He placed Shakespeare high above all poets of all countries and all ages. He thought Goldsmith a genuine poet. I was with him at Malvern when he received the "Deserted Village," which he desired me to read to him; and he listened with fixed attention, and soon exclaimed, 'This man is a poet.
Another to which I have referred in the note on line 63 of the "Elegy" is his reproducing in his printed poems words and thoughts from the verses that he set aside and never intended for publication. She bids each slumb'ring energy awake, Another touch, another temper take, Suspends th' inferior laws that rule our clay; The stubborn elements confess her sway, Their little wants, their low desires refine, And raise the mortal to a height divine.
Intelligibilia, non intellectum adfero. The following Ode is founded on a tradition current in Wales, that Edward the First, when he completed the conquest of that country, ordered all the bards that fell into his hands to be put to death.
This Ode was written at Stoke in June, , 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. It was first published in 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. Gray," published in , still called merely "Ode. The Attic warbler , 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.
Throat is used by metonymy for "song from her throat. 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. Gray's expression is taken from Pope's "Essay on Man":— "Is it for thee the linnet pours his throat? The busy murmur. Regained , iv. Green; and next, because I would do justice. The subject was the "Queen's Hermitage. Writing to Gray, January 8, , 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. 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. Thy sun is set. 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 — "Thus though my noon of life be past, Yet let my setting sun, at last, Find out the still the rural cell. This Ode was sent in a letter to Horace Walpole , dated March 1, , on the occasion of the death of one of his cats; at the same time, Gray sent a copy of it to Thomas Wharton , describing it, in mock-heroic style, as the "most noble of my performances latterly.
I knew Zara and Selima Selima, was it? Then as to your handsome Cat, the name you distinguish her by, I am no less at a loss, as well knowing one's handsome cat is always the cat one likes best; or, if one be alive and the other dead, it is usually the latter that is the handsomest. Besides, if the point were never so clear, I hope you do not think me so ill-bred or so imprudent as to forfeit all my interest in the survivor; oh no!
I would rather seem to mistake, and imagine to be sure it must be the tabby one that had met with this sad accident. Till this affair is a little better determined, you will excuse me if I do not begin to cry:— 'Tempus inane peto, requiem, spatiumque doloris. I feel as you to be sure have done long since that I have very little to say, at least in prose.
The drowning of the cat took place in Arlington Street; and, after the death of Gray, Walpole placed the vase on a pedestal at Strawberry Hill , with a label containing the first stanza of the poem. Lady M. Montagu's "Town Eclogues":— "Where the tall jar erects its stately pride, With antic shapes in China's azure dyed.
Exception was taken by Dr. The same expression occurs in the "Progress of Poesy," line 5 , where also it is not redundant. Stephen Jones was the first to correct the punctuation by putting a comma after Selima also. Walpole had two cats, and seems to have written to Gray that "his handsome cat was dead. Tabby is from Fr. From line 10 Mr. Gosse argues "she cannot have been a tabby," but a tortoise-shell cat; and is followed by other annotators. Storr, in his note on line 4 , says, "Prove that she was not a tabby.
Walpole's other cat may have been a tortoise-shell, and therefore Gray would describe this—the handsome one— as vying with her in beauty, and purring with pleasure at the sight of it. Or it may be he wrote so as to be right whichever cat it was; if we take "tabby kind" as equivalent to "cat-kind," the Ode will be applicable to a tortoise-shell cat. See the Explanation of the Designs in the edition of , quoted after the Notes, infra. Nor all, that glisters, gold. Like many another phrase or saying adopted by Gray, this has been given greater currency from being in his oft-read poems.
It occurs in several old poets before Gray:— "But all which shineth as the gold Ne is no gold, as I have been it told. It also occurs in Shakespeare and Dryden:— "All that glisters is not gold. Various Readings. In the "Collection" of , A foe to fish. Looks— in the Wharton MS. In the Walpole MS. Pembroke and Wharton MSS. In Gray's MS. Printed for R. Cooper at the Globe in Pater-noster Row, Price Sixpence. In the Pembroke MS. Antique, Ancient; "antique" is now applied to old-fashioned things, and would not be used of a building.
Milton spells it antic, and probably Gray took the epithet from the line in "Il Penseroso":—"With antic pillars massy proof. Beloved in vain. Because they do not still afford him the sensations he had as a "careless" boy; there is also a reference to the recent death of his school friend, West. With the apostrophe to Father Thames and what follows compare the following lines from Green's "Grotto," the poem Gray said he had in mind when writing the "Ode on the Spring" :— " Say, Father Thames, whose gentle pace Gives leave to view what beauties grace Your flowery banks, if you have seen The much-sung grotto of the Queen.
