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"[Translation] From Tasso [Gerusalemme Liberata] Canto 14, Stanza 32-9."

"[Translation] From Tasso [Gerusalemme Liberata]
Canto 14, Stanza 32-9."


Preser commiato, e si 'l desire gli sprona, &c:

1 Dismissed at length, they break through all delay
2 To tempt the dangers of the doubtful way;
3 And first to Ascalon their steps they bend,
4 Whose walls along the neighbouring sea extend.
5 Nor yet in prospect rose the distant shore,
6 Scarce the hoarse waves from far were heard to roar,
7 When thwart the road a river rolled its flood
8 Tempestuous, and all further course withstood:
9 The torrent-stream his ancient bounds disdains,
10 Swoll'n with new force and late-descending rains.
11 Irresolute they stand, when lo! appears
12 The wondrous sage: vigorous he seemed in years,
13 Awful his mien; low as his feet there flows
14 A vestment unadorned, though white as new-fall'n snows;
15 Against the stream the waves secure he trod,
16 His head a chaplet bore, his hand a rod.

17 As on the Rhine when Boreas' fury reigns
18 And winter binds the floods in icy chains,
19 Swift shoots the village-maid in rustic play,
20 Smooth, without step, adown the shining way,
21 Fearless in long excursion loves to glide,
22 And sports and wantons o'er the frozen tide;
23 So moved the seer, but on no hardened plain:
24 The river boiled beneath and rushed towards the main.
25 Where fixed in wonder stood the warlike pair
26 His course he turned and thus relieved their care:

27 'Vast, O my friends, and difficult the toil
28 To seek your hero in a distant soil!
29 No common helps, no common guide, ye need,
30 Art it requires and more than winged speed.
31 What length of sea remains, what various lands,
32 Oceans unknown, inhospitable sands!
33 For adverse fate the captive chief has hurled
34 Beyond the confines of our narrow world.
35 Great things and full of wonder in your ears
36 I shall unfold; but first dismiss your fears,
37 Nor doubt with me to tread the downward road
38 That to the grotto leads, my dark abode.'

39 Scarce had he said, before the warriors' eyes
40 When mountain-high the waves disparted rise:
41 The flood on either hand its billows rears,
42 And in the midst a spacious arch appears.
43 Their hands he seized and down the steep he led,
44 Beneath the obedient river's inmost bed.
45 The watery glimmerings of a fainter day
46 Discovered half, and half concealed, their way,
47 As when athwart the dusky woods by night
48 The uncertain crescent gleams a sickly light.
49 Through subterraneous passages they went,
50 Earth's inmost cells and caves of deep descent.
51 Of many a flood they viewed the secret source,
52 The birth of rivers, rising to their course;
53 Whate'er with copious train its channel fills,
54 Floats into lakes or bubbles into rills.
55 The Po was there to see, Danubius' bed,
56 Euphrates' fount and Nile's mysterious head.
57 Further they pass, where ripening minerals flow,
58 And embryon metals undigested glow;
59 Sulphureous veins and living silver shine,
60 Which soon the parent sun's warm powers refine,
61 In one rich mass unite the precious store,
62 The parts combine and harden into ore.
63 Here gems break through the night with glittering beam,
64 And paint the margin of the costly stream.
65 All stones of lustre shoot their vivid ray,
66 And mix attempered in a various day.

67 Here the soft emerald smiles, of verdant hue,
68 And rubies flame, with sapphires heavenly blue;
69 The diamond there attracts the wondering sight,
70 Proud of its thousand dyes and luxury of light.

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

0 "[Translation] From Tasso [Gerusalemme Liberata]
Canto 14, Stanza 32-9."

Metrical notation:  -+|-+|-+|-+|-+/
Metrical foot type:  iambic (-+)
Metrical foot number:  pentameter (5 feet)
Rhyme scheme:  aa
Rhyme (stanza position):  pair (aabb)
Syllable pattern:  10
Stanza:  couplet (2 lines)
Genre(s):  heroic couplet

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


Preser commiato, e si 'l desire gli sprona, &c:

1 Dismissed at length, they break through all delay    
Rhyme:  aa   |   Rhyme word:  delay   |   Rhyme sound:  /eɪ/   |   Rhyme (line position):  end
Metre:  -+|-+|-+|-+|-+/   |   Syllables:  10
Figure:  alliteration (phonological): Dismissed/delay /d/
Figure:  assonance (phonological): Dismissed/delay /ɪ/
Figure:  assonance (phonological): they/break/delay /eɪ/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): Dismissed/delay /d/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): length/all/delay /l/

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2 To tempt the dangers of the doubtful way;    
Rhyme:  aa   |   Rhyme word:  way   |   Rhyme sound:  /eɪ/   |   Rhyme (line position):  end
Metre:  -+|-+|-+|-+|-+/   |   Syllables:  10
Figure:  alliteration (phonological): dangers/doubtful /d/
Figure:  assonance (phonological): dangers/way /eɪ/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): tempt/doubtful /t/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): dangers/doubtful /d/

