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"Ode on the Spring"

"Ode on the Spring"


1 Lo! where the rosy-bosomed Hours,
2 Fair Venus' train, appear,
3 Disclose the long-expecting flowers,
4 And wake the purple year!
5 The Attic warbler pours her throat,
6 Responsive to the cuckoo's note,
7 The untaught harmony of spring:
8 While whispering pleasure as they fly,
9 Cool zephyrs through the clear blue sky
10 Their gathered fragrance fling.

11 Where'er the oak's thick branches stretch
12 A broader browner shade;
13 Where'er the rude and moss-grown beech
14 O'er-canopies the glade,
15 Beside some water's rushy brink
16 With me the Muse shall sit, and think
17 (At ease reclined in rustic state)
18 How vain the ardour of the crowd,
19 How low, how little are the proud,
20 How indigent the great!

21 Still is the toiling hand of Care;
22 The panting herds repose:
23 Yet hark, how through the peopled air
24 The busy murmur glows!
25 The insect youth are on the wing,
26 Eager to taste the honeyed spring,
27 And float amid the liquid noon:
28 Some lightly o'er the current skim,
29 Some show their gaily-gilded trim
30 Quick-glancing to the sun.

31 To Contemplation's sober eye
32 Such is the race of man:
33 And they that creep, and they that fly,
34 Shall end where they began.
35 Alike the busy and the gay
36 But flutter through life's little day,
37 In fortune's varying colours dressed:
38 Brushed by the hand of rough Mischance,
39 Or chilled by age, their airy dance
40 They leave, in dust to rest.

41 Methinks I hear in accents low
42 The sportive kind reply:
43 Poor moralist! and what art thou?
44 A solitary fly!
45 Thy joys no glittering female meets,
46 No hive hast thou of hoarded sweets,
47 No painted plumage to display:
48 On hasty wings thy youth is flown;
49 Thy sun is set, thy spring is gone—
50 We frolic, while 'tis May.

Gray's annotations

14
— a bank [. . .]
[Quite] O'er-canopied with luscious woodbine.
    Shakesp. Mids. Night's Dream. [II. i. 249-51]
27
''Nare per aestatem liquidam —'' [To swim through cloudless summer]
    Virgil. Georg. lib. 4. [l. 59]
30
— sporting with quick glance
Shew to the sun their waved coats drop'd with gold.
    Milton's Paradise Lost, book 7. [ll. 405-6]
31
While insects from the threshold preach, &c.
    M. Green, in the Grotto.
    Dodsley's Miscellanies, Vol. V, p. 161.

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 21 textual and 92 explanatory notes/queries.

All notes and queries are shown by default.

0 "Ode on the Spring" 9 Explanatory, 10 Textual

Title/Paratext] "[The Ode on the Spring [...]" E. Gosse, 1884.

"[The Ode on the Spring exists in Gray's handwriting among the Stonehewer MSS. at Pembroke College, and is there entitled ''Noon-tide, An Ode.'' At the end of the poem Gray has written: - ''The beginning of June 1742, sent to Fav.: not knowing he was then Dead.'' Favonius was the name given by Gray to Richard West, who died on the 1st of June 1742 at Hatfield. Gray had come down from London to Stoke in the last days of May, and must have written this poem almost immediately upon his arrival at West End, the house of his uncle, Mr. Rogers, afterwards the home of the poet's mother until her death. It was first published in Dodsley's Collection of Poems by several Hands, 1748, ii. 271, under the title ''Ode,'' and as the first of Gray's Six Poems of 1753. The notes were first added by Gray in 1768. - Ed.]"

The Works of Thomas Gray: In Prose and Verse. Ed. by Edmund Gosse, in four vols. London: MacMillan and Co., 1884, vol. i, 4.

Title/Paratext] "Gray wrote this Ode at [...]" W. Lyon Phelps, 1894.

"Gray wrote this Ode at Stoke in June, 1742. He sent it to his school friend, Richard West, not knowing that West's death had already occurred on the first of June. The Ode was first published in 1748, in Dodsley's Collection of Poems by Several Hands, with no signature; it next appeared in the folio of 1753, Designs by Mr. R. Bentley, for Six Poems by Mr. T. Gray. Gray added the footnotes in the edition of his Poems in 1768. Mason said that Gray originally gave the title of Noontide to this Ode; and Mr. Gosse, Gray's Works, I, 4, notes that in a copy of the poem, in Gray's handwriting, preserved at Pembroke College, the title is: Noon-tide. An Ode. Mason said that Gray probably meant to write two companion pieces, Morning and Evening. He suggested that the Ode on the Pleasure Arising from Vicissitude, beginning ''Now the golden Morn aloft'' may have been intended for the Morning ode, and the Elegy for the Evening. These conjectures are ingenious, whether true or not."

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, 127.

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

"This Ode was written at Stoke in June, 1742, and sent by Gray to his school friend, West, at Hatfield in Hertfordshire, but was returned as West had died on the first of the month.
The copy in Gray's handwriting in his Commonplace Books (otherwise known as the Stonehewer MSS. at Pembroke College), is entitled ''Noon-Tide, an Ode.'' At the foot, Gray has written: - ''The beginning of June 1742, sent to Fav.: not knowing he was then dead.'' Favonius was Gray's name for West.
It was first published in 1748 in the second volume of Dodsley's ''Collection of Poems by Several Hands,'' under the title of ''Ode,'' and without the author's name; it next appeared as the first poem in the ''Designs by Mr. Bentley for Six Poems by Mr. T. Gray,'' published 1753, still called merely ''Ode.'' The notes were first added by Gray in the edition of 1768."

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], 177.

Title/Paratext] "Mitford says this Ode is [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"Mitford says this Ode is formed on Horace's Ode, ''Ad Sestium,'' i. 4; but Gray seems to have been fresh from Milton and Green, - the moral he says is from the latter, and observe how many words and expressions are from Milton."

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], 177.

Title/Paratext] "Gray's MS. at Pembroke does [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"Gray's MS. at Pembroke does not, as far as I remember, exhibit any essential variation from the text of Mason, except perhaps in the more frequent use of capitals [...]."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 81.

Title/Paratext] "This poem is touchingly connected [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"This poem is touchingly connected with the story of Gray's friendship with Richard West. In his Commonplace Books (sometimes called the Stonhewer MSS.) preserved at Pembroke College, Cambridge, Gray's transcript of it bearing the title ''Noon-tide, an ode'' has the note ''at Stoke, the beginning of June 1742 sent to Fav: not knowing he was then Dead.'' It was a response to the verses which West, whom, playing on his name, Gray was wont to call 'Favonius' (the Western Wind), had sent him (May 5, 1742), invoking 'May.' These verses Gray acknowledged on the 8th of May; received another from West in cheering strain enclosing translations from Catullus on the 11th; responded brightly on the 27th; and must have written once more about a week later a letter enclosing the poem before us, which was returned to him unopened [footnote: See Gray and His Friends, pp. 164-172.], West, as he afterwards discovered, having died on the first of June. The first of Gray's and the last of West's original efforts in English Verse were on the same theme, and both these kindred spirits as they wrote thought more of friendship than of fame."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 81.

Title/Paratext] "Mitford has illustrated the poem [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"Mitford has illustrated the poem with his customary care and diligence, and almost all the fire of quotation which has been brought to bear on it has been derived from his magazines. In 1768 Gray added notes of his own, which must be taken to indicate the passages which he really had in mind; and to these are added the more precise references which Mitford supplied.
Mason inferred from the title 'Noon-tide' that Gray originally intended to write three poems descriptive of Morning, Noon, and Evening. He remarks that the Elegy opens with a picture of Evening, and the fragment on Vicissitude with a picture of Morning. We have seen however under what conditions the Ode on the Spring was in fact produced; and it is perhaps not possible to say at what date Gray transcribed the poem and headed it otherwise. But if, as I think, his transcript contains the reading of ll. 19, 20 as we here print it, the correspondence which Mason attributes to original design was an afterthought, if it entered into Gray's mind at all [Footnote: For, with the earlier reading of these lines, the poem was certainly called ''Ode on the Spring.'' See n. ad loc.]. It is not the time of day which is Gray's subject in any of the three poems; but it would be very like him designedly to distinguish them by adapting in each case the hour to the theme.
It may be, as Mitford affirms, that the Ode is founded on 'Horace's Ode ad Sestium (I. iv.)'; but the resemblance goes no further than this, that Horace passes from a description of the return of Spring, not much resembling Gray's, to reflections on the brevity of human life."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 81/82.

Title/Paratext] "Gray wrote this poem in [...]" J. Crofts, 1948 [1st ed. 1926].

"Gray wrote this poem in June 1742, and sent it to his friend West, 'not knowing', as he says, 'he was then dead'. It was published in 1748."

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] "[The MS. copy in Gray's [...]" A.L. Poole/L. Whibley, 1950 [1st ed. 1919].

"[The MS. copy in Gray's Commonplace Book at Pembroke College, Cambridge, is entitled 'Noontide, an Ode', and is dated 'at Stoke, the beginning of June, 1742. Sent to Fav. not knowing he was then Dead'. Favonius was Gray's name for Richard West. The Ode was first published anonymously in 1748 in the first edition of Dodsley's Collection of Poems by Several Hands, ii. 265.]"

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], 18.

Title/Paratext] "Sent to West and modelled [...]" W.C. Eppstein, 1959.

"Sent to West and modelled on Horace. Translated into Latin in Musae Etonenses. It is written in Gray's earliest manner, untinged by the grave ''affliction of a recent loss''. Its language, especially in the last stanza, is somewhat fantastic, but it is of importance as showing the revolt from the stiff method of versification prevalent at the time of its production. It begins with four lines of ordinary ballad measure, followed by an octosyllabic couplet; then, to avoid an unpleasing effect, three lines of eight syllables are added, while a closing line of six syllables makes for dignity."

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

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

"First published anonymously in Dodsley's Collection of Poems by Several Hands, 1748, ii. 265."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 3.

Title/Paratext] "Title: Noon-Tide, An Ode. C[ommonplace] [...]" H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"Title: Noon-Tide, An Ode. 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, 3.

Title/Paratext] "The poem was written for [...]" H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"The poem was written for Richard West (Favonius) and sent to him in June 1742. According to Mitford, the chief source is Horace's ode (i. 4) Ad Sestium, but there are also obvious echoes of Milton and Matthew Green (1696-1737); for a detailed record of possible parallels see the notes of Mitford, Bradshaw, and Tovey. Mason (ii. 75) made the following speculation (the correctness of which Tovey doubts) concerning Gray's intent when writing the poem: 'The original ... title ... was Noontide: probably he then meant to write two more, descriptive of Morning and Evening. His unfinished Ode [Vicissitude] ... opens with a fine description of the former: and his Elegy with as beautiful a picture of the latter, which perhaps he might, at that time, have meditated upon for the exordium of an Ode; but this is only conjecture.'"

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 201.

Title/Paratext] "Written early in June 1742. [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Written early in June 1742. G[ray]. entitled his transcript of this poem in his Commonplace Book (i 275, 278), 'Noon-Tide, An Ode' and dated it 'at Stoke, the beginning of June, 1742. sent to Fav: not knowing he was then Dead'. Richard West ('Favonius'), who was attempting to recover his health at Hatfield in Hertfordshire, had sent G. his Ode on May on 5 May 1742 (Corresp i 200-01). It was in reply to this poem that G. wrote his own Ode during a visit to his uncle and aunt, Mr and Mrs Rogers, at Stoke Poges later in the month. West died on 1 June 1742 and G.'s letter containing his poem was returned unopened. He did not learn of West's death until 17 June, when he saw Ashton's lines on West printed in a newspaper (Corresp i 213 n).
G. sent a copy of the poem to Walpole on 20 Oct. 1746 (Corresp i 250-2), and it was evidently through Walpole that it was first printed anonymously (entitled merely Ode) in Dodsley's Collection ii 265-7, in 1748. One alteration to the text of the Commonplace Book had been made by the time G. sent the poem to Walpole (l. 12) and a final change was made in 1753 (ll. 19-20)."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 47.

Title/Paratext] "G[ray].'s original title suggested to [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"G[ray].'s original title suggested to Mason (Poems p. 75) that 'probably he then meant to write two more, descriptive of Morning and Evening' and he toyed with the idea that the opening of the Ode on... Vicissitude and of the Elegy might at some stage have been part of some such plan. But there is no external evidence to support this hypothesis, which may have been suggested to Mason by the fact that such a sequence of three poems - 'A Morning Piece', 'A Noon-Piece' and 'A Night-Piece' - appears in Christopher Smart's Poems on Several Occasions (1752) pp. 7-14, a collection to which both G. and Mason subscribed."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 47.

Title/Paratext] "Johnson (Lives of the Poets, [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Johnson (Lives of the Poets, ed. G. B. Hill, iii 434) thought that the Ode 'has something poetical, both in the language and the thought; but the language is too luxuriant, and the thoughts have nothing new. ... The morality is natural, but too stale; the conclusion is pretty.' The derivative nature of G[ray].'s poem has often been pointed out and a number of new borrowings have been added here to those already recognized. In part the richness of effect at which G. was aiming was to be achieved by the deliberate echoing and evocation of earlier classical and native descriptions of the spring, both in details of phrasing and in the basic situation of the retired poet contemplating the frivolity of the world as represented by the 'insect youth'. It does not always seem to have been realized, however, that G.'s use of this 'stale' morality is self-conscious and ultimately dramatic in purpose. The point of the poem for G. lay in the final stanza, in which he moralizes on the moralistic pose he has adopted, undercutting with a characteristic touch of self-derision his own apparent complacency. The antithesis of the busy world and the contemplative life was to be dramatized again, more seriously and powerfully, in the Elegy, as was the poet's uneasiness about the choice he was attempting make between them."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 47/48.

Title/Paratext] "Composed at Stoke in 1742. [...]" J. Heath-Stubbs, 1981.

"Composed at Stoke in 1742. First printed anonymously in Dodsley's collection in 1748."

Thomas Gray: Selected Poems. Ed. by John Heath-Stubbs. Manchester: Carcanet New Press Ltd., 1981, 81.

Title/Paratext] "The transcript in Gray's commonplace [...]" D. Fairer/C. Gerrard, 1999.

"The transcript in Gray's commonplace book is headed 'Noon-Tide, An Ode'. Under the title 'Ode' it was first printed in Dodsley's Collection of Poems (1748), 2:265-7. The poem was written at the height of Gray's revived friendship with Richard West ('Favonius') in response to a poem regretting the lateness of the spring which West had sent him on 5 May 1742: 'Dear Gray, that always in my heart / Possessest far the better part, ... / ... O join with mine thy tuneful lay, / And invocate the tardy May' (Correspondence, 1:201). The transcript, however, carries Gray's poignant note: 'at Stoke, the beginning of June, 1742. sent to Fav: not knowing he was then Dead'. On its completion Gray had sent the poem to West, but it was returned to him unopened, West having died on 1 June, aged twenty-five. The ironies of the ode are lighter and more sportive, and Gray's self-consciousness at playing the rustic moralist adds an extra dimension."

Eighteenth-Century Poetry. An Annotated Anthology. Edited by David Fairer and Christine Gerrard. Blackwell annotated anthologies. Oxford: Blackwell, 1999, 322-323.

Title/Paratext] "Gray wrote this poem early [...]" Alexander Huber, 2000.

"Gray wrote this poem early in June 1742 in response to Richard West's "Ode on May", sent to Gray on 5 May 1742."

Alexander Huber <huber@thomasgray.org> (SUB Göttingen), URL: http://www.thomasgray.org/. Contributed on Sat Oct 28 14:58:10 2000 GMT.

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1 Lo! where the rosy-bosomed Hours, 4 Explanatory

1.1 - 10.4 Lo! ... fling.] "This opening stanza is a [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"This opening stanza is a deliberate attempt to evoke earlier descriptions of spring, particularly in classical literature. Mitford suggests that G[ray]. was imitating Horace, Odes I iv, and Anacreon's 'Ode on the Spring' and Ovid, Fasti v 183 ff. have also been cited as sources (see the article by A. Johnston mentioned in l. 4 n). But G. was aiming at a general richness of allusion rather than imitation of a particular model."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 48.