Completely; an adverb, 'em. This abbreviation of them, or perhaps a survival of the O. Murder was formerly also spelt murther , d and th being in many words interchangeable, e. Murtherous is a very expressive form, and suits the rhythm of the line better; he uses it again in the "Ode for Music," Sir H. Wotton, Provost of Eton, the summer before his death visited Winchester College where he had been educated, and when he was returning to Eton, he made the following reflections, as given in his Life by Isaac Walton:—"How useful was the advice of a holy monk, who persuaded his friend to perform his customary devotions in a constant place, because in that place we usually meet with those very thoughts which possessed us at our last being there; and I find it thus far experimentally true, that at now being in that school, and seeing that very place, where I sat when I was a boy, occasioned me to remember those very thoughts of my youth which then possessed me; sweet thoughts indeed, that promised my growing years numerous pleasures without mixture of cares, and those to be enjoyed when time which I therefore thought slow-paced had changed my youth into manhood.
But age and experience have taught me that these were but empty hopes; for I now always found it true, as my Saviour did foretell, 'Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. Thus one generation succeeds another in their lives, recreations, hopes, fears, and death. In the MS.
Gray adds a second printed only in Lackington's edition, :— [Greek motto omitted ] sic. It profits to learn discretion through suffering. In three places in this stanza Gray borrows from "Paradise Lost":— "The vassals of his anger, when the scourge Inexorably, and the torturing hour, Calls us to penance. Almost all editors have a comma after maid, but there is none in any of the editions of this Ode printed in Gray's lifetime.
In the margin of the Pembroke MS. Gray has written opposite this line, "[Greek line omitted ]. Mitford, Palgrave, Gosse, Ward, Rolfe and others wrongly read "Not" for "Nor," and have a full stop at end of line Your followers who are of a "philosophic mind," and have learned that "sweet are the uses of adversity. There is probably an allusion here to Walpole's disagreement with Gray, on their travels a year previously, and Gray's regret for it. Wharton , observing "If this be as tedious to you as it is grown to me, I shall be sorry that I sent it to you. The little quarto volume of twenty-one pages was published on the 8th of August—the first issue of Horace Walpole's printing press—with an engraving of Strawberry Hill , and the following title:—"Odes by Mr.
Printed at Strawberry Hill, for R. Price One Shilling. Gray quotes incorrectly from the Prayer Book version of Psalm lvii. This is equivalent to "lyre of Pindar. Milton's "Vacation Exercise," — "While sad Ulysses' soul and all the rest Are held with his melodious harmony In willing chains and sweet captivity. This compound is taken from Milton; the whole passage in which the following lines occur should be read:— "At last a soft and solemn-breathing sound Rose like a stream of rich distilled perfumes.
Lost," xi. This expression occurs in verses attributed to Shakespeare:— "Every fowl of tyrant wing, Save the eagle, feathered king. Horace Walpole , in describing the famous Boccapadugli eagle, of Greek sculpture, says "Mr. Gray has drawn the flagging wing. Idalium, in Cyprus, where there was a temple sacred to the worship of Venus.
She was also called Cytherea, from Cythera, an island off the coast of Laconia, where she was said to have landed when she rose from the foam of the sea. Gray prints velvet-green, and has several similar compounds, e. Johnson objected to the use of velvet, on the ground that Nature should not borrow from Art; but Gray follows Shakespeare and other poets:— "Make boot upon the summer's velvet buds.
An incorrectly formed compound; but it occurs in Thomson's "Spring" :— "Or rustling turn the many-twinkling leaves Of aspen tall. The phrase is in "Paradise Lost," ii. He gives. He permits; a Latinism. See "Ode for Music," Mitford noted that "the couplet from Cowley was wrongly quoted by Gray, and so continued by his different editors;" but he himself did not give the lines correctly. Gray was fond of reproducing a word or phrase that pleased him; in his Journal of his Tour in the Lake District he writes under Oct.
See, espy; without the idea of secrecy now always attaching to it; see "Paradise Lost," iv. Equivalent to "of armed men in battle array;" the rays of the sun being compared to the spears and other shining weapons of an army. In "Agrippina" Gray has "the glittering front of war. The Maeander, proverbial for its wandering course, flowed through Phrygia, into the Icarian Sea.
Eternal summer gilds them yet, But all, except their Sun, is set. Each old poetic Mountain. Immortal Greece, dear land of glorious lays. Far from the sun , etc. In the more northern clime of England—far from sunny Italy. Nature's Darling. Mitford quotes from Cleveland:— "Here lies, within this stony shade, Nature's darling, whom she made Her fairest model, her brief story, In him heaping all her glory. Knowledge of Greek and Latin being the recognized learning in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, and Shakespeare having little of it, he is often spoken of as deriving his knowledge from Nature; see in particular Ben Jonson's lines "To the Memory of Shakespeare:"— "He was not of an age but for all time!
Nature herself was proud of his designs. The merry Greek. Or sweetest Shakespeare, Fancy's child, Warble his native wood notes wild. Paint-brush; an old use of the word, from Lat. Bentley," 4. The Child stretched forth , etc. Mitford quotes from Sandys' Ovid, "Metam. Milton:— "Yet some there be, that by due steps aspire To lay their just hands on that golden key That opes the palace of eternity. Coursers , horses; literally, runners. There is an allusion to the fabulous winged horse Pegasus, associated with poetic inspiration. Pope, "Epistles," I. Yet shall he mount. In the last three lines, Gray expresses his own feelings and character, his pride, and, at the same time, his retiring disposition, vulgar , ordinary, common.