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3 And first to Ascalon their steps they bend,    
Rhyme:  aa   |   Rhyme word:  bend   |   Rhyme sound:  /end/   |   Rhyme (line position):  end
Metre:  -+|-+|-+|-+|-+/   |   Syllables:  10
Figure:  alliteration (phonological): their/they /ð/
Figure:  assonance (phonological): steps/bend /e/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): first/Ascalon/steps /s/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): their/they /ð/

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4 Whose walls along the neighbouring sea extend.    
Rhyme:  aa   |   Rhyme word:  extend   |   Rhyme sound:  /end/   |   Rhyme (line position):  end
Metre:  -+|-+|-+|-+|-+/   |   Syllables:  10
Figure:  consonance (phonological): walls/along /l/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): neighbouring/extend /n/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): sea/extend /s/

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5 Nor yet in prospect rose the distant shore,    
Rhyme:  aa   |   Rhyme word:  shore   |   Rhyme sound:  /ɔː/   |   Rhyme (line position):  end
Metre:  -+|-+|-+|-+|-+/   |   Syllables:  10
Figure:  assonance (phonological): Nor/shore /ɔː/
Figure:  assonance (phonological): in/distant /ɪ/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): Nor/in /n/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): prospect/distant /s/

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6 Scarce the hoarse waves from far were heard to roar,    
Rhyme:  aa   |   Rhyme word:  roar   |   Rhyme sound:  /ɔː/   |   Rhyme (line position):  end
Metre:  -+|-+|-+|-+|-+/   |   Syllables:  10
Figure:  alliteration (phonological): hoarse/heard /h/
Figure:  alliteration (phonological): from/far /f/
Figure:  assonance (phonological): hoarse/roar /ɔː/
Figure:  assonance (phonological): were/heard /ɜː/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): Scarce/hoarse /s/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): hoarse/heard /h/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): waves/were /w/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): from/far /f/

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7 When thwart the road a river rolled its flood    
Rhyme:  aa   |   Rhyme word:  flood   |   Rhyme sound:  /ʌd/   |   Rhyme (line position):  end
Metre:  -+|-+|-+|-+|-+/   |   Syllables:  10
Figure:  alliteration (phonological): road/river/rolled /r/
Figure:  assonance (phonological): road/rolled /əʊ/
Figure:  assonance (phonological): river/its /ɪ/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): thwart/its /t/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): road/river/rolled /r/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): road/flood /d/

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8 Tempestuous, and all further course withstood:    
Rhyme:  aa   |   Rhyme word:  withstood   |   Rhyme sound:  /ʊd/   |   Rhyme (line position):  end
Metre:  -+|-+|-+|-+|-+/   |   Syllables:  10
Figure:  assonance (phonological): all/course /ɔː/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): Tempestuous/course/withstood /s/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): further/withstood /ð/

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9 The torrent-stream his ancient bounds disdains,    
Rhyme:  aa   |   Rhyme word:  disdains   |   Rhyme sound:  /eɪnz/   |   Rhyme (line position):  end
Metre:  -+|-+|-+|-+|-+/   |   Syllables:  10
Figure:  assonance (phonological): his/disdains /ɪ/
Figure:  assonance (phonological): ancient/disdains /eɪ/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): ancient/bounds/disdains /n/

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10 Swoll'n with new force and late-descending rains.    
Rhyme:  aa   |   Rhyme word:  rains   |   Rhyme sound:  /eɪnz/   |   Rhyme (line position):  end
Metre:  -+|-+|-+|-+|-+/   |   Syllables:  10
Figure:  assonance (phonological): late-descending/rains /eɪ/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): Swoll'n/late-descending /l/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): Swoll'n/force/late-descending /s/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): new/late-descending/rains /n/
Figure:  syncope (morphological): Swoll'n

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11 Irresolute they stand, when lo! appears    
Rhyme:  aa   |   Rhyme word:  appears   |   Rhyme sound:  /ɪəz/   |   Rhyme (line position):  end
Metre:  -+|-+|-+|-+|-+/   |   Syllables:  10
Figure:  assonance (phonological): Irresolute/when /e/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): Irresolute/lo /l/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): Irresolute/appears /z/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): stand/when /n/

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12 The wondrous sage: vigorous he seemed in years,    
Rhyme:  aa   |   Rhyme word:  years   |   Rhyme sound:  /ɪəz/   |   Rhyme (line position):  end
Metre:  -+|-+|-+|-+|-+/   |   Syllables:  10
Figure:  alliteration (phonological): sage/seemed /s/
Figure:  assonance (phonological): vigorous/in /ɪ/
Figure:  assonance (phonological): he/seemed /iː/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): wondrous/in /n/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): sage/seemed /s/

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13 Awful his mien; low as his feet there flows    
Rhyme:  aa   |   Rhyme word:  flows   |   Rhyme sound:  /əʊz/   |   Rhyme (line position):  end
Metre:  -+|-+|-+|-+|-+/   |   Syllables:  10
Figure:  alliteration (phonological): his/his /h/
Figure:  alliteration (phonological): feet/flows /f/
Figure:  assonance (phonological): his/his /ɪ/
Figure:  assonance (phonological): mien/feet /iː/
Figure:  assonance (phonological): low/flows /əʊ/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): Awful/feet/flows /f/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): his/his /h/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): his/as/his/flows /z/
Figure:  diacope (morphological): his/his