1.4-5 rosy-bosomed Hours,] "The expression is traced by [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"The expression is traced by Wakefield to Milton, Comus 986:

''Along the crisped shades and bowers
Revels the spruce and jocund Spring:
The Graces and the rosy-bosomed Hours
Thither all their bounties bring.''
Thomson, as Mitford indicates, had already borrowed from Milton in
''The rosy-bosomed Spring
To weeping fancy pines.'' (Spring, 1010.)
Did Milton take the word from the Greek [Greek work (omitted)], which is to be found in a Lyric fragment preserved by Stobaeus (Ecl. I. 174) as an epithet of [Greek word (omitted)]? It may be difficult to fix the sense of [Greek word (omitted)] as used in this fragment; but whether Milton had come across it or not, he probably used 'rosy-bosomed' after the analogy of [Greek word (omitted)] 'rosy-fingered' as an epithet of Morn in Homer. So also Thomson and Gray; Dr Bradshaw's suggestion that the meaning may be 'with bosom full of roses' after the analogy of 'rosy-crowned,' Progress of Poesy 28, is not so likely, though it is a little sanctioned by Mitford's quotation from Apuleius, [']'Horae rosis et caeteris floribus purpurabant omnia.'' "

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 82/83.

1.5 Hours,] "The Horae, goddesses of the [...]" W. Lyon Phelps, 1894.

"The Horae, goddesses of the changes of the seasons. Cf. Comus, 986: ''The Graces and the rosy-bosomed Hours.'' Mitford notes that the Hours are joined with Aphrodite in the second Homeric Hymn to Aphrodite (5) and that to Apollo (194-5) and are made part of her train in Hesiod (Works and Days, 75)."

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, 127.

1.5 Hours,] "The Hours appear as attendants [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"The Hours appear as attendants of Venus in the Homeric Hymns, To Apollo 194, and To Venus ii 5. Cp. Comus 986: 'The Graces, and the rosie-boosom'd Howres'; Thomson, Spring 1010: 'rosy-bosomed Spring'; and Milton, Sonnet on the Nightingale 4: 'While the jolly hours lead on propitious May'."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 48.

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2 Fair Venus' train, appear, 6 Explanatory

1.1 - 10.4 Lo! ... fling.] "This opening stanza is a [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"This opening stanza is a deliberate attempt to evoke earlier descriptions of spring, particularly in classical literature. Mitford suggests that G[ray]. was imitating Horace, Odes I iv, and Anacreon's 'Ode on the Spring' and Ovid, Fasti v 183 ff. have also been cited as sources (see the article by A. Johnston mentioned in l. 4 n). But G. was aiming at a general richness of allusion rather than imitation of a particular model."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 48.

2.2 Venus'] "Of course a dissyllable. Cf. [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"Of course a dissyllable. Cf. ''The fickle pensioners of Morpheus' train.'' Milton, Il Penseroso 10."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 83.

2.2-3 Venus' train,] "Mitford quotes Hymn to Venus [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"Mitford quotes Hymn to Venus II. 5, and to Apollo, l. 194, for the Hours as attendants on Venus. His citation from Hesiod, Works and Days I. 75, is not apposite; there the Hours are described as decking Pandora."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 83.

2.2-3 Venus' train,] "The 'Hours' were associated with [...]" J. Crofts, 1948 [1st ed. 1926].

"The 'Hours' were associated with Aphrodite both by Homer and by Hesiod."

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.

2.2 Venus'] "Venus Genetrix, the cause of [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Venus Genetrix, the cause of all natural growth: see Lucretius i 10 ff. v 737-8, and Horace, Odes I iv 5, of the spring: Iam Cytherea choros ducit Venus (Already Cytherean Venus leads her dancing bands)."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 48.

2.2 Venus'] "here the goddess of propagation." J. Reeves, 1973.

"here the goddess of propagation."

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, 110.

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3 Disclose the long-expecting flowers, 5 Explanatory

1.1 - 10.4 Lo! ... fling.] "This opening stanza is a [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"This opening stanza is a deliberate attempt to evoke earlier descriptions of spring, particularly in classical literature. Mitford suggests that G[ray]. was imitating Horace, Odes I iv, and Anacreon's 'Ode on the Spring' and Ovid, Fasti v 183 ff. have also been cited as sources (see the article by A. Johnston mentioned in l. 4 n). But G. was aiming at a general richness of allusion rather than imitation of a particular model."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 48.

3.1 Disclose] "Open, expand. Cf. ''The canker [...]" W. Lyon Phelps, 1894.

"Open, expand. Cf. ''The canker galls the infants of the spring, / Too oft before their buttons [i.e. buds] be disclosed.'' Hamlet, i, 2, 39-40."

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, 127.

3.1 Disclose] "The first two meanings given [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"The first two meanings given by Johnson are 'To uncover; to produce from a state of latitancy to open view' and 'To hatch'. The word was often used of vegetable and plant life: e.g. of buds by Shakespeare, Hamlet I iii 40 and Sonnets liv 8; and Dryden, Georgics ii 23, 104, 446. See G. Tillotson, Augustan Studies (1961) p. 204."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 48.

3.3 long-expecting] "Dryden, Astraea Redux 122: ''Frosts [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"Dryden, Astraea Redux 122:

''Frosts that constrain the ground, and birth deny
To flowers that in its womb expecting lie.''
            Rogers."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 83.

3.3 long-expecting] "Cp. Dryden, Astraea Redux 131-2: [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Cp. Dryden, Astraea Redux 131-2: 'Frosts that constrain the ground, and birth deny / To flow'rs, that in its womb expecting lye'; and Pope, Temple of Fame 2: 'Call forth the Greens, and wake the rising Flowers'."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 48.

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4 And wake the purple year! 5 Explanatory

1.1 - 10.4 Lo! ... fling.] "This opening stanza is a [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"This opening stanza is a deliberate attempt to evoke earlier descriptions of spring, particularly in classical literature. Mitford suggests that G[ray]. was imitating Horace, Odes I iv, and Anacreon's 'Ode on the Spring' and Ovid, Fasti v 183 ff. have also been cited as sources (see the article by A. Johnston mentioned in l. 4 n). But G. was aiming at a general richness of allusion rather than imitation of a particular model."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 48.

4.4-5 purple year!] "Vergil, Ecl. IX. 40 ''ver [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"Vergil, Ecl. IX. 40 ''ver purpureum''; also in Columella. Whether any English poet before Pope in his Pastorals (1709) said 'purple year' I cannot discover; he probably did most to make the phrase familiar. Milton, Lycidas 141, writes ''purple all the ground with vernal flowers''; and the word in this connection is used generally of all bright colours. Cf. n. 1 ad fin."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 83.

4.4-5 purple year!] "so Pope in his first [...]" J. Crofts, 1948 [1st ed. 1926].

"so Pope in his first Pastoral, l. 28: And lavish Nature paints the purple year."

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.

4.4-5 purple year!] "An imitation of the use [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"An imitation of the use of Latin purpureus in Virgil, Eclogues ix 40: ver purpureum; and Pervigilium Veneris 13: ipsa gemmis purpurantem pingit annum floridis, translated by Thomas Parnell, 'She paints the purple Year with vary'd show'. Dryden translated Virgil's phrase, Eclogues ii 62 and ix 52, as 'the Purple Spring', and was imitated by Pope, Spring 28, 'the Purple Year'. Warburton's note to this lines reads: 'Purple here used in the Latin sense of the brightest most vivid colouring in general, not of that peculiar tint so called'. Milton also used the word as a verb, Lycidas 141: 'And purple all the ground with vernal flowres'. See A. Johnston, ' "The Purple Year" in Pope and Gray', RES xiv (1963) 389-93, for a detailed discussion of the use of the word in both Latin and English poetry and for a defence of G[ray].'s use of it to describe the brilliance of the flowers of an English spring. For G.'s own use of the phrase Purpureum Veris gremium, see De Principiis Cogitandi i 88 (p. 324)."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 49.

4.4 purple] "Purple is here used not [...]" Alexander Huber, 2000.

"Purple is here used not with reference to this special colour, but, as in the Latin context, as a general term for all bright colours."

Alexander Huber <huber@thomasgray.org> (SUB Göttingen), URL: http://www.thomasgray.org/. Contributed on Sun Sep 24 07:07:27 2000 GMT.

Contribute a note or query

5 The Attic warbler pours her throat, 10 Explanatory

1.1 - 10.4 Lo! ... fling.] "This opening stanza is a [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"This opening stanza is a deliberate attempt to evoke earlier descriptions of spring, particularly in classical literature. Mitford suggests that G[ray]. was imitating Horace, Odes I iv, and Anacreon's 'Ode on the Spring' and Ovid, Fasti v 183 ff. have also been cited as sources (see the article by A. Johnston mentioned in l. 4 n). But G. was aiming at a general richness of allusion rather than imitation of a particular model."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 48.

5.1-3 The ... warbler] "The Nightingale. This bird is [...]" W. Lyon Phelps, 1894.

"The Nightingale. This bird is very common in Attica. Philomela, daughter of Pandion, king of Athens, was supposed to have been changed into a nightingale. - Wakefield compares Milton, Par. Reg., iv, 245: ''Where the Attic bird / Trills her thick-warbled notes the summer long''; and Mitford adds Pope, Essay on Man, iii, 33: ''Is it for thee the linnet pours his throat?''."

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, 127/128.

5.1-3 The ... warbler] "the nightingale. The neighbourhood of [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"the nightingale. The neighbourhood of Athens abounded with nightingales, reference to which is made by Sophocles, and connected with this fact is the fable that Philomela, the daughter of Pandion, king of Attica, was turned into a nightingale. Gray had in mind the well-known description of Athens in ''Paradise Regained'': - ''Plato's retirement, where the Attic bird / Trills her thick-warbled notes the summer long.'' - iv. 245."

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], 177/178.

5.1-3 The ... warbler] "Cf. out of many classical [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"Cf. out of many classical instances Propertius II. 16. 5, 6

''Non tarn nocturna volucris funesta querela
Attica Cecropiis obstrepit in foliis.''
But the passages more or less in Gray's mind and fixing his phraseology are Milton, Paradise Regained IV. 245
''See there the olive-grove of Academe,
Plato's retirement, where the Attic bird
Trills her thick-warbled
notes the summer long''
and Pope, Essay on Man III. 33 ''Is it for thee the linnet pours his throat?''
Mark Pattison here, after noting Gray's imitation, adds ''Pope more correctly his throat, the female bird having no song. Milton errs in the same way, Par. Lost 4. 600
'All but the wakeful nightingale:
She all night long her amorous descant sung.' ''
But surely the 'error' is inevitable, at any rate in connection with the nightingale: the poets are still under the spell of the old-world legend of the daughter of Pandion king in Attica, - Philomela (or her sister Procne as some said) transformed into a nightingale, and lamenting for ever her sorrows. Even Keats who quite ignores the legend, and like Gray seems to find more joy than sadness in the bird's song, betrays this 'error' in gender when he writes, ''thou, light-winged Dryad of the trees.'' Byron is on the safe side, because he follows the Persian fable:
''For there the Rose, o'er crag or vale,
Sultana of the Nightingale,
    The maid for whom his melody,
    His thousand songs are heard on high,
Blooms blushing to her lover's tale.'' The Giaour.
In Matthew Arnold the old Greek story and the consequent offence against natural history return together full-fledged:
''Dost thou again peruse
With hot cheeks and sear'd eyes
The too clear web, and thy dumb sister's shame?
Dost thou once more assay
Thy flight, and feel come over thee,
Poor fugitive, the feathery change
Once more, and once more seem to make resound
With love and hate, triumph and agony,
Lone Daulis, and the high Cephissian vale?''
Pattison l.c. adds ''To 'pour' song or sound is an expression used by many poets after Simonides of Ceos, Fr. 153. 8 [Greek words (omitted)].'' He suggests also that the harshness of the metaphor 'pour his throat' is subdued by the repetition of the idea in the next line ''Loves of his own and raptures swell the note.''
But it still remains a bold and questionable trespass upon such expressions as ''liquidum tenui gutture cantat avis'' (Ovid, Amores I. 13. 8) from which it is derived. Gray would not have employed it if Pope had not given it vogue."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 83/84.

5.1-3 The ... warbler] "the nightingale. Gray combines Milton's [...]" J. Crofts, 1948 [1st ed. 1926].

"the nightingale. Gray combines Milton's 'The Attic bird trills her thick warbled notes.' (Paradise Lost, iv. 245.) and Pope's 'Is it for thee the linnet pours her throat.' (Essay on Man, iii. 33.)."

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.

5.1-3 The ... warbler] "Cp. Propertius, Elegies II xx [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Cp. Propertius, Elegies II xx 5-6: volucris ... Attica; and Milton, Par. Regained iv 245-6: 'the Attic Bird / Trills her thick-warbl'd notes'."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 49.

5.1-3 The ... warbler] "The nightingale, so termed because [...]" J. Heath-Stubbs, 1981.

"The nightingale, so termed because of its connection with Athens."

Thomas Gray: Selected Poems. Ed. by John Heath-Stubbs. Manchester: Carcanet New Press Ltd., 1981, 81.

5.2 Attic] "Greek." J. Reeves, 1973.

"Greek."

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, 110.

5.4-6 pours ... throat,] "Throat is used by metonymy [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"Throat is used by metonymy for ''song from her throat.'' It is the throat of birds that poets generally speak of when they refer to their singing. Cf. ''full-gorged lark,'' and ''When the linnet-like confided, I / With shriller throat shall sing.'' - Lovelace, To Althea. Keats in his ''Ode to a Nightingale'' speaks of it as singing ''in full-throated ease,'' ''pouring forth her soul''; and Shelley: -

''Hail to thee, blithe Spirit,
That from heaven or near it
Pourest thy full heart.'' - To a Skylark.
Gray's expression is taken from Pope's ''Essay on Man'': - ''Is it for thee the linnet pours his throat?'' - iii. 33."

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], 178.

5.4-6 pours ... throat,] "Cp. Lucretius i 39-40: suavis [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Cp. Lucretius i 39-40: suavis ex ore loquellas / funde (pour from thy lips sweet coaxings); Ovid, Tristia III xii 8: indocilique loquax gutture vernat avis (the chatty bird from unschooled throat utters a song of spring); and Pope, Essay on Man iii 33: 'the linnet pours his throat'."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 49.

Contribute a note or query

6 Responsive to the cuckoo's note, 3 Explanatory

1.1 - 10.4 Lo! ... fling.] "This opening stanza is a [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"This opening stanza is a deliberate attempt to evoke earlier descriptions of spring, particularly in classical literature. Mitford suggests that G[ray]. was imitating Horace, Odes I iv, and Anacreon's 'Ode on the Spring' and Ovid, Fasti v 183 ff. have also been cited as sources (see the article by A. Johnston mentioned in l. 4 n). But G. was aiming at a general richness of allusion rather than imitation of a particular model."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 48.

6.1-5 Responsive ... note,] "Cp. Par. Lost iv 683: [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Cp. Par. Lost iv 683: 'responsive each to others note'."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 49.

6.5 - 7.5 note, ... spring:] "Thomson (strangely misquoted in this [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"Thomson (strangely misquoted in this place by Luke) writes (Spring 579):

        ''... while I deduce,
From the first note the hollow cuckoo sings,
The symphony of Spring.''
'Harmony' is in apposition with the general sense of ll. 5, 6, a construction corresponding to a common use of the Greek accusative; it is scarcely exact to say, with Dr Bradshaw, that it is in apposition with throat and note. Gray may have had Ovid, Tristia III. 12. 7, 8 somewhere in his mind:
''Prataque pubescunt variorum flore colorum
    Indocilique loquax gutture vernat avis.'' "

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 84/85.