Manuscript Readings. Awake, my lyre; my glory, wake. With torrent rapture, see it pour. Dark , Black. In cadence. The cadence. Hurls at their flying rear his glitt'ring shafts of war. Hurls o'er their scatter'd rear his glitt'ring shafts of war. Hurls o'er their shadowy rear his glitt'ring shafts of war. Buried—in the margin of the MS. Dull in the margin of the Pembroke MS. Murmured a celestial sound. Terror in the margin of the Pembroke MS.
Yet never can he fear a vulgar fate. In a letter, dated August 6, , Gray sent Dr. Wharton the first part of "The Bard," and on the 21st August a bit more of the "Prophecy" from line 57 to the end, but unfinished in places. In May, , in a letter to Mason, he states that Parry, the Welsh harper, had been at Cambridge, and his "ravishing blind harmony" and "tunes of a thousand years old" had put the "Odikle" in motion again, and that he had then completed it, and he concluded his letter with the last two stanzas.
His song ended, he precipitates himself from the mountain, and is swallowed up by the river that rolls at its foot. Rough and uneven-looking, owing to being covered with trees. Milton applies the epithet to hills:— "Nor on the shaggy top of Mona high. Lost, vi. Old Conway's. Hoel is called high-born, being the son of Owen Gwynedd, prince of North Wales. He was one of his father's generals in his wars against the English, Flemings, and Normans, in South Wales; and was a famous bard, as his poems that are extant testify.
Llewellyn was a French Prince who was killed in the wars with Edward I. He was also a poet. In contemporary poets he is described as the "tender-hearted" and "mild" Llewellyn; so soft should be taken with Llewellyn and not with lay. Cadwallo and Urien are Welsh bards, but none of their poems are now extant. See Southey's "Madoc in Wales. Plinlimmon , a mountain on the borders of Cardigan and Glamorgan. The lines mean that even the lofty mountain bent to listen to his song. Caernarvon, Caer in Arvon, the camp in Arvon. From this line down to the end of line , the "lost companions" of the bard "join in harmony" with him, and then disappear, and he continues the prophecy alone.
This is clearly indicated in all the editions published in Gray's lifetime; in these each line spoken by the bard alone— 1 to 8 and 23 to 48 —begins with a single inverted comma, and there is one at the end of line Then from line 49 to there are two inverted commas at the beginning of each line, and two at the end of line ; and, again, one inverted comma at each line from to , which also ends with one.
In Wakefield's edition and Lackington's , the marks are correct. Mason is also correct, and all reprints I have seen of his editions, except that the two inverted commas at the end of line are placed within the bracket. But in Mitford's edition , the commas at the end of line are omitted, and in other respects the portion of the poem from line 23 to is printed as if an uninterrupted speech by the bard alone.
Mitford incorrectly reads "Berkeley's roof. For the events of Edward the Second's reign, the faithlessness of his wife, Isabella of France, the treason of Mortimer, and the cruel death of the king, read the "Student's Hume," chap, ix. The expression seems to have been taken from Hume's description: "The screams with which the agonizing king filled the castle. Suffering agony; more commonly used as a transitive verb:— "The lifted axe, the agonizing wheel. There is a note of interrogation at this line, and the question may be supplied thus: "The Swarm, that were born in thy noon-tide beam, where are they?
The Swarm, etc. He has the same metaphors in "Agrippina":— "The gilded swarm that wantons in the sunshine Of thy full favour. Fair laughs the Morn, etc. These lines may be paraphrased thus:—The morning i. No thought is there of the whirlwind that lies silently in wait to sweep away the prey which at sunset must be his. In his "Biographia Literaria" p. How like a prodigal doth she return, With over-weathered ribs, and ragged sails, Lean, rent, and beggared by the strumpet wind! I mention this because in referring various lines in Gray to their original in Shakespeare and Milton—and in the clear perception how completely all the propriety was lost in the transfer—I was, at that early period, led to a conjecture which, many years afterwards, was recalled to me from the same thought having been started in conversation, but far more ably and developed more fully, by Mr.
Wordsworth, namely, that this style of poetry, which I have characterized above as translations of prose thoughts into poetic language, had been kept up, if it did not wholly arise from, the custom of writing Latin verses, and the great importance attached to these exercises in our public schools.
Above and below in the loom we intertwine the roses, to be united by the marriage of Henry VII. He is represented as guilty of their murder, and is under the shade of the united roses, having been slain at the battle of Bosworth. Half of thy heart. Horace's "animae dimidium meae," "Ode" I. A skirt is the edge or lower part of a garment; cf. Lost, v. Visions of glory. Webster, the American orator, introduced this passage thus, "Unborn ages and visions of glory crowd upon my soul! No more.
