[Orders of Insects]
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[Orders of Insects]
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 1 textual and 1 explanatory notes/queries.
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Title/Paratext] "[Prose translation by J. R. [...]" H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.
"[Prose translation by J. R. Hendrickson:]
Orders of Insects
I. Coleoptera.The Coleoptera boast wings covered with leather armour.
Those with club-shaped antennae.
A saw on the feet and a split
horn distinguish the Scarabaeus.
A plate surrounds the stalk of the antenna of Dermestes, who timidly hides his head curved in below his body.
Club-bearing Hister hides his head, drawing it back into his breast.
The occiput of Attelabus narrows backward to a sharp point.
Curculio stretches horns from a huge beak.
Silpha stretches out slight margins of a moon-shaped shield and sheaths.
An undeveloped top of the club and a small antenna are characteristic of Coccionella.
Those with thread-like antennae.
Cassida hides herself completely under the rim of her shield.
Chrysomela is bound by the in-turned margin of her leather armour.
Humped Meloe has an inward-curving head and rounded thorax.
Long Tenebrio thrusts forward his brow and the thin edges of his shield.
A plate clothes the abdomen of Mordella.
Staphylis flaunts short sheaths and a tail curving backward.
Those with bristle-covered antennae.
Cerambyx shows strength in the
thickness of his neck and in his antennae.
Leptura has a smooth round breast and constricts her body.
The covering of Cantharis is pliable, and there are nipple-like nodes on her sides.
Elater when supine leaps back up by means of the point of the breast.
Cicindela has an out-thrust jaw and a huge eye.
The antennae of Buprestis are graceful and the neck retracted.
Dytiscus is not motionless because of his rowing with his bristle-covered foot.
With shortened breast Carabus gives a representation of a heart.
Necydalis unfolds a bare wing from a short sheath.
The sheath of Forficula is also short, but it covers the wing and the forceps on the tail.
The body of Blatta is flattened, and her belly has two horns.
Gryllus, voracious of tooth, leaps with down-turned wings.
The beaked Hemiptera wear a shell
divided into two equal parts. The female crawls on the ground at other times, but when mating she flies in the air.
Preying Nepa is strong with beak and crab-like claws.
Cicada leaps by means of the tip of her wings and beaked breast.
Cimex is armed with in-curved stings and folds her wings in a cross.
Notonecta also carries a cross and has oar-like feet.
Aphis has horns on her tail and a beak; often she raises her wings upright.
Chermes presses her wings down on her humped breast while she leaps.
Sluggish Coccus has bristles on his tail; the male flies when mating.
Slender Thrips has wings and a backward-curving tail.
The Lepidoptera boast scale of wing and coil of tongue.
Papilio raises a club and scale-covered wings upright.
Sphinx stretches forth antennae prism-shaped and swelling in the middle,
But heavy Phalaena cone-shaped ones by night.
The Neuroptera have a bare net-like wing and hooks on the tail.
Powerful in tooth and wings, long Libella cleaves the air.
With bristle-bearing tail, Ephemera stands with wings erect.
Tongueless Phryganea lets wrinkled wings droop,
And so does two-toothed Hemerinus; but when he unfolds them, they become smooth.
Panorpa threatens with both long beak and tail.
With out-stretched neck Raphidia carries a single bristle.
The Hymenoptera have glassy wings and a dart on the tail; to the females weapons are given, but denied to the males.
Cynips conceals a coiled weapon and threatens to bite.
Tenthredo moves jaws and a bivalve saw,
Ichneumon a three-fold shaft with slender abdomen.
Apis drinks with in-curved tongue what she wins with the sword.
Sphex spreads a smooth wing and hides a sword.
A wrinkle on the wing and poison in the tail distinguish Vespa;
A tiny scale on the back and a weapon [distinguish] Formica, which goes on foot except while the smaller husband flies with winged wife.
Mutilla is wingless, but vibrates darts with her tail.
The Diptera balance themselves with a weight under their two wings.
Oestrus has no mouth and is feared because of his tail, although it is unarmed.
Tipula is long in the head and is furnished with lips and palpi.
Musca lacks palpi and draws a proboscis back into lips;
Tabanus likewise rejoices in a proboscis under sharp palpi.
The mouth of Culex brandishes its darts from a soft sheath; Empis bends a long hard beak beneath her breast;
Noxious Conops stretches out [a beak] from the hinge of a joint,
And so does thirsty Asilus (but his is straight and cone-shaped),
And Bombylius a long one, who sucks honey in flight.
Hippobosca is strong by reason of talons; she brandishes a short weapon.
The Aptera, knowing nothing of wings, move about on foot."The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 182-184.
71.1-6 (Aptera ... jactant)] "[Additional Lines on Insects.] Palpos [...]" H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.
"[Additional Lines on Insects.][Prose translation by J. R. Hendrickson:]
Palpos ore duos, triplexque Lepisma flagellum
Pone gerit: cauda saltatque Podura bifurca.
Maxillis Termes, at lingua pollet acuta
Phthir laterumque lobis. Compresso abdomine Pulex
Inflexoque minax rostro salit.
"Additional Lines on Insects."
Lepisma has two palpi on her mouth and a triple-branched whip-like appendage behind;
Podura leaps by means of a forked tail.
Termes derives his power from his jaws, Phthir from a sharp-pointed tongue and lobes on his sides.
Pulex, distinguished by a compressed abdomen and menacing with inward-curving beak, leaps.
These lines, in Gray's hand. are recorded by W. P. Jones in Thomas Gray Scholar (p. 181) as found on a sheet in H. Paul's Queen Anne (Asnières, 1906). They are here published for the first time, from a photostat of the holograph MS. supplied by the Trustees of the Pierpont Morgan Library.
They are evidently a rough draft, only partially corrected and abandoned before completion."The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 185.
- 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.