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14 A vestment unadorned, though white as new-fall'n snows;    
Rhyme:  aa   |   Rhyme word:  snows   |   Rhyme sound:  /əʊz/   |   Rhyme (line position):  end
Metre:  -+|-+|-+|-+|-+/   |   Syllables:  10
Figure:  assonance (phonological): unadorned/new-fall'n /ɔː/
Figure:  assonance (phonological): though/snows /əʊ/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): vestment/snows /s/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): unadorned/new-fall'n /n/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): as/snows /z/
Figure:  syncope (morphological): new-fall'n

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15 Against the stream the waves secure he trod,    
Rhyme:  aa   |   Rhyme word:  trod   |   Rhyme sound:  /ɒd/   |   Rhyme (line position):  end
Metre:  -+|-+|-+|-+|-+/   |   Syllables:  10
Figure:  alliteration (phonological): stream/secure /s/
Figure:  assonance (phonological): stream/he /iː/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): stream/secure /s/

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16 His head a chaplet bore, his hand a rod.    
Rhyme:  aa   |   Rhyme word:  rod   |   Rhyme sound:  /ɒd/   |   Rhyme (line position):  end
Metre:  -+|-+|-+|-+|-+/   |   Syllables:  10
Figure:  alliteration (phonological): His/head/his/hand /h/
Figure:  assonance (phonological): His/his /ɪ/
Figure:  assonance (phonological): chaplet/hand /æ/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): His/head/his/hand /h/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): His/his /z/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): head/rod /d/
Figure:  diacope (morphological): His/his

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17 As on the Rhine when Boreas' fury reigns    
Rhyme:  aa   |   Rhyme word:  reigns   |   Rhyme sound:  /eɪnz/   |   Rhyme (line position):  end
Metre:  -+|-+|-+|-+|-+/   |   Syllables:  10
Figure:  alliteration (phonological): Rhine/reigns /r/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): As/Boreas' /z/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): on/Rhine/when/reigns /n/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): Rhine/Boreas'/fury/reigns /r/

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18 And winter binds the floods in icy chains,    
Rhyme:  aa   |   Rhyme word:  chains   |   Rhyme sound:  /eɪnz/   |   Rhyme (line position):  end
Metre:  -+|-+|-+|-+|-+/   |   Syllables:  10
Figure:  assonance (phonological): winter/in /ɪ/
Figure:  assonance (phonological): binds/icy /aɪ/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): winter/binds/in/chains /n/

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19 Swift shoots the village-maid in rustic play,    
Rhyme:  aa   |   Rhyme word:  play   |   Rhyme sound:  /eɪ/   |   Rhyme (line position):  end
Metre:  -+|-+|-+|-+|-+/   |   Syllables:  10
Figure:  assonance (phonological): Swift/village-maid/in /ɪ/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): Swift/rustic /s/

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20 Smooth, without step, adown the shining way,    
Rhyme:  aa   |   Rhyme word:  way   |   Rhyme sound:  /eɪ/   |   Rhyme (line position):  end
Metre:  -+|-+|-+|-+|-+/   |   Syllables:  10
Figure:  alliteration (phonological): Smooth/step /s/
Figure:  alliteration (phonological): without/way /w/
Figure:  assonance (phonological): without/adown /aʊ/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): Smooth/without /ð/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): Smooth/step /s/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): without/way /w/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): adown/shining /n/

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21 Fearless in long excursion loves to glide,    
Rhyme:  aa   |   Rhyme word:  glide   |   Rhyme sound:  /aɪd/   |   Rhyme (line position):  end
Metre:  -+|-+|-+|-+|-+/   |   Syllables:  10
Figure:  alliteration (phonological): long/loves /l/
Figure:  assonance (phonological): in/excursion /ɪ/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): Fearless/long/loves /l/

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22 And sports and wantons o'er the frozen tide;    
Rhyme:  aa   |   Rhyme word:  tide   |   Rhyme sound:  /aɪd/   |   Rhyme (line position):  end
Metre:  -+|-+|-+|-+|-+/   |   Syllables:  10
Figure:  assonance (phonological): And/and /æ/
Figure:  assonance (phonological): o'er/frozen /əʊ/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): sports/tide /t/
Figure:  syncope (morphological): o'er

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23 So moved the seer, but on no hardened plain:    
Rhyme:  aa   |   Rhyme word:  plain   |   Rhyme sound:  /eɪn/   |   Rhyme (line position):  end
Metre:  -+|-+|-+|-+|-+/   |   Syllables:  10
Figure:  assonance (phonological): So/no /əʊ/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): So/seer /s/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): on/no/plain /n/

