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Dulce et Decorum Est. Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard. The Emperor of Ice-Cream. Epitaph for an Old Woman. The Eve of St. Farm Implements and Rutabagas in a Landscape. Fern Hill. The Fish Marianne Moore. For the Union Dead. Fra Lippo Lippi. From Blank to Blank. The Guitarist Tunes Up. Harlem Dream Deferred. The Haunted Palace. Having a Coke with You. Home-Thoughts, from Abroad. Hope is the thing with feathers. How I Got That Name. How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.

Sonnet Hugh Selwyn Mauberley. Hurt Hawks. The Husband's Message. A Hymn to God the Father. I Am Offering this Poem. I Hear America Singing. I dwell in Possibility. I felt a Funeral, in my Brain. I heard a Fly buzz — when I died —. I like to see it lap the Miles. I measure every Grief I meet. I taste a liquor never brewed. I wandered lonely as a Cloud Daffodils. I, Too, Sing America. The Idea of Order at Key West.

In Memory of W. In a Station of the Metro. In the Waiting Room. Introduction to Poetry. Journey of the Magi. Keeping Things Whole. Kitchenette Building. La Belle Dame Sans Merci. The Lake Isle of Innisfree. Lift Every Voice and Sing. The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock. Love Sonnet Loveliest of Trees. Maggie and Milly and Molly and May. Man Listening to Disc. The Marriage of Heaven and Hell. Meditation at Lagunitas. The Mind Is an Enchanting Thing. Morning Song. Much Madness is divinest Sense—. My Life had stood — a Loaded Gun —. The Naked and the Nude. The Negro Speaks of Rivers. Neither Out Far Nor in Deep.

A Noiseless Patient Spider. Not Waving but Drowning. Nothing Gold Can Stay. The Nymph's Reply to the Shepherd. O Captain! My Captain! Ode on a Grecian Urn. Ode to a Nightingale. Ode to the West Wind. On Being Brought from Africa to America.


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One of the Lives. Parting at Morning. The Passing of the Year. The Passionate Shepherd to His Love. Paul Revere's Ride. Persephone, Falling. O Pioneers! Poem [Lana Turner has collapsed! Portrait d'une Femme. Portrait in Georgia. The Prisoner of Chillon: A Fable. Psalm 23 "The Lord is My Shepherd". The Quaker Graveyard in Nantucket. Questions of Travel. The Rape of the Lock. The Rights of Woman. The Rime of the Ancient Mariner. Sailing to Byzantium. Search for My Tongue. She Walks in Beauty. Shine, Perishing Republic. Slow, Slow, Fresh Fount. Soliloquy of the Spanish Cloister. The Solitary Reaper.

Song for a Dark Girl. The Song of Wandering Aengus. Song of the Open Road. Song to Celia "Drink to me only with thine eyes". One day I wrote her name upon the strand Sonnet The Splendour Falls on Castle Walls. Spring Shakespeare. Inevitably the literary periodicals felt free to publish so celebrated a poem and, apart from the Magazine of Magazines , it had appeared in the London Mag. Rothkrug, in the article mentioned above, pointed out that the Elegy also appeared in Poems on Moral and Divine Subjects, by Several Celebrated English Poets Glasgow, ; and confirmed that, as had been suspected but not established, it had been published in the Grand Magazine of Magazines in April Apart from these two publications, the frequent appearances of the Elegy in G.

Stokes in his edn of the Elegy Oxford, Stokes, Times Lit. Goadby and W. Owen, the publisher of the Magazine of Magazines. See A. Anderson, The Library , 5th series, xx , for a refutation ofStokes's argument for the importance of this text, which was probably not printed in fact until late In spite of, or perhaps because of, its popularity, G. He made a few comments on it in a letter to Christopher Anstey, who published a Latin translation of the poem in Corresp ii but otherwise tended to be cynical about its celebrity.

During a visit to Scotland in , he spoke to Dr John Gregory of the Elegy : 'which he told me, with a good deal of acrimony, owed its popularity entirely to the subject, and that the public would have received it as well if it had been written in prose' Sir William Forbes, Life of James Beattie i Mason also believed this to be G. Soon after its publication, I remember that, sitting with Mr. Gray in his College apartment, he expressed to me his surprise at the rapidity of its sale.

I replied: '' Sunt Lachrymae rerum, mentem mortalia tangunt. Young's Night Thoughts have preoccupied it. A marginal note apparently added to from time to time in the transcript of the poem in his Commonplace Book lists, with evident satisfaction, the various edns it passed through, as well as the two Latin translations by Lloyd and Anstey. And he can hardly have been unimpressed by the spate of imitations, parodies and translations into other languages which was already in full flow in his own lifetime; see Northup, Bibliography of G.

