-shell cat; and is followed by other annotators. Mr. Storr, in his note on line 4, says, ''Prove that she was not a tabby.'' But, since Gray plainly states he intends the Ode to refer to the tabby one, why should we suppose that just after speaking of her as ''of the tabby kind,'' he forgot that, and now describes her as a tortoise-shell cat because he says her coat vied with the tortoise? Walpole's other cat may have been a tortoise-shell, and therefore Gray would describe this - the handsome one - as vying with her in beauty, and purring with pleasure at the sight of it. Or it may be he wrote so as to be right whichever cat it was; if we take ''tabby kind'' as equivalent to ''cat-kind,'' the Ode will be applicable to a tortoise-shell cat."

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], 182/183.

4.4 tabby] "Perhaps G. had now learned [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Perhaps G. had now learned from Walpole that the deceased cat was a tabby (see his caution in letter quoted in headnote); the reference to 'tortoise' in l. 10 would then mean merely that Selima had been as beautiful as the survivor. But Tovey has an involved reading of these references, based on the assumption that G. was still in doubt about which cat had died, while suspecting that it was in fact the tortoiseshell. His praise of the tabby was aimed therefore, as he had stated in his letter, at keeping an interest in the survivor."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 81.

Contribute a note or query

5 The pensive Selima reclined, 4 Explanatory, 6 Textual

1.1 - 6.5 'Twas ... below.] "The exordium of this mock-heroic [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"The exordium of this mock-heroic is in imitation of the opening lines of Dryden's ''Alexander's Feast''. -

'''Twas at the royal feast for Persia won
    By Philip's warlike son;
Aloft in awful state
The godlike hero sat
    On his imperial throne.''"

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], 181/182.

1.1 - 6.5 'Twas ... below.] "The exordium of this mock-heroic [...]" H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"The exordium of this mock-heroic is in imitation of the opening lines of Dryden's Alexander's Feast. Br.

'Twas at the royal feast for Persia won
    By Philip's warlike son;
Aloft in awful state
The godlike hero sat
    On his imperial throne."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 203.

4.1 - 5.4 Demurest ... reclined,] "In the Walpole MS. and [...]" E. Gosse, 1884.

"In the Walpole MS. and in the 1748 edition the order of these lines was reversed: ''The pensive Selima reclin'd, / Demurest of the tabby kind.''"

The Works of Thomas Gray: In Prose and Verse. Ed. by Edmund Gosse, in four vols. London: MacMillan and Co., 1884, vol. i, 11.

4.1 - 6.5 Demurest ... below.] "When first published, the last [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"When first published, the last three lines of this stanza stood: -

''The pensive Selima reclined,
Demurest of the tabby kind,
    Gazed on the lake below.''
The punctuation was then correct, but in the next edition Gray transposed lines four and five as they now stand, and retained the comma after reclined, thus separating the subject (Selima) from its verb by one comma. Stephen Jones was the first (1799) to correct the punctuation by putting a comma after Selima also."

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], 182.

4.1 - 5.4 Demurest ... reclined,] "These lines are transposed in [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"These lines are transposed in the edition of 1748."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 108.

4.1 - 5.4 Demurest ... reclined,] "The lines are transposed in [...]" A.L. Poole/L. Whibley, 1950 [1st ed. 1919].

"The lines are transposed in Dodsley's Collection, 1748."

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], 169.

4.1 - 5.4 Demurest ... reclined,] "Lines transposed in Dodsley." H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"Lines transposed in Dodsley."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 5.

4.1 - 5.4 Demurest ... reclined,] "These lines were transposed in [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"These lines were transposed in Dodsley."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 81.

4.1 - 5.4 Demurest ... reclined,] "J. C. Maxwell, Notes and [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"J. C. Maxwell, Notes and Queries cxcvi (1951) 498, points out that these lines echo Pope, Iliad iii 473-4: 'Meantime the brightest of the female kind, / The matchless Helen o'er the walls reclined.' This echo was the basis of Tillotson's case that G[ray]. is deliberately alluding to Helen's fate as parallel to that of Selima. The second line is however a commonplace: cp. 'His pensive Cheek upon his Hand reclin'd', Dryden, Iliad i 458; and 'Reclined upon her arm she pensive sat', Gay, The Toilette 21."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 81.

5.3 Selima] "Selima was the name of [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Selima was the name of the heroine of Rowe's tragedy Tamerlane (1702)."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 82.

Contribute a note or query

6     Gazed on the lake below. 4 Explanatory, 1 Textual

1.1 - 6.5 'Twas ... below.] "The exordium of this mock-heroic [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"The exordium of this mock-heroic is in imitation of the opening lines of Dryden's ''Alexander's Feast''. -

'''Twas at the royal feast for Persia won
    By Philip's warlike son;
Aloft in awful state
The godlike hero sat
    On his imperial throne.''"

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], 181/182.

1.1 - 6.5 'Twas ... below.] "The exordium of this mock-heroic [...]" H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"The exordium of this mock-heroic is in imitation of the opening lines of Dryden's Alexander's Feast. Br.

'Twas at the royal feast for Persia won
    By Philip's warlike son;
Aloft in awful state
The godlike hero sat
    On his imperial throne."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 203.

4.1 - 6.5 Demurest ... below.] "When first published, the last [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"When first published, the last three lines of this stanza stood: -

''The pensive Selima reclined,
Demurest of the tabby kind,
    Gazed on the lake below.''
The punctuation was then correct, but in the next edition Gray transposed lines four and five as they now stand, and retained the comma after reclined, thus separating the subject (Selima) from its verb by one comma. Stephen Jones was the first (1799) to correct the punctuation by putting a comma after Selima also."

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], 182.

6.1 - 18.4 Gazed ... gleam.] "Cp. Milton's description of Eve [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Cp. Milton's description of Eve viewing herself with satisfaction in the 'Lake', until she sees a 'gleam' in the water, Par. Lost iv 456-66: 'I thither went / With unexperienc't thought, and laid me downe / On the green bank, to look into the cleer / Smooth Lake, that to me seemd another Skie. / As I bent down to look, just opposite, / A Shape within the watry gleam appeerd / Bending to look on me, I started back, / It started back, but pleasd I soon returnd, / Pleas'd it returnd as soon with answering looks / Of sympathie and love, there I had fixt / Mine eyes till now, and pin'd with vain desire'."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 82.

6.3-4 the lake] "The poem is consistently mock-heroic [...]" W. Lyon Phelps, 1894.

"The poem is consistently mock-heroic throughout."

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, 135.

Contribute a note or query


7 Her conscious tail her joy declared; 1 Explanatory

6.1 - 18.4 Gazed ... gleam.] "Cp. Milton's description of Eve [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Cp. Milton's description of Eve viewing herself with satisfaction in the 'Lake', until she sees a 'gleam' in the water, Par. Lost iv 456-66: 'I thither went / With unexperienc't thought, and laid me downe / On the green bank, to look into the cleer / Smooth Lake, that to me seemd another Skie. / As I bent down to look, just opposite, / A Shape within the watry gleam appeerd / Bending to look on me, I started back, / It started back, but pleasd I soon returnd, / Pleas'd it returnd as soon with answering looks / Of sympathie and love, there I had fixt / Mine eyes till now, and pin'd with vain desire'."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 82.

Contribute a note or query

8 The fair round face, the snowy beard, 2 Explanatory, 1 Textual

6.1 - 18.4 Gazed ... gleam.] "Cp. Milton's description of Eve [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Cp. Milton's description of Eve viewing herself with satisfaction in the 'Lake', until she sees a 'gleam' in the water, Par. Lost iv 456-66: 'I thither went / With unexperienc't thought, and laid me downe / On the green bank, to look into the cleer / Smooth Lake, that to me seemd another Skie. / As I bent down to look, just opposite, / A Shape within the watry gleam appeerd / Bending to look on me, I started back, / It started back, but pleasd I soon returnd, / Pleas'd it returnd as soon with answering looks / Of sympathie and love, there I had fixt / Mine eyes till now, and pin'd with vain desire'."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 82.

8.1-5 The ... the] "Her ... her   Pery." R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Her ... her   Pery."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 82.

8.1-7 The ... beard,] "Cp. 'She licks her fair [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Cp. 'She licks her fair round Face' (of a cat), Pope, Wife of Bath her Prologue 146; and 'O'er her fair face a snowy veil she threw', Pope, Iliad iii 187."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 82.