Contribute a note or query

7 The untaught harmony of spring: 3 Explanatory

1.1 - 10.4 Lo! ... fling.] "This opening stanza is a [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"This opening stanza is a deliberate attempt to evoke earlier descriptions of spring, particularly in classical literature. Mitford suggests that G[ray]. was imitating Horace, Odes I iv, and Anacreon's 'Ode on the Spring' and Ovid, Fasti v 183 ff. have also been cited as sources (see the article by A. Johnston mentioned in l. 4 n). But G. was aiming at a general richness of allusion rather than imitation of a particular model."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 48.

6.5 - 7.5 note, ... spring:] "Thomson (strangely misquoted in this [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"Thomson (strangely misquoted in this place by Luke) writes (Spring 579):

        ''... while I deduce,
From the first note the hollow cuckoo sings,
The symphony of Spring.''
'Harmony' is in apposition with the general sense of ll. 5, 6, a construction corresponding to a common use of the Greek accusative; it is scarcely exact to say, with Dr Bradshaw, that it is in apposition with throat and note. Gray may have had Ovid, Tristia III. 12. 7, 8 somewhere in his mind:
''Prataque pubescunt variorum flore colorum
    Indocilique loquax gutture vernat avis.'' "

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 84/85.

7.2-3 untaught harmony] "Cp. Ovid's use of indocilique [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Cp. Ovid's use of indocilique cited in l. 5 n above. Cowley has the 'untaught lays' of the birds, Davideis Bk i; and see also Thomson, Spring 578-80: 'while I deduce, / From the first note the hollow cuckoo sings, / The symphony of Spring'."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 49.

Contribute a note or query

8 While whispering pleasure as they fly, 2 Explanatory

1.1 - 10.4 Lo! ... fling.] "This opening stanza is a [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"This opening stanza is a deliberate attempt to evoke earlier descriptions of spring, particularly in classical literature. Mitford suggests that G[ray]. was imitating Horace, Odes I iv, and Anacreon's 'Ode on the Spring' and Ovid, Fasti v 183 ff. have also been cited as sources (see the article by A. Johnston mentioned in l. 4 n). But G. was aiming at a general richness of allusion rather than imitation of a particular model."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 48.

8.1 - 10.4 While ... fling.] "Lucretius v 738-40: Zephyri vestigia [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Lucretius v 738-40: Zephyri vestigia propter / Flora quibus mater praespergens ante viai / cuncta coloribus egregiis et odoribus opplet (Zephyr and mother Flora a pace behind him strewing the whole path in front with brilliant colours and filling it with scents). See also Milton, Nativity Ode 64, 66: 'The Windes ... / Whispering new joyes'; Comus 989-91: 'And West winds, with musky wing / About the cedar'n alleys fling / Nard, and Cassia's balmy smells'; Par. Lost iv 156-9: 'now gentle gales / ... dispense / Native perfumes, and whisper whence they stole / Those balmie spoiles'; Par. Lost viii 515-17: 'fresh Gales and gentle Aires / Whisper'd it to the Woods, and from their wings / Flung Rose flung Odours from the spicie Shrub'; and Matthew Green, The Spleen 79-80: 'And, mounting in loose robes the skies, / Shed light and fragrance as she flies'."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 49.

Contribute a note or query

9 Cool zephyrs through the clear blue sky 3 Explanatory

1.1 - 10.4 Lo! ... fling.] "This opening stanza is a [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"This opening stanza is a deliberate attempt to evoke earlier descriptions of spring, particularly in classical literature. Mitford suggests that G[ray]. was imitating Horace, Odes I iv, and Anacreon's 'Ode on the Spring' and Ovid, Fasti v 183 ff. have also been cited as sources (see the article by A. Johnston mentioned in l. 4 n). But G. was aiming at a general richness of allusion rather than imitation of a particular model."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 48.

8.1 - 10.4 While ... fling.] "Lucretius v 738-40: Zephyri vestigia [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Lucretius v 738-40: Zephyri vestigia propter / Flora quibus mater praespergens ante viai / cuncta coloribus egregiis et odoribus opplet (Zephyr and mother Flora a pace behind him strewing the whole path in front with brilliant colours and filling it with scents). See also Milton, Nativity Ode 64, 66: 'The Windes ... / Whispering new joyes'; Comus 989-91: 'And West winds, with musky wing / About the cedar'n alleys fling / Nard, and Cassia's balmy smells'; Par. Lost iv 156-9: 'now gentle gales / ... dispense / Native perfumes, and whisper whence they stole / Those balmie spoiles'; Par. Lost viii 515-17: 'fresh Gales and gentle Aires / Whisper'd it to the Woods, and from their wings / Flung Rose flung Odours from the spicie Shrub'; and Matthew Green, The Spleen 79-80: 'And, mounting in loose robes the skies, / Shed light and fragrance as she flies'."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 49.

9.2 zephyrs] "personification of breezes." J. Reeves, 1973.

"personification of breezes."

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, 110.

Contribute a note or query

10 Their gathered fragrance fling. 2 Explanatory

1.1 - 10.4 Lo! ... fling.] "This opening stanza is a [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"This opening stanza is a deliberate attempt to evoke earlier descriptions of spring, particularly in classical literature. Mitford suggests that G[ray]. was imitating Horace, Odes I iv, and Anacreon's 'Ode on the Spring' and Ovid, Fasti v 183 ff. have also been cited as sources (see the article by A. Johnston mentioned in l. 4 n). But G. was aiming at a general richness of allusion rather than imitation of a particular model."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 48.

8.1 - 10.4 While ... fling.] "Lucretius v 738-40: Zephyri vestigia [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Lucretius v 738-40: Zephyri vestigia propter / Flora quibus mater praespergens ante viai / cuncta coloribus egregiis et odoribus opplet (Zephyr and mother Flora a pace behind him strewing the whole path in front with brilliant colours and filling it with scents). See also Milton, Nativity Ode 64, 66: 'The Windes ... / Whispering new joyes'; Comus 989-91: 'And West winds, with musky wing / About the cedar'n alleys fling / Nard, and Cassia's balmy smells'; Par. Lost iv 156-9: 'now gentle gales / ... dispense / Native perfumes, and whisper whence they stole / Those balmie spoiles'; Par. Lost viii 515-17: 'fresh Gales and gentle Aires / Whisper'd it to the Woods, and from their wings / Flung Rose flung Odours from the spicie Shrub'; and Matthew Green, The Spleen 79-80: 'And, mounting in loose robes the skies, / Shed light and fragrance as she flies'."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 49.

Contribute a note or query


11 Where'er the oak's thick branches stretch 2 Explanatory

11.1 - 20.4 Where'er ... great!] "The quiet scenery here described [...]" W. Lyon Phelps, 1894.

"The quiet scenery here described exhibits, perhaps, a touch of Romantic feeling; but the conventional moralizing at the end of the stanza is thoroughly Augustan."

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, 128.

11.1 - 14.3 Where'er ... glade,] "Prior, Solomon i 57-8: 'I [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Prior, Solomon i 57-8: 'I know not why the Beach delights the Glade / With Boughs extended, and a rounder Shade'."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 50.

Contribute a note or query

12 A broader browner shade; 4 Explanatory, 3 Textual

11.1 - 20.4 Where'er ... great!] "The quiet scenery here described [...]" W. Lyon Phelps, 1894.

"The quiet scenery here described exhibits, perhaps, a touch of Romantic feeling; but the conventional moralizing at the end of the stanza is thoroughly Augustan."

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, 128.

11.1 - 14.3 Where'er ... glade,] "Prior, Solomon i 57-8: 'I [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Prior, Solomon i 57-8: 'I know not why the Beach delights the Glade / With Boughs extended, and a rounder Shade'."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 50.

12.1-4 A ... shade;] "Variations in the MS. copy [...]" A.L. Poole/L. Whibley, 1950 [1st ed. 1919].

"Variations in the MS. copy at Pembroke College, Cambridge : Their broadest brownest shade"

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.

12.1-4 A ... shade;] "Their broadest brounest Shade: C[ommonplace] [...]" H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"Their broadest brounest Shade: 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, 3.

12.1-4 A ... shade;] "Their broadest brownest shade   [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Their broadest brownest shade   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, 50.

12.3 browner] "Used of shadows in Fairfax's [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Used of shadows in Fairfax's translation of Tasso (1600), XIV xxxvii 3 and XX cxxiii 1, and frequently in English poetry thereafter: e.g. Milton, Il Penseroso 134-5: 'shadows brown that Sylvan loves / Of Pine or monumental Oake'; Par. Lost iv 245-6: 'the unpierc't shade / Imbround the noontide Bowrs'; Par. Lost ix 1087-8: 'umbrage broad, / And brown as Evening'; Dryden, Theodore and Honoria 92: 'With deeper Brown the Grove was over spred'; Pope, Eloisa to Abelard 170: 'And breathes a browner horror on the woods'; and Mallet, The Excursion (1728) i 89-90: 'brown with woods / Of broadest shade'."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 50.

12.3 browner] "Darker. Cf. "Ode for Music", [...]" Alexander Huber, 2000.

"Darker. Cf. "Ode for Music", l. 27."

Alexander Huber <huber@thomasgray.org> (SUB Göttingen), URL: http://www.thomasgray.org/. Contributed on Sun Sep 24 07:16:00 2000 GMT.

Contribute a note or query

13 Where'er the rude and moss-grown beech 3 Explanatory

11.1 - 20.4 Where'er ... great!] "The quiet scenery here described [...]" W. Lyon Phelps, 1894.

"The quiet scenery here described exhibits, perhaps, a touch of Romantic feeling; but the conventional moralizing at the end of the stanza is thoroughly Augustan."

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, 128.

11.1 - 14.3 Where'er ... glade,] "Prior, Solomon i 57-8: 'I [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Prior, Solomon i 57-8: 'I know not why the Beach delights the Glade / With Boughs extended, and a rounder Shade'."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 50.

13.5-6 moss-grown beech] "Pope, Eloisa to Abelard 142: [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Pope, Eloisa to Abelard 142: 'moss-grown domes'; and Parnell, To Mr Pope 81: 'mossgrown trees'."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 50.

Contribute a note or query

14 O'er-canopies the glade, 5 Explanatory

11.1 - 20.4 Where'er ... great!] "The quiet scenery here described [...]" W. Lyon Phelps, 1894.

"The quiet scenery here described exhibits, perhaps, a touch of Romantic feeling; but the conventional moralizing at the end of the stanza is thoroughly Augustan."

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, 128.

11.1 - 14.3 Where'er ... glade,] "Prior, Solomon i 57-8: 'I [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Prior, Solomon i 57-8: 'I know not why the Beach delights the Glade / With Boughs extended, and a rounder Shade'."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 50.

14.1-3 O'er-canopies ... glade,] "The passage from Shakspere that [...]" W. Lyon Phelps, 1894.

"The passage from Shakspere that Gray gives in his note on this line is from Mid. Night's Dream, ii, 1, 249-251:

''I know a bank where the wild thyme blows,
Where oxlips and the nodding violet grows,
Quite over-canopied with luscious woodbine.'' "

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, 128.

14.1 O'er-canopies] "Gray [...] here follows the [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"Gray [...] here follows the text of Pope[]."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 85.

14.1 O'er-canopies] "G[ray]. had already acknowledged the [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"G[ray]. had already acknowledged the imitation to Walpole in Oct. 1746, Corresp i 251. Cp. also Phineas Fletcher, Purple Island I xxx: 'The beech shall yield a cool safe canopy'; and Comus 543-4: 'a bank / With Ivy canopied'."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 50.

Contribute a note or query

15 Beside some water's rushy brink 3 Explanatory

11.1 - 20.4 Where'er ... great!] "The quiet scenery here described [...]" W. Lyon Phelps, 1894.

"The quiet scenery here described exhibits, perhaps, a touch of Romantic feeling; but the conventional moralizing at the end of the stanza is thoroughly Augustan."

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, 128.

15.1-5 Beside ... brink] "Midsummer Night's Dream II i [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Midsummer Night's Dream II i 84: 'By paved fountain or by rushy brook'; Comus 890: 'the rushy-fringed bank'."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 50.

15.1 - 17.6 Beside ... state)] "The description of the poet [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"The description of the poet reclining in the heat of mid-day beneath a tree and beside a stream occurs frequently in classical poetry: e.g. Horace, Odes I i 20-2 and II xi 14-16; Virgil, Eclogues i 1-2; Lucretius ii 29-33. Such passages were widely imitated in Augustan poetry: e.g. Gay, Rural Sports i 59-62, 65-6: 'Where the tall oak his spreading arms entwines, / And with the beech a mutual shade combines; / Where flows the murmuring brook, inviting dreams, / Where bordering hazel overhangs the streams... / Upon the mossy couch my limbs I cast, / And e'en at noon the sweets of evening taste.' See also David Mallet, The Excursion i 130-6; and Thomson, Summer 9-13, 284-6 (where the retreat to the shade at noon is followed as here by some moralizing about insects) and 458-68 (where he who retires from the heat in this way becomes an 'Emblem instructive of the virtuous man')."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 50.

Contribute a note or query

16 With me the Muse shall sit, and think 2 Explanatory

11.1 - 20.4 Where'er ... great!] "The quiet scenery here described [...]" W. Lyon Phelps, 1894.

"The quiet scenery here described exhibits, perhaps, a touch of Romantic feeling; but the conventional moralizing at the end of the stanza is thoroughly Augustan."

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, 128.

15.1 - 17.6 Beside ... state)] "The description of the poet [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"The description of the poet reclining in the heat of mid-day beneath a tree and beside a stream occurs frequently in classical poetry: e.g. Horace, Odes I i 20-2 and II xi 14-16; Virgil, Eclogues i 1-2; Lucretius ii 29-33. Such passages were widely imitated in Augustan poetry: e.g. Gay, Rural Sports i 59-62, 65-6: 'Where the tall oak his spreading arms entwines, / And with the beech a mutual shade combines; / Where flows the murmuring brook, inviting dreams, / Where bordering hazel overhangs the streams... / Upon the mossy couch my limbs I cast, / And e'en at noon the sweets of evening taste.' See also David Mallet, The Excursion i 130-6; and Thomson, Summer 9-13, 284-6 (where the retreat to the shade at noon is followed as here by some moralizing about insects) and 458-68 (where he who retires from the heat in this way becomes an 'Emblem instructive of the virtuous man')."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 50.

Contribute a note or query

17 (At ease reclined in rustic state) 3 Explanatory

11.1 - 20.4 Where'er ... great!] "The quiet scenery here described [...]" W. Lyon Phelps, 1894.

"The quiet scenery here described exhibits, perhaps, a touch of Romantic feeling; but the conventional moralizing at the end of the stanza is thoroughly Augustan."

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, 128.

15.1 - 17.6 Beside ... state)] "The description of the poet [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"The description of the poet reclining in the heat of mid-day beneath a tree and beside a stream occurs frequently in classical poetry: e.g. Horace, Odes I i 20-2 and II xi 14-16; Virgil, Eclogues i 1-2; Lucretius ii 29-33. Such passages were widely imitated in Augustan poetry: e.g. Gay, Rural Sports i 59-62, 65-6: 'Where the tall oak his spreading arms entwines, / And with the beech a mutual shade combines; / Where flows the murmuring brook, inviting dreams, / Where bordering hazel overhangs the streams... / Upon the mossy couch my limbs I cast, / And e'en at noon the sweets of evening taste.' See also David Mallet, The Excursion i 130-6; and Thomson, Summer 9-13, 284-6 (where the retreat to the shade at noon is followed as here by some moralizing about insects) and 458-68 (where he who retires from the heat in this way becomes an 'Emblem instructive of the virtuous man')."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 50.

17.3 reclined] "says Dr Bradshaw, ''agrees with [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"says Dr Bradshaw, ''agrees with me, l. 16.'' Surely not; if the Muse can be imagined to sit with the poet, she can also be imagined to recline in rustic state. Gray gives her the honours proper to the scene; and treats her as he might some woodland goddess or fairy queen."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 85.

Contribute a note or query

18 How vain the ardour of the crowd, 3 Explanatory

11.1 - 20.4 Where'er ... great!] "The quiet scenery here described [...]" W. Lyon Phelps, 1894.