Starr's continuation pp. Jones, 'Imitations of G. This aspect of the Elegy's popularity and influence can be illustrated by John Langhorne's remarks, in his review of An Elegy, Written among the Tombs in Westminster Abbey Monthly Review xxvi , on the number of G. Johnson's brief but eloquent tribute in the Lives of the Poets was followed in more senses than one in by John Young's Criticism of the Elegy 2nd edn, , a detailed discussion of the poem in a manner deliberately imitating Johnson's. Discussion of the poem in the next century tended to be pre-occupied with such matters as G.

Some recent discussions of the poem, in addition to those mentioned above, which should be consulted are: Roger Martin, Essai sur Thomas Gray Paris, pp. Hilles and H. Bloom pp. Amy L. Reed's The Background to Gray's Elegy New York, , investigates melancholy as a subject in earlier eighteenth-century poetry, but does not throw a great deal of light on the poem itself. The crucial fact about the poem, of which by no means all discussions of the Elegy take account, is that we possess two distinct versions of it: the version which originally ended with the four rejected stanzas in the Eton MS, and the familiar, revised and expanded version.

Many of the difficulties in the interpretation of the poem can be clarified if the two versions are examined in turn. As has been stated above, Mason's assertion that the first version of the poem ended with the rejected stanzas appears to be fully justified. In this form the Elegy is a well-constructed poem, in some ways more balanced and lucid than in its final version. The three opening stanzas brilliantly setting the poem and the poet in the churchyard, are followed by four balanced sections each of four stanzas, dealing in turn with the lives of the humble villagers; by contrast, with the lives of the great; with the way in which the villagers are deprived of the opportunities of greatness; and by contrast, with the crimes inextricably involved in success as the 'thoughtless world' knows it, from which the villagers are protected.

The last three stanzas, balancing the opening three, return to the poet himself in the churchyard, making clear that the whole poem has been a debate within his mind as he meditates in the darkness, at the end of which he makes his own choice about the preferability of obscure innocence to the dangers of the 'great world'.

It is the personal involvement of the poet and his desire to share the obscure destiny of the villagers in this version of the poem which make Empson's ingenious remarks in Some Versions of Pastoral ultimately irrelevant and misleading.

Thomas Gray Archive : Texts : Poems : Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard

Underlying the whole structure of the first version of the Elegy , reinforcing the poet's rejection of the great world and supplying many details of thought and phrasing, are two celebrated classical poems in praise of rural retirement from the corruption of the court and city: the passage beginning O fortunatos nimium in Virgil's Georgics ii ff and Horace's second Epode , Beatus ille For a study of the pervasive influence of these poems on English poetry in the seventeenth- and eighteenth-centuries, see Maren-Sofie Rostvig, The Happy Man 2 vols, Oslo, In the concluding 'rejected' stanzas of the first version of the Elegy the classical praise of retirement is successfully blended with the Christian consolation that this world is nothing but vanity and that comfort for the afflicted will come in the next, although G.

His tact and unobtrusiveness are all the more marked when his poem is compared with the emotional, even melodramatic, effects to which the other 'graveyard' practitioners - Young, Blair and Hervey - are prepared to resort when handling the same themes. The appendix to the poem see p. The classical or 'Augustan' restraint and balance which preserved him from such excesses is a strength which is manifested similarly in the balanced structure of the poem as a whole, as well as in the balancing effect of the basic quatrain unit. The conclusion of the first version of the Elegy ultimately failed to satisfy G.

A simple identification with the innocent but uneducated villagers was mere self-deception. This theme, which runs counter to the earlier resignation to obscurity and the expectation of 'eternal peace' hereafter, leads G. The figure of the Poet is no longer the urban, urbane, worldly, rational Augustan man among men, with his own place in society; what G. The lack of social function so apparent in English poetry of the mid- and late eighteenth-century is constantly betrayed by its search for inspiration in the past.

Significantly, G. The texture of these stanzas is fanciful, consciously 'poetic', archaic in tone. If the swain's picture of the lonely Poet is respectful but puzzled, emphasising the unique and somehow valuable sensibility which characterises him, the 'Epitaph', from a different standpoint, assesses that sensibility as the source of such social virtues as pity and benevolence see l.