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24 The river boiled beneath and rushed towards the main.    
Rhyme:  aa   |   Rhyme word:  main   |   Rhyme sound:  /eɪn/   |   Rhyme (line position):  end
Metre:  -+|-+|-+|-+|-+/   |   Syllables:  10
Figure:  alliteration (phonological): river/rushed /r/
Figure:  alliteration (phonological): boiled/beneath /b/
Figure:  assonance (phonological): river/beneath /ɪ/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): river/rushed /r/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): boiled/beneath /b/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): beneath/main /n/

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25 Where fixed in wonder stood the warlike pair    
Rhyme:  aa   |   Rhyme word:  pair   |   Rhyme sound:  /eə/   |   Rhyme (line position):  end
Metre:  -+|-+|-+|-+|-+/   |   Syllables:  10
Figure:  alliteration (phonological): Where/wonder/warlike /w/
Figure:  assonance (phonological): Where/pair /eə/
Figure:  assonance (phonological): fixed/in /ɪ/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): Where/wonder/warlike /w/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): fixed/warlike /k/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): in/wonder /n/

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26 His course he turned and thus relieved their care:    
Rhyme:  aa   |   Rhyme word:  care   |   Rhyme sound:  /eə/   |   Rhyme (line position):  end
Metre:  -+|-+|-+|-+|-+/   |   Syllables:  10
Figure:  alliteration (phonological): His/he /h/
Figure:  alliteration (phonological): course/care /k/
Figure:  assonance (phonological): His/relieved /ɪ/
Figure:  assonance (phonological): he/relieved /iː/
Figure:  assonance (phonological): their/care /eə/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): His/he /h/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): course/care /k/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): course/thus /s/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): thus/their /ð/

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27 'Vast, O my friends, and difficult the toil    
Rhyme:  aa   |   Rhyme word:  toil   |   Rhyme sound:  /ɔɪl/   |   Rhyme (line position):  end
Metre:  -+|-+|-+|-+|-+/   |   Syllables:  10
Figure:  consonance (phonological): friends/difficult /f/
Figure:  ecphonesis (pragmatic): O...

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28 To seek your hero in a distant soil!    
Rhyme:  aa   |   Rhyme word:  soil   |   Rhyme sound:  /ɔɪl/   |   Rhyme (line position):  end
Metre:  -+|-+|-+|-+|-+/   |   Syllables:  10
Figure:  alliteration (phonological): seek/soil /s/
Figure:  assonance (phonological): in/distant /ɪ/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): seek/distant/soil /s/

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29 No common helps, no common guide, ye need,    
Rhyme:  aa   |   Rhyme word:  need   |   Rhyme sound:  /iːd/   |   Rhyme (line position):  end
Metre:  -+|-+|-+|-+|-+/   |   Syllables:  10
Figure:  alliteration (phonological): No/no/need /n/
Figure:  alliteration (phonological): common/common /k/
Figure:  assonance (phonological): No/no /əʊ/
Figure:  assonance (phonological): common/common /ɒ/
Figure:  assonance (phonological): ye/need /iː/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): No/no/need /n/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): common/common /k/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): common/common /m/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): guide/need /d/
Figure:  diacope (morphological): No/no
Figure:  diacope (morphological): common/common

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30 Art it requires and more than winged speed.    
Rhyme:  aa   |   Rhyme word:  speed   |   Rhyme sound:  /iːd/   |   Rhyme (line position):  end
Metre:  -+|-+|-+|-+|-+/   |   Syllables:  10
Figure:  assonance (phonological): it/winged /ɪ/
Figure:  assonance (phonological): and/than /æ/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): Art/it /t/

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31 What length of sea remains, what various lands,    
Rhyme:  aa   |   Rhyme word:  lands   |   Rhyme sound:  /ændz/   |   Rhyme (line position):  end
Metre:  -+|-+|-+|-+|-+/   |   Syllables:  10
Figure:  alliteration (phonological): What/what /w/
Figure:  alliteration (phonological): length/lands /l/
Figure:  assonance (phonological): What/of/what /ɒ/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): What/what /w/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): What/what /t/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): length/lands /l/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): of/various /v/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): remains/lands /n/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): remains/various /r/
Figure:  diacope (morphological): What/what

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32 Oceans unknown, inhospitable sands!    
Rhyme:  aa   |   Rhyme word:  sands   |   Rhyme sound:  /ændz/   |   Rhyme (line position):  end
Metre:  -+|-+|-+|-+|-+/   |   Syllables:  10
Figure:  assonance (phonological): Oceans/unknown /əʊ/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): unknown/inhospitable/sands /n/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): inhospitable/sands /s/

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33 For adverse fate the captive chief has hurled    
Rhyme:  aa   |   Rhyme word:  hurled   |   Rhyme sound:  /ɜːld/   |   Rhyme (line position):  end
Metre:  -+|-+|-+|-+|-+/   |   Syllables:  10
Figure:  assonance (phonological): adverse/captive/has /æ/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): For/fate/chief /f/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): has/hurled /h/