Contribute a note or query

9     The velvet of her paws, 1 Explanatory

6.1 - 18.4 Gazed ... gleam.] "Cp. Milton's description of Eve [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Cp. Milton's description of Eve viewing herself with satisfaction in the 'Lake', until she sees a 'gleam' in the water, Par. Lost iv 456-66: 'I thither went / With unexperienc't thought, and laid me downe / On the green bank, to look into the cleer / Smooth Lake, that to me seemd another Skie. / As I bent down to look, just opposite, / A Shape within the watry gleam appeerd / Bending to look on me, I started back, / It started back, but pleasd I soon returnd, / Pleas'd it returnd as soon with answering looks / Of sympathie and love, there I had fixt / Mine eyes till now, and pin'd with vain desire'."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 82.

Contribute a note or query

10 Her coat, that with the tortoise vies, 1 Explanatory, 3 Textual

6.1 - 18.4 Gazed ... gleam.] "Cp. Milton's description of Eve [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Cp. Milton's description of Eve viewing herself with satisfaction in the 'Lake', until she sees a 'gleam' in the water, Par. Lost iv 456-66: 'I thither went / With unexperienc't thought, and laid me downe / On the green bank, to look into the cleer / Smooth Lake, that to me seemd another Skie. / As I bent down to look, just opposite, / A Shape within the watry gleam appeerd / Bending to look on me, I started back, / It started back, but pleasd I soon returnd, / Pleas'd it returnd as soon with answering looks / Of sympathie and love, there I had fixt / Mine eyes till now, and pin'd with vain desire'."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 82.

10.1 Her] "The Dodsley's Collection, 1748, and [...]" A.L. Poole/L. Whibley, 1950 [1st ed. 1919].

"The Dodsley's Collection, 1748, and 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], 169.

10.1 Her] "The Dodsley; Foulis edition, Glasgow, [...]" H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"The Dodsley; Foulis edition, Glasgow, 1768."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 5.

10.1 Her] "The   Dodsley, Foulis." R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"The   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, 82.

Contribute a note or query

11 Her ears of jet, and emerald eyes, 2 Explanatory

6.1 - 18.4 Gazed ... gleam.] "Cp. Milton's description of Eve [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Cp. Milton's description of Eve viewing herself with satisfaction in the 'Lake', until she sees a 'gleam' in the water, Par. Lost iv 456-66: 'I thither went / With unexperienc't thought, and laid me downe / On the green bank, to look into the cleer / Smooth Lake, that to me seemd another Skie. / As I bent down to look, just opposite, / A Shape within the watry gleam appeerd / Bending to look on me, I started back, / It started back, but pleasd I soon returnd, / Pleas'd it returnd as soon with answering looks / Of sympathie and love, there I had fixt / Mine eyes till now, and pin'd with vain desire'."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 82.

11.4 jet,] "a deep glossy black colour, [...]" Alexander Huber, 2000.

"a deep glossy black colour, cf. 'jet-black'. Both jet and emerald in the same line are stones used in jewellery."

Alexander Huber <huber@thomasgray.org> (SUB Göttingen), URL: http://www.thomasgray.org/. Contributed on Sun Oct 22 12:16:01 2000 GMT.

Contribute a note or query

12     She saw; and purred applause. 2 Explanatory

6.1 - 18.4 Gazed ... gleam.] "Cp. Milton's description of Eve [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Cp. Milton's description of Eve viewing herself with satisfaction in the 'Lake', until she sees a 'gleam' in the water, Par. Lost iv 456-66: 'I thither went / With unexperienc't thought, and laid me downe / On the green bank, to look into the cleer / Smooth Lake, that to me seemd another Skie. / As I bent down to look, just opposite, / A Shape within the watry gleam appeerd / Bending to look on me, I started back, / It started back, but pleasd I soon returnd, / Pleas'd it returnd as soon with answering looks / Of sympathie and love, there I had fixt / Mine eyes till now, and pin'd with vain desire'."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 82.

12.1-2 She saw;] "She gazes with pride on [...]" W. Lyon Phelps, 1894.

"She gazes with pride on the reflection of her own beauty, like Narcissus."

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, 135.

Contribute a note or query


13 Still had she gazed; but 'midst the tide 1 Explanatory, 4 Textual

6.1 - 18.4 Gazed ... gleam.] "Cp. Milton's description of Eve [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Cp. Milton's description of Eve viewing herself with satisfaction in the 'Lake', until she sees a 'gleam' in the water, Par. Lost iv 456-66: 'I thither went / With unexperienc't thought, and laid me downe / On the green bank, to look into the cleer / Smooth Lake, that to me seemd another Skie. / As I bent down to look, just opposite, / A Shape within the watry gleam appeerd / Bending to look on me, I started back, / It started back, but pleasd I soon returnd, / Pleas'd it returnd as soon with answering looks / Of sympathie and love, there I had fixt / Mine eyes till now, and pin'd with vain desire'."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 82.

13.4-5 gazed; but] "''gazed. but'' Wharton MS. A [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"''gazed. but'' Wharton MS. A peculiarity of Gray's to begin a new sentence without a capital, if the first word of it is not a substantive."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 108.

13.6 'midst] "'mid Pembroke MS." A.L. Poole/L. Whibley, 1950 [1st ed. 1919].

"'mid 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], 169.

13.6 'midst] "'mid C[ommonplace] B[ook]." H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"'mid 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, 5.

13.6 'midst] "'mid   Commonplace Book." R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"'mid   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, 82.

Contribute a note or query

14 Two angel forms were seen to glide, 1 Explanatory, 6 Textual

6.1 - 18.4 Gazed ... gleam.] "Cp. Milton's description of Eve [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Cp. Milton's description of Eve viewing herself with satisfaction in the 'Lake', until she sees a 'gleam' in the water, Par. Lost iv 456-66: 'I thither went / With unexperienc't thought, and laid me downe / On the green bank, to look into the cleer / Smooth Lake, that to me seemd another Skie. / As I bent down to look, just opposite, / A Shape within the watry gleam appeerd / Bending to look on me, I started back, / It started back, but pleasd I soon returnd, / Pleas'd it returnd as soon with answering looks / Of sympathie and love, there I had fixt / Mine eyes till now, and pin'd with vain desire'."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 82.

14.1-3 Two ... forms] "In the Walpole MS. and [...]" E. Gosse, 1884.

"In the Walpole MS. and in the 1748 edition, ''Two beauteous forms.''"

The Works of Thomas Gray: In Prose and Verse. Ed. by Edmund Gosse, in four vols. London: MacMillan and Co., 1884, vol. i, 12.

14.1-3 Two ... forms] "In the Pembroke and Walpole [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"In the Pembroke and Walpole MSS. and in the 1748 ''Collection,'' Two beauteous forms."

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], 184.

14.2-3 angel forms] "''beauteous forms'' in 1748." D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"''beauteous forms'' in 1748."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 108.

14.2 angel] "beauteous Pembroke MS., and in [...]" A.L. Poole/L. Whibley, 1950 [1st ed. 1919].

"beauteous Pembroke MS., and in Dodsley's Collection, 1748, and 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], 169.

14.2 angel] "beauteous C[ommonplace] B[ook], Dodsley, Foulis." H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"beauteous C[ommonplace] B[ook], Dodsley, Foulis."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 5.

14.2 angel] "beauteous   Commonplace Book, Dodsley, [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"beauteous   Commonplace Book, 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, 82.

Contribute a note or query

15     The genii of the stream: 3 Explanatory

6.1 - 18.4 Gazed ... gleam.] "Cp. Milton's description of Eve [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Cp. Milton's description of Eve viewing herself with satisfaction in the 'Lake', until she sees a 'gleam' in the water, Par. Lost iv 456-66: 'I thither went / With unexperienc't thought, and laid me downe / On the green bank, to look into the cleer / Smooth Lake, that to me seemd another Skie. / As I bent down to look, just opposite, / A Shape within the watry gleam appeerd / Bending to look on me, I started back, / It started back, but pleasd I soon returnd, / Pleas'd it returnd as soon with answering looks / Of sympathie and love, there I had fixt / Mine eyes till now, and pin'd with vain desire'."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 82.

15.2 genii] "Guardian spirits. So 'th'unseen Genius [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Guardian spirits. So 'th'unseen Genius of the Wood', Milton, Il Penseroso 154; and 'the genii of the place', Matthew Green, The Grotto 54."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 82.

15.2 genii] "local spirits." J. Reeves, 1973.

"local spirits."

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, 111.