The central figure of The Bard himself is a not totally unpredictable development of the Poet at the end of the Elegy : more defiant in his belief that poetry and liberty in society are inseparably involved with each other and his awareness of the forces which are hostile to poetry; equally isolated and equally, if more spectacularly, doomed. Two marginal problems associated with the Elegy may be mentioned in conclusion. The early nineteenth-century tradition that General Wolfe, on the night before the capture of Quebec from the French in , declared, 'I would rather have been the author of that piece than beat the French tomorrow', is examined in detail by F.

Stokes in an appendix to his edn of the Elegy Oxford, pp. Stokes also deals in another appendix pp. Not surprisingly, no definite identification of the churchyard can be made, in spite of the number of candidates for the honour. In his own lifetime, G. Anyone versed in the 'graveyard' poetry and prose of the mid-eighteenth-century will be satisfied that G.

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Heath-Stubbs, Gerrard, It was reprinted in newspapers, magazines and miscellanies, and ran through eight editions by The similarities to Joseph Warton's Ode to Evening [ The surviving Eton College MS represents the earliest known version before a major reworking took place, and it was not until 12 June that Gray sent a copy of the completed poem to Walpole, 'having put an end to a thing, whose beginning you have seen long ago' Correspondence , Gray made some corrections and further minor revisions to the Elegy for its inclusion in Designs by Mr.

Bentley [ In extending the Elegy beyond the ending he originally envisaged see note[s] to line 72 , Gray added an extra layer of irony. As in Ode on the Spring he executes a self-scrutinizing turn, which here places the poet in his own grave, with an illiterate rustic remembering him. Gray's poem is intensely allusive. In this respect it can be seen as continuing the tradition of pastoral elegy, a genre which as part of its mourning tribute interweaves earlier voices into a garland of allusion. Only a limited number of parallel passages and echoed phrases can be noted here.

Lonsdale's Longman edition see above is invaluable in helping the reader appreciate the full tapestry of Gray's poem, and anyone wishing to explore this aspect further should consult his annotations. The first omitted stanza, commonly referred to as "the redbreast stanza" after l.

It appeared in print from the third edition of the "Elegy", but was removed by Gray in the Designs , according to Mason, "because he thought and in my own opinion very justly that it was too long a parenthesis in this place. The lines however are, in themselves, exquisitely fine, and demand preservation. The Eton MS of the "Elegy" has another omitted stanza after l. I cannot help hinting to the reader, that I think the third of these rejected stanzas equal to any in the whole Elegy. The standard History of England in Gray's time, that by Thomas Carte, describes the curfew law of William the Conqueror as ''an ordinance, that all the common people should put out their fire and candle and go to bed at seven a clock, upon the ringing of a bell, called the couvre feu bell , on pain of death; a regulation, which having been made in an assembly of the estates of Normandie at Caen , in A.

Joseph Warton's Ode to [ Joseph Warton's Ode to Evening , which contains a number of passages strikingly similar to the Elegy , although - so far as I know - the similarity has not been noticed by editors. Warton's Odes were published in One stanza in particular Gray may have had in mind when he composed the first stanza of his Elegy: ''Hail, meek-eyed maiden, clad in sober grey, Whose soft approach the weary woodman loves, As, homeward bent to kiss his prattling babes, He jocund whistles thro' the twilight groves.

Warton's , and the whole atmosphere of Collins's Ode to Evening is similar to that of the Elegy.

Gaius Valerius Catullus

With songs the jovial hinds return from plow, And unyok'd heifers, pacing homeward, low. 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.

In Shakespeare the sound of the Curfew is the signal to the spirit-world to be at large. Edgar in Lear feigns to recognize 'the foul fiend Flibbertigibbet: he begins at curfew and walks till the first cock' III. Milton's ' far-off curfew' reminds us of the squilla di lontano of Dante, which Gray quotes for the first line of the Elegy. The curfew tolls from Great S. Mary's, at Cambridge, at 9, from the Curfew Tower of Windsor Castle nearer the scene of the Elegy at 8, in the evening.

Warton, Notes on Pope , vol. He may have felt obliged to do so publicly as a result of Norton Nicholls's discovery of the debt: see Corresp iii But Shakespeare has 'To hear the solemn curfew', Tempest V i 40 and uses the word on three other occasions. It also occurs in Thomson, Liberty iv and n ; and in T. Pope, [ Pope, Odyssey x 'As from fresh pastures and the dewy fields 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.