All hail, ye genuine Kings. None of the annotators have noted the point in this couplet and in the remainder of the bard's song, though Gray hints at it in his note on line Hitherto the bard has been denouncing the woes that were to befall the Plantagenet line, but on the extinction of the House of York he foresees visions of glory for his native land—not only was England to become a Welsh dependency, ruled by Welsh monarchs, but the race of the bards, that had been cut off by the ruthless Edward, is restored in Spencer and Shakespeare—a new era of bards under a sovereign of Welsh descent!
Britannia's issue and of the Briton-Line, are equivalent to "Welsh" the Kelts, original Britons, having been driven into Wales. Native; lit. Of the Briton-Line, i. Warble is a favourite word of Gray's for song or verse—whether of birds or poets. He seems to have taken it like many another word or phrase from Milton; in "l'Allegro" Shakespeare is said to " Warble his native wood-notes wild.
This seems borrowed from Milton:— "So sinks the daystar in the ocean-bed, And yet anon repairs his drooping head. The bright beams of light. With joy. The Bard is still addressing Edward, and says he rejoices at the different doom that awaits the king and himself—the evil that is to fall on the house of the monarch and his descendants, and the triumph of his own poetical descendants in the persons of the Elizabethan poets. Hovered in the noontide ray. Mirrors of Saxon truth and loyalty Your helpless, old, expiring master view!
Yet thou, proud boy, from Pomfret's walls shall send A sigh, and envy oft thy happy grandsire's end. A baleful smile. A smile of horror. Me unblessed, unpitied, here. Your despairing Caradoc. Solemn scenes. Scenes of heaven. No more our long lost, etc. Youthful knights, and barons bold With dazzling helm, and horrent spear. This Ode was written in , and first published as the seventh in the Poems of In a letter to Beattie , 1st February, , Gray states that his "sole reason" for publishing this and the following odes is "to make up for the omission of the Long Story," which he did not include in his poems in The Ode is a translation or paraphrase from the Norwegian, the original being an Icelandic court poem written about , entitled "Darradar Liod, or the Lay of Darts.
There is also a Latin version, referred to by Gray. The friend referred to in the advertisement was Mason, and the "design was dropped" on his hearing that Thomas Warton was engaged on a History of English Poetry. The title in the Pembroke MS. With the weaving here and in the "Bard" compare the paraphrase of the gipsy's song in "Guy Mannering":— "Twist ye, twine ye! Now they wax and now they dwindle, Whirling with the whirling spindle," etc. The names of the sisters in the original are Hilda, Hiorthrimula, Sangrida, and Swipula. Gray prints and spells thus—desart-beach. The meaning of this verse is that the tribe which has hitherto been confined to the sea-coast shall rule over rich provinces in the interior of Ireland.
These lines are not in the original. The reference to Scotland is explained in the Preface. Mista black. Triumph is struck out and 'conquer' in the margin, Pembroke MS. Gondula, and Geira. Gunna and Gondula. Hurry, hurry to the field. This Ode, as well as the preceding and the following one, was first published in the edition of Mitford follows the original title in the Wharton MS. The first five stanzas of this Ode are omitted; in which Balder, one of the sons of Odin, was informed that he should soon die.
Upon his communication of his dream, the other gods, finding it true, by consulting the oracles, agreed to ward off the approaching danger, and sent Frigga to exact an oath from every thing not to injure Balder. She, however, overlooked the mistletoe, with a branch of which he was afterwards slain by Hoder, at the instigation of Lok. After the execution of this commission, Odin, still alarmed for the life of his son, called another council; and hearing nothing but divided opinions among the gods, to consult the Prophetess "he up-rose with speed.
The first five stanzas are given in S. Jones' edition of Gray. Hela, in the Edda, is described with a dreadful countenance, and her body half flesh-colour, and half blue. The Edda gives this dog the name of Managarmar. He fed upon the lives of those that were to die. In a little poem called the "Magic of Odin" Bartholinus, p.
When I see magicians travelling through the air, I disconcert them with a single look, and force them to abandon their enterprise. The original word is Valgalldr; from Valr , mortuus, and Galldr, incantatio. Odin we find both from this Ode and the Edda was solicitous about the fate of his son, Balder, who had dreamed he was soon to die. Women were looked upon by the Gothic nations as having a peculiar insight into futurity; and some there were that made profession of magic arts and divination.
These travelled round the country, and were received in every house with great respect and honour. Such a woman bore the name of Volva, Seidkona, or Spakona.
The dress of Thorbiorga, one of these prophetesses, is described at large in Eirik's "Rauda Sogu" apud Bartholin, lib. She had on a blue vest spangled all over with stones, a necklace of glass beads, and a cap made of the skin of a black lamb lined with white cat-skin. She leaned on a staff adorned with brass, with a round head set with stones; and was girt with an Hunlandish belt, at which hung her pouch full of magical instruments.