"The quiet scenery here described exhibits, perhaps, a touch of Romantic feeling; but the conventional moralizing at the end of the stanza is thoroughly Augustan."

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, 128.

18.1-7 How ... crowd,] "Horace's civium ardor, C. III. [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"Horace's civium ardor, C. III. iii. 2."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 85.

18.1-7 How ... crowd,] "Horace, Odes III iii 2: [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Horace, Odes III iii 2: civium ardor (the frenzy of fellow-citizens)."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 50.

Contribute a note or query

19 How low, how little are the proud, 3 Explanatory, 5 Textual

11.1 - 20.4 Where'er ... great!] "The quiet scenery here described [...]" W. Lyon Phelps, 1894.

"The quiet scenery here described exhibits, perhaps, a touch of Romantic feeling; but the conventional moralizing at the end of the stanza is thoroughly Augustan."

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, 128.

19.1 - 20.4 How ... great!] "''How low, how indigent the [...]" E. Gosse, 1884.

"''How low, how indigent the proud, / How little are the great!'' So these lines appeared in Dodsley. The variation, as Mason informs us, was subsequently made, to avoid the point ''little and great.''"

The Works of Thomas Gray: In Prose and Verse. Ed. by Edmund Gosse, in four vols. London: MacMillan and Co., 1884, vol. i, 6.

19.1 - 20.4 How ... great!] "'' 'How low, how indigent [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"'' 'How low, how indigent the Proud / How little are the Great.' Thus it stood in Dodsley's Miscellany [1748], where it was first published. The author corrected it on account of the point of little and great. It certainly had too much the appearance of a Concetto, though it expressed his meaning better than the present reading.'' Mason."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 85.

19.1 - 20.4 How ... great!] "Variations in the MS. copy [...]" A.L. Poole/L. Whibley, 1950 [1st ed. 1919].

"Variations in the MS. copy at Pembroke College, Cambridge : How low, how indigent the Proud, / How little are the Great! (and so in letter to Walpole, Oct. 1746.)"

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.

19.1 - 20.4 How ... great!] "How low, how indigent the [...]" H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"How low, how indigent the Proud / How little are the Great: C[ommonplace] B[ook], Letter to Walpole, 20 Oct. 1746, Dodsley's Collection."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 4.

19.1 - 20.4 How ... great!] "Mason (ii. 75) says of [...]" H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"Mason (ii. 75) says of the earlier version: 'The author corrected it on account of the point of little and great. It certainly had too much the appearance of a Concetto, tho' it expressed his meaning better than the present reading.'"

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 201.

19.1 - 20.4 How ... great!] "Commonplace Book, letter to Walpole [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Commonplace Book, letter to Walpole and Dodsley have:

How low, how indigent the Proud,
How little are the Great."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 51.

19.1 - 20.4 How ... great!] "According to Mason, Poems p. [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"According to Mason, Poems p. 75, G[ray]. altered the lines 'on account of the point of little and great. It certainly had too much the appearance of a Concetto, though it expressed his meaning better than the present reading.' Cp. Henry Brooke, Universal Beauty (1735) iv 285: 'The little, low, fine follies of the great'."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 51.

Contribute a note or query

20 How indigent the great! 3 Explanatory, 5 Textual

11.1 - 20.4 Where'er ... great!] "The quiet scenery here described [...]" W. Lyon Phelps, 1894.

"The quiet scenery here described exhibits, perhaps, a touch of Romantic feeling; but the conventional moralizing at the end of the stanza is thoroughly Augustan."

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, 128.

19.1 - 20.4 How ... great!] "''How low, how indigent the [...]" E. Gosse, 1884.

"''How low, how indigent the proud, / How little are the great!'' So these lines appeared in Dodsley. The variation, as Mason informs us, was subsequently made, to avoid the point ''little and great.''"

The Works of Thomas Gray: In Prose and Verse. Ed. by Edmund Gosse, in four vols. London: MacMillan and Co., 1884, vol. i, 6.

19.1 - 20.4 How ... great!] "'' 'How low, how indigent [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"'' 'How low, how indigent the Proud / How little are the Great.' Thus it stood in Dodsley's Miscellany [1748], where it was first published. The author corrected it on account of the point of little and great. It certainly had too much the appearance of a Concetto, though it expressed his meaning better than the present reading.'' Mason."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 85.

19.1 - 20.4 How ... great!] "Variations in the MS. copy [...]" A.L. Poole/L. Whibley, 1950 [1st ed. 1919].

"Variations in the MS. copy at Pembroke College, Cambridge : How low, how indigent the Proud, / How little are the Great! (and so in letter to Walpole, Oct. 1746.)"

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.

19.1 - 20.4 How ... great!] "How low, how indigent the [...]" H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"How low, how indigent the Proud / How little are the Great: C[ommonplace] B[ook], Letter to Walpole, 20 Oct. 1746, Dodsley's Collection."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 4.

19.1 - 20.4 How ... great!] "Mason (ii. 75) says of [...]" H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"Mason (ii. 75) says of the earlier version: 'The author corrected it on account of the point of little and great. It certainly had too much the appearance of a Concetto, tho' it expressed his meaning better than the present reading.'"

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 201.

19.1 - 20.4 How ... great!] "Commonplace Book, letter to Walpole [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Commonplace Book, letter to Walpole and Dodsley have:

How low, how indigent the Proud,
How little are the Great."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 51.

19.1 - 20.4 How ... great!] "According to Mason, Poems p. [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"According to Mason, Poems p. 75, G[ray]. altered the lines 'on account of the point of little and great. It certainly had too much the appearance of a Concetto, though it expressed his meaning better than the present reading.' Cp. Henry Brooke, Universal Beauty (1735) iv 285: 'The little, low, fine follies of the great'."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 51.

Contribute a note or query


21 Still is the toiling hand of Care; 1 Explanatory

21.7 Care;] "Gray's fondness for personified abstractions [...]" W. Lyon Phelps, 1894.

"Gray's fondness for personified abstractions is especially noticeable in his early odes. This custom was very fashionable among his contemporaries. They were all much affected in this respect by Milton's early poems. See Introduction [to this edition], p. xxiv."

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, 128.

Contribute a note or query

22 The panting herds repose: 1 Explanatory

22.3 herds] "Herds and flocks in the [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Herds and flocks in the heat of day are a common classical topic: e.g. Virgil, Eclogues ii 8; Horace, Odes III xxix 21-2; Persius, Satires iii 6; and equally common in eighteenth-century pastoral: e.g. Pope, Summer 86-7: 'The lowing Herds to murm'ring Brooks retreat, / To closer Shades the panting Flocks remove.'"

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 51.

Contribute a note or query

23 Yet hark, how through the peopled air 2 Explanatory

23.1-7 Yet ... air] "Cf. Pope, Essay on Man [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"Cf. Pope, Essay on Man I. 210 - ''the green myriads in the peopled grass.''"

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 85.

23.6 peopled] "See Spectator No. 519: 'Every [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"See Spectator No. 519: 'Every part of Matter is peopled: Every green Leaf swarms with Inhabitants'; and Pope, Essay on Man i 210: 'the peopled grass'."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 51.

Contribute a note or query

24 The busy murmur glows! 3 Explanatory

24.1-3 The ... murmur] "In the same passage referred [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"In the same passage referred to in note on line 5, Milton has: - ''the sound / Of bees' industrious murmur.'' - Par. Regained, iv. 247."

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], 178.

24.1-3 The ... murmur] "Par. Regained iv 247-8: 'the [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Par. Regained iv 247-8: 'the sound / Of Bees industrious murmur'; Parnell, The Flies 22: 'A pleasing Murmur hums along the Plain'; and Pope, Iliad ii 552-3, 556-7: 'or thick as insects play, / The wandering nation of a summer's day, / ... with busy murmur run / The gilded legions, glittering in the sun'."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 51.

24.4 glows!] "An imitation of Virgil's fervet: [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"An imitation of Virgil's fervet: e.g. Georgics iv 169 (of bees): fervet opus. See also Aeneid iv 407."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 51.

Contribute a note or query

25 The insect youth are on the wing, 2 Explanatory

25.1-3 The ... youth] "For Gray's debt to Matthew [...]" J. Crofts, 1948 [1st ed. 1926].

"For Gray's debt to Matthew Green in this passage, see Letter XXV. 'He congratulated himself on not having a good verbal memory,' says Nicholls, 'for without it he said he had imitated too much; and if he had possessed such a memory, all that he wrote would have been imitation.' (Reminiscences of Gray.)"

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.

25.3 youth] "Probably an imitation of Virgil's [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Probably an imitation of Virgil's iuventus, used of bees, Georgics iv 22, also imitated by Milton, Par. Lost i 770: 'populous youth'. Thomson, Spring 729, has 'feathered youth'."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 51.

Contribute a note or query

26 Eager to taste the honeyed spring, 2 Explanatory

26.4-6 the ... spring,] "Let us hear Johnson on [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"Let us hear Johnson on this passage, by way of warning against hasty criticism:
''There has of late arisen a practice of giving to adjectives, derived from substantives, the termination of participles; such as the cultured plain, the daisied bank; but I was sorry to see, in the lines of a scholar like Gray, the honied Spring.''
To this Lord Grenville (Nugae Metricae, privately printed) quoted by Mitford in his Life of Gray has replied: ''A scholar like Johnson ought to have remembered that mellitus is used by Catullus, Cicero and Horace, and that honied itself is found both in Shakespeare and Milton.'' [Henry V. I. i. 50, ''to steal his sweet and honeyed sentences.'' Samson Agonistes 1066, ''the bait of honied words.'' Nearer still to Gray ''quaint enamell'd eyes That on the green turf suck the honied showers,'' Lycidas 140, and ''the bee with honied thigh,'' Il Penseroso l. 143.] Lord Grenville further remarks that ''the ready conversion of our substantives into verbs, participles, and participial adjectives is of the very essence of our tongue.'' He cites inter alia such words as plough, witness, ornament (we may add father); and notes how participles of verbs thus derived pass into adjectives as in winged, feathered, thatched; and how there is the closest analogy between these participial adjectives, and words like honied, daisied, tapestried, slipper'd, which differ from the others only in not being referable to any yet established verb. He instances sugared, as an epithet the use of which was probably anterior to that of the verb, of which it appears to be the participle. He points out that Johnson's canon would banish from the language such expressions as four-footed, open-hearted, short-sighted, good-natured; the 'well-envyned frankelein' of Chaucer; and even-handed, high-flighted, trumpet-tongued, full-voiced, flowery-knitted, fiery-wheel'd of Shakespeare or Milton."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 85/86.

26.5 honeyed] "Johnson objects in his Life [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Johnson objects in his Life of G[ray]. to this adjective, but G. had precedents for it in Milton (Il Penseroso 142; Lycidas 140; Samson Agonistes 1066), and other poets."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 51.

Contribute a note or query

27 And float amid the liquid noon: 3 Explanatory

27.1-6 And ... noon:] "The note by Gray is [...]" W. Lyon Phelps, 1894.

"The note by Gray is from the Georgies, iv, 59."

Selections from the Poetry and Prose of Thomas Gray. Ed. with an introduction and notes by William Lyon Phelps. The Athenaeum press series. Boston: Ginn & company, 1894, 128.

27.1-6 And ... noon:] "He had already acknowledged the [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"He had already acknowledged the imitation to Walpole in Oct. 1746 (Corresp i 251). It means literally 'floating through the clear summer air'. For 'liquid', see also Vicissitude 16 (p. 203). Cp. also Gay, Rural Sports i 128, 130 (of fish): 'Float in the sun, and skim along the lake / ... / Their silver coats reflect the dazzling beams'."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 51.

27.5 liquid] "bright, clear (from Latin liquidus). [...]" Alexander Huber, 2003.

"bright, clear (from Latin liquidus). Cf. also "Ode for Music" l. 56 and "[Ode on the Pleasure Arising from Vicissitude]" l. 16."

Alexander Huber <huber@thomasgray.org> (University of Oxford), URL: http://www.thomasgray.org/. Contributed on Fri Feb 7 16:15:57 2003 GMT.

Contribute a note or query

28 Some lightly o'er the current skim,
29 Some show their gaily-gilded trim 1 Explanatory

29.1 - 30.4 Some ... sun.] "Milton was probably imitating Virgil, [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Milton was probably imitating Virgil, Georgics iv 98-9 and see also iv 27-8: et alas / pandere ad aestivum solem (and spread their wings to the summer sun). Mallet has 'quick-glancing', Excursion i 169. G[ray]. seems also indebted to Henry Brooke, Universal Beauty v 166-9: 'the summer's glistering swarms, / Ten thousand thousand gaily gilded forms, / In volant dance of mix'd rotation play, / Bask in the beam, and beautify the day.'"

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 52.

Contribute a note or query

30 Quick-glancing to the sun. 3 Explanatory

29.1 - 30.4 Some ... sun.] "Milton was probably imitating Virgil, [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Milton was probably imitating Virgil, Georgics iv 98-9 and see also iv 27-8: et alas / pandere ad aestivum solem (and spread their wings to the summer sun). Mallet has 'quick-glancing', Excursion i 169. G[ray]. seems also indebted to Henry Brooke, Universal Beauty v 166-9: 'the summer's glistering swarms, / Ten thousand thousand gaily gilded forms, / In volant dance of mix'd rotation play, / Bask in the beam, and beautify the day.'"

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 52.

30.1-4 Quick-glancing ... sun.] "Par. Lost, vii, 405, 406." W. Lyon Phelps, 1894.

"Par. Lost, vii, 405, 406."

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, 128.

30.1-4 Quick-glancing ... sun.] "Milton here [in the lines [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"Milton here [in the lines quoted by Gray] speaks of fishes, in describing the six days of Creation."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 86.

Contribute a note or query


31 To Contemplation's sober eye 6 Explanatory

31.1 - 40.6 To ... rest.] "Cf. Gray's Letter to Walpole [...]" W. Lyon Phelps, 1894.

"Cf. Gray's Letter to Walpole (Gray's Works, ed. Gosse, II, 222): ''I send you a bit of a thing for two reasons; first, because it is one of your favourites, Mr. M. Green; and next, because I would do justice. The thought on which my second Ode [Spring] turns is manifestly stole from hence; not that I knew it at the time, but having seen this many years before, to be sure it imprinted itself on my memory, and, forgetting the Author, I took it for my own. The subject was the Queen's Hermitage.'' He then quotes a long passage, of which the verses that follow are the most significant:

''The thinking sculpture helps to raise
Deep thoughts, the genii of the place:
To the mind's ear, and inward sight,
There silence speaks, and shade gives light:
While insects from the threshold preach,
And minds dispos'd to musing teach;
Proud of strong limbs and painted hues,
They perish by the slightest bruise;
Or maladies begun within
Destroy more slow life's frail machine;
From maggot-youth, thro' change of state,
They feel like us the turns of fate:
Some born to creep have liv'd to fly
And chang'd earth's cells for dwellings high:
And some that did their six wings keep,
Before they died, been forced to creep.
They politics, like ours, profess;
The greater prey upon the less.
Some strain on foot huge loads to bring,
Some toil incessant on the wing:
Nor from their vigorous schemes desist
Till death; and then they are never mist.
Some frolick, toil, marry, increase,
Are sick and well, have war and peace;
And broke with age in half a day,
Yield to successors, and away.'' "

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, 128/129.

31.1 - 40.6 To ... rest.] "In a letter to Horace [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"In a letter to Horace Walpole, written in 1748 [footnote: ''[w]rongly placed by Mitford and Gosse.''], Gray refers to his having taken these ideas from Green. The passage is as follows: - ''I send you a bit of a thing for two reasons; first, because it is of one of your favourites, Mr. M. Green; and next, because I would do justice. The thought on which my second Ode [footnote: 'The ''Ode on the Spring'' was the second of Gray's Odes in Dodsley's ''Collection.'' '] turns is manifestly stole from hence; not that I knew it at the time, but having seen this many years before, to be sure it imprinted itself on my memory, and, forgetting the author, I took it for my own. The subject was the 'Queen's Hermitage.' ''"

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], 178/179.