Add that of Gray's cattle some are returning from the pasture, but others from the plough. Of the innumerable passages that might be quoted in illustration of this line, perhaps that given by Mitford from Petrarch [Pte I. Canzone IV. And Horace's ''Sol ubi montium mutaret umbras, et juga demeret bobus fatigatis A scholar-poet could scarcely mention the 'lowing herd' and the 'plowman' without some reminiscence of this old-world note of time. But the return of oxen or horses from the plough, is not a natural circumstance of an English evening. In England the ploughman always quits his work at noon.

Gray, therefore, with Milton, painted from books and not from the life, where in describing the departing day-light he says The subject was reopened in Notes and Queries 7th series, ix and x , ; and again in 10th series, xii , Although the usual conclusion of these discussions was that the habits of ploughmen varied in different parts of England, Warton was no doubt right in suggesting that G. Roscommon's imitation of this Ode , which G. These [ In broad daylight the scene belongs to the toiler; when he withdraws, he resigns it to the solitary poet, and to the shadows congenial to his spirit.

Munro renders this line: ''Cunctaque dat tenebris, dat potiunda mihi. The scenery as well as the meditations of the Elegy were by no means original; they simply established more firmly literary fashions which were already fast becoming popular. Dr Phelps remarks that ''the scenery as well as the meditations of the Elegy were by no means original: they simply established more firmly literary fashions which were already becoming familiar. The spirit of gentle melancholy was in the air; and in and found in three young poets, Collins, Joseph Warton and Thomas Warton, that voice to the world at large which is found again in Gray in For in Thomas Warton published anonymously these lines, which he had written in his 17th year : ''Beneath yon ruin'd abbey's moss-grown pile Oft let me sit, at twilight hour of eve Where thro' some western window the pale moon Pours her long-levell'd rule of streaming light; While sullen sacred silence reigns around, Save the lone screech-owl's note, who builds his bow'r Amid the mould'ring caverns dark and damp, Or the calm breeze, that rustles in the leaves Of flaunting ivy, that with mantle green Invests some wasted tow'r: '' where resemblance to the Elegy is closest of all.

Between these three poets communication of ideas was probable; but at this date even Thomas Warton, with whom he afterwards corresponded, was an absolute stranger to Gray. And Gray is so far from feeling that in any of these there were 'kindred spirits' who might 'enquire his fate' that he writes, Dec. The first has but little invention, very poetical choice of Expression, and a good Ear, the second a fine fancy, model'd upon the Antique, a bad Ear, great variety of Words, and Images with no choice at all.

They both deserve to last some Years, but will not. The 'silence Warton Senior, Poems p. Reeves, Gray's lines are much superior and illustrate the advantages of a common poetic diction. William Broome, Paraphrase of [ William Broome, Paraphrase of Job 'A solemn stillness reigns o'er land and seas. Macbeth, iii, 2: ''The [ Macbeth , iii, 2: ''The shard-borne beetle with his drowsy hums.

Warton's Ode to Evening: ''And with hoarse hummings of unnumber'd flies. Addison, The Vestal [ If he needed to see an 'ivy-mantled' tower in order to imagine it he would find one at Upton old church, not far from Stoke, but nearer to Slough and Eton. Warton in previous [ Warton in previous note and cp. Lost iv ; and 'ivy The skill of Gray lies in the perfect combination of such details; - Thomson and Mallet, almost simultaneously, were enlisting the 'owl'; cf.

Gray may have remembered the 'ignavus bubo' of Ovid, Metamorphoses , v. See also T. Warton above ll. The bower was the sleeping apartment for the lord and lady; while the hall was the living-room, the dining-room, and, for the retainers, the sleeping-room. Similarly the etymologist Junius thought 'bower' was so called from being made of boughs; a fancy which has no doubt affected the sense of the word. Warton above, ll. Spenser has 'secret bowre', Faerie Queene IV v 5, 4.

The poor people were always buried in the church-yard; the rich inside the church. 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. Lost , ix. Whenas sacred light began [ Whenas sacred light began to dawn In Eden, on the humid flowers, that breathed Their morning incense.

Lost , IX. Lost ix [ Dart's meditations among the tombs [ Westmonasterium vol. The swallows 'twitter cheerful' in Thomson, Autumn Lost i Warton Senior, Poems pp. It is from Milton that he takes clarion for the sound of the cock's crow: - '' Lost , vii. In the original MS. The crested cock, whose [ The crested cock, whose clarion sounds The silent hours. Lost , VII. When chanticleer with clarion shrill recalls The tardy day. Philips, Cyder , I.

