[57] But soon with bolder note, and wilder flight, O'er the loud strings his rapid hand would run:

Mars hath lit his torch of war, Ranks of heroes fill the sight!

Hark! the carnage is begun! And see the furies through the fiery air O’er Cambria's frighten'd land the screams of

horror bear!

[58] Now led by playful