31.1-4 To ... eye] "Matthew Green died in 1737. [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"Matthew Green died in 1737. He printed and gave away a few copies of the Grotto in 1732. It was ''written under the name of Peter Drake, a fisherman of Brentford.'' The subject of the poem was otherwise called the Queen's Hermitage, or Merlin's Cave at Richmond, a fancy or folly of Queen Caroline's; of it Stephen Duck (hence 'Peter Drake') the thresher-poet was Librarian; the cave and its custos were both the objects of Pope's ridicule. See Gray and His Friends, p. 89 n. In a letter to Walpole of 1748 Gray says that the thought on which his Ode on Spring turns is ''manifestly stolen'' from the Grotto; ''not,'' he adds, ''that I knew it at the time, but having seen this many years before, to be sure it imprinted itself on my memory, and, forgetting the Author, I took it for my own.'' (Cf. note on Ode III. l. 21.)
It is noteworthy that one of Gray's favourite French poets, his contemporary Gresset, had the same characteristic as Green, a sort of careless facility and diffuseness often akin to prose; and that Gray, in borrowing from both, compresses their thoughts, whilst he adopts a more stately and artificial manner:

''While insects from the threshold preach,
And minds disposed to musing teach;
Proud of strong limbs and painted hues,
They perish by the slightest bruise;
Or maladies begun within
Destroy more slow life's frail machine:
From maggot-youth, thro' change of state,
They feel like as the turns of fate:
Some born to creep have liv'd to fly,
And chang'd earth's cells for dwellings high:
And some that did their six wings keep,
Before they died, been forced to creep.
They politics, like ours, profess:
The greater play upon the less.
Some strain on foot huge loads to bring,
Some toil incessant on the wing:
Nor from their vigorous schemes desist
Till death; and then they are never mist.
Some frolic, toil, marry, increase,
Are sick and well, have war and peace;
And broke with age in half a day,
Yield to successors, and away.''
But this is only one of the many motives in Green's poem, which in discursiveness and variety is in the manner of the I7th century, Andrew Marvell's manner for instance, whereas Gray has but this leading notion, to which the whole poem is focuss'd.
Wakefield, says Mitford, has traced Gray's stanza to Thomson's Summer 342 sq. I give the passage as it stood in 1730:
''Upward and downward, thwarting and convolved,
The quivering nations sport; with tempest wing,
Till Winter sweeps them from the face of day.
Even so luxurious men, unheeding, pass
An idle summer life in fortune's shine---
A season's glitter! [In soft-circling Robes
Which the hard hand of industry has wrought
The human insects glow; by Hunger fed,
And chear'd by toiling Thirst,] they rowl about
From Toy to Trifle, Vanity to Vice
Till, blown away by death, oblivion comes
Behind, and strikes them from the book of life.''
The thought in brackets was omitted in 1744 and 1746, and the whole passage as we now read it strikingly resembles Gray's stanza. Gray praised Thomson grudgingly; and, if he was indebted to him, would never have acknowledged as much to Walpole, who sneered at Thomson habitually. Both Green and Gray before they wrote their own lines had in all probability read the passage in Summer in the form in which it is cited above."

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 86-88.

31.1 - 40.6 To ... rest.] "Gray wrote to Walpole in [...]" H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"Gray wrote to Walpole in Jan. or Feb. of 1748 (T & W no. 144, pp. 299-300): 'I send you a bit of a thing for two reasons: first, because it is one of your favourites, Mr. M. Green; and next, because I would do justice. The thought on which my second ode [Spring] turns is manifestly stole from hence: - not that I knew it at the time, but, having seen this many Years before, to be sure it imprinted itself on my Memory, & forgetting the Author, I took it for my own. the subject was the Queen's Hermitage.' Gray then quotes a long passage from Green, ll. 57 ff., of which the most relevant part is as follows:

While Insects from the Threshold preach,
And Minds disposed to Musing teach;
Proud of strong Limbs & painted Hues
They perish by the slightest Bruise
Or Maladies begun within
Destroy more slow Life's frail Machine:
From Maggot-Youth thro' Change of State
They feel like us the Turns of Fate;
Some born to creep have lived to fly,
And changed Earth's Cells for Dwellings high:
And some, that did their six Wings keep,
Before they died, been forced to creep.
They Politicks, like ours, profess:
The greater prey upon the less.
Some strain on Foot huge Loads to bring,
Some toil incessant on the Wing:
Nor from their vigorous Schemes desist
Till Death; & then are never mist.
Some frolick, toil, marry, increase,
Are sick & well, have War & Peace,
And broke with Age in half a Day
Yield to Successors, & away."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 201/202.

31.1 - 40.6 To ... rest.] "Early in 1748 G[ray]. transcribed [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Early in 1748 G[ray]. transcribed in a letter to Walpole part of Matthew Green's The Grotto (1732), which he had seen in Dodsley's Collection and added: 'The thought on which my second ode [On the Spring] turns is manifestly stole from hence: - not that I knew it at the time, but, having seen this many Years before, to be sure it imprinted itself on my Memory, & forgetting the Author, I took it for my own' (Corresp i 299-300). G. had ll. 57-64, 75-80 in mind, as he acknowledged by quoting them in 1768:

While Insects from the Threshold preach,
And Minds disposed to Musing teach;
Proud of strong Limbs & painted Hues
They perish by the slightest Bruise
Or Maladies begun within
Destroy more slow Life's frail Machine:
From Maggot-Youth thro' Change of State
They feel like us the Turns of Fate. ...
Nor from their vigorous Schemes desist
Till Death; & then are never mist.
Some frolick, toil, marry, increase,
Are sick & well, have War & Peace,
And broke with Age in half a Day
Yield to Successors, & away."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 52.

31.1 - 32.6 To ... man:] "Cf. Richard West, 'Ad Amicos' [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Cf. Richard West, 'Ad Amicos' 46-7, sent to G[ray]. in July 1737 (Corresp i 63): 'How weak is Man to Reason's judging eye! / Born in this moment, in the next we die ...'"

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 52.

Contribute a note or query

32 Such is the race of man: 5 Explanatory

31.1 - 40.6 To ... rest.] "Cf. Gray's Letter to Walpole [...]" W. Lyon Phelps, 1894.

"Cf. Gray's Letter to Walpole (Gray's Works, ed. Gosse, II, 222): ''I send you a bit of a thing for two reasons; first, because it is one of your favourites, Mr. M. Green; and next, because I would do justice. The thought on which my second Ode [Spring] turns is manifestly stole from hence; not that I knew it at the time, but having seen this many years before, to be sure it imprinted itself on my memory, and, forgetting the Author, I took it for my own. The subject was the Queen's Hermitage.'' He then quotes a long passage, of which the verses that follow are the most significant:

''The thinking sculpture helps to raise
Deep thoughts, the genii of the place:
To the mind's ear, and inward sight,
There silence speaks, and shade gives light:
While insects from the threshold preach,
And minds dispos'd to musing teach;
Proud of strong limbs and painted hues,
They perish by the slightest bruise;
Or maladies begun within
Destroy more slow life's frail machine;
From maggot-youth, thro' change of state,
They feel like us the turns of fate:
Some born to creep have liv'd to fly
And chang'd earth's cells for dwellings high:
And some that did their six wings keep,
Before they died, been forced to creep.
They politics, like ours, profess;
The greater prey upon the less.
Some strain on foot huge loads to bring,
Some toil incessant on the wing:
Nor from their vigorous schemes desist
Till death; and then they are never mist.
Some frolick, toil, marry, increase,
Are sick and well, have war and peace;
And broke with age in half a day,
Yield to successors, and away.'' "

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, 128/129.

31.1 - 40.6 To ... rest.] "In a letter to Horace [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"In a letter to Horace Walpole, written in 1748 [footnote: ''[w]rongly placed by Mitford and Gosse.''], Gray refers to his having taken these ideas from Green. The passage is as follows: - ''I send you a bit of a thing for two reasons; first, because it is of one of your favourites, Mr. M. Green; and next, because I would do justice. The thought on which my second Ode [footnote: 'The ''Ode on the Spring'' was the second of Gray's Odes in Dodsley's ''Collection.'' '] turns is manifestly stole from hence; not that I knew it at the time, but having seen this many years before, to be sure it imprinted itself on my memory, and, forgetting the author, I took it for my own. The subject was the 'Queen's Hermitage.' ''"

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], 178/179.

31.1 - 40.6 To ... rest.] "Gray wrote to Walpole in [...]" H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"Gray wrote to Walpole in Jan. or Feb. of 1748 (T & W no. 144, pp. 299-300): 'I send you a bit of a thing for two reasons: first, because it is one of your favourites, Mr. M. Green; and next, because I would do justice. The thought on which my second ode [Spring] turns is manifestly stole from hence: - not that I knew it at the time, but, having seen this many Years before, to be sure it imprinted itself on my Memory, & forgetting the Author, I took it for my own. the subject was the Queen's Hermitage.' Gray then quotes a long passage from Green, ll. 57 ff., of which the most relevant part is as follows:

While Insects from the Threshold preach,
And Minds disposed to Musing teach;
Proud of strong Limbs & painted Hues
They perish by the slightest Bruise
Or Maladies begun within
Destroy more slow Life's frail Machine:
From Maggot-Youth thro' Change of State
They feel like us the Turns of Fate;
Some born to creep have lived to fly,
And changed Earth's Cells for Dwellings high:
And some, that did their six Wings keep,
Before they died, been forced to creep.
They Politicks, like ours, profess:
The greater prey upon the less.
Some strain on Foot huge Loads to bring,
Some toil incessant on the Wing:
Nor from their vigorous Schemes desist
Till Death; & then are never mist.
Some frolick, toil, marry, increase,
Are sick & well, have War & Peace,
And broke with Age in half a Day
Yield to Successors, & away."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 201/202.

31.1 - 40.6 To ... rest.] "Early in 1748 G[ray]. transcribed [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Early in 1748 G[ray]. transcribed in a letter to Walpole part of Matthew Green's The Grotto (1732), which he had seen in Dodsley's Collection and added: 'The thought on which my second ode [On the Spring] turns is manifestly stole from hence: - not that I knew it at the time, but, having seen this many Years before, to be sure it imprinted itself on my Memory, & forgetting the Author, I took it for my own' (Corresp i 299-300). G. had ll. 57-64, 75-80 in mind, as he acknowledged by quoting them in 1768:

While Insects from the Threshold preach,
And Minds disposed to Musing teach;
Proud of strong Limbs & painted Hues
They perish by the slightest Bruise
Or Maladies begun within
Destroy more slow Life's frail Machine:
From Maggot-Youth thro' Change of State
They feel like us the Turns of Fate. ...
Nor from their vigorous Schemes desist
Till Death; & then are never mist.
Some frolick, toil, marry, increase,
Are sick & well, have War & Peace,
And broke with Age in half a Day
Yield to Successors, & away."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 52.

31.1 - 32.6 To ... man:] "Cf. Richard West, 'Ad Amicos' [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Cf. Richard West, 'Ad Amicos' 46-7, sent to G[ray]. in July 1737 (Corresp i 63): 'How weak is Man to Reason's judging eye! / Born in this moment, in the next we die ...'"

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 52.

Contribute a note or query

33 And they that creep, and they that fly, 4 Explanatory

31.1 - 40.6 To ... rest.] "Cf. Gray's Letter to Walpole [...]" W. Lyon Phelps, 1894.

"Cf. Gray's Letter to Walpole (Gray's Works, ed. Gosse, II, 222): ''I send you a bit of a thing for two reasons; first, because it is one of your favourites, Mr. M. Green; and next, because I would do justice. The thought on which my second Ode [Spring] turns is manifestly stole from hence; not that I knew it at the time, but having seen this many years before, to be sure it imprinted itself on my memory, and, forgetting the Author, I took it for my own. The subject was the Queen's Hermitage.'' He then quotes a long passage, of which the verses that follow are the most significant:

''The thinking sculpture helps to raise
Deep thoughts, the genii of the place:
To the mind's ear, and inward sight,
There silence speaks, and shade gives light:
While insects from the threshold preach,
And minds dispos'd to musing teach;
Proud of strong limbs and painted hues,
They perish by the slightest bruise;
Or maladies begun within
Destroy more slow life's frail machine;
From maggot-youth, thro' change of state,
They feel like us the turns of fate:
Some born to creep have liv'd to fly
And chang'd earth's cells for dwellings high:
And some that did their six wings keep,
Before they died, been forced to creep.
They politics, like ours, profess;
The greater prey upon the less.
Some strain on foot huge loads to bring,
Some toil incessant on the wing:
Nor from their vigorous schemes desist
Till death; and then they are never mist.
Some frolick, toil, marry, increase,
Are sick and well, have war and peace;
And broke with age in half a day,
Yield to successors, and away.'' "

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, 128/129.

31.1 - 40.6 To ... rest.] "In a letter to Horace [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"In a letter to Horace Walpole, written in 1748 [footnote: ''[w]rongly placed by Mitford and Gosse.''], Gray refers to his having taken these ideas from Green. The passage is as follows: - ''I send you a bit of a thing for two reasons; first, because it is of one of your favourites, Mr. M. Green; and next, because I would do justice. The thought on which my second Ode [footnote: 'The ''Ode on the Spring'' was the second of Gray's Odes in Dodsley's ''Collection.'' '] turns is manifestly stole from hence; not that I knew it at the time, but having seen this many years before, to be sure it imprinted itself on my memory, and, forgetting the author, I took it for my own. The subject was the 'Queen's Hermitage.' ''"

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], 178/179.

31.1 - 40.6 To ... rest.] "Gray wrote to Walpole in [...]" H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"Gray wrote to Walpole in Jan. or Feb. of 1748 (T & W no. 144, pp. 299-300): 'I send you a bit of a thing for two reasons: first, because it is one of your favourites, Mr. M. Green; and next, because I would do justice. The thought on which my second ode [Spring] turns is manifestly stole from hence: - not that I knew it at the time, but, having seen this many Years before, to be sure it imprinted itself on my Memory, & forgetting the Author, I took it for my own. the subject was the Queen's Hermitage.' Gray then quotes a long passage from Green, ll. 57 ff., of which the most relevant part is as follows:

While Insects from the Threshold preach,
And Minds disposed to Musing teach;
Proud of strong Limbs & painted Hues
They perish by the slightest Bruise
Or Maladies begun within
Destroy more slow Life's frail Machine:
From Maggot-Youth thro' Change of State
They feel like us the Turns of Fate;
Some born to creep have lived to fly,
And changed Earth's Cells for Dwellings high:
And some, that did their six Wings keep,
Before they died, been forced to creep.
They Politicks, like ours, profess:
The greater prey upon the less.
Some strain on Foot huge Loads to bring,
Some toil incessant on the Wing:
Nor from their vigorous Schemes desist
Till Death; & then are never mist.
Some frolick, toil, marry, increase,
Are sick & well, have War & Peace,
And broke with Age in half a Day
Yield to Successors, & away."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 201/202.

31.1 - 40.6 To ... rest.] "Early in 1748 G[ray]. transcribed [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Early in 1748 G[ray]. transcribed in a letter to Walpole part of Matthew Green's The Grotto (1732), which he had seen in Dodsley's Collection and added: 'The thought on which my second ode [On the Spring] turns is manifestly stole from hence: - not that I knew it at the time, but, having seen this many Years before, to be sure it imprinted itself on my Memory, & forgetting the Author, I took it for my own' (Corresp i 299-300). G. had ll. 57-64, 75-80 in mind, as he acknowledged by quoting them in 1768:

While Insects from the Threshold preach,
And Minds disposed to Musing teach;
Proud of strong Limbs & painted Hues
They perish by the slightest Bruise
Or Maladies begun within
Destroy more slow Life's frail Machine:
From Maggot-Youth thro' Change of State
They feel like us the Turns of Fate. ...
Nor from their vigorous Schemes desist
Till Death; & then are never mist.
Some frolick, toil, marry, increase,
Are sick & well, have War & Peace,
And broke with Age in half a Day
Yield to Successors, & away."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 52.