Her buskins were of rough calf-skin, bound on with thongs studded with knobs of brass, and her gloves of white cat-skin, the fur turned inwards, etc. They were also called Fiolkyngi, or Fiolkunnug, i. Herbert, "Icelandic Translations. What virgins these. These were the Norns or Fates, invisible to mortals; so by recognizing them Odin revealed his divinity. Various Readings in the Wharton MS. My troubled. A weary. Prophetess, my call obey, Once again arise and say.
Once again my call obey, Prophetess, arise and say. Who th' Avenger, etc. These verses are transposed in the Wharton MS. Tell me. Say from. The mightiest of the mighty line. Hence and. Has reassumed. Reassumes her. The original Welsh of the above poem was the composition of Gwalchmai, the son of Melir, immediately after Prince Owen Gwynedd had defeated the combined fleets of Iceland, Denmark, and Norway, which had invaded his territory on the coast of Anglesea.
There is likewise another poem which describes this famous battle, written by Prince Howel, the son of Owen Gwynedd. Squadrons three. The construction is: "This squadron hiding concealing the Irish force; Lochlin, riding side by side as proudly, ploughs the way," etc. On her shadow. The Danish fleet sails on the shadow it makes in the water.
Canning, in his celebrated simile, speaks of "those tremendous fabrics now reposing on their shadows in perfect stillness. Her stands for Lochlin, an army or fleet being often described by the name of the country itself, long and gay agree with Lochlin. See Scott's "Lay of the Last Minstrel," vi.
A red dragon was the device Owen wore. Moelfre, a small bay on the north-east coast of Anglesea. After line 26 there are the four following lines in the MS. Checked by the torrent-tide of blood, Backward Meinai rolls his flood; While, heaped his master's feet around, Prostrate warriors gnaw the ground.
Bodies From The Library Conference
From this line to the end is Gray's amplification rather than a translation, very little of it being in the original, which closes as follows: "And the glory of our Prince's wide-wasting sword shall be celebrated in a hundred languages, to give him his merited praise. Fear, etc. Marking with indignant looks those who were afraid to stop, or ashamed to fly. This is a peculiar use of the abstract for the concrete. Marking agrees with he. In the winter of , after the death of his aunt, Mary Antrobus, Gray resumed it at Cambridge , and finished it at Stoke early in June, ; and on the 12th of that month he sent a copy of it in MS.
On the 10th of February, , Gray received a letter from the editors of the "Magazine of Magazines," asking permission to publish it. Yesterday I had the misfortune of receiving a letter from certain gentlemen as their bookseller expresses it , who have taken the 'Magazine of Magazines' into their hands. They tell me that an ingenious Poem, called 'Reflections in a Country Church-yard,' has been communicated to them, which they are printing forthwith; that they are informed that the excellent author of it is I by name, and that they beg not only his indulgence, but the honour of his correspondence, etc.
As I am not at all disposed to be either so indulgent, or so correspondent as they desire, I have but one bad way left to escape the honour they would inflict upon me; and therefore am obliged to desire you would make Dodsley print it immediately which may be done in less than a week's time , from your copy, but without my name, in what form is most convenient for him, but on his best paper and character; he must correct the press himself, and print it without any interval between the stanzas, because the sense is in some places continued beyond them; and the title must be,—'Elegy, written in a Country Church-yard.
If you behold the 'Magazine of Magazines' in the light that I do, you will not refuse to give yourself this trouble on my account, which you have taken of your own accord before now. If Dodsley do not do this immediately, he may as well let it alone. London: Printed for R. Dodsley in Pall-Mall; and sold by M.
Cooper in Pater-Noster Row. Price sixpence. It is this Approbation which makes it unnecessary for me to make any Apology but to the Author: As he cannot but feel some Satisfaction in having pleas'd so many Readers already, I flatter myself he will forgive my communicating that Pleasure to many more. The poem was at once reproduced in the magazines; it appeared in the "Magazine of Magazines" on the 28th of February, in the "London Magazine" and in the "Scots' Magazine," on the 31st of March, and in the "Grand Magazine of Magazines" on the 30th of April.
Gray has entered the following note in the margin of the Pembroke MS. Bentley's Designs, of wch. Anstey, Esq. Lloyd, M. Mason says that Gray "originally gave it only the simple title of 'Stanzas written in a Country Church-yard,'" but that he "persuaded him first to call it an Elegy, because the subject authorized him so to do, and the alternate measure seemed particularly fit for that species of composition; also so capital a poem written in this measure, would as it were appropriate it in future to writings of this sort.
Peter's College, Cambridge, and a friend of Gray's , who, at his death in , left the greater portion to Pembroke College, and the remainder to his friend Mr. Bright,—each set containing a copy of the "Elegy. The collection left to Mr. Bright was sold by auction in ; the MS. Rolfe calls this the "Fraser MS. Gosse refers to it as the "Mason MS. As this MS. The Curfew. The curfew was a bell, or the ringing of a bell, rung at eight o'clock in the evening for putting out fires Fr. The word continued to be applied to an evening bell long after the law for putting out fires ceased, but it is not now so used, and the word would have become obsolete but for Gray's use of it here, and when one speaks of the curfew one thinks of the first line of the "Elegy.