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34 Beyond the confines of our narrow world.    
Rhyme:  aa   |   Rhyme word:  world   |   Rhyme sound:  /ɜːld/   |   Rhyme (line position):  end
Metre:  -+|-+|-+|-+|-+/   |   Syllables:  10
Figure:  assonance (phonological): Beyond/confines/of /ɒ/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): Beyond/confines/narrow /n/

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35 Great things and full of wonder in your ears    
Rhyme:  aa   |   Rhyme word:  ears   |   Rhyme sound:  /ɪəz/   |   Rhyme (line position):  end
Metre:  -+|-+|-+|-+|-+/   |   Syllables:  10
Figure:  assonance (phonological): things/in /ɪ/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): wonder/in /n/

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36 I shall unfold; but first dismiss your fears,    
Rhyme:  aa   |   Rhyme word:  fears   |   Rhyme sound:  /ɪəz/   |   Rhyme (line position):  end
Metre:  -+|-+|-+|-+|-+/   |   Syllables:  10
Figure:  alliteration (phonological): first/fears /f/
Figure:  assonance (phonological): unfold/but /ʌ/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): shall/unfold /l/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): unfold/first/fears /f/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): first/dismiss /s/

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37 Nor doubt with me to tread the downward road    
Rhyme:  aa   |   Rhyme word:  road   |   Rhyme sound:  /əʊd/   |   Rhyme (line position):  end
Metre:  -+|-+|-+|-+|-+/   |   Syllables:  10
Figure:  alliteration (phonological): doubt/downward /d/
Figure:  assonance (phonological): doubt/downward /aʊ/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): Nor/downward /n/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): doubt/tread/downward/road /d/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): doubt/tread /t/

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38 That to the grotto leads, my dark abode.'    
Rhyme:  aa   |   Rhyme word:  abode   |   Rhyme sound:  /əʊd/   |   Rhyme (line position):  end
Metre:  -+|-+|-+|-+|-+/   |   Syllables:  10
Figure:  consonance (phonological): That/grotto /t/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): leads/dark/abode /d/

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39 Scarce had he said, before the warriors' eyes    
Rhyme:  aa   |   Rhyme word:  eyes   |   Rhyme sound:  /aɪz/   |   Rhyme (line position):  end
Metre:  -+|-+|-+|-+|-+/   |   Syllables:  10
Figure:  alliteration (phonological): Scarce/said /s/
Figure:  alliteration (phonological): had/he /h/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): Scarce/said /s/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): had/he /h/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): had/said /d/

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40 When mountain-high the waves disparted rise:    
Rhyme:  aa   |   Rhyme word:  rise   |   Rhyme sound:  /aɪz/   |   Rhyme (line position):  end
Metre:  -+|-+|-+|-+|-+/   |   Syllables:  10
Figure:  alliteration (phonological): When/waves /w/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): When/waves /w/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): When/mountain-high /n/

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41 The flood on either hand its billows rears,    
Rhyme:  aa   |   Rhyme word:  rears   |   Rhyme sound:  /ɪəz/   |   Rhyme (line position):  end
Metre:  -+|-+|-+|-+|-+/   |   Syllables:  10
Figure:  assonance (phonological): its/billows /ɪ/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): on/hand /n/

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42 And in the midst a spacious arch appears.    
Rhyme:  aa   |   Rhyme word:  appears   |   Rhyme sound:  /ɪəz/   |   Rhyme (line position):  end
Metre:  -+|-+|-+|-+|-+/   |   Syllables:  10
Figure:  assonance (phonological): in/midst /ɪ/

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43 Their hands he seized and down the steep he led,    
Rhyme:  aa   |   Rhyme word:  led   |   Rhyme sound:  /ed/   |   Rhyme (line position):  end
Metre:  -+|-+|-+|-+|-+/   |   Syllables:  10
Figure:  alliteration (phonological): hands/he/he /h/
Figure:  alliteration (phonological): seized/steep /s/
Figure:  assonance (phonological): hands/and /æ/
Figure:  assonance (phonological): he/seized/steep/he /iː/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): hands/down /n/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): hands/he/he /h/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): seized/steep /s/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): down/led /d/
Figure:  diacope (morphological): he/he

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44 Beneath the obedient river's inmost bed.    
Rhyme:  aa   |   Rhyme word:  bed   |   Rhyme sound:  /ed/   |   Rhyme (line position):  end
Metre:  -+|-+|-+|-+|-+/   |   Syllables:  10
Figure:  alliteration (phonological): Beneath/bed /b/
Figure:  assonance (phonological): Beneath/obedient /iː/
Figure:  assonance (phonological): Beneath/river's/inmost /ɪ/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): Beneath/inmost /n/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): Beneath/obedient/bed /b/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): obedient/bed /d/

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45 The watery glimmerings of a fainter day    
Rhyme:  aa   |   Rhyme word:  day   |   Rhyme sound:  /eɪ/   |   Rhyme (line position):  end
Metre:  -+|-+|-+|-+|-+/   |   Syllables:  10
Figure:  assonance (phonological): fainter/day /eɪ/

