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Title/Paratext] "In the letter to West [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1891.
"In the letter to West in which Gray sent the fragment on the "Gaurus," he says—"There was a certain little ode set out from Rome, in a letter of recommendation to you, but possibly fell into the enemies' hands, for I never heard of its arrival. It is a little impertinent to inquire after its welfare, but you that are a father, will excuse a parent's foolish fondness."
Stephen Jones gives two translations in verse of this, one by "a gentleman of Sunderland," and the other by Mr. Seward,—the latter appeared in the "European Magazine" for 1791. It was also translated by Walpole ("Works" iv. p. 454), and by Samuel Rogers."
Title/Paratext] "[Prose translation by J. R. [...]" H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.
"[Prose translation by J. R. Hendrickson:]
O Thou, Holy Spirit of this stern place, what name soever pleases Thee (for surely it is no insignificant divinity that holds sway over untamed streams and ancient forests; and surely, too, we behold God nearer to us, a living presence, amid pathless steeps, wild mountain ridges and precipitous cliffs, and among roaring torrents and the nocturnal gloom of sacred groves than if He were confined under beams of citron and gleaming with gold wrought by the hand of Phidias)—hail to Thee! And if I invoke Thy name aright, grant to a youth already weary calm and peaceful rest.
But if Fortune now forbids me to enjoy this enviable dwelling and the sacred rule of silence, despite my wish, sucking me back with violence into the midst of the waves, at least, Father, grant that I may spend the hours of my old age free of care in some secluded corner; carry me off in safety from the tumult of the mob and the anxieties of men."
- The Poetical Works of Thomas Gray: English and Latin. Edited with an introduction, life, notes and a bibliography by John Bradshaw. The Aldine edition of the British poets series. London: George Bell and sons, 1891.
- The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966.
Contractions, italics and initial capitalization have been largely eliminated, except where of real import. Initial letters of sentences have been capitalized, all accents have been removed. The editor would like to express his gratitude to library staff at Pembroke College, Cambridge, at the British Library, and at the Bodleian Library, Oxford, for their invaluable assistance.