Contribute a note or query

34 Shall end where they began. 4 Explanatory

31.1 - 40.6 To ... rest.] "Cf. Gray's Letter to Walpole [...]" W. Lyon Phelps, 1894.

"Cf. Gray's Letter to Walpole (Gray's Works, ed. Gosse, II, 222): ''I send you a bit of a thing for two reasons; first, because it is one of your favourites, Mr. M. Green; and next, because I would do justice. The thought on which my second Ode [Spring] turns is manifestly stole from hence; not that I knew it at the time, but having seen this many years before, to be sure it imprinted itself on my memory, and, forgetting the Author, I took it for my own. The subject was the Queen's Hermitage.'' He then quotes a long passage, of which the verses that follow are the most significant:

''The thinking sculpture helps to raise
Deep thoughts, the genii of the place:
To the mind's ear, and inward sight,
There silence speaks, and shade gives light:
While insects from the threshold preach,
And minds dispos'd to musing teach;
Proud of strong limbs and painted hues,
They perish by the slightest bruise;
Or maladies begun within
Destroy more slow life's frail machine;
From maggot-youth, thro' change of state,
They feel like us the turns of fate:
Some born to creep have liv'd to fly
And chang'd earth's cells for dwellings high:
And some that did their six wings keep,
Before they died, been forced to creep.
They politics, like ours, profess;
The greater prey upon the less.
Some strain on foot huge loads to bring,
Some toil incessant on the wing:
Nor from their vigorous schemes desist
Till death; and then they are never mist.
Some frolick, toil, marry, increase,
Are sick and well, have war and peace;
And broke with age in half a day,
Yield to successors, and away.'' "

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, 128/129.

31.1 - 40.6 To ... rest.] "In a letter to Horace [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"In a letter to Horace Walpole, written in 1748 [footnote: ''[w]rongly placed by Mitford and Gosse.''], Gray refers to his having taken these ideas from Green. The passage is as follows: - ''I send you a bit of a thing for two reasons; first, because it is of one of your favourites, Mr. M. Green; and next, because I would do justice. The thought on which my second Ode [footnote: 'The ''Ode on the Spring'' was the second of Gray's Odes in Dodsley's ''Collection.'' '] turns is manifestly stole from hence; not that I knew it at the time, but having seen this many years before, to be sure it imprinted itself on my memory, and, forgetting the author, I took it for my own. The subject was the 'Queen's Hermitage.' ''"

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], 178/179.

31.1 - 40.6 To ... rest.] "Gray wrote to Walpole in [...]" H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"Gray wrote to Walpole in Jan. or Feb. of 1748 (T & W no. 144, pp. 299-300): 'I send you a bit of a thing for two reasons: first, because it is one of your favourites, Mr. M. Green; and next, because I would do justice. The thought on which my second ode [Spring] turns is manifestly stole from hence: - not that I knew it at the time, but, having seen this many Years before, to be sure it imprinted itself on my Memory, & forgetting the Author, I took it for my own. the subject was the Queen's Hermitage.' Gray then quotes a long passage from Green, ll. 57 ff., of which the most relevant part is as follows:

While Insects from the Threshold preach,
And Minds disposed to Musing teach;
Proud of strong Limbs & painted Hues
They perish by the slightest Bruise
Or Maladies begun within
Destroy more slow Life's frail Machine:
From Maggot-Youth thro' Change of State
They feel like us the Turns of Fate;
Some born to creep have lived to fly,
And changed Earth's Cells for Dwellings high:
And some, that did their six Wings keep,
Before they died, been forced to creep.
They Politicks, like ours, profess:
The greater prey upon the less.
Some strain on Foot huge Loads to bring,
Some toil incessant on the Wing:
Nor from their vigorous Schemes desist
Till Death; & then are never mist.
Some frolick, toil, marry, increase,
Are sick & well, have War & Peace,
And broke with Age in half a Day
Yield to Successors, & away."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 201/202.

31.1 - 40.6 To ... rest.] "Early in 1748 G[ray]. transcribed [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Early in 1748 G[ray]. transcribed in a letter to Walpole part of Matthew Green's The Grotto (1732), which he had seen in Dodsley's Collection and added: 'The thought on which my second ode [On the Spring] turns is manifestly stole from hence: - not that I knew it at the time, but, having seen this many Years before, to be sure it imprinted itself on my Memory, & forgetting the Author, I took it for my own' (Corresp i 299-300). G. had ll. 57-64, 75-80 in mind, as he acknowledged by quoting them in 1768:

While Insects from the Threshold preach,
And Minds disposed to Musing teach;
Proud of strong Limbs & painted Hues
They perish by the slightest Bruise
Or Maladies begun within
Destroy more slow Life's frail Machine:
From Maggot-Youth thro' Change of State
They feel like us the Turns of Fate. ...
Nor from their vigorous Schemes desist
Till Death; & then are never mist.
Some frolick, toil, marry, increase,
Are sick & well, have War & Peace,
And broke with Age in half a Day
Yield to Successors, & away."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 52.

Contribute a note or query

35 Alike the busy and the gay 5 Explanatory

31.1 - 40.6 To ... rest.] "Cf. Gray's Letter to Walpole [...]" W. Lyon Phelps, 1894.

"Cf. Gray's Letter to Walpole (Gray's Works, ed. Gosse, II, 222): ''I send you a bit of a thing for two reasons; first, because it is one of your favourites, Mr. M. Green; and next, because I would do justice. The thought on which my second Ode [Spring] turns is manifestly stole from hence; not that I knew it at the time, but having seen this many years before, to be sure it imprinted itself on my memory, and, forgetting the Author, I took it for my own. The subject was the Queen's Hermitage.'' He then quotes a long passage, of which the verses that follow are the most significant:

''The thinking sculpture helps to raise
Deep thoughts, the genii of the place:
To the mind's ear, and inward sight,
There silence speaks, and shade gives light:
While insects from the threshold preach,
And minds dispos'd to musing teach;
Proud of strong limbs and painted hues,
They perish by the slightest bruise;
Or maladies begun within
Destroy more slow life's frail machine;
From maggot-youth, thro' change of state,
They feel like us the turns of fate:
Some born to creep have liv'd to fly
And chang'd earth's cells for dwellings high:
And some that did their six wings keep,
Before they died, been forced to creep.
They politics, like ours, profess;
The greater prey upon the less.
Some strain on foot huge loads to bring,
Some toil incessant on the wing:
Nor from their vigorous schemes desist
Till death; and then they are never mist.
Some frolick, toil, marry, increase,
Are sick and well, have war and peace;
And broke with age in half a day,
Yield to successors, and away.'' "

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, 128/129.

31.1 - 40.6 To ... rest.] "In a letter to Horace [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"In a letter to Horace Walpole, written in 1748 [footnote: ''[w]rongly placed by Mitford and Gosse.''], Gray refers to his having taken these ideas from Green. The passage is as follows: - ''I send you a bit of a thing for two reasons; first, because it is of one of your favourites, Mr. M. Green; and next, because I would do justice. The thought on which my second Ode [footnote: 'The ''Ode on the Spring'' was the second of Gray's Odes in Dodsley's ''Collection.'' '] turns is manifestly stole from hence; not that I knew it at the time, but having seen this many years before, to be sure it imprinted itself on my memory, and, forgetting the author, I took it for my own. The subject was the 'Queen's Hermitage.' ''"

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], 178/179.

31.1 - 40.6 To ... rest.] "Gray wrote to Walpole in [...]" H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"Gray wrote to Walpole in Jan. or Feb. of 1748 (T & W no. 144, pp. 299-300): 'I send you a bit of a thing for two reasons: first, because it is one of your favourites, Mr. M. Green; and next, because I would do justice. The thought on which my second ode [Spring] turns is manifestly stole from hence: - not that I knew it at the time, but, having seen this many Years before, to be sure it imprinted itself on my Memory, & forgetting the Author, I took it for my own. the subject was the Queen's Hermitage.' Gray then quotes a long passage from Green, ll. 57 ff., of which the most relevant part is as follows:

While Insects from the Threshold preach,
And Minds disposed to Musing teach;
Proud of strong Limbs & painted Hues
They perish by the slightest Bruise
Or Maladies begun within
Destroy more slow Life's frail Machine:
From Maggot-Youth thro' Change of State
They feel like us the Turns of Fate;
Some born to creep have lived to fly,
And changed Earth's Cells for Dwellings high:
And some, that did their six Wings keep,
Before they died, been forced to creep.
They Politicks, like ours, profess:
The greater prey upon the less.
Some strain on Foot huge Loads to bring,
Some toil incessant on the Wing:
Nor from their vigorous Schemes desist
Till Death; & then are never mist.
Some frolick, toil, marry, increase,
Are sick & well, have War & Peace,
And broke with Age in half a Day
Yield to Successors, & away."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 201/202.

31.1 - 40.6 To ... rest.] "Early in 1748 G[ray]. transcribed [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Early in 1748 G[ray]. transcribed in a letter to Walpole part of Matthew Green's The Grotto (1732), which he had seen in Dodsley's Collection and added: 'The thought on which my second ode [On the Spring] turns is manifestly stole from hence: - not that I knew it at the time, but, having seen this many Years before, to be sure it imprinted itself on my Memory, & forgetting the Author, I took it for my own' (Corresp i 299-300). G. had ll. 57-64, 75-80 in mind, as he acknowledged by quoting them in 1768:

While Insects from the Threshold preach,
And Minds disposed to Musing teach;
Proud of strong Limbs & painted Hues
They perish by the slightest Bruise
Or Maladies begun within
Destroy more slow Life's frail Machine:
From Maggot-Youth thro' Change of State
They feel like us the Turns of Fate. ...
Nor from their vigorous Schemes desist
Till Death; & then are never mist.
Some frolick, toil, marry, increase,
Are sick & well, have War & Peace,
And broke with Age in half a Day
Yield to Successors, & away."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 52.

35.1 - 36.6 Alike ... day,] "The comparison of frivolous pleasure-seekers [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"The comparison of frivolous pleasure-seekers to ephemeral summer insects is common in eighteenth-century poetry: e.g. Pope, To Mr John Moore 17-18: 'The Fops are painted Butterflies, / That flutter for a Day'; Thomson, Summer 346-51: 'Even so luxurious men, unheeding pass / An idle summer life in fortune's shine, / A season's glitter! Thus they flutter on / From toy to toy, from vanity to vice; / Till, blown away by death, oblivion comes / Behind and strikes them from the book of life'; and Liberty v 593-4: 'those vain insects fluttering in the blaze, / Of court and ball and play'."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 52/53.

Contribute a note or query

36 But flutter through life's little day, 5 Explanatory

31.1 - 40.6 To ... rest.] "Cf. Gray's Letter to Walpole [...]" W. Lyon Phelps, 1894.

"Cf. Gray's Letter to Walpole (Gray's Works, ed. Gosse, II, 222): ''I send you a bit of a thing for two reasons; first, because it is one of your favourites, Mr. M. Green; and next, because I would do justice. The thought on which my second Ode [Spring] turns is manifestly stole from hence; not that I knew it at the time, but having seen this many years before, to be sure it imprinted itself on my memory, and, forgetting the Author, I took it for my own. The subject was the Queen's Hermitage.'' He then quotes a long passage, of which the verses that follow are the most significant:

''The thinking sculpture helps to raise
Deep thoughts, the genii of the place:
To the mind's ear, and inward sight,
There silence speaks, and shade gives light:
While insects from the threshold preach,
And minds dispos'd to musing teach;
Proud of strong limbs and painted hues,
They perish by the slightest bruise;
Or maladies begun within
Destroy more slow life's frail machine;
From maggot-youth, thro' change of state,
They feel like us the turns of fate:
Some born to creep have liv'd to fly
And chang'd earth's cells for dwellings high:
And some that did their six wings keep,
Before they died, been forced to creep.
They politics, like ours, profess;
The greater prey upon the less.
Some strain on foot huge loads to bring,
Some toil incessant on the wing:
Nor from their vigorous schemes desist
Till death; and then they are never mist.
Some frolick, toil, marry, increase,
Are sick and well, have war and peace;
And broke with age in half a day,
Yield to successors, and away.'' "

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, 128/129.

31.1 - 40.6 To ... rest.] "In a letter to Horace [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"In a letter to Horace Walpole, written in 1748 [footnote: ''[w]rongly placed by Mitford and Gosse.''], Gray refers to his having taken these ideas from Green. The passage is as follows: - ''I send you a bit of a thing for two reasons; first, because it is of one of your favourites, Mr. M. Green; and next, because I would do justice. The thought on which my second Ode [footnote: 'The ''Ode on the Spring'' was the second of Gray's Odes in Dodsley's ''Collection.'' '] turns is manifestly stole from hence; not that I knew it at the time, but having seen this many years before, to be sure it imprinted itself on my memory, and, forgetting the author, I took it for my own. The subject was the 'Queen's Hermitage.' ''"

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], 178/179.

31.1 - 40.6 To ... rest.] "Gray wrote to Walpole in [...]" H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"Gray wrote to Walpole in Jan. or Feb. of 1748 (T & W no. 144, pp. 299-300): 'I send you a bit of a thing for two reasons: first, because it is one of your favourites, Mr. M. Green; and next, because I would do justice. The thought on which my second ode [Spring] turns is manifestly stole from hence: - not that I knew it at the time, but, having seen this many Years before, to be sure it imprinted itself on my Memory, & forgetting the Author, I took it for my own. the subject was the Queen's Hermitage.' Gray then quotes a long passage from Green, ll. 57 ff., of which the most relevant part is as follows:

While Insects from the Threshold preach,
And Minds disposed to Musing teach;
Proud of strong Limbs & painted Hues
They perish by the slightest Bruise
Or Maladies begun within
Destroy more slow Life's frail Machine:
From Maggot-Youth thro' Change of State
They feel like us the Turns of Fate;
Some born to creep have lived to fly,
And changed Earth's Cells for Dwellings high:
And some, that did their six Wings keep,
Before they died, been forced to creep.
They Politicks, like ours, profess:
The greater prey upon the less.
Some strain on Foot huge Loads to bring,
Some toil incessant on the Wing:
Nor from their vigorous Schemes desist
Till Death; & then are never mist.
Some frolick, toil, marry, increase,
Are sick & well, have War & Peace,
And broke with Age in half a Day
Yield to Successors, & away."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 201/202.

31.1 - 40.6 To ... rest.] "Early in 1748 G[ray]. transcribed [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Early in 1748 G[ray]. transcribed in a letter to Walpole part of Matthew Green's The Grotto (1732), which he had seen in Dodsley's Collection and added: 'The thought on which my second ode [On the Spring] turns is manifestly stole from hence: - not that I knew it at the time, but, having seen this many Years before, to be sure it imprinted itself on my Memory, & forgetting the Author, I took it for my own' (Corresp i 299-300). G. had ll. 57-64, 75-80 in mind, as he acknowledged by quoting them in 1768:

While Insects from the Threshold preach,
And Minds disposed to Musing teach;
Proud of strong Limbs & painted Hues
They perish by the slightest Bruise
Or Maladies begun within
Destroy more slow Life's frail Machine:
From Maggot-Youth thro' Change of State
They feel like us the Turns of Fate. ...
Nor from their vigorous Schemes desist
Till Death; & then are never mist.
Some frolick, toil, marry, increase,
Are sick & well, have War & Peace,
And broke with Age in half a Day
Yield to Successors, & away."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 52.

35.1 - 36.6 Alike ... day,] "The comparison of frivolous pleasure-seekers [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"The comparison of frivolous pleasure-seekers to ephemeral summer insects is common in eighteenth-century poetry: e.g. Pope, To Mr John Moore 17-18: 'The Fops are painted Butterflies, / That flutter for a Day'; Thomson, Summer 346-51: 'Even so luxurious men, unheeding pass / An idle summer life in fortune's shine, / A season's glitter! Thus they flutter on / From toy to toy, from vanity to vice; / Till, blown away by death, oblivion comes / Behind and strikes them from the book of life'; and Liberty v 593-4: 'those vain insects fluttering in the blaze, / Of court and ball and play'."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 52/53.