Cyder was published in , the year of the death of J. Philips in the Splendid Shilling parodied, and in Cyder imitated, Milton. Gray knew his verse well, and perhaps Gray and His Friends , p. But here again, if there is imitation at all on Gray's part, it is to be found in the same combination of cockcrow and the hunter's horn which Milton had already given in his picture of Morning in L'Allegro , l. Oft listening how the hounds and horn Cheerly rouse the slumbering morn.

L'Allegro , 'While [ Lost vii ; 'Chanticleer with clarion shrill', J. 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. Lloyd in his Latin translation strangely mistook ''lowly bed'' for the grave. Nor wife, nor children, more shall he behold, Nor friends, nor sacred home. Though Lucretius is only mentioning these common regrets of mankind in order to show their unreasonableness, there is no doubt that Gray had this passage well in his mind here. Feeling this, Munro renders it in quite Lucretian phraseology: e.

Epode , II. Warton, Ode to Evening 3 quoted in l. Some annotators take exception to this use of ply ; but it is a shortend form of apply similarly used by Milton and old writers: - ''He is ever at his plow, he is ever applying his business. Lost , iv. And Gray has ''their labours ply '' in the ''Ode on Eton,'' The expression is a good instance of the poetical language against which Wordsworth protested. Milton, [ Milton, Par. Warton, vol.

Virgil, Georg. Fable xv. Virgil, Georgics i [ Virgil, Georgics i glaebas qui frangit inertis. The substance of the phrase is common in English poetry: cp. See especially the earlier lines of the stanza by Roscommon quoted l. Milton's expression, [ Whether we refer the prefix 'a' to 'on' or to 'at' here, the secondary notion of 'motion towards' is easily attached to it; e.

For 'their team', cp. That they were at one time exact is certain; and they were probably exact to Gray's time. Thus in the famous story of Sir Balaam, with an interval of only two lines we have When such rhymes as this stanza offers became merely conventional it would be harder to determine. Thomson, after describing 'laborious [ Pope's note to Iliad [ Pope's note to Iliad xiii , where he discusses 'Similes taken from the Ideas of a rural Life': 'since these Arts are fallen from their ancient Dignity, and become the Drudgery of the lowest People, the Images of them are likewise sunk into Meanness.

Death mows down all with an impartial hand. The lines are: - ''These are thy glorious deeds, almighty Death! Ah me! They cannot ward th' inevitable hour, Nor stay the fearful violence of Fate. Spingarn, Critical Essays of the 17th Century ii and cp. 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. We pursue our several ambitions as if unconscious of our doom, it is the hour that awaits us ; if we awaited the hour we should be less absorbed in our aims. The inversion is not very happy. Rhetoric seems to demand it. But Gray was thinking in Latin. Such inverted structure is fairly common in Gray's verse. For some discussion see Notes and Queries clxxxiv , , , Another explanation is that "awaits" has been "attracted" into the singular by "all that wealth e'er gave", and that the four clauses in lines 33f.

Smyth, Greek Grammar , sec. An inversion so extensive and so ill-prepared for seems unlikely to me in an otherwise carefully crafted poem like the Elegy. They cannot ward the inevitable hour, Nor stay the fearful violence of fate. Accordingly Munro renders this line: ''metaque mors, quoquo gloria flectit iter. Nothing accessible to me shows that Gray was at all acquainted with Bartholin at the date of the completed Elegy see introduction and notes to Norse Odes, infra.

The present reading is written in the margin. Fraser and according to Bradshaw all MSS. Bradshaw adds 'The present reading is written in the margin'; but I did not find this so in Fraser MS. In the Pembroke MS. The present text is underlined in the margin of CB. The word is from French aile , a wing, and the s, says Skeat, is a meaningless insertion. It is Gothic architecture that Gray has in his mind's eye; the lines that go to make the fanshaped roof of King's College Chapel or of S.

George's, Windsor, for example. The derivation of 'fret,' 'fretted,' in this technical sense is uncertain. Skeat hesitates between tracing it to an A. Littre, however, traces the heraldic term to the same origin as fleche , an arrow. It seems probable that the architectural and heraldic word, representing much the same sort of device, are one and the same, and have a common origin, whatever that may be. Note Shakespeare's use of the word: Dec.

Here lies the east: doth not the day break here? But Hamlet , II. For these frets may be 'Hyperion's shafts ' or 'fretted ' may mean 'studded' or 'embossed' with stars, the 'stelled fires' of which he speaks in Lear. The word proper to the long lines that mark out the roof may be applied to the ornaments in which such lines might terminate or be concentred, - so in Cymbeline , II. Hamlet , II. Milton, Il Penseroso , [ The 'pictured urn' of Progress of Poesy , l.