Gray quotes in original the lines from Dante which suggested this line. Cary's translation is as follows:— "And pilgrim, newly on his road with love, Thrills if he hear the vesper bell from far, That seems to mourn for the expiring day. This is the correct reading, as, though winds occur in the first printed edition , wind is what Gray has in the MS. After the first edition I find with winds is Stephen Jones' , and though Mitford in his edition of has wind, in the Aldine edition he has winds, and is followed—without comment—by almost all subsequent editors of Gray's "Poems," and in popular reprints of the "Elegy.
The yew-tree under which Gray often sat in Stoke churchyard still exists there; it is on the south side of the church, its branches spread over a large circumference, and under it as well as under its shade there are several graves. Wakefield quotes from Parnell's "Night Piece on Death" :— "Those graves with bending osier bound, That nameless heave the crumbled ground.
Throughout the "Elegy" he refers to the poor, the people of the hamlet, as contrasted with the rich, who were interred and had their monuments inside the church. In the MSS. This stanza and the ninth form the inscription on the east side of the monument to Gray in Stoke Park. Sending forth fragrant smells.
Lost, ix. The cock's shrill clarion. A clarion is a wind instrument, a kind of trumpet, with a shrill sound, from Lat. It is from Milton that he takes clarion for the sound of the cock's crow:— ". Lost, vii. In the original MS. The huntsman's horn, that wakens echoes. Milton again:— "Oft listening how the hounds and horn Cheerly rouse the slumbering morn, From the side of some hoar hill Through the high wood echoing shrill. The humble bed in which they have been sleeping. Lloyd in his Latin translation strangely mistook "lowly bed" for the grave.
The following are parallel passages:— "Jam jam non domus accipiet te laeta, neque uxor Optima, nec dulces occurrent oscula nati Praeripere, et tacita pectus dulcedine tangent. Be busied at her household duties. Some annotators take exception to this use of ply; but it is a shortened form of apply similarly used by Milton and old writers:—"He is ever at his plow, he is ever applying his business. Lost, iv. The expression is a good instance of the poetical language against which Wordsworth protested.
When he had occasion to refer to a similar scene, he wrote:— "And she I cherished turned her wheel Beside an English fire. Luke quotes from Gay's "Fables":— "'Tis mine to tame the stubborn glebe. To the field. Milton's expression, "we drove afield," "Lycidas," Wakefield quotes from Spenser's "Shepherd's Kalendar":— "But to the root bent his sturdie stroak , And made many wounds in the wast oak.
This, like many another line in the "Elegy," may be said to be part of the English language; it was "chiselled for immortality. This stanza is the second of the two on the east side of the monument, vide note on Death mows down all with an impartial hand. The lines are:— "These are thy glorious deeds, almighty Death!
Ah me! This is Gray's reading in his MSS. Scott of Amwell in his "Critical Essay" on the "Elegy," published in , writes in a footnote: "It should be await, the plural, for it includes a number of circumstances. But as in the editions of the "Elegy" in , "corrected by the author," and in his last edition, , Gray prints awaits, it is clear that he intended it to be so retained; besides, it is better to take "inevitable hour" as the subject of "awaits," and not "boast," "pomp," etc. Clarke," 11 ; and "Shakespeare Verses," 8.
In Hayley's "Life of Crashaw," in the Biographia Britannica, it is said that this line is "literally translated from the Latin prose of Bartholinus in his Danish Antiquities. These words occur together in Shakespeare:— "And, when I am forgotten, as I shall be, And sleep in dull cold marble. Full of heaven-sent inspiration; cf. He first wrote reins; and changed it probably because Tickell has it in his lines on the death of Addison "To Earl Warwick":— "Proud names, who once the reins of empire held. Various originals have been cited for this famous stanza, but often as the thought may have occurred before Gray it is in the form in which he has worded it that it is known the world over.
A writer in the "Gentleman's Magazine" for May, , refers to Young, "Universal Passion":— "In distant wilds, by human eyes unseen, She rears her flowers, and spreads her velvet green; Pure gurgling rills the lonely desert trace, And waste their music on the savage race. Gray introduces "the gem and the flower" in his "Ode at the Installation" written nearly twenty years later thus:— "Thy liberal heart, thy judging eye, The flower unheeded shall descry, And bid it round heaven's altars shed The fragrance of its blushing head; Shall raise from earth the latent gem To glitter on the diadem.
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This line occurs in Churchill's "Gotham," ii. For the allusions to Hampden , Milton , and Cromwell , the student should refer to a History. Instead of these three names there are, in the Original MS. Hampden was M. Chalfont, in which is the cottage where Milton finished "Paradise Lost," is only a few miles from the "Churchyard" of the "Elegy.