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46 Discovered half, and half concealed, their way,    
Rhyme:  aa   |   Rhyme word:  way   |   Rhyme sound:  /eɪ/   |   Rhyme (line position):  end
Metre:  -+|-+|-+|-+|-+/   |   Syllables:  10
Figure:  alliteration (phonological): half/half /h/
Figure:  assonance (phonological): half/half /ɑː/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): Discovered/concealed /s/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): half/half /h/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): half/half /f/
Figure:  diacope (morphological): half/half

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47 As when athwart the dusky woods by night    
Rhyme:  aa   |   Rhyme word:  night   |   Rhyme sound:  /aɪt/   |   Rhyme (line position):  end
Metre:  -+|-+|-+|-+|-+/   |   Syllables:  10
Figure:  alliteration (phonological): when/woods /w/
Figure:  assonance (phonological): by/night /aɪ/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): when/woods /w/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): when/night /n/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): athwart/night /t/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): dusky/woods /d/

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48 The uncertain crescent gleams a sickly light.    
Rhyme:  aa   |   Rhyme word:  light   |   Rhyme sound:  /aɪt/   |   Rhyme (line position):  end
Metre:  -+|-+|-+|-+|-+/   |   Syllables:  10
Figure:  consonance (phonological): uncertain/crescent/sickly /s/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): uncertain/light /t/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): crescent/sickly /k/

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49 Through subterraneous passages they went,    
Rhyme:  aa   |   Rhyme word:  went   |   Rhyme sound:  /ent/   |   Rhyme (line position):  end
Metre:  -+|-+|-+|-+|-+/   |   Syllables:  10
Figure:  assonance (phonological): subterraneous/they /eɪ/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): subterraneous/went /n/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): subterraneous/passages /s/

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50 Earth's inmost cells and caves of deep descent.    
Rhyme:  aa   |   Rhyme word:  descent   |   Rhyme sound:  /ent/   |   Rhyme (line position):  end
Metre:  -+|-+|-+|-+|-+/   |   Syllables:  10
Figure:  alliteration (phonological): deep/descent /d/
Figure:  assonance (phonological): inmost/descent /ɪ/
Figure:  assonance (phonological): cells/descent /e/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): inmost/descent /n/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): inmost/cells/descent /s/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): caves/of /v/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): deep/descent /d/

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51 Of many a flood they viewed the secret source,    
Rhyme:  aa   |   Rhyme word:  source   |   Rhyme sound:  /ɔːs/   |   Rhyme (line position):  end
Metre:  -+|-+|-+|-+|-+/   |   Syllables:  10
Figure:  alliteration (phonological): secret/source /s/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): Of/viewed /v/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): flood/viewed /d/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): secret/source /s/

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52 The birth of rivers, rising to their course;    
Rhyme:  aa   |   Rhyme word:  course   |   Rhyme sound:  /ɔːs/   |   Rhyme (line position):  end
Metre:  -+|-+|-+|-+|-+/   |   Syllables:  10
Figure:  alliteration (phonological): rivers/rising /r/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): of/rivers /v/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): rivers/rising /r/

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53 Whate'er with copious train its channel fills,    
Rhyme:  aa   |   Rhyme word:  fills   |   Rhyme sound:  /ɪlz/   |   Rhyme (line position):  end
Metre:  -+|-+|-+|-+|-+/   |   Syllables:  10
Figure:  assonance (phonological): with/its/fills /ɪ/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): Whate'er/with /w/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): Whate'er/train/its /t/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): train/channel /n/
Figure:  syncope (morphological): Whate'er

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54 Floats into lakes or bubbles into rills.    
Rhyme:  aa   |   Rhyme word:  rills   |   Rhyme sound:  /ɪlz/   |   Rhyme (line position):  end
Metre:  -+|-+|-+|-+|-+/   |   Syllables:  10
Figure:  assonance (phonological): into/into/rills /ɪ/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): into/into /n/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): lakes/rills /l/
Figure:  diacope (morphological): into/into

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55 The Po was there to see, Danubius' bed,    
Rhyme:  aa   |   Rhyme word:  bed   |   Rhyme sound:  /ed/   |   Rhyme (line position):  end
Metre:  -+|-+|-+|-+|-+/   |   Syllables:  10
Figure:  assonance (phonological): to/Danubius' /uː/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): Danubius'/bed /b/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): Danubius'/bed /d/

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56 Euphrates' fount and Nile's mysterious head.    
Rhyme:  aa   |   Rhyme word:  head   |   Rhyme sound:  /ed/   |   Rhyme (line position):  end
Metre:  -+|-+|-+|-+|-+/   |   Syllables:  10
Figure:  consonance (phonological): Euphrates'/fount /f/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): fount/Nile's /n/

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57 Further they pass, where ripening minerals flow,    
Rhyme:  aa   |   Rhyme word:  flow   |   Rhyme sound:  /əʊ/   |   Rhyme (line position):  end
Metre:  -+|-+|-+|-+|-+/   |   Syllables:  10
Figure:  alliteration (phonological): Further/flow /f/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): Further/they /ð/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): Further/flow /f/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): pass/ripening /p/