Contribute a note or query

37 In fortune's varying colours dressed: 4 Explanatory

31.1 - 40.6 To ... rest.] "Cf. Gray's Letter to Walpole [...]" W. Lyon Phelps, 1894.

"Cf. Gray's Letter to Walpole (Gray's Works, ed. Gosse, II, 222): ''I send you a bit of a thing for two reasons; first, because it is one of your favourites, Mr. M. Green; and next, because I would do justice. The thought on which my second Ode [Spring] turns is manifestly stole from hence; not that I knew it at the time, but having seen this many years before, to be sure it imprinted itself on my memory, and, forgetting the Author, I took it for my own. The subject was the Queen's Hermitage.'' He then quotes a long passage, of which the verses that follow are the most significant:

''The thinking sculpture helps to raise
Deep thoughts, the genii of the place:
To the mind's ear, and inward sight,
There silence speaks, and shade gives light:
While insects from the threshold preach,
And minds dispos'd to musing teach;
Proud of strong limbs and painted hues,
They perish by the slightest bruise;
Or maladies begun within
Destroy more slow life's frail machine;
From maggot-youth, thro' change of state,
They feel like us the turns of fate:
Some born to creep have liv'd to fly
And chang'd earth's cells for dwellings high:
And some that did their six wings keep,
Before they died, been forced to creep.
They politics, like ours, profess;
The greater prey upon the less.
Some strain on foot huge loads to bring,
Some toil incessant on the wing:
Nor from their vigorous schemes desist
Till death; and then they are never mist.
Some frolick, toil, marry, increase,
Are sick and well, have war and peace;
And broke with age in half a day,
Yield to successors, and away.'' "

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, 128/129.

31.1 - 40.6 To ... rest.] "In a letter to Horace [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"In a letter to Horace Walpole, written in 1748 [footnote: ''[w]rongly placed by Mitford and Gosse.''], Gray refers to his having taken these ideas from Green. The passage is as follows: - ''I send you a bit of a thing for two reasons; first, because it is of one of your favourites, Mr. M. Green; and next, because I would do justice. The thought on which my second Ode [footnote: 'The ''Ode on the Spring'' was the second of Gray's Odes in Dodsley's ''Collection.'' '] turns is manifestly stole from hence; not that I knew it at the time, but having seen this many years before, to be sure it imprinted itself on my memory, and, forgetting the author, I took it for my own. The subject was the 'Queen's Hermitage.' ''"

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], 178/179.

31.1 - 40.6 To ... rest.] "Gray wrote to Walpole in [...]" H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"Gray wrote to Walpole in Jan. or Feb. of 1748 (T & W no. 144, pp. 299-300): 'I send you a bit of a thing for two reasons: first, because it is one of your favourites, Mr. M. Green; and next, because I would do justice. The thought on which my second ode [Spring] turns is manifestly stole from hence: - not that I knew it at the time, but, having seen this many Years before, to be sure it imprinted itself on my Memory, & forgetting the Author, I took it for my own. the subject was the Queen's Hermitage.' Gray then quotes a long passage from Green, ll. 57 ff., of which the most relevant part is as follows:

While Insects from the Threshold preach,
And Minds disposed to Musing teach;
Proud of strong Limbs & painted Hues
They perish by the slightest Bruise
Or Maladies begun within
Destroy more slow Life's frail Machine:
From Maggot-Youth thro' Change of State
They feel like us the Turns of Fate;
Some born to creep have lived to fly,
And changed Earth's Cells for Dwellings high:
And some, that did their six Wings keep,
Before they died, been forced to creep.
They Politicks, like ours, profess:
The greater prey upon the less.
Some strain on Foot huge Loads to bring,
Some toil incessant on the Wing:
Nor from their vigorous Schemes desist
Till Death; & then are never mist.
Some frolick, toil, marry, increase,
Are sick & well, have War & Peace,
And broke with Age in half a Day
Yield to Successors, & away."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 201/202.

31.1 - 40.6 To ... rest.] "Early in 1748 G[ray]. transcribed [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Early in 1748 G[ray]. transcribed in a letter to Walpole part of Matthew Green's The Grotto (1732), which he had seen in Dodsley's Collection and added: 'The thought on which my second ode [On the Spring] turns is manifestly stole from hence: - not that I knew it at the time, but, having seen this many Years before, to be sure it imprinted itself on my Memory, & forgetting the Author, I took it for my own' (Corresp i 299-300). G. had ll. 57-64, 75-80 in mind, as he acknowledged by quoting them in 1768:

While Insects from the Threshold preach,
And Minds disposed to Musing teach;
Proud of strong Limbs & painted Hues
They perish by the slightest Bruise
Or Maladies begun within
Destroy more slow Life's frail Machine:
From Maggot-Youth thro' Change of State
They feel like us the Turns of Fate. ...
Nor from their vigorous Schemes desist
Till Death; & then are never mist.
Some frolick, toil, marry, increase,
Are sick & well, have War & Peace,
And broke with Age in half a Day
Yield to Successors, & away."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 52.

Contribute a note or query

38 Brushed by the hand of rough Mischance, 5 Explanatory

31.1 - 40.6 To ... rest.] "Cf. Gray's Letter to Walpole [...]" W. Lyon Phelps, 1894.

"Cf. Gray's Letter to Walpole (Gray's Works, ed. Gosse, II, 222): ''I send you a bit of a thing for two reasons; first, because it is one of your favourites, Mr. M. Green; and next, because I would do justice. The thought on which my second Ode [Spring] turns is manifestly stole from hence; not that I knew it at the time, but having seen this many years before, to be sure it imprinted itself on my memory, and, forgetting the Author, I took it for my own. The subject was the Queen's Hermitage.'' He then quotes a long passage, of which the verses that follow are the most significant:

''The thinking sculpture helps to raise
Deep thoughts, the genii of the place:
To the mind's ear, and inward sight,
There silence speaks, and shade gives light:
While insects from the threshold preach,
And minds dispos'd to musing teach;
Proud of strong limbs and painted hues,
They perish by the slightest bruise;
Or maladies begun within
Destroy more slow life's frail machine;
From maggot-youth, thro' change of state,
They feel like us the turns of fate:
Some born to creep have liv'd to fly
And chang'd earth's cells for dwellings high:
And some that did their six wings keep,
Before they died, been forced to creep.
They politics, like ours, profess;
The greater prey upon the less.
Some strain on foot huge loads to bring,
Some toil incessant on the wing:
Nor from their vigorous schemes desist
Till death; and then they are never mist.
Some frolick, toil, marry, increase,
Are sick and well, have war and peace;
And broke with age in half a day,
Yield to successors, and away.'' "

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, 128/129.

31.1 - 40.6 To ... rest.] "In a letter to Horace [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"In a letter to Horace Walpole, written in 1748 [footnote: ''[w]rongly placed by Mitford and Gosse.''], Gray refers to his having taken these ideas from Green. The passage is as follows: - ''I send you a bit of a thing for two reasons; first, because it is of one of your favourites, Mr. M. Green; and next, because I would do justice. The thought on which my second Ode [footnote: 'The ''Ode on the Spring'' was the second of Gray's Odes in Dodsley's ''Collection.'' '] turns is manifestly stole from hence; not that I knew it at the time, but having seen this many years before, to be sure it imprinted itself on my memory, and, forgetting the author, I took it for my own. The subject was the 'Queen's Hermitage.' ''"

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], 178/179.

31.1 - 40.6 To ... rest.] "Gray wrote to Walpole in [...]" H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"Gray wrote to Walpole in Jan. or Feb. of 1748 (T & W no. 144, pp. 299-300): 'I send you a bit of a thing for two reasons: first, because it is one of your favourites, Mr. M. Green; and next, because I would do justice. The thought on which my second ode [Spring] turns is manifestly stole from hence: - not that I knew it at the time, but, having seen this many Years before, to be sure it imprinted itself on my Memory, & forgetting the Author, I took it for my own. the subject was the Queen's Hermitage.' Gray then quotes a long passage from Green, ll. 57 ff., of which the most relevant part is as follows:

While Insects from the Threshold preach,
And Minds disposed to Musing teach;
Proud of strong Limbs & painted Hues
They perish by the slightest Bruise
Or Maladies begun within
Destroy more slow Life's frail Machine:
From Maggot-Youth thro' Change of State
They feel like us the Turns of Fate;
Some born to creep have lived to fly,
And changed Earth's Cells for Dwellings high:
And some, that did their six Wings keep,
Before they died, been forced to creep.
They Politicks, like ours, profess:
The greater prey upon the less.
Some strain on Foot huge Loads to bring,
Some toil incessant on the Wing:
Nor from their vigorous Schemes desist
Till Death; & then are never mist.
Some frolick, toil, marry, increase,
Are sick & well, have War & Peace,
And broke with Age in half a Day
Yield to Successors, & away."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 201/202.

31.1 - 40.6 To ... rest.] "Early in 1748 G[ray]. transcribed [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Early in 1748 G[ray]. transcribed in a letter to Walpole part of Matthew Green's The Grotto (1732), which he had seen in Dodsley's Collection and added: 'The thought on which my second ode [On the Spring] turns is manifestly stole from hence: - not that I knew it at the time, but, having seen this many Years before, to be sure it imprinted itself on my Memory, & forgetting the Author, I took it for my own' (Corresp i 299-300). G. had ll. 57-64, 75-80 in mind, as he acknowledged by quoting them in 1768:

While Insects from the Threshold preach,
And Minds disposed to Musing teach;
Proud of strong Limbs & painted Hues
They perish by the slightest Bruise
Or Maladies begun within
Destroy more slow Life's frail Machine:
From Maggot-Youth thro' Change of State
They feel like us the Turns of Fate. ...
Nor from their vigorous Schemes desist
Till Death; & then are never mist.
Some frolick, toil, marry, increase,
Are sick & well, have War & Peace,
And broke with Age in half a Day
Yield to Successors, & away."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 52.

38.1-7 Brushed ... Mischance,] "Parnell describes a fly 'brush'd [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Parnell describes a fly 'brush'd by careless Hands', The Flies 37."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 53.

Contribute a note or query

39 Or chilled by age, their airy dance 5 Explanatory

31.1 - 40.6 To ... rest.] "Cf. Gray's Letter to Walpole [...]" W. Lyon Phelps, 1894.

"Cf. Gray's Letter to Walpole (Gray's Works, ed. Gosse, II, 222): ''I send you a bit of a thing for two reasons; first, because it is one of your favourites, Mr. M. Green; and next, because I would do justice. The thought on which my second Ode [Spring] turns is manifestly stole from hence; not that I knew it at the time, but having seen this many years before, to be sure it imprinted itself on my memory, and, forgetting the Author, I took it for my own. The subject was the Queen's Hermitage.'' He then quotes a long passage, of which the verses that follow are the most significant:

''The thinking sculpture helps to raise
Deep thoughts, the genii of the place:
To the mind's ear, and inward sight,
There silence speaks, and shade gives light:
While insects from the threshold preach,
And minds dispos'd to musing teach;
Proud of strong limbs and painted hues,
They perish by the slightest bruise;
Or maladies begun within
Destroy more slow life's frail machine;
From maggot-youth, thro' change of state,
They feel like us the turns of fate:
Some born to creep have liv'd to fly
And chang'd earth's cells for dwellings high:
And some that did their six wings keep,
Before they died, been forced to creep.
They politics, like ours, profess;
The greater prey upon the less.
Some strain on foot huge loads to bring,
Some toil incessant on the wing:
Nor from their vigorous schemes desist
Till death; and then they are never mist.
Some frolick, toil, marry, increase,
Are sick and well, have war and peace;
And broke with age in half a day,
Yield to successors, and away.'' "

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, 128/129.

31.1 - 40.6 To ... rest.] "In a letter to Horace [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"In a letter to Horace Walpole, written in 1748 [footnote: ''[w]rongly placed by Mitford and Gosse.''], Gray refers to his having taken these ideas from Green. The passage is as follows: - ''I send you a bit of a thing for two reasons; first, because it is of one of your favourites, Mr. M. Green; and next, because I would do justice. The thought on which my second Ode [footnote: 'The ''Ode on the Spring'' was the second of Gray's Odes in Dodsley's ''Collection.'' '] turns is manifestly stole from hence; not that I knew it at the time, but having seen this many years before, to be sure it imprinted itself on my memory, and, forgetting the author, I took it for my own. The subject was the 'Queen's Hermitage.' ''"

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], 178/179.

31.1 - 40.6 To ... rest.] "Gray wrote to Walpole in [...]" H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"Gray wrote to Walpole in Jan. or Feb. of 1748 (T & W no. 144, pp. 299-300): 'I send you a bit of a thing for two reasons: first, because it is one of your favourites, Mr. M. Green; and next, because I would do justice. The thought on which my second ode [Spring] turns is manifestly stole from hence: - not that I knew it at the time, but, having seen this many Years before, to be sure it imprinted itself on my Memory, & forgetting the Author, I took it for my own. the subject was the Queen's Hermitage.' Gray then quotes a long passage from Green, ll. 57 ff., of which the most relevant part is as follows:

While Insects from the Threshold preach,
And Minds disposed to Musing teach;
Proud of strong Limbs & painted Hues
They perish by the slightest Bruise
Or Maladies begun within
Destroy more slow Life's frail Machine:
From Maggot-Youth thro' Change of State
They feel like us the Turns of Fate;
Some born to creep have lived to fly,
And changed Earth's Cells for Dwellings high:
And some, that did their six Wings keep,
Before they died, been forced to creep.
They Politicks, like ours, profess:
The greater prey upon the less.
Some strain on Foot huge Loads to bring,
Some toil incessant on the Wing:
Nor from their vigorous Schemes desist
Till Death; & then are never mist.
Some frolick, toil, marry, increase,
Are sick & well, have War & Peace,
And broke with Age in half a Day
Yield to Successors, & away."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 201/202.

31.1 - 40.6 To ... rest.] "Early in 1748 G[ray]. transcribed [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Early in 1748 G[ray]. transcribed in a letter to Walpole part of Matthew Green's The Grotto (1732), which he had seen in Dodsley's Collection and added: 'The thought on which my second ode [On the Spring] turns is manifestly stole from hence: - not that I knew it at the time, but, having seen this many Years before, to be sure it imprinted itself on my Memory, & forgetting the Author, I took it for my own' (Corresp i 299-300). G. had ll. 57-64, 75-80 in mind, as he acknowledged by quoting them in 1768:

While Insects from the Threshold preach,
And Minds disposed to Musing teach;
Proud of strong Limbs & painted Hues
They perish by the slightest Bruise
Or Maladies begun within
Destroy more slow Life's frail Machine:
From Maggot-Youth thro' Change of State
They feel like us the Turns of Fate. ...
Nor from their vigorous Schemes desist
Till Death; & then are never mist.
Some frolick, toil, marry, increase,
Are sick & well, have War & Peace,
And broke with Age in half a Day
Yield to Successors, & away."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 52.

39.1 - 40.6 Or ... rest.] "Aeneid v 395-6: sed enim [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Aeneid v 395-6: sed enim gelidus tardante senecta / sanguis hebet (but my blood is chilled and dulled by sluggish age); Cowley, The Grasshopper 29-34: 'But when thou'st drunk, and danc'd and sung / Thy fill, the flowr'y leaves among ... / Sated with thy summer feast, / Thou retir'st to endless rest.'"

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 53.

Contribute a note or query

40 They leave, in dust to rest. 5 Explanatory

31.1 - 40.6 To ... rest.] "Cf. Gray's Letter to Walpole [...]" W. Lyon Phelps, 1894.