Pope has, Essay on Man IV. Young, in his Criticism [ Young, in his Criticism on the Elegy p. Pope, Temple of Fame, [ Pope, Temple of Fame , ll. Villiers 41, has 'fleeting breath'; and cp. Gray writes [ Among the 'paths of glory,' lineage, statecraft, beauty, wealth, are named ; it would be strange if the poet made no reference to the calling with which 'glory' is most associated.

He has the 'brave' here specially in mind; of whose tombs Collins writes: ''There honour comes, a pilgrim gray, To bless the turf that wraps their clay. To this effect Munro's version: ''Voce valet cinerem succendere gloria mutum. B[entley's Designs]. Addison, Spectator , no. The first two lines may barely pass, as not bad. But the hands laid in the earth must mean the identical five-fingered organs of the body; and how does this consist with their occupation of swaying rods , unless their owner had been a schoolmaster; or waking lyres , unless he were literally a harper by profession?

Hands that ''might have held the plough'' would have some sense, for that work is strictly manual; the others only emblematically or pictorially so. Kings nowadays sway no rods, alias sceptres, except on their coronation day; and poets do not necessarily strum upon the harp or fiddle as poets. But much good poetry would be destroyed by this criticism: e. The body of a dead man 'this identical' four-limbed structure of flesh and bone cannot be said to 'sleep by' a 'fable', except figuratively. Yet the beauty of the passage depends upon this 'mixture of the figurative with the real'; suggesting, as it does, that the young man whom they all knew is already numbered with the heroes of half-remembered myth.

Lost vi 'pregnant [ Lost vi 'pregnant with infernal flame'. Rod is inserted in margin. Reins is printed in the first edition. CB has Rod in the margin. Commonplace Book has rod in the margin. Progress of Poetry, l. Progress of Poetry , l. Mitford quotes from Cowley [ Resurrection st. Lucretius ii ac [ Warton, Pleasures of Melancholy after the lines cited in l. Addison, Spectator , See also Fourdrinier's frontispiece to Robert Dodsley's A Muse in Livery which depicts the poet reaching vainly up towards Happiness, Virtue and Knowledge, one hand being chained by Poverty to Misery, Folly and Ignorance, and one foot weighted down with Despair.

Browne, [ Browne, Religio Medici [Pt. Whether Gray needed this quaint original to inspire him may be questioned. Gray is thinking [ Gray is thinking of possible statesmen and warriors, as well as poets; although it is of poetic inspiration that the word was commonly used in a good sense. Mitford quotes Pope to Jervas the painter , l. It is employed, oddly enough, in connection with a reed, by Collins of Music in Ode on the Passions quoted by Bradshaw : '''Tis said, and I believe the tale, Thy humblest reed could more prevail, Had more of strength, diviner rage , Than all which charms this laggard age.

Hind and the Panther ; Ovid's Metamorphoses i ; and Aeneid x ; but by 'rage' he meant anger. Thomson, Winter , has a passage which is close to G. Scott's Old Mortality, chap. Scott's Old Mortality , chap. Its two senses in Latin are 'belonging to generation or birth' and 'belonging to enjoyment, jovial. Ian Jack see [ Ian Jack see headnote compares Virgil, Georgics ii frigidus obstiterit circum praecordia sanguis , translated by Thomson, Preface to 2nd edn of Winter : 'If the cold current freezes round my heart'; see also Agrippina p.

Mitford quotes: - ''There is many a rich stone laid up in the bowels of the earth, many a fair pearl in the bosom of the sea , that never was seen, nor never shall be. A writer in the ''Gentleman's Magazine'' for May, , refers to Young, ''Universal Passion'': - ''In distant wilds, by human eyes unseen , She rears her flow'rs and spreads her velvet green ; Pure gurgling rills, the lowly 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.

Milton's thought is in fact Shakespeare's Rich. Perhaps the closest if Gray had read it, and the concept and phrasing are not unusual is the one by Celio Magno cited in O. Shepard and P. Woods, eds.


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  • Mehrsprachigkeit in Zimbabwe (German Edition).
  • Wynter, , i An Epick Poem [ An Epick Poem p. Pure gurgling rills the lonely desert trace And waste their music on the savage race. This idea Pope cherished, for he gave it, in an improved form, to Thomson for the Seasons : the lines in the episode of Lavinia, Autumn, , ''As in the hollow breast of Apennine, Beneath the shelter of encircling hills, A myrtle rises, far from human eye, And breathes its balmy fragrance o'er the hills, So flourished blooming, and unseen by all, The sweet Lavinia.