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58 And embryon metals undigested glow;    
Rhyme:  aa   |   Rhyme word:  glow   |   Rhyme sound:  /əʊ/   |   Rhyme (line position):  end
Metre:  -+|-+|-+|-+|-+/   |   Syllables:  10
Figure:  assonance (phonological): embryon/metals/undigested /e/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): embryon/undigested /n/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): embryon/metals /m/

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59 Sulphureous veins and living silver shine,    
Rhyme:  aa   |   Rhyme word:  shine   |   Rhyme sound:  /aɪn/   |   Rhyme (line position):  end
Metre:  -+|-+|-+|-+|-+/   |   Syllables:  10
Figure:  alliteration (phonological): Sulphureous/silver /s/
Figure:  assonance (phonological): living/silver /ɪ/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): Sulphureous/living/silver /l/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): Sulphureous/silver /s/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): veins/shine /n/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): veins/living /v/

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60 Which soon the parent sun's warm powers refine,    
Rhyme:  aa   |   Rhyme word:  refine   |   Rhyme sound:  /aɪn/   |   Rhyme (line position):  end
Metre:  -+|-+|-+|-+|-+/   |   Syllables:  10
Figure:  alliteration (phonological): Which/warm /w/
Figure:  alliteration (phonological): soon/sun's /s/
Figure:  alliteration (phonological): parent/powers /p/
Figure:  assonance (phonological): Which/refine /ɪ/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): Which/warm /w/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): soon/sun's/refine /n/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): soon/sun's /s/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): parent/powers /p/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): parent/refine /r/

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61 In one rich mass unite the precious store,    
Rhyme:  aa   |   Rhyme word:  store   |   Rhyme sound:  /ɔː/   |   Rhyme (line position):  end
Metre:  -+|-+|-+|-+|-+/   |   Syllables:  10
Figure:  assonance (phonological): In/rich /ɪ/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): In/one/unite /n/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): mass/store /s/

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62 The parts combine and harden into ore.    
Rhyme:  aa   |   Rhyme word:  ore   |   Rhyme sound:  /ɔː/   |   Rhyme (line position):  end
Metre:  -+|-+|-+|-+|-+/   |   Syllables:  10
Figure:  assonance (phonological): parts/harden /ɑː/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): combine/into /n/

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63 Here gems break through the night with glittering beam,    
Rhyme:  aa   |   Rhyme word:  beam   |   Rhyme sound:  /iːm/   |   Rhyme (line position):  end
Metre:  -+|-+|-+|-+|-+/   |   Syllables:  10
Figure:  alliteration (phonological): break/beam /b/
Figure:  assonance (phonological): with/glittering /ɪ/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): gems/beam /m/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): break/beam /b/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): night/glittering /t/

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64 And paint the margin of the costly stream.    
Rhyme:  aa   |   Rhyme word:  stream   |   Rhyme sound:  /iːm/   |   Rhyme (line position):  end
Metre:  -+|-+|-+|-+|-+/   |   Syllables:  10
Figure:  assonance (phonological): of/costly /ɒ/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): margin/stream /m/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): costly/stream /s/

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65 All stones of lustre shoot their vivid ray,    
Rhyme:  aa   |   Rhyme word:  ray   |   Rhyme sound:  /eɪ/   |   Rhyme (line position):  end
Metre:  -+|-+|-+|-+|-+/   |   Syllables:  10
Figure:  consonance (phonological): All/lustre /l/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): stones/lustre /s/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): of/vivid /v/

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66 And mix attempered in a various day.    
Rhyme:  aa   |   Rhyme word:  day   |   Rhyme sound:  /eɪ/   |   Rhyme (line position):  end
Metre:  -+|-+|-+|-+|-+/   |   Syllables:  10
Figure:  assonance (phonological): mix/in /ɪ/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): mix/attempered /m/

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67 Here the soft emerald smiles, of verdant hue,    
Rhyme:  aa   |   Rhyme word:  hue   |   Rhyme sound:  /uː/   |   Rhyme (line position):  end
Metre:  -+|-+|-+|-+|-+/   |   Syllables:  10
Figure:  alliteration (phonological): Here/hue /h/
Figure:  alliteration (phonological): soft/smiles /s/
Figure:  assonance (phonological): soft/of /ɒ/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): Here/hue /h/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): soft/smiles /s/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): of/verdant /v/

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68 And rubies flame, with sapphires heavenly blue;    
Rhyme:  aa   |   Rhyme word:  blue   |   Rhyme sound:  /uː/   |   Rhyme (line position):  end
Metre:  -+|-+|-+|-+|-+/   |   Syllables:  10
Figure:  assonance (phonological): And/sapphires /æ/
Figure:  assonance (phonological): rubies/blue /uː/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): rubies/blue /b/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): flame/sapphires /f/

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69 The diamond there attracts the wondering sight,    
Rhyme:  aa   |   Rhyme word:  sight   |   Rhyme sound:  /aɪt/   |   Rhyme (line position):  end
Metre:  -+|-+|-+|-+|-+/   |   Syllables:  10
Figure:  assonance (phonological): diamond/sight /aɪ/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): attracts/sight /t/