Contribute a note or query

16 Their scaly armour's Tyrian hue 6 Explanatory

6.1 - 18.4 Gazed ... gleam.] "Cp. Milton's description of Eve [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Cp. Milton's description of Eve viewing herself with satisfaction in the 'Lake', until she sees a 'gleam' in the water, Par. Lost iv 456-66: 'I thither went / With unexperienc't thought, and laid me downe / On the green bank, to look into the cleer / Smooth Lake, that to me seemd another Skie. / As I bent down to look, just opposite, / A Shape within the watry gleam appeerd / Bending to look on me, I started back, / It started back, but pleasd I soon returnd, / Pleas'd it returnd as soon with answering looks / Of sympathie and love, there I had fixt / Mine eyes till now, and pin'd with vain desire'."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 82.

16.1 - 24.5 Their ... fish?] "Cp. the death of Camilla [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Cp. the death of Camilla in Aeneid xi 768-82, 801-6, during the crucial battle between Aeneas and Turnus: Forte sacer Cybele Chloreus olimque sacerdos / insignis longe Phrygiis fulgebat in armis / spumantemque agitabat equum, quem pellis aenis / in plumam squamis auro conserta tegebat. / ipse peregrina ferrugine clarus et ostro / spicula torquebat Lycio Gortynia cornu; / aureus ex umeris erat arcus et aurea vati / cassida; tum croceam chlamydemque sinusque crepantis / carbaseos fulvo in nodum collegerat auro, / pictus acu tunicas et barbara tegmina crurum. / hunc virgo, sive ut templis praefigeret arma / Troia, captivo sive ut se ferret in auro, / venatrix unum ex omni certamine pugnae / caeca sequebatur totumque incauta per agmen / femineo praedae et spoliorum ardebat amore ... / ... nihil ipsa nec aurae / nec sonitus memor aut venientis ab aethere teli, / hasta sub exsertam donec perlata papillam / haesit, virgineumque alte bibit acta cruorem. / concurrunt trepidae comites dominamque ruentem / suscipiunt. (It chanced that Chloreus, sacred to Cybelus, and once a priest, glittered resplendent afar in Phrygian armour, and spurred his foaming charger, whose covering was a skin, plumed with brazen scales and clasped with gold. Himself ablaze in the deep hue of foreign purple, he launched Gortynian shafts from Lycian bow: golden was that bow upon his shoulders, and golden was the seer's helmet; his saffron scarf and its rustling linen folds were gathered into a knot by yellow gold; embroidered with the needle were his tunic and barbaric hose. Him, whether in hope to fasten on temple-gate Trojan arms, or to flaunt herself in golden spoil, the maiden, singling out from all the battle fray, blindly pursued in huntress fashion, and recklessly raged through all the ranks with a woman's passion for booty and for spoil. ... She herself, neither of air, nor of sound, nor of weapon coming from the sky recked aught, till the spear, borne home, beneath the bare breast found lodging, and, driven deep, drank her maiden blood. In alarm, her comrades hurry around her, and catch their falling queen.) Addison had retold this episode in Spectator No. 15, in which his theme was the 'unaccountable Humour in Woman-kind, of being smitten with every thing that is showy and superficial; and ... the numberless Evils that befall the Sex, from this light, fantastical Disposition.' The moral he drew from Camilla's fate is close to that of G[ray].'s Ode. See ll. 37-42 n."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 82/83.

16.4-5 Tyrian hue] "Alluding to Tyrian purple." W. Lyon Phelps, 1894.

"Alluding to Tyrian purple."

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, 135.

16.4-5 Tyrian hue] "i.e. the royal purple, obtained [...]" J. Crofts, 1948 [1st ed. 1926].

"i.e. the royal purple, obtained in antiquity from a shell-fish, the murex, found near Tyre."

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], 159.

16.4 Tyrian] "Dryden translates l. 772 of [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Dryden translates l. 772 of the passage from the Aeneid quoted above: 'A Robe of Tyrian Dye the Rider wore', Aeneid xi 1136; but cp. also Pope, Windsor Forest 142, 144: 'The bright-ey'd Perch with Fins of Tyrian Dye / ... The yellow Carp, in Scales bedrop'd with Gold.'"

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 83.

16.4 Tyrian] "purple." J. Reeves, 1973.

"purple."

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, 111.

Contribute a note or query

17 Through richest purple to the view 4 Explanatory

6.1 - 18.4 Gazed ... gleam.] "Cp. Milton's description of Eve [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Cp. Milton's description of Eve viewing herself with satisfaction in the 'Lake', until she sees a 'gleam' in the water, Par. Lost iv 456-66: 'I thither went / With unexperienc't thought, and laid me downe / On the green bank, to look into the cleer / Smooth Lake, that to me seemd another Skie. / As I bent down to look, just opposite, / A Shape within the watry gleam appeerd / Bending to look on me, I started back, / It started back, but pleasd I soon returnd, / Pleas'd it returnd as soon with answering looks / Of sympathie and love, there I had fixt / Mine eyes till now, and pin'd with vain desire'."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 82.

16.1 - 24.5 Their ... fish?] "Cp. the death of Camilla [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Cp. the death of Camilla in Aeneid xi 768-82, 801-6, during the crucial battle between Aeneas and Turnus: Forte sacer Cybele Chloreus olimque sacerdos / insignis longe Phrygiis fulgebat in armis / spumantemque agitabat equum, quem pellis aenis / in plumam squamis auro conserta tegebat. / ipse peregrina ferrugine clarus et ostro / spicula torquebat Lycio Gortynia cornu; / aureus ex umeris erat arcus et aurea vati / cassida; tum croceam chlamydemque sinusque crepantis / carbaseos fulvo in nodum collegerat auro, / pictus acu tunicas et barbara tegmina crurum. / hunc virgo, sive ut templis praefigeret arma / Troia, captivo sive ut se ferret in auro, / venatrix unum ex omni certamine pugnae / caeca sequebatur totumque incauta per agmen / femineo praedae et spoliorum ardebat amore ... / ... nihil ipsa nec aurae / nec sonitus memor aut venientis ab aethere teli, / hasta sub exsertam donec perlata papillam / haesit, virgineumque alte bibit acta cruorem. / concurrunt trepidae comites dominamque ruentem / suscipiunt. (It chanced that Chloreus, sacred to Cybelus, and once a priest, glittered resplendent afar in Phrygian armour, and spurred his foaming charger, whose covering was a skin, plumed with brazen scales and clasped with gold. Himself ablaze in the deep hue of foreign purple, he launched Gortynian shafts from Lycian bow: golden was that bow upon his shoulders, and golden was the seer's helmet; his saffron scarf and its rustling linen folds were gathered into a knot by yellow gold; embroidered with the needle were his tunic and barbaric hose. Him, whether in hope to fasten on temple-gate Trojan arms, or to flaunt herself in golden spoil, the maiden, singling out from all the battle fray, blindly pursued in huntress fashion, and recklessly raged through all the ranks with a woman's passion for booty and for spoil. ... She herself, neither of air, nor of sound, nor of weapon coming from the sky recked aught, till the spear, borne home, beneath the bare breast found lodging, and, driven deep, drank her maiden blood. In alarm, her comrades hurry around her, and catch their falling queen.) Addison had retold this episode in Spectator No. 15, in which his theme was the 'unaccountable Humour in Woman-kind, of being smitten with every thing that is showy and superficial; and ... the numberless Evils that befall the Sex, from this light, fantastical Disposition.' The moral he drew from Camilla's fate is close to that of G[ray].'s Ode. See ll. 37-42 n."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 82/83.

17.1 - 18.4 Through ... gleam.] "Wakefield compares Virgil (Georg. iv. [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"Wakefield compares Virgil (Georg. iv. 274)

''Aureus ipse: sed in foliis, quae plurima circum
Funduntur, violae sublucet purpura nigrae.''
Mitford adds from Pope
      ''His shining horns diffused a golden gleam.''
(Windsor Forest 331), and Temple of Fame 253."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 108.

17.1 - 18.4 Through ... gleam.] "Virgil, Georgics iv 274-5: aureus [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Virgil, Georgics iv 274-5: aureus ipse, sed in foliis, quae plurima circum / funduntur, violae sublucet purpura nigrae (Golden is the disc, but in the petals, streaming profusely round, there is a crimson gleam amid the dark violet)."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 83.

Contribute a note or query

18     Betrayed a golden gleam. 5 Explanatory

6.1 - 18.4 Gazed ... gleam.] "Cp. Milton's description of Eve [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Cp. Milton's description of Eve viewing herself with satisfaction in the 'Lake', until she sees a 'gleam' in the water, Par. Lost iv 456-66: 'I thither went / With unexperienc't thought, and laid me downe / On the green bank, to look into the cleer / Smooth Lake, that to me seemd another Skie. / As I bent down to look, just opposite, / A Shape within the watry gleam appeerd / Bending to look on me, I started back, / It started back, but pleasd I soon returnd, / Pleas'd it returnd as soon with answering looks / Of sympathie and love, there I had fixt / Mine eyes till now, and pin'd with vain desire'."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 82.