    Loin du monde eleve, de tous les dons des cieux Il est orne des sa naissance, et du mechant l'abord contagieux N'altere point son innocence. Armstrong, The Oeconomy of Love , suggested by J. Short, Notes and Queries ccx Images of both the gem and the flower occur in a canzone, Chi di lagrime un fiume a gli occhi presta , by Celio Magno, a minor sixteenth-century Italian poet. For other suggested parallels with his poetry in G[ray].

    I It is found in Churchill's Gotham , ''So that they neither give a tawdry glare Nor 'waste their sweetness on the desert air. Observe that Gray praises Hampden more than Cromwell, who was at that time still generally misunderstood. John Hampden, who lived in the same county that contained this church-yard, refused in to pay the ship-money tax levied by King Charles I. Instead of these three names there are, in the Original MS. It is noteworthy that both Hampden and Milton lived in Buckinghamshire - the county in which is the Stoke-Poges Churchyard.

    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. I think and this tends to confirm my notion that his original was Waller it was because in the order of his thoughts, though not of his setting of them, he began with Caesar.

    This suggests Cato of Utica, and his resistance to Caesar's tyranny. Otherwise the withstander of the 'tyrant of the fields' might well have found his greater counterpart in Gracchus, as the champion of the fast dwindling class of small landed proprietors against the large landowners of Italy. It is both for this reason, and because Cato, a true oligarch and the opponent of the popular party in Rome, was no fitting analogue to Hampden that Munro in translating this line, instead of reverting to Gray's original hero, writes: ''forsitan hic olim intrepido qui pectore ruris restiterat parvo Graccus agrestis ero vel mutus sine honore Maro, vel Julius alter immunis patrii sanguinis ille, cubet.

    But note that both in Gray's first conception and in his second his types are all contemporary; Caesar, Cato, Cicero suggested one another irresistibly to his student-mind, and it must not be forgotten that the debates on the Catilinarian conspiracy bring precisely these three names into prominence in the pages of Sallust. When he changed his terrain Gray again sought and found contemporaries; with the additional link in common that Hampden, Milton, Cromwell, were all associated in the same cause, and all, in some sense, champions of liberty. By a happy coincidence the English examples which Gray substituted for the Roman had all some connection with the neighbourhood of Gray's churchyard.

    Hampden was a Buckinghamshire squire, his family seat was Great Hampden, in the hundred of Aylesbury, he represented first Wendover, and then the county in Parliament. Cromwell was his cousin, and often visited both Hampden and his sister, Mrs Waller the mother of the poet , who lived at Beaconsfield [footnote: ''Waller's mother, though related to Cromwell and Hampden, was zealous for the royal cause, and when Cromwell visited her used to reproach him; he in return would throw a napkin at her, and say he would not dispute with his aunt [i.

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    Mitford records a line of Gray's in pencil: The rude Columbus of an infant world. This is possibly an afterthought for another stanza of which it might have formed the first line , pointing to other lines of enterprise in embryo. We lack a context by which to determine the sense of 'an infant world,' which may be used much as Berkeley writes of 'happy climes the seat of innocence,' or of 'Time's noblest offspring ' as 'the last. Had stoutly launch'd from shore,'' and was tempted to follow his example. Lewis Hensley, Vicar of Hitchin. There is no trace whatever, as far as I can discover, connecting these lines with Gray.

    They seem to be the work of some early champion of the claims of Womanhood. The stanza in Fraser MS. His second thoughts were, as usual, an improvement. As is shown below, G[ray]. The alteration to Hampden, Milton and Cromwell corresponds to the fact that the continuation of the poem after the original ending is markedly less classical and more English in character. But G. For all their individual qualities, these three men had been responsible in one way or another for bringing turmoil to their country.

    The Lucy poems

    Without assenting to the identification of the churchyard with Stoke Poges, it is possible to accept Tovey's suggestion that G. I have only seen the facsimile. Milton ] "The glorious Milton rested for [ Giles, where he finished Paradise Lost. This cottage is a very short distance from Stoke Poges. Virgil, Aeneid xii [ Virgil, Aeneid xii et mutas agitare inglorius artis and to ply, inglorious, the silent arts ; inglorius also occurs in Georgics ii , in the passage 0 fortunatos nimium which underlies this central section of the poem see ll.