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70 Proud of its thousand dyes and luxury of light.    
Rhyme:  aa   |   Rhyme word:  light   |   Rhyme sound:  /aɪt/   |   Rhyme (line position):  end
Metre:  -+|-+|-+|-+|-+/   |   Syllables:  10
Figure:  alliteration (phonological): luxury/light /l/
Figure:  assonance (phonological): Proud/thousand /aʊ/
Figure:  assonance (phonological): of/of /ɒ/
Figure:  assonance (phonological): dyes/light /aɪ/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): Proud/dyes /d/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): of/of /v/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): its/light /t/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): thousand/dyes /z/
Figure:  consonance (phonological): luxury/light /l/
Figure:  diacope (morphological): of/of

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Expanding the poem lines (+) shows notes and queries taken from various critical editions of Gray's works, as well as those contributed by users of the Archive. There are 0 textual and 1 explanatory notes/queries.

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0 "[Translation] From Tasso [Gerusalemme Liberata]
Canto 14, Stanza 32-9." 1 Explanatory

Title/Paratext] "Torquato Tasso (1544-95) was the [...]" H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"Torquato Tasso (1544-95) was the author of the Italian epic Gerusalemme Liberata, which dealt with the capture of Jerusalem by Godfrey of Bouillon during the First Crusade. The chief imaginary hero of the poem is Rinaldo d'Este.
    In March 1737 Gray wrote that he was learning 'Italian like any dragon, and in two months am got through the 16th book of Tasso ...' [...] Mason (i. 36-37 n.) states that the translation was made before Sept. 1738; and his opinion is confirmed by the date '1738' in CB [...]."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 231.

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Preser commiato, e si 'l desire gli sprona, &c:

1 Dismissed at length, they break through all delay
2 To tempt the dangers of the doubtful way;
3 And first to Ascalon their steps they bend,
4 Whose walls along the neighbouring sea extend.
5 Nor yet in prospect rose the distant shore,
6 Scarce the hoarse waves from far were heard to roar,
7 When thwart the road a river rolled its flood
8 Tempestuous, and all further course withstood:
9 The torrent-stream his ancient bounds disdains,
10 Swoll'n with new force and late-descending rains.
11 Irresolute they stand, when lo! appears
12 The wondrous sage: vigorous he seemed in years,
13 Awful his mien; low as his feet there flows
14 A vestment unadorned, though white as new-fall'n snows;
15 Against the stream the waves secure he trod,
16 His head a chaplet bore, his hand a rod.

17 As on the Rhine when Boreas' fury reigns
18 And winter binds the floods in icy chains,
19 Swift shoots the village-maid in rustic play,
20 Smooth, without step, adown the shining way,
21 Fearless in long excursion loves to glide,
22 And sports and wantons o'er the frozen tide;
23 So moved the seer, but on no hardened plain:
24 The river boiled beneath and rushed towards the main.
25 Where fixed in wonder stood the warlike pair
26 His course he turned and thus relieved their care:

27 'Vast, O my friends, and difficult the toil
28 To seek your hero in a distant soil!
29 No common helps, no common guide, ye need,
30 Art it requires and more than winged speed.
31 What length of sea remains, what various lands,
32 Oceans unknown, inhospitable sands!
33 For adverse fate the captive chief has hurled
34 Beyond the confines of our narrow world.
35 Great things and full of wonder in your ears
36 I shall unfold; but first dismiss your fears,
37 Nor doubt with me to tread the downward road
38 That to the grotto leads, my dark abode.'

39 Scarce had he said, before the warriors' eyes
40 When mountain-high the waves disparted rise:
41 The flood on either hand its billows rears,
42 And in the midst a spacious arch appears.
43 Their hands he seized and down the steep he led,
44 Beneath the obedient river's inmost bed.
45 The watery glimmerings of a fainter day
46 Discovered half, and half concealed, their way,
47 As when athwart the dusky woods by night
48 The uncertain crescent gleams a sickly light.
49 Through subterraneous passages they went,
50 Earth's inmost cells and caves of deep descent.
51 Of many a flood they viewed the secret source,
52 The birth of rivers, rising to their course;
53 Whate'er with copious train its channel fills,
54 Floats into lakes or bubbles into rills.
55 The Po was there to see, Danubius' bed,
56 Euphrates' fount and Nile's mysterious head.
57 Further they pass, where ripening minerals flow,
58 And embryon metals undigested glow;
59 Sulphureous veins and living silver shine,
60 Which soon the parent sun's warm powers refine,
61 In one rich mass unite the precious store,
62 The parts combine and harden into ore.
63 Here gems break through the night with glittering beam,
64 And paint the margin of the costly stream.
65 All stones of lustre shoot their vivid ray,
66 And mix attempered in a various day.

67 Here the soft emerald smiles, of verdant hue,
68 And rubies flame, with sapphires heavenly blue;
69 The diamond there attracts the wondering sight,
70 Proud of its thousand dyes and luxury of light.

Works cited

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

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