16.1 - 24.5 Their ... fish?] "Cp. the death of Camilla [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Cp. the death of Camilla in Aeneid xi 768-82, 801-6, during the crucial battle between Aeneas and Turnus: Forte sacer Cybele Chloreus olimque sacerdos / insignis longe Phrygiis fulgebat in armis / spumantemque agitabat equum, quem pellis aenis / in plumam squamis auro conserta tegebat. / ipse peregrina ferrugine clarus et ostro / spicula torquebat Lycio Gortynia cornu; / aureus ex umeris erat arcus et aurea vati / cassida; tum croceam chlamydemque sinusque crepantis / carbaseos fulvo in nodum collegerat auro, / pictus acu tunicas et barbara tegmina crurum. / hunc virgo, sive ut templis praefigeret arma / Troia, captivo sive ut se ferret in auro, / venatrix unum ex omni certamine pugnae / caeca sequebatur totumque incauta per agmen / femineo praedae et spoliorum ardebat amore ... / ... nihil ipsa nec aurae / nec sonitus memor aut venientis ab aethere teli, / hasta sub exsertam donec perlata papillam / haesit, virgineumque alte bibit acta cruorem. / concurrunt trepidae comites dominamque ruentem / suscipiunt. (It chanced that Chloreus, sacred to Cybelus, and once a priest, glittered resplendent afar in Phrygian armour, and spurred his foaming charger, whose covering was a skin, plumed with brazen scales and clasped with gold. Himself ablaze in the deep hue of foreign purple, he launched Gortynian shafts from Lycian bow: golden was that bow upon his shoulders, and golden was the seer's helmet; his saffron scarf and its rustling linen folds were gathered into a knot by yellow gold; embroidered with the needle were his tunic and barbaric hose. Him, whether in hope to fasten on temple-gate Trojan arms, or to flaunt herself in golden spoil, the maiden, singling out from all the battle fray, blindly pursued in huntress fashion, and recklessly raged through all the ranks with a woman's passion for booty and for spoil. ... She herself, neither of air, nor of sound, nor of weapon coming from the sky recked aught, till the spear, borne home, beneath the bare breast found lodging, and, driven deep, drank her maiden blood. In alarm, her comrades hurry around her, and catch their falling queen.) Addison had retold this episode in Spectator No. 15, in which his theme was the 'unaccountable Humour in Woman-kind, of being smitten with every thing that is showy and superficial; and ... the numberless Evils that befall the Sex, from this light, fantastical Disposition.' The moral he drew from Camilla's fate is close to that of G[ray].'s Ode. See ll. 37-42 n."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 82/83.

17.1 - 18.4 Through ... gleam.] "Wakefield compares Virgil (Georg. iv. [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"Wakefield compares Virgil (Georg. iv. 274)

''Aureus ipse: sed in foliis, quae plurima circum
Funduntur, violae sublucet purpura nigrae.''
Mitford adds from Pope
      ''His shining horns diffused a golden gleam.''
(Windsor Forest 331), and Temple of Fame 253."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 108.

17.1 - 18.4 Through ... gleam.] "Virgil, Georgics iv 274-5: aureus [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Virgil, Georgics iv 274-5: aureus ipse, sed in foliis, quae plurima circum / funduntur, violae sublucet purpura nigrae (Golden is the disc, but in the petals, streaming profusely round, there is a crimson gleam amid the dark violet)."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 83.

18.1-4 Betrayed ... gleam.] "Windsor Forest 331-2: 'and o'er [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Windsor Forest 331-2: 'and o'er the Stream / His shining Horns diffus'd a golden Gleam'; see also Temple of Fame 253."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 83.

Contribute a note or query


19 The hapless nymph with wonder saw: 3 Explanatory

16.1 - 24.5 Their ... fish?] "Cp. the death of Camilla [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Cp. the death of Camilla in Aeneid xi 768-82, 801-6, during the crucial battle between Aeneas and Turnus: Forte sacer Cybele Chloreus olimque sacerdos / insignis longe Phrygiis fulgebat in armis / spumantemque agitabat equum, quem pellis aenis / in plumam squamis auro conserta tegebat. / ipse peregrina ferrugine clarus et ostro / spicula torquebat Lycio Gortynia cornu; / aureus ex umeris erat arcus et aurea vati / cassida; tum croceam chlamydemque sinusque crepantis / carbaseos fulvo in nodum collegerat auro, / pictus acu tunicas et barbara tegmina crurum. / hunc virgo, sive ut templis praefigeret arma / Troia, captivo sive ut se ferret in auro, / venatrix unum ex omni certamine pugnae / caeca sequebatur totumque incauta per agmen / femineo praedae et spoliorum ardebat amore ... / ... nihil ipsa nec aurae / nec sonitus memor aut venientis ab aethere teli, / hasta sub exsertam donec perlata papillam / haesit, virgineumque alte bibit acta cruorem. / concurrunt trepidae comites dominamque ruentem / suscipiunt. (It chanced that Chloreus, sacred to Cybelus, and once a priest, glittered resplendent afar in Phrygian armour, and spurred his foaming charger, whose covering was a skin, plumed with brazen scales and clasped with gold. Himself ablaze in the deep hue of foreign purple, he launched Gortynian shafts from Lycian bow: golden was that bow upon his shoulders, and golden was the seer's helmet; his saffron scarf and its rustling linen folds were gathered into a knot by yellow gold; embroidered with the needle were his tunic and barbaric hose. Him, whether in hope to fasten on temple-gate Trojan arms, or to flaunt herself in golden spoil, the maiden, singling out from all the battle fray, blindly pursued in huntress fashion, and recklessly raged through all the ranks with a woman's passion for booty and for spoil. ... She herself, neither of air, nor of sound, nor of weapon coming from the sky recked aught, till the spear, borne home, beneath the bare breast found lodging, and, driven deep, drank her maiden blood. In alarm, her comrades hurry around her, and catch their falling queen.) Addison had retold this episode in Spectator No. 15, in which his theme was the 'unaccountable Humour in Woman-kind, of being smitten with every thing that is showy and superficial; and ... the numberless Evils that befall the Sex, from this light, fantastical Disposition.' The moral he drew from Camilla's fate is close to that of G[ray].'s Ode. See ll. 37-42 n."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 82/83.

19.1 - 22.8 The ... prize.] "Dryden, Aeneid xi 1144-5, translating [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Dryden, Aeneid xi 1144-5, translating the passage about Camilla quoted above: 'Him, the fierce Maid beheld with ardent Eyes; / Fond and Ambitious of so Rich a Prize'; and 'He saw, he wish'd, and to the Prize aspir'd', Rape of the Lock ii 30, and Pope's explicit imitation of the Dryden couplet, ibid ii 43-4: 'and begs with ardent Eyes / Soon to obtain, and long possess the Prize'."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 83.

19.2-3 hapless nymph] "Gay, The Toilette 31: 'Ah, [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Gay, The Toilette 31: 'Ah, hapless nymph!'"

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 83.

Contribute a note or query

20 A whisker first and then a claw, 2 Explanatory

16.1 - 24.5 Their ... fish?] "Cp. the death of Camilla [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Cp. the death of Camilla in Aeneid xi 768-82, 801-6, during the crucial battle between Aeneas and Turnus: Forte sacer Cybele Chloreus olimque sacerdos / insignis longe Phrygiis fulgebat in armis / spumantemque agitabat equum, quem pellis aenis / in plumam squamis auro conserta tegebat. / ipse peregrina ferrugine clarus et ostro / spicula torquebat Lycio Gortynia cornu; / aureus ex umeris erat arcus et aurea vati / cassida; tum croceam chlamydemque sinusque crepantis / carbaseos fulvo in nodum collegerat auro, / pictus acu tunicas et barbara tegmina crurum. / hunc virgo, sive ut templis praefigeret arma / Troia, captivo sive ut se ferret in auro, / venatrix unum ex omni certamine pugnae / caeca sequebatur totumque incauta per agmen / femineo praedae et spoliorum ardebat amore ... / ... nihil ipsa nec aurae / nec sonitus memor aut venientis ab aethere teli, / hasta sub exsertam donec perlata papillam / haesit, virgineumque alte bibit acta cruorem. / concurrunt trepidae comites dominamque ruentem / suscipiunt. (It chanced that Chloreus, sacred to Cybelus, and once a priest, glittered resplendent afar in Phrygian armour, and spurred his foaming charger, whose covering was a skin, plumed with brazen scales and clasped with gold. Himself ablaze in the deep hue of foreign purple, he launched Gortynian shafts from Lycian bow: golden was that bow upon his shoulders, and golden was the seer's helmet; his saffron scarf and its rustling linen folds were gathered into a knot by yellow gold; embroidered with the needle were his tunic and barbaric hose. Him, whether in hope to fasten on temple-gate Trojan arms, or to flaunt herself in golden spoil, the maiden, singling out from all the battle fray, blindly pursued in huntress fashion, and recklessly raged through all the ranks with a woman's passion for booty and for spoil. ... She herself, neither of air, nor of sound, nor of weapon coming from the sky recked aught, till the spear, borne home, beneath the bare breast found lodging, and, driven deep, drank her maiden blood. In alarm, her comrades hurry around her, and catch their falling queen.) Addison had retold this episode in Spectator No. 15, in which his theme was the 'unaccountable Humour in Woman-kind, of being smitten with every thing that is showy and superficial; and ... the numberless Evils that befall the Sex, from this light, fantastical Disposition.' The moral he drew from Camilla's fate is close to that of G[ray].'s Ode. See ll. 37-42 n."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 82/83.

19.1 - 22.8 The ... prize.] "Dryden, Aeneid xi 1144-5, translating [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Dryden, Aeneid xi 1144-5, translating the passage about Camilla quoted above: 'Him, the fierce Maid beheld with ardent Eyes; / Fond and Ambitious of so Rich a Prize'; and 'He saw, he wish'd, and to the Prize aspir'd', Rape of the Lock ii 30, and Pope's explicit imitation of the Dryden couplet, ibid ii 43-4: 'and begs with ardent Eyes / Soon to obtain, and long possess the Prize'."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 83.

Contribute a note or query

21     With many an ardent wish, 2 Explanatory

16.1 - 24.5 Their ... fish?] "Cp. the death of Camilla [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Cp. the death of Camilla in Aeneid xi 768-82, 801-6, during the crucial battle between Aeneas and Turnus: Forte sacer Cybele Chloreus olimque sacerdos / insignis longe Phrygiis fulgebat in armis / spumantemque agitabat equum, quem pellis aenis / in plumam squamis auro conserta tegebat. / ipse peregrina ferrugine clarus et ostro / spicula torquebat Lycio Gortynia cornu; / aureus ex umeris erat arcus et aurea vati / cassida; tum croceam chlamydemque sinusque crepantis / carbaseos fulvo in nodum collegerat auro, / pictus acu tunicas et barbara tegmina crurum. / hunc virgo, sive ut templis praefigeret arma / Troia, captivo sive ut se ferret in auro, / venatrix unum ex omni certamine pugnae / caeca sequebatur totumque incauta per agmen / femineo praedae et spoliorum ardebat amore ... / ... nihil ipsa nec aurae / nec sonitus memor aut venientis ab aethere teli, / hasta sub exsertam donec perlata papillam / haesit, virgineumque alte bibit acta cruorem. / concurrunt trepidae comites dominamque ruentem / suscipiunt. (It chanced that Chloreus, sacred to Cybelus, and once a priest, glittered resplendent afar in Phrygian armour, and spurred his foaming charger, whose covering was a skin, plumed with brazen scales and clasped with gold. Himself ablaze in the deep hue of foreign purple, he launched Gortynian shafts from Lycian bow: golden was that bow upon his shoulders, and golden was the seer's helmet; his saffron scarf and its rustling linen folds were gathered into a knot by yellow gold; embroidered with the needle were his tunic and barbaric hose. Him, whether in hope to fasten on temple-gate Trojan arms, or to flaunt herself in golden spoil, the maiden, singling out from all the battle fray, blindly pursued in huntress fashion, and recklessly raged through all the ranks with a woman's passion for booty and for spoil. ... She herself, neither of air, nor of sound, nor of weapon coming from the sky recked aught, till the spear, borne home, beneath the bare breast found lodging, and, driven deep, drank her maiden blood. In alarm, her comrades hurry around her, and catch their falling queen.) Addison had retold this episode in Spectator No. 15, in which his theme was the 'unaccountable Humour in Woman-kind, of being smitten with every thing that is showy and superficial; and ... the numberless Evils that befall the Sex, from this light, fantastical Disposition.' The moral he drew from Camilla's fate is close to that of G[ray].'s Ode. See ll. 37-42 n."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 82/83.

19.1 - 22.8 The ... prize.] "Dryden, Aeneid xi 1144-5, translating [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Dryden, Aeneid xi 1144-5, translating the passage about Camilla quoted above: 'Him, the fierce Maid beheld with ardent Eyes; / Fond and Ambitious of so Rich a Prize'; and 'He saw, he wish'd, and to the Prize aspir'd', Rape of the Lock ii 30, and Pope's explicit imitation of the Dryden couplet, ibid ii 43-4: 'and begs with ardent Eyes / Soon to obtain, and long possess the Prize'."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 83.

Contribute a note or query

22 She stretched in vain to reach the prize. 2 Explanatory

16.1 - 24.5 Their ... fish?] "Cp. the death of Camilla [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Cp. the death of Camilla in Aeneid xi 768-82, 801-6, during the crucial battle between Aeneas and Turnus: Forte sacer Cybele Chloreus olimque sacerdos / insignis longe Phrygiis fulgebat in armis / spumantemque agitabat equum, quem pellis aenis / in plumam squamis auro conserta tegebat. / ipse peregrina ferrugine clarus et ostro / spicula torquebat Lycio Gortynia cornu; / aureus ex umeris erat arcus et aurea vati / cassida; tum croceam chlamydemque sinusque crepantis / carbaseos fulvo in nodum collegerat auro, / pictus acu tunicas et barbara tegmina crurum. / hunc virgo, sive ut templis praefigeret arma / Troia, captivo sive ut se ferret in auro, / venatrix unum ex omni certamine pugnae / caeca sequebatur totumque incauta per agmen / femineo praedae et spoliorum ardebat amore ... / ... nihil ipsa nec aurae / nec sonitus memor aut venientis ab aethere teli, / hasta sub exsertam donec perlata papillam / haesit, virgineumque alte bibit acta cruorem. / concurrunt trepidae comites dominamque ruentem / suscipiunt. (It chanced that Chloreus, sacred to Cybelus, and once a priest, glittered resplendent afar in Phrygian armour, and spurred his foaming charger, whose covering was a skin, plumed with brazen scales and clasped with gold. Himself ablaze in the deep hue of foreign purple, he launched Gortynian shafts from Lycian bow: golden was that bow upon his shoulders, and golden was the seer's helmet; his saffron scarf and its rustling linen folds were gathered into a knot by yellow gold; embroidered with the needle were his tunic and barbaric hose. Him, whether in hope to fasten on temple-gate Trojan arms, or to flaunt herself in golden spoil, the maiden, singling out from all the battle fray, blindly pursued in huntress fashion, and recklessly raged through all the ranks with a woman's passion for booty and for spoil. ... She herself, neither of air, nor of sound, nor of weapon coming from the sky recked aught, till the spear, borne home, beneath the bare breast found lodging, and, driven deep, drank her maiden blood. In alarm, her comrades hurry around her, and catch their falling queen.) Addison had retold this episode in Spectator No. 15, in which his theme was the 'unaccountable Humour in Woman-kind, of being smitten with every thing that is showy and superficial; and ... the numberless Evils that befall the Sex, from this light, fantastical Disposition.' The moral he drew from Camilla's fate is close to that of G[ray].'s Ode. See ll. 37-42 n."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 82/83.

19.1 - 22.8 The ... prize.] "Dryden, Aeneid xi 1144-5, translating [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Dryden, Aeneid xi 1144-5, translating the passage about Camilla quoted above: 'Him, the fierce Maid beheld with ardent Eyes; / Fond and Ambitious of so Rich a Prize'; and 'He saw, he wish'd, and to the Prize aspir'd', Rape of the Lock ii 30, and Pope's explicit imitation of the Dryden couplet, ibid ii 43-4: 'and begs with ardent Eyes / Soon to obtain, and long possess the Prize'."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 83.