To scatter plenty, etc. Mitford quotes a line from Tickell, and one from Mrs. Behn containing these expressions; but Gray repeats what he wrote in "Education and Government":— "If equal Justice with unclouded face Smile not indulgent on the rising race, And scatter with a free, though frugal, hand Like golden showers of plenty o'er the land. The early poems and translations of Gray, unpublished in his lifetime, and now so little read, are like a storehouse from which he took thoughts and expressions for the "Odes" and "Elegy.
This is in Shakespeare, "Winter's Tale," iv. Genuine, natural; the "in" has not a negative force. After this verse, in the Original MS. Rogers quotes from one of Drummond's "Sonnets":— "Far from the madding worldling's hoarse discord. Gray has it in "Agrippina," 83, already quoted. Gray had probably in mind that under the yew-tree there is a tombstone with several words wrongly spelt and some letters ill-formed, and that even in the inscription which he composed for his aunt's tomb the word resurrection is spelt incorrectly by the unlettered stone-cutter.
This stanza is capable of two constructions, according as we take prey in agreement with who or with being. I prefer the former:—For what person, a prey to forgetfulness, ever resigned his life, and left the world, without casting a regretful look behind? If prey be taken with being, then "to dumb Forgetfulness a prey" is the completion of the predicate resigned, and we have two questions asked:—For who ever resigned this life to be a prey to forgetfulness, and left the world without, etc.?
The For refers to what has gone before, lines ; even to these poor rustics there are memorials that ask for the sympathy of the passer-by, because who ever left the world without a regretful look and a desire to be remembered? Gray probably took this expression from "Paradise Lost," iii.
This stanza may be regarded as an answer to the question in the last: When dying one rests on some loving friend, and needs the tears of affection; and even after one is buried the same natural desire for loving remembrance shows itself; and when all is dust and ashes the fire that was accustomed to be in those ashes lives in them and finds expression in the inscription on the tombs. The translation by Nott of the lines Gray quotes from Petrarch is:— "These, my sweet fair, so warns prophetic thought, Closed thy bright eye, and mute thy poet's tongue E'en after death shall still with sparks be fraught.
Still more closely does line 92 resemble one in Chaucer, in the "Reeve's Prologue," speaking of old men not forgetting the passions of their youth:— "Yet in our ashen cold is fire yreken. It has been suggested that the first line of this stanza seems to regard the near approach of death; the second, its actual advent; the third, the time immediately succeeding its advent; the fourth, a time still later. This stanza is altered from the second of the rejected stanzas quoted above as coming after line 72 in the Original MS.
Both here and in the "Installation Ode" Gray has Milton's expressions in view:— "See the blabbing eastern scout, The nice Morn, on the Indian steep, From her cabined loophole peep, And to the tell-tale sun descry Our concealed solemnity. And in the "Installation Ode" he puts the following words into Milton's mouth,— dawn rhyming as here with lawn — "Oft at the blush of dawn I trod your level lawn. Milton's words again:—. After this stanza there is the following in the Original MS. In a footnote the reviewer of Mason's edition of Gray's Poems, in the "Gentleman's Magazine," June, , says Gray plainly alludes to this stanza and this evening employment when in a subsequent stanza he mentions not only the customed hill, etc.
It is " at the foot " of a beech that Gray describes himself as "squatting," in a letter to Walpole already quoted, note on line 17 of the "Ode on the Spring" , and there he "grows to the trunk for a whole morning. Mitford prints "woful-wan," but in the printed copies published in Gray's lifetime the line stands as in this edition, woful wan means sad and pale, not "wofully pale. Along the heath , the reference is to the heath mentioned in the rejected stanza which came after line These two stanzas form the inscription on the monument to Gray, in Stoke Park, on the side that faces the church.
Gray may not have taken the words from Shakespeare; the graveyard at Stoke-Poges is reached by paths leading from the road; and it is one of these paths rather than a path in the graveyard that is referred to. Hales considers that these words are introduced because "reading was not such a common accomplishment then that it could be taken for granted"; and Mr. Rolfe says "the 'hoary-headed swain' of course could not read.
Instruct me for thou knowest. Lost, i. Opposite this stanza in the Pembroke MS. Gray has written "Omitted, Also he may have noted the resemblance it bears to some expressions and lines in Collins' "Dirge in Cymbeline " pub. The red-breast oft, at evening hours, Shall kindly lend its little aid," etc. This line has become a hackneyed quotation. In Gray's translation of Propertius, he has— "Happy the youth, and not unknown to Fame.
Knowledge in general; see "Ode on Eton," 3 , where it is applied to the learning that is to be had in that College, frowned not on his birth , looked favourably on him. Wakefield quotes from Horace:— "Quem tu, Melpomene, semel Nascentem placido lumine videris. Whom thou, Melpomene, may have looked on with a favourable eye at the hour of his birth. Mitford and others misprint this by placing these words in brackets; it does not mean to say that "he gave to Mis'ry a tear," but he gave to Misery all he had, and that all was only a tear.