    See l. See also E. Phillips, Preface to Theatrum Poetarum see ll. Mark Pattison observes of Pope, that 'in estimating historical characters he seems to have been without any proper standard, and wholly at the mercy of prevailing social prejudices. It is in the main Carlyle who has rehabilitated Cromwell in the popular mind.

    Agrippina 77 p. Horace's description of iustum [ 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. Education and Government [ Education and Government p. But the combination with 'history' makes it hard to exclude the more common modern sense.

    Virgil's contrast of the [ One wreaks ruin on a city and its hapless homes, that he may drink from a jewelled cup and sleep on Tyrian purple; another hoards up wealth and broods over buried gold; one is dazed and astounded by the Rostra; another, open-mouthed, is carried away by the plaudits of princes and of people, rolling again and again on the benches. Gleefully they steep themselves in their brothers' blood.

    Fraser [ Fraser MS. He spells the same word without e in l. Johnson's definitions confirm that G. But he ante-dated, it maybe suspected, the composition of the first half. The Fraser MS. Fraser's reprint interprets it to include the first also of these four stanzas. All the MS. But we have only Mason's authority for the statement that the Elegy was ever meant to end with these four stanzas, and it is very questionable. We may be biased by the completeness of the poem in its published form, - but surely without this contrast to assist our judgment it would have seemed to us to finish badly and abruptly with ''Pursue the silent Tenour of thy Doom.

    Again, it is probable from the MS. Suppose then it had reached that point in , and this is probably what Mason means when he suggests that it may have been concluded then; is it conceivable that Gray, who had communicated to Walpole other completed poems of that date, and even the fragmentary Agrippina , would have kept back the Elegy , which ex hypothesi he must have regarded as finished? Yet Walpole, as we have seen, is certain that Gray sent him only the first three stanzas, two or three years after the year Surely either these twelve lines were all that Gray had then written, or they were a specimen only of the unfinished poem.

    Some of the phrases he was able to use in his final version, but he could find no place for the beautiful third stanza and, with his scrupulous care for design, refused to make one. Compare the similar instance at l. Mason Poems p. Most of the parallels are drawn from James Hervey's popular Meditations among the Tombs and his other Meditations and Contemplations references here are to the 4th collected edn of in 2 vols , a work which acknowledged the influence of Young's slightly earlier Night Thoughts Certain features of the Elegy , in particular the churchyard setting, the silent darkness, the graves, the bell and the owl, although found in other writers, are exploited with sensational effect by Hervey, but the following parallels are confined to the four rejected stanzas: Hervey i 'Let Others, if they please, pay their obsequious Court to your wealthy Sons; and ignobly fawn, or anxiously sue, for Preferments; my Thoughts shall often resort, in pensive Contemplation, to the Sepulchres of their Sires; and learn, from their sleeping Dust, - to moderate my Expectations from Mortals: - to stand disengaged from every undue Attachment, to the little Interests of Time: - to get above the delusive Amusements of Honour; the gaudy Tinsels of Wealth; and all the empty Shadows of a perishing World.

    What Sound is That! Young, Night Thoughts v 'Grief! We see, we hear, with Peril. But here Safety dwells. Every meddling and intrusive Avocation is secluded. Silence holds the Door against the Strife of Tongues, and all the Impertinencies of idle Conversation. The busy Swarm of vain Images, and cajoling Temptations; that beset Us, with a buzzing Importunity, amidst the Gaieties of Life; are chased by these thickening Shades.

    See Elegy n p. Young, Night Thoughts v 'auspicious midnight! Such as hushed every ruder Passion , and dissipated all the gay Images of an alluring World'; ibid i 'Drowned is this gentle Whisper , amidst the Noise of mortal affairs; but speaks distinctly, in the Retirements of serious Contemplation '; ibid i 'Oh! All Circumstances concur, to hush our Passions, and sooth our Cares; to tempt our Steps abroad, and prompt our Thoughts to serious Reflection. Turnbull, p. Rogers quotes from one of Drummond's ''Sonnets'': - ''Far from the madding worldling's hoarse discord.

    Gray has it in ''Agrippina,'' 83 , already quoted. Warburton in Notes and Queries , June 9, This is the explanation of his side line. We may well regret this, for Mason is right in saying that it is equal to any in the whole Elegy. Richardson's Clarissa vol. Letter XI. Once, as Bradshaw notes, in Milton, P. See Agrippina, ll. See Agrippina , ll. William Drummond, Sonnet xlix [ William Drummond, Sonnet xlix 'Far from the madding worldling's hoarse discords'.

    Milton uses the word, Par.