Contribute a note or query

23 What female heart can gold despise? 1 Explanatory

16.1 - 24.5 Their ... fish?] "Cp. the death of Camilla [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Cp. the death of Camilla in Aeneid xi 768-82, 801-6, during the crucial battle between Aeneas and Turnus: Forte sacer Cybele Chloreus olimque sacerdos / insignis longe Phrygiis fulgebat in armis / spumantemque agitabat equum, quem pellis aenis / in plumam squamis auro conserta tegebat. / ipse peregrina ferrugine clarus et ostro / spicula torquebat Lycio Gortynia cornu; / aureus ex umeris erat arcus et aurea vati / cassida; tum croceam chlamydemque sinusque crepantis / carbaseos fulvo in nodum collegerat auro, / pictus acu tunicas et barbara tegmina crurum. / hunc virgo, sive ut templis praefigeret arma / Troia, captivo sive ut se ferret in auro, / venatrix unum ex omni certamine pugnae / caeca sequebatur totumque incauta per agmen / femineo praedae et spoliorum ardebat amore ... / ... nihil ipsa nec aurae / nec sonitus memor aut venientis ab aethere teli, / hasta sub exsertam donec perlata papillam / haesit, virgineumque alte bibit acta cruorem. / concurrunt trepidae comites dominamque ruentem / suscipiunt. (It chanced that Chloreus, sacred to Cybelus, and once a priest, glittered resplendent afar in Phrygian armour, and spurred his foaming charger, whose covering was a skin, plumed with brazen scales and clasped with gold. Himself ablaze in the deep hue of foreign purple, he launched Gortynian shafts from Lycian bow: golden was that bow upon his shoulders, and golden was the seer's helmet; his saffron scarf and its rustling linen folds were gathered into a knot by yellow gold; embroidered with the needle were his tunic and barbaric hose. Him, whether in hope to fasten on temple-gate Trojan arms, or to flaunt herself in golden spoil, the maiden, singling out from all the battle fray, blindly pursued in huntress fashion, and recklessly raged through all the ranks with a woman's passion for booty and for spoil. ... She herself, neither of air, nor of sound, nor of weapon coming from the sky recked aught, till the spear, borne home, beneath the bare breast found lodging, and, driven deep, drank her maiden blood. In alarm, her comrades hurry around her, and catch their falling queen.) Addison had retold this episode in Spectator No. 15, in which his theme was the 'unaccountable Humour in Woman-kind, of being smitten with every thing that is showy and superficial; and ... the numberless Evils that befall the Sex, from this light, fantastical Disposition.' The moral he drew from Camilla's fate is close to that of G[ray].'s Ode. See ll. 37-42 n."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 82/83.

Contribute a note or query

24     What cat's averse to fish? 2 Explanatory, 6 Textual

16.1 - 24.5 Their ... fish?] "Cp. the death of Camilla [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Cp. the death of Camilla in Aeneid xi 768-82, 801-6, during the crucial battle between Aeneas and Turnus: Forte sacer Cybele Chloreus olimque sacerdos / insignis longe Phrygiis fulgebat in armis / spumantemque agitabat equum, quem pellis aenis / in plumam squamis auro conserta tegebat. / ipse peregrina ferrugine clarus et ostro / spicula torquebat Lycio Gortynia cornu; / aureus ex umeris erat arcus et aurea vati / cassida; tum croceam chlamydemque sinusque crepantis / carbaseos fulvo in nodum collegerat auro, / pictus acu tunicas et barbara tegmina crurum. / hunc virgo, sive ut templis praefigeret arma / Troia, captivo sive ut se ferret in auro, / venatrix unum ex omni certamine pugnae / caeca sequebatur totumque incauta per agmen / femineo praedae et spoliorum ardebat amore ... / ... nihil ipsa nec aurae / nec sonitus memor aut venientis ab aethere teli, / hasta sub exsertam donec perlata papillam / haesit, virgineumque alte bibit acta cruorem. / concurrunt trepidae comites dominamque ruentem / suscipiunt. (It chanced that Chloreus, sacred to Cybelus, and once a priest, glittered resplendent afar in Phrygian armour, and spurred his foaming charger, whose covering was a skin, plumed with brazen scales and clasped with gold. Himself ablaze in the deep hue of foreign purple, he launched Gortynian shafts from Lycian bow: golden was that bow upon his shoulders, and golden was the seer's helmet; his saffron scarf and its rustling linen folds were gathered into a knot by yellow gold; embroidered with the needle were his tunic and barbaric hose. Him, whether in hope to fasten on temple-gate Trojan arms, or to flaunt herself in golden spoil, the maiden, singling out from all the battle fray, blindly pursued in huntress fashion, and recklessly raged through all the ranks with a woman's passion for booty and for spoil. ... She herself, neither of air, nor of sound, nor of weapon coming from the sky recked aught, till the spear, borne home, beneath the bare breast found lodging, and, driven deep, drank her maiden blood. In alarm, her comrades hurry around her, and catch their falling queen.) Addison had retold this episode in Spectator No. 15, in which his theme was the 'unaccountable Humour in Woman-kind, of being smitten with every thing that is showy and superficial; and ... the numberless Evils that befall the Sex, from this light, fantastical Disposition.' The moral he drew from Camilla's fate is close to that of G[ray].'s Ode. See ll. 37-42 n."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 82/83.

24.1-5 What ... fish?] "Cp. 'A woman, and averse [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Cp. 'A woman, and averse to praise!', Gay, Fables II xvi 8."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 84.

24.3-5 averse ... fish?] "In the edition of 1748, [...]" E. Gosse, 1884.

"In the edition of 1748, ''A foe to fish.''"

The Works of Thomas Gray: In Prose and Verse. Ed. by Edmund Gosse, in four vols. London: MacMillan and Co., 1884, vol. i, 12.

24.3-5 averse ... fish?] "In the ''Collection'' of 1748, [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"In the ''Collection'' of 1748, A foe to fish."

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], 184.

24.3-5 averse ... fish?] "''a foe to fish'' 1748." D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"''a foe to fish'' 1748."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 108.

24.3-4 averse to] "a foe to Dodsley's Collection, [...]" A.L. Poole/L. Whibley, 1950 [1st ed. 1919].

"a foe to Dodsley's Collection, 1748."

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], 169.

24.3-4 averse to] "a foe to Dodsley." H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"a foe to Dodsley."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 6.

24.3-4 averse to] "a foe to   Dodsley." R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"a foe to   Dodsley."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 84.

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25 Presumptuous maid! with looks intent 1 Explanatory, 6 Textual

25.1-2 Presumptuous maid!] "Cp. 'Presumptuous Man!', Pope, Essay [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Cp. 'Presumptuous Man!', Pope, Essay on Man i 35."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 84.

25.4 looks] "Looks - in the Wharton [...]" E. Gosse, 1884.

"Looks - in the Wharton MS., Eyes."

The Works of Thomas Gray: In Prose and Verse. Ed. by Edmund Gosse, in four vols. London: MacMillan and Co., 1884, vol. i, 12.

25.4 looks] "[I]n the Wharton MS., eyes; [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"[I]n the Wharton MS., eyes; in the Pembroke, eye."

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], 184.

25.4 looks] "''Eyes'' Wharton MS." D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"''Eyes'' Wharton MS."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 108.

25.4 looks] "eye Pembroke MS. : eyes [...]" A.L. Poole/L. Whibley, 1950 [1st ed. 1919].

"eye Pembroke MS. : eyes 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], 169.

25.4 looks] "Eye C[ommonplace] B[ook]; Eyes [Letter [...]" H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"Eye C[ommonplace] B[ook]; Eyes [Letter to] Wh[arton, 17 Mar. 1747]."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 6.

25.4 looks] "eye Commonplace Book; eyes Wharton." R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"eye Commonplace Book; eyes Wharton."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 84.

Contribute a note or query

26 Again she stretched, again she bent, 1 Explanatory

26.1-3 Again ... stretched,] "A good picture of the [...]" W. Lyon Phelps, 1894.

"A good picture of the comical lengthening out of a cat's form when her eyes are on the game."

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, 135.

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27     Nor knew the gulf between.
28 (Malignant Fate sat by, and smiled)
29 The slippery verge her feet beguiled,
30     She tumbled headlong in.

31 Eight times emerging from the flood 4 Explanatory

31.1-2 Eight times] "A cat has nine lives, [...]" W. Lyon Phelps, 1894.

"A cat has nine lives, as everybody knows."

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, 135.

31.1 - 36.5 Eight ... friend!] "See the Explanation of the [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"See the Explanation of the Designs in the edition of 1753, quoted after the Notes, infra."

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], 183.

31.1-2 Eight times] " ''A cat has nine [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

" ''A cat has nine lives, as everybody knows.'' 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], 108.

31.1-2 Eight times] "An allusion to the nine [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"An allusion to the nine lives ascribed to cats. Dryden has Thetis 'emerging from the deep', Iliad i 672."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 84.

Contribute a note or query

32 She mewed to every watery god, 2 Explanatory

31.1 - 36.5 Eight ... friend!] "See the Explanation of the [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"See the Explanation of the Designs in the edition of 1753, quoted after the Notes, infra."

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], 183.

32.1 - 35.6 She ... heard.] "The deities of the sea [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"The deities of the sea were Oceanus, Neptune, Nereus, Proteus and Triton. Dryden has 'wat'ry God', Aeneid vii 1081; cp. also his translation of Ovid's Metamorphoses i 739-40: 'Oh help, she cry'd, in this extreamest need. / If Water Gods are Deities indeed'; and Pope, Windsor Forest 197-8: 'In vain on Father Thames she calls for Aid, / Nor could Diana help her injur'd Maid.' See also the passages imitated here, Ovid, Metamorphoses i 545 and v 618."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 84.

Contribute a note or query

33     Some speedy aid to send. 2 Explanatory

31.1 - 36.5 Eight ... friend!] "See the Explanation of the [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"See the Explanation of the Designs in the edition of 1753, quoted after the Notes, infra."

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], 183.

32.1 - 35.6 She ... heard.] "The deities of the sea [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"The deities of the sea were Oceanus, Neptune, Nereus, Proteus and Triton. Dryden has 'wat'ry God', Aeneid vii 1081; cp. also his translation of Ovid's Metamorphoses i 739-40: 'Oh help, she cry'd, in this extreamest need. / If Water Gods are Deities indeed'; and Pope, Windsor Forest 197-8: 'In vain on Father Thames she calls for Aid, / Nor could Diana help her injur'd Maid.' See also the passages imitated here, Ovid, Metamorphoses i 545 and v 618."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 84.

Contribute a note or query

34 No dolphin came, no Nereid stirred: 7 Explanatory

31.1 - 36.5 Eight ... friend!] "See the Explanation of the [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"See the Explanation of the Designs in the edition of 1753, quoted after the Notes, infra."

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], 183.

32.1 - 35.6 She ... heard.] "The deities of the sea [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"The deities of the sea were Oceanus, Neptune, Nereus, Proteus and Triton. Dryden has 'wat'ry God', Aeneid vii 1081; cp. also his translation of Ovid's Metamorphoses i 739-40: 'Oh help, she cry'd, in this extreamest need. / If Water Gods are Deities indeed'; and Pope, Windsor Forest 197-8: 'In vain on Father Thames she calls for Aid, / Nor could Diana help her injur'd Maid.' See also the passages imitated here, Ovid, Metamorphoses i 545 and v 618."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 84.

34.1-3 No ... came,] "Alluding to the well-known story [...]" W. Lyon Phelps, 1894.

"Alluding to the well-known story of the dolphin's carrying Arion on his back to land. It is possible that the allusion in Nereid is to the story of Sabrina in Comus."

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, 135.

34.1-6 No ... stirred:] " ''Alluding to the well-known [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

" ''Alluding to the well-known story of the dolphin's carrying Arion on his back to land. It is possible that the allusion in Nereid is to the story of Sabrina in Comus.''

[The water-nymphs that in the bottom played,
Held up their pearled wrists, and took her in,
Bearing her straight to aged Nereus' hall.
      ll. 833-835.] 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], 108.

34.1-3 No ... came,] "alluding to the story of [...]" J. Crofts, 1948 [1st ed. 1926].

"alluding to the story of Arion, the harper, who was thrown into the sea and saved by a dolphin charmed by his music."

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], 159.

34.1-6 No ... stirred:] "A reference to the story [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"A reference to the story of Arion who was rescued from the sea by a dolphin; and see also Comus 833-5, of Sabrina: 'The water Nymphs that in the bottom play'd, / Held up their pearled wrists and took her in, / Bearing her straight to Nereus Hall.'"

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 84.

34.5 Nereid] "sea-nymph." J. Reeves, 1973.

"sea-nymph."

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, 111.

Contribute a note or query

35 Nor cruel Tom, nor Susan heard. 3 Explanatory, 7 Textual

31.1 - 36.5 Eight ... friend!] "See the Explanation of the [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"See the Explanation of the Designs in the edition of 1753, quoted after the Notes, infra."

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], 183.

32.1 - 35.6 She ... heard.] "The deities of the sea [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"The deities of the sea were Oceanus, Neptune, Nereus, Proteus and Triton. Dryden has 'wat'ry God', Aeneid vii 1081; cp. also his translation of Ovid's Metamorphoses i 739-40: 'Oh help, she cry'd, in this extreamest need. / If Water Gods are Deities indeed'; and Pope, Windsor Forest 197-8: 'In vain on Father Thames she calls for Aid, / Nor could Diana help her injur'd Maid.' See also the passages imitated here, Ovid, Metamorphoses i 545 and v 618."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 84.

35.3 Tom,] "John   Pery." R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"John   Pery."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 84.

35.3-5 Tom, ... Susan] "generic names of domestic servants." Alexander Huber, 2000.

"generic names of domestic servants."

Alexander Huber <huber@thomasgray.org> (SUB Göttingen), URL: http://www.thomasgray.org/. Contributed on Sun Oct 22 12:31:39 2000 GMT.

35.4-6 nor ... heard.] "In the Walpole and Wharton [...]" E. Gosse, 1884.

"In the Walpole and Wharton MSS. and in the edition of 1748, ''nor Harry heard.''"

The Works of Thomas Gray: In Prose and Verse. Ed. by Edmund Gosse, in four vols. London: MacMillan and Co., 1884, vol. i, 13.

35.4-6 nor ... heard.] "In the Walpole and Wharton [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"In the Walpole and Wharton MSS. and in the ''Collection'' of 1748, nor Harry heard."

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], 184.

35.5 Susan] "''Harry'' Wharton MS." D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"''Harry'' Wharton MS."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 108.

35.5 Susan] "Harry in Wharton MS., and [...]" A.L. Poole/L. Whibley, 1950 [1st ed. 1919].

"Harry in Wharton MS., and in Dodsley's Collection, 1748."

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], 169.

35.5 Susan] "Harry [Letter to] Wh[arton, 17 [...]" H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"Harry [Letter to] Wh[arton, 17 Mar. 1747], Dodsley."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 6.

35.5 Susan] "Harry   Wharton, Dodsley." R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Harry   Wharton, Dodsley."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 84.

Contribute a note or query

36     A favourite has no friend! 1 Explanatory, 6 Textual

31.1 - 36.5 Eight ... friend!] "See the Explanation of the [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"See the Explanation of the Designs in the edition of 1753, quoted after the Notes, infra."

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], 183.

36.1-5 A ... friend!] "In the Walpole MS. and [...]" E. Gosse, 1884.

"In the Walpole MS. and in the edition of 1748, ''What favourite has a friend?''"

The Works of Thomas Gray: In Prose and Verse. Ed. by Edmund Gosse, in four vols. London: MacMillan and Co., 1884, vol. i, 13.

36.1-5 A ... friend!] "In the Walpole MS. and [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"In the Walpole MS. and in the ''Collection'' of 1748, What favourite has a friend!"

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], 184.

36.1-5 A ... friend!] "''What favourite has a friend?'' [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"''What favourite has a friend?'' 1748."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 108.

36.1-5 A ... friend!] "What fav'rite has a friend [...]" A.L. Poole/L. Whibley, 1950 [1st ed. 1919].

"What fav'rite has a friend ! Dodsley's Collection, 1748."

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], 169.

36.1-5 A ... friend!] "What fav'rite has a friend! [...]" H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"What fav'rite has a friend! Dodsley."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 6.

36.1-5 A ... friend!] "What fav'rite has a friend? [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"What fav'rite has a friend?   Dodsley."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 84.

Contribute a note or query


37 From hence, ye beauties, undeceived, 2 Explanatory

37.1-5 From ... undeceived,] "E. Moore, Fables for the [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"E. Moore, Fables for the Female Sex vii 87: 'Learn hence, to study wisdom's rules'."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 84.

37.1 - 39.5 From ... bold.] "Gay, The Tea-Table 49-50: 'Laura [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Gay, The Tea-Table 49-50: 'Laura learned caution at too dear a cost, / What fair could e'er retrieve her honour lost?'"

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 84.

Contribute a note or query

38 Know, one false step is ne'er retrieved, 1 Explanatory

37.1 - 39.5 From ... bold.] "Gay, The Tea-Table 49-50: 'Laura [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Gay, The Tea-Table 49-50: 'Laura learned caution at too dear a cost, / What fair could e'er retrieve her honour lost?'"

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 84.

Contribute a note or query

39     And be with caution bold. 1 Explanatory

37.1 - 39.5 From ... bold.] "Gay, The Tea-Table 49-50: 'Laura [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Gay, The Tea-Table 49-50: 'Laura learned caution at too dear a cost, / What fair could e'er retrieve her honour lost?'"

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 84.

Contribute a note or query

40 Not all that tempts your wandering eyes 2 Explanatory, 6 Textual

40.1 - 42.5 Not ... gold.] "In his summary of the [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"In his summary of the Camilla episode in Spectator No. 15, Addison emphasised Chloreus's gold and purple armour, on which Camilla so 'unfortunately cast her Eye. ... being seized with a Woman's Longing for the pretty Trappings that he was adorned with'. Addison concluded: 'This heedless Pursuit after these glittering Trifles, the Poet (by a nice concealed Moral) represents to have been the Destruction of his Female Hero.'"

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 85.

40.4 tempts] "In the Wharton MS., Strikes." E. Gosse, 1884.

"In the Wharton MS., Strikes."

The Works of Thomas Gray: In Prose and Verse. Ed. by Edmund Gosse, in four vols. London: MacMillan and Co., 1884, vol. i, 13.

40.4 tempts] "Pembroke and Wharton MSS., strikes." J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"Pembroke and Wharton MSS., strikes."

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], 184.

40.4 tempts] "''strikes'' Wharton MS." D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"''strikes'' Wharton MS."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 109.

40.4 tempts] "strikes Pembroke and Wharton MSS." A.L. Poole/L. Whibley, 1950 [1st ed. 1919].

"strikes 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], 169.

40.4 tempts] "strikes C[ommonplace] B[ook], [Letter to] [...]" H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"strikes C[ommonplace] B[ook], [Letter to] Wh[arton, 17 Mar. 1747]."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 6.

40.4 tempts] "strikes   Commonplace Book, Wharton. [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"strikes   Commonplace Book, Wharton. (G[ray]. may have made the change to avoid too close an echo with 'They strike the soul and glitter in the eye', Lady M.W. Montague, The Basset-Table 82.)"

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 85.

40.6-7 wandering eyes] "Pope has 'wandring Eyes', Essay [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Pope has 'wandring Eyes', Essay on Criticism 231."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 85.

Contribute a note or query

41 And heedless hearts, is lawful prize; 2 Explanatory

40.1 - 42.5 Not ... gold.] "In his summary of the [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"In his summary of the Camilla episode in Spectator No. 15, Addison emphasised Chloreus's gold and purple armour, on which Camilla so 'unfortunately cast her Eye. ... being seized with a Woman's Longing for the pretty Trappings that he was adorned with'. Addison concluded: 'This heedless Pursuit after these glittering Trifles, the Poet (by a nice concealed Moral) represents to have been the Destruction of his Female Hero.'"

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 85.

41.1-6 And ... prize;] "Tillotson, Augustan Studies p. 223 [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Tillotson, Augustan Studies p. 223 n, suggests that G[ray]. is alluding in his 'moral' to the amorous sense of 'lawful prize' in a couplet in Ovid's Art of Love ... Translated by Several Eminent Hands (1709) p. 223: 'But, that a Mistress may be Lawful Prize, / None, but her Keeper, I am sure, denies.'"

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 85.

Contribute a note or query

42     Nor all that glisters gold. 6 Explanatory, 1 Textual

40.1 - 42.5 Not ... gold.] "In his summary of the [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"In his summary of the Camilla episode in Spectator No. 15, Addison emphasised Chloreus's gold and purple armour, on which Camilla so 'unfortunately cast her Eye. ... being seized with a Woman's Longing for the pretty Trappings that he was adorned with'. Addison concluded: 'This heedless Pursuit after these glittering Trifles, the Poet (by a nice concealed Moral) represents to have been the Destruction of his Female Hero.'"

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 85.

42.1-5 Nor ... gold.] "A very old proverb, of [...]" W. Lyon Phelps, 1894.

"A very old proverb, of which Mitford quotes many examples. His list could be indefinitely extended."

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, 135.

42.1-5 Nor ... gold.] "Like many another phrase or [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"Like many another phrase or saying adopted by Gray, this has been given greater currency from being in his oft-read poems. It occurs in several old poets before Gray: - ''But all which shineth as the gold / Ne is no gold, as I have been it told.'' - Chaucer, Yeman's Tale.
Mitford quotes it from the ''Paradise of Dainty Devices,'' ''England's Helicon,'' the ''Faerie Queene,'' etc. It also occurs in Shakespeare and Dryden: - ''All that glisters is not gold.'' - Merchant of Venice, ii. 7. ''All, as they say, that glitters is not gold.'' - Hind and the Panther."

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], 183/184.

42.1-5 Nor ... gold.] "A proverb, of which it [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"A proverb, of which it is enough here to say, that it was a proverb in the days of Chaucer, is used by Spenser, F. Q. II. 8. 14 (''Yet gold all is not that doth golden seem''), and by Shakespeare in the casket-scene in the Merchant of Venice.
''The last stanza ends in a pointed sentence of no relation to the purpose; if what glistered had been gold, the cat would not have gone into the water; and if she had, would not less have been drowned.'' Johnson. The logic is irresistible, but so was the temptation to defy it.
Walpole, Aug. 27, 1783, thought all his gold-fish were stolen. Next morning however he writes ''In the mud of the troubled water I have found all my gold, as Dunning and Barre did last year [when they got pensions] and have taken out fifteen young fish for Lady Aylesbury and reserved them as an offering worthy of Amphitrite, in the cat's vase amidst 'the azure flowers that blow'.'' "

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 109.

42.1-5 Nor ... gold.] "At the end of the [...]" H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"At the end of the poem there is written in C[ommonplace] B[ook]: 1747. Cambr:"

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 6.

42.1-5 Nor ... gold.] "In one form or another [...]" H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"In one form or another this is an old saying. The best-known variant is the one in Merchant of Venice (II. vii. 65) which Gray is deliberately echoing here: 'All that glisters is not gold.' He may also have had in mind Dryden's 'All, as they say, that glitters is not gold' (The Hind and the Panther, 2nd ed. [Pt. II], l. 787)."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 203.

42.1-5 Nor ... gold.] "This proverb appears frequently in [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"This proverb appears frequently in English poetry: e.g. Chaucer, Canon's Yeoman's Tale 242-3; Spenser, Faerie Queene II viii 14, 5; Shakespeare, Merchant of Venice II vii 65 (where 'glisters' is used); Dryden, Hind and the Panther ii 215."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 85.

Contribute a note or query

Works cited

  • The Poetical Works of Thomas Gray: English and Latin. Edited with an introduction, life, notes and a bibliography by John Bradshaw. Reprinted edition. The Aldine edition of the British poets series. London: George Bell and sons, 1903 [1st edition 1891].
  • Gray: Poetry and Prose. With essays by Johnson, Goldsmith and others. With an Introduction and Notes by J. Crofts. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1948 [1st ed. 1926].
  • Poems of Thomas Gray. Edited by W. C. Eppstein. London and Glasgow: Blackie & Son Ltd., 1959.
  • Eighteenth-Century Poetry. An Annotated Anthology. Edited by David Fairer and Christine Gerrard. Blackwell annotated anthologies. Oxford: Blackwell, 1999.
  • The Works of Thomas Gray: In Prose and Verse. Ed. by Edmund Gosse, in four vols. London: MacMillan and Co., 1884, vol. i.
  • Thomas Gray: Selected Poems. Ed. by John Heath-Stubbs. Manchester: Carcanet New Press Ltd., 1981.
  • The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969.
  • The Poems of Gray and Collins. Edited by Austin Lane Poole. Revised by Leonard Whibley. Third edition. Oxford editions of standard authors series. London: Oxford UP, 1937, reprinted 1950 [1st ed. 1919].
  • Selections from the Poetry and Prose of Thomas Gray. Ed. with an introduction and notes by William Lyon Phelps. The Athenaeum press series. Boston: Ginn & company, 1894.
  • The Complete English Poems of Thomas Gray. Edited with an Introduction and Notes by James Reeves. The Poetry Bookshelf series. London: Heinemann; New York: Barnes & Noble, 1973.
  • The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966.
  • Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

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Spelling has been modernized throughout, except in case of conscious archaisms. Contractions, italics and initial capitalization have been largely eliminated, except where of real import. Obvious errors have been silently corrected, punctuation has been lightly modernized. The editor would like to express his gratitude to the library staff of the Göttingen State and University Library (SUB Göttingen) for their invaluable assistance.