"Cf. Gray's Letter to Walpole (Gray's Works, ed. Gosse, II, 222): ''I send you a bit of a thing for two reasons; first, because it is one of your favourites, Mr. M. Green; and next, because I would do justice. The thought on which my second Ode [Spring] turns is manifestly stole from hence; not that I knew it at the time, but having seen this many years before, to be sure it imprinted itself on my memory, and, forgetting the Author, I took it for my own. The subject was the Queen's Hermitage.'' He then quotes a long passage, of which the verses that follow are the most significant:

''The thinking sculpture helps to raise
Deep thoughts, the genii of the place:
To the mind's ear, and inward sight,
There silence speaks, and shade gives light:
While insects from the threshold preach,
And minds dispos'd to musing teach;
Proud of strong limbs and painted hues,
They perish by the slightest bruise;
Or maladies begun within
Destroy more slow life's frail machine;
From maggot-youth, thro' change of state,
They feel like us the turns of fate:
Some born to creep have liv'd to fly
And chang'd earth's cells for dwellings high:
And some that did their six wings keep,
Before they died, been forced to creep.
They politics, like ours, profess;
The greater prey upon the less.
Some strain on foot huge loads to bring,
Some toil incessant on the wing:
Nor from their vigorous schemes desist
Till death; and then they are never mist.
Some frolick, toil, marry, increase,
Are sick and well, have war and peace;
And broke with age in half a day,
Yield to successors, and away.'' "

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, 128/129.

31.1 - 40.6 To ... rest.] "In a letter to Horace [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"In a letter to Horace Walpole, written in 1748 [footnote: ''[w]rongly placed by Mitford and Gosse.''], Gray refers to his having taken these ideas from Green. The passage is as follows: - ''I send you a bit of a thing for two reasons; first, because it is of one of your favourites, Mr. M. Green; and next, because I would do justice. The thought on which my second Ode [footnote: 'The ''Ode on the Spring'' was the second of Gray's Odes in Dodsley's ''Collection.'' '] turns is manifestly stole from hence; not that I knew it at the time, but having seen this many years before, to be sure it imprinted itself on my memory, and, forgetting the author, I took it for my own. The subject was the 'Queen's Hermitage.' ''"

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], 178/179.

31.1 - 40.6 To ... rest.] "Gray wrote to Walpole in [...]" H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"Gray wrote to Walpole in Jan. or Feb. of 1748 (T & W no. 144, pp. 299-300): 'I send you a bit of a thing for two reasons: first, because it is one of your favourites, Mr. M. Green; and next, because I would do justice. The thought on which my second ode [Spring] turns is manifestly stole from hence: - not that I knew it at the time, but, having seen this many Years before, to be sure it imprinted itself on my Memory, & forgetting the Author, I took it for my own. the subject was the Queen's Hermitage.' Gray then quotes a long passage from Green, ll. 57 ff., of which the most relevant part is as follows:

While Insects from the Threshold preach,
And Minds disposed to Musing teach;
Proud of strong Limbs & painted Hues
They perish by the slightest Bruise
Or Maladies begun within
Destroy more slow Life's frail Machine:
From Maggot-Youth thro' Change of State
They feel like us the Turns of Fate;
Some born to creep have lived to fly,
And changed Earth's Cells for Dwellings high:
And some, that did their six Wings keep,
Before they died, been forced to creep.
They Politicks, like ours, profess:
The greater prey upon the less.
Some strain on Foot huge Loads to bring,
Some toil incessant on the Wing:
Nor from their vigorous Schemes desist
Till Death; & then are never mist.
Some frolick, toil, marry, increase,
Are sick & well, have War & Peace,
And broke with Age in half a Day
Yield to Successors, & away."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 201/202.

31.1 - 40.6 To ... rest.] "Early in 1748 G[ray]. transcribed [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Early in 1748 G[ray]. transcribed in a letter to Walpole part of Matthew Green's The Grotto (1732), which he had seen in Dodsley's Collection and added: 'The thought on which my second ode [On the Spring] turns is manifestly stole from hence: - not that I knew it at the time, but, having seen this many Years before, to be sure it imprinted itself on my Memory, & forgetting the Author, I took it for my own' (Corresp i 299-300). G. had ll. 57-64, 75-80 in mind, as he acknowledged by quoting them in 1768:

While Insects from the Threshold preach,
And Minds disposed to Musing teach;
Proud of strong Limbs & painted Hues
They perish by the slightest Bruise
Or Maladies begun within
Destroy more slow Life's frail Machine:
From Maggot-Youth thro' Change of State
They feel like us the Turns of Fate. ...
Nor from their vigorous Schemes desist
Till Death; & then are never mist.
Some frolick, toil, marry, increase,
Are sick & well, have War & Peace,
And broke with Age in half a Day
Yield to Successors, & away."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 52.

39.1 - 40.6 Or ... rest.] "Aeneid v 395-6: sed enim [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Aeneid v 395-6: sed enim gelidus tardante senecta / sanguis hebet (but my blood is chilled and dulled by sluggish age); Cowley, The Grasshopper 29-34: 'But when thou'st drunk, and danc'd and sung / Thy fill, the flowr'y leaves among ... / Sated with thy summer feast, / Thou retir'st to endless rest.'"

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 53.

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41 Methinks I hear in accents low
42 The sportive kind reply: 4 Explanatory

42.1 - 44.3 The ... fly!] "Writing to Gray, January 8, [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"Writing to Gray, January 8, 1761, Mason says: - '' 'Celibate life,' says Jeremy Taylor, 'like the fly in the heart of an apple, dwells in a perpetual sweetness, but sits alone, and is confined, and dies in singularity. But marriage, like the useful bee, builds a house, gathers sweetness from every flower, labours and unites into societies and republics, etc.' If I survive you, and come to publish your works, I shall quote this passage, from whence you so evidently (without ever seeing it) took that thought, 'Poor moralist, and what art thou,' etc. But the plagiarism had been too glaring, had you taken the heart of the apple, in which, however, the great beauty of the thought consists. After all, why will you not read Jeremy Taylor? Take my word and more for it, he is the Shakespeare of divines.'' "

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], 179.

42.1-4 The ... reply:] "We must defer to the [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"We must defer to the overwhelming weight of authority which takes 'kind' as a substantive and 'reply' as a verb here. The 'sportive kind' are therefore the insect youth on the wing, sporting with quick glance, the 'quivering nations' as Thomson calls them, whose murmur seems to the poet to shape itself in words. It is certainly better to suppose this to be the primary meaning than to say with Dr Bradshaw ''sportive kind, men of the world, and gay friends of Gray's, whom he supposes to mockingly reply to his moralizing.'' Nevertheless this view is sanctioned by the author of the version in Arundines Cami, who writes: ''Forte(?) aliquis cui cura joci, cui ludere cordi est'' &c. where the Latinity and the interpretation are both questionable.
But the ear tempts us to give 'kind' the emphasis which would make it an adjective. - 'Methinks I hear the reply sportive yet pitying conveyed in the murmurs around me.' Compare each corresponding line to this in the poem:

Fair Venus' train, appear
A broader browner shade
The panting herds repose
Such is the race of man.
Gray is fond of two adjectives without a copula; 'headlong, impetuous'; 'longing, lingering'; 'unbless'd, unpitied'; 'fond, impious.' The same thing has a peculiar charm in Collins' Evening: ''Thy genial lov'd return'' and ''The gradual dusky veil.''
But it will be replied that the epithets in all these instances are if not cognate at least not contrasted; and we must perhaps abandon the attempt to rescue Gray from the conventionalism 'the sportive kind.' "

Gray's English Poems, Original and Translated from the Norse and Welsh. Edited by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1922 [1st ed. 1898], 88.

42.1-4 The ... reply:] "at end of n. on [...]" D.C. Tovey, 1922 [1st ed. 1898].

"at end of n. on l. 42, add:--- Byron best interprets Gray:

''Childe Harold bask'd him in the noon-tide sun
Disporting there like any other fly.'' "

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

42.1-4 The ... reply:] "Thomson, Summer 251-2, describes the [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Thomson, Summer 251-2, describes the insects which 'on the pool / ... sportive wheel'."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 53.

Contribute a note or query

43 Poor moralist! and what art thou? 2 Explanatory

42.1 - 44.3 The ... fly!] "Writing to Gray, January 8, [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"Writing to Gray, January 8, 1761, Mason says: - '' 'Celibate life,' says Jeremy Taylor, 'like the fly in the heart of an apple, dwells in a perpetual sweetness, but sits alone, and is confined, and dies in singularity. But marriage, like the useful bee, builds a house, gathers sweetness from every flower, labours and unites into societies and republics, etc.' If I survive you, and come to publish your works, I shall quote this passage, from whence you so evidently (without ever seeing it) took that thought, 'Poor moralist, and what art thou,' etc. But the plagiarism had been too glaring, had you taken the heart of the apple, in which, however, the great beauty of the thought consists. After all, why will you not read Jeremy Taylor? Take my word and more for it, he is the Shakespeare of divines.'' "

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], 179.

43.1 - 44.3 Poor ... fly!] "G[ray]. may have had in [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"G[ray]. may have had in mind Guardian No. 70, which compares the short-sighted philosopher to a fly in a large building; Thomson, Summer 324-8, imitating the passage, refers to man as a 'critic fly'."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 53.

Contribute a note or query

44 A solitary fly! 3 Explanatory

42.1 - 44.3 The ... fly!] "Writing to Gray, January 8, [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"Writing to Gray, January 8, 1761, Mason says: - '' 'Celibate life,' says Jeremy Taylor, 'like the fly in the heart of an apple, dwells in a perpetual sweetness, but sits alone, and is confined, and dies in singularity. But marriage, like the useful bee, builds a house, gathers sweetness from every flower, labours and unites into societies and republics, etc.' If I survive you, and come to publish your works, I shall quote this passage, from whence you so evidently (without ever seeing it) took that thought, 'Poor moralist, and what art thou,' etc. But the plagiarism had been too glaring, had you taken the heart of the apple, in which, however, the great beauty of the thought consists. After all, why will you not read Jeremy Taylor? Take my word and more for it, he is the Shakespeare of divines.'' "

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], 179.

43.1 - 44.3 Poor ... fly!] "G[ray]. may have had in [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"G[ray]. may have had in mind Guardian No. 70, which compares the short-sighted philosopher to a fly in a large building; Thomson, Summer 324-8, imitating the passage, refers to man as a 'critic fly'."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 53.

44.1-3 A ... fly!] "Mason, writing to Gray, 8 [...]" W. Lyon Phelps, 1894.

"Mason, writing to Gray, 8 January 1761, said, [I am living] ''in that state of life which my old friend Jeremy Taylor so well describes in his sermon aptly entitled the Marriage Ring. 'Celebrate life,' says he, 'like the flie in the heart of an apple, dwells in a perpetual sweetness, but sits alone, and is confined, and dies in singularity. But marriage, like the useful bee, builds a house, gathers sweetness from every flower, labours, and unites into societys and republics,' &c. If I survive you, and come to publish your works, I shall quote this passage, from whence you so evidently (without ever seeing it) took that thought, 'Poor moralist, and what art thou,' &c. But the plagiarism had been too glaring had you taken the heart of the apple, in which, however, the great beauty of the thought consists. After all, why will you not read Jeremy Taylor? Take my word and more for it, he is the Shakespeare of divines.'' It is interesting to learn from Mason's letter that at this time Gray had not read Taylor; his remarks in reply to Mason may be found on page 90 of this volume."

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, 129.

Contribute a note or query

45 Thy joys no glittering female meets, 1 Explanatory

45.1 - 46.7 Thy ... sweets,] "Milton, Par. Lost iv 760, [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Milton, Par. Lost iv 760, describes 'wedded Love' as a 'Perpetual Fountain of Domestic sweets'. In 1761, Mason facetiously told G[ray]. that he had found the source of these lines in Jeremy Taylor, (Sermon xvii, 'The Marriage Ring': 'Celibate, like the fly in the heart of an apple, dwells in a perpetual sweetness, but sits alone, and is confined and dies in singularity'). G.'s reply that he had not read Taylor (Corresp ii 719-20, 724)."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 53.

Contribute a note or query

46 No hive hast thou of hoarded sweets, 1 Explanatory

45.1 - 46.7 Thy ... sweets,] "Milton, Par. Lost iv 760, [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Milton, Par. Lost iv 760, describes 'wedded Love' as a 'Perpetual Fountain of Domestic sweets'. In 1761, Mason facetiously told G[ray]. that he had found the source of these lines in Jeremy Taylor, (Sermon xvii, 'The Marriage Ring': 'Celibate, like the fly in the heart of an apple, dwells in a perpetual sweetness, but sits alone, and is confined and dies in singularity'). G.'s reply that he had not read Taylor (Corresp ii 719-20, 724)."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 53.

Contribute a note or query

47 No painted plumage to display: 1 Explanatory, 1 Textual

47.3 plumage] "Glories   Yale draft." R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Glories   Yale draft."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 53.

47.3 plumage] "Perhaps an imitation of Virgil, [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Perhaps an imitation of Virgil, Georgics iii 243: pictaeque volucres. See also Par. Lost vii 438 and Pope, Windsor Forest 118: 'painted wings'; and Dryden, Flower and the Leaf 107: and Thomson, Spring 585."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 53.

Contribute a note or query

48 On hasty wings thy youth is flown; 1 Explanatory, 1 Textual

48.1 - 50.5 On ... May.] "In Yale draft these lines [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"In Yale draft these lines begin   Thy Sun is set, thy ... / Thy Youth on hasty ... / We wanton while ..."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 53.

48.4-7 thy ... flown;] "Gray had reached the age [...]" W. Lyon Phelps, 1894.

"Gray had reached the age of twenty-five."

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, 129.

Contribute a note or query

49 Thy sun is set, thy spring is gone— 2 Explanatory, 1 Textual

48.1 - 50.5 On ... May.] "In Yale draft these lines [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"In Yale draft these lines begin   Thy Sun is set, thy ... / Thy Youth on hasty ... / We wanton while ..."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 53.

49.1-4 Thy ... set,] "The sunshine is the period [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1903 [1st ed. 1891].

"The sunshine is the period in which the insects flourish, but that part of his life is over.
Compare the following lines from Blackstone's ''Farewell to his Muse,'' also published in Dodsley's ''Collection'' in 1748: -

''Thus though my noon of life be past,
Yet let my setting sun, at last,
Find out the still the rural cell.''"

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], 179.

49.1-8 Thy ... gone—] "Theocritus, Idylls i 102: 'Think'st [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"Theocritus, Idylls i 102: 'Think'st thou my sun is set?'; and Fairfax's Tasso XI Ivii 8 (of warriors): 'Their sun was set, or else with clouds o'ercast'. Nathan Drake, The Gleaner (1811) i 122-3, compares The Free-Thinker No. 114 (24 April 1719), which elaborates a passage in Cicero, Tusculan Disputations I xxxix 94, describing insects who live for a day, one of whom philosophizes on the events of his lifetime."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 53.

Contribute a note or query

50 We frolic, while 'tis May. 2 Textual

48.1 - 50.5 On ... May.] "In Yale draft these lines [...]" R. Lonsdale, 1969.

"In Yale draft these lines begin   Thy Sun is set, thy ... / Thy Youth on hasty ... / We wanton while ..."

The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. Edited by Roger Lonsdale. Longman Annotated English Poets Series. London and Harlow: Longmans, 1969, 53.

50.1-5 We ... May.] "At the end of the [...]" H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"At the end of the poem in C[ommonplace] B[ook] appears the note: at Stoke, the beginning of June, 1742. sent to Fav[onius]: not knowing he was then Dead."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 4.

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Gray's annotations

14
— a bank [. . .]
[Quite] O'er-canopied with luscious woodbine.
    Shakesp. Mids. Night's Dream. [II. i. 249-51]
27
''Nare per aestatem liquidam —'' [To swim through cloudless summer]
    Virgil. Georg. lib. 4. [l. 59]
30
— sporting with quick glance
Shew to the sun their waved coats drop'd with gold.
    Milton's Paradise Lost, book 7. [ll. 405-6]
31
While insects from the threshold preach, &c.
    M. Green, in the Grotto.
    Dodsley's Miscellanies, Vol. V, p. 161.

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. Additional contextual information for Gray's notes, presented here in unmodernized form, has been taken from the Starr/Hendrickson edition. The editor would like to express his gratitude to the library staff of the Göttingen State and University Library (SUB Göttingen) for their invaluable assistance.