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Thomas Gray to Horace Walpole, [6 January 1735]

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To the faithful Miradolin,
third Son of the Vizier-azem.
Continuance of Health & long life.

When the Dew of the morning is upon me, thy Image is before mine eyes; nor, when the night overshadoweth me, dost thou depart from me. shall I ne'er behold thine eyes, until our eternal meeting in ye immortal Chioses of Paradise; and sure at that hour, thy Soul will have little need of Ablution in the sight of Israphiel, the Angel of examination: surely, it is pure as the Snow on Mount Ararat, & beautiful as the cheeks of the Houries: the Feast of Ramadan is now past away, & thou thinkest not of leaving Candahar; what shall I say unto thee, thou unkind one? thou has lost me in oblivion, & I am become as one, whom thou never didst remember: before; we were as two Palm-trees in the Vale of Medina, I flourish'd in thy friendship, & bore my head aloft: but now I wander in Solitariness, as a traveller in the sandy desarts of Barca, & pine in vain to tast of the living fountain of thy conversation: I have beheld thee in my Slumbers, I have attempted to seize on thee, I sought for thee & behold! thou wert not there! thou wert departed, as the smoke, or as the Shadows, when the Sun entreth his bed-chamber: were I to behold thy countenance, tho' afar off; my heart should bound as the Antelope; yea! my soul should be as light, as the Roe-buck on the hills of Erzerom. I swear by Abubekir, thou art sweet in my thoughts as the Pine-apple of Damascus to the tast; & more refreshing, than the fragrant Breezes of Idumea. the chain of Destiny has link'd me unto thee, & the mark, which Gabriel stamped on my forehead at my Nativity, was Born for Miradolin. let not the Demon Negidher separate us, nor the evil Tagot interpose between us. Be thou unto me, as Mohammed to Ajesha; as the Bowers of Admoim to those, whom the Sun hath overtaken; or as the costly Sherbets of Stamboul to the thirsty: the grace of providence, and the smiles of heaven be upon thee. may white Angels guard thee from the efforts of the rebellious Genii.

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Letter ID: letters.0007 (Source: TEI/XML)


Writer: Gray, Thomas, 1716-1771
Writer's age: 18
Addressee: Walpole, Horace, 1717-1797
Addressee's age: 17


Date of composition: [6 January 1735]
Date (on letter): The last day of the Ramadan, 6th of ye 1st Moon
Calendar: Julian


Place of composition: [Cambridge, United Kingdom]


Language: English
Incipit: When the dew of the morning is upon me, thy Image is before mine eyes...
Mentioned: Turkish Spy

Holding Institution

GBR/1058/GRA/3/4/6, College Library, Pembroke College, Cambridge , Cambridge, UK <>
Availability: The original letter is extant and usually available for academic research purposes

Print Versions

  • The Correspondence of Gray, Walpole, West and Ashton (1734-1771), 2 vols. Chronologically arranged and edited with introduction, notes, and index by Paget Toynbee. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1915, letter no. 6, vol. i, 17-19
  • The Yale Edition of Horace Walpole's Correspondence. Ed. by W. S. Lewis. New Haven, Conn.: Yale UP; London: Oxford UP, 1937-83, vols. 13/14: Horace Walpole's Correspondence with Thomas Gray, Richard West and Thomas Ashton i, 1734-42, Horace Walpole's Correspondence with Thomas Gray ii, 1745-71, ed. by W. S. Lewis, George L. Lam and Charles H. Bennett, 1948, vol. i, 70-72
  • Correspondence of Thomas Gray, 3 vols. Ed. by the late Paget Toynbee and Leonard Whibley, with corrections and additions by H. W. Starr. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1971 [1st ed. 1935], letter no. 7, vol. i, 14-16