For ever sleep; the breezy call of Morn, Or swallow, etc. Or chanticleer so shrill, or echoing horn. Forgive, ye proud, th' involuntary fault, If Memory to these no trophies raise. All MSS. The present reading is written in the margin. Had damped. Or heap. And at the. And buried ashes glow with social fires. And in our ashes glow their wonted fires. With hasty footsteps brush the dews away. On the high brow of yonder hanging lawn. Hard by yon wood. With gestures quaint. He would. Would he. Now woful wan he drooped, as one forlorn. By the heath-side and at his fav'rite tree.
Nor seek to draw them from their dread abode. His frailties there in trembling hope repose. The "Elegy" having been handed about in MS. Purt of Stoke that the poet lived in the neighbourhood and was Mr. Gray, whom she did not know. This was in the summer of , and two ladies who were stopping with her, Miss Speed and Lady Schaub , on the strength of the latter knowing Lady Brown, a friend of Gray's, called at his aunt's house, but the poet was not at home.
He returned the call, and thus began his acquaintance and friendship with Lady Cobham and Miss Speed, which resulted in his humorous account of his introduction to them, which he called "A Long Story," and his "Amatory Lines" and the "Song" written at the request of Miss Speed. See the Notes on the "Amatory Lines" and "Song. In a letter to Dr. Beattie , dated 24th December, , Gray says he had consented to let Dodsley reprint all he ever published "if he would omit entirely the "Long Story" which was never meant for the public, and only suffered to appear in that pompous edition because of Mr.
Bentley's designs, which were not intelligible without it. Penn, was the scene of Gray's "Long Story. The Mr. Penn who bought the mansion on the death of Lady Cobham in , was a son of William Penn, the founder of Pennsylvania, and it remained in the possession of the Penn family until , when it was bought by the Rt. Labouchere Baron Taunton , and by him sold to Mr. Edward Coleman, from whom it was purchased in by Mr. Wilberforce Bryant. Misprinted buildings in Mr. Gosse's edition. The residence of Sir Christopher Hatton at Stoke is doubted by his biographer, Sir Harris Nicolas, who believes the tradition originated in the marriage of his widow with Sir E.
Coke, to whom Stoke Mansion belonged, and by whom Queen Elizabeth was entertained there. Miss Speed, who, after the death of her father, Colonel Speed, was brought up in the family of Lord Cobham. Mason says she was a relation of Lady Cobham's. See "Gray and his Friends. Melissa, A beneficent fairy invented by the Italian poets. Robert Purt was Fellow of King's College, Cambridge, , assistant master at Eton, and tutor to Lord Baltimore's son there; in he was presented to the rectory of Settrington in Yorkshire. He died in April, , of the small-pox.
Gray; she is sorry not to have found him at home, to tell him that Lady Brown is very well. In the elegant little edition of Gray's poems, published by Sharpe, with illustrations by Westall, in , this name is printed Tyacke in the text, and there is the following footnote:—"Her name which has hitherto, in all editions of Gray's Poems, been written Styack, is corrected from her gravestone in the churchyard, and the accounts of contemporary persons in the parish.
House-keepers are usually styled Mrs. Tyacke" for "Mrs. Styacke," as when he wrote the "Long Story" he had only just become acquainted with Lady Cobham's household. I see no necessity, however, for altering the name in the text; but the point is worth recording, as it has not been referred to by any other editor of Gray. In the edition published by Bickers and Bush, , 'Tyacke' is the reading in the text, without note.
James Squibb, the son of Dr. Arthur Squibb, chaplain to Colonel Bellasis's regiment about , attracted the notice of Lord Cobham, in whose service he continued for many years, and died at Stowe in June, From the "Gentleman's Magazine" for , I find that James Maclean wrongly spelt by Gray , was hanged on the 3rd October, ; this then, taken with Gray's footnote, gives us the date of his finishing the poem.
When he was called to receive sentence, he only said, "My Lord, I cannot speak. The ghostly Prudes, the ghosts of the ladies in the portraits, hagged. The Scarlet Banner Gelimer A. Night - No. Issued to celebrate the fiftieth birthday, in , of the Mercantile Mutual Insurance Company.
The Adventures of Louis de Rougemont-- Text. Johnston of Malaspina University-College, Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada, may be used, in whole or in part, by anyone, without permission and without charge, provided the source is acknowledged. Released October For comments and suggestions for improvements, please contact Ian Johnston]. Stories at Roy Glashan's Library.
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Titles available at Roy Glashan's Library. Journals of Expeditions of Discovery into Central Australia, etc. A Voyage to Terra Australis Vol. Who Killed Castelvetri? Still copyright in Australia. The Famous Cases of Dr. The Adventures of Dr. Thorndyke's Case-Book a. File No. Voyage of Discovery to N.
Available at at Roy Glashan's Library. The Federal Capital. Other novels and short fiction are available from Roy Glashan's Library in various formats. Eureka --at Roy Glashan's Library. Journey of Discovery to Port Phillip [edited by W. Desmond Humphreys; E. Jayne Gilbert. The Tragedy of a Third Smoker. Byerley Also refer to an account by A J Richardson. The Country of the Pointed Firs-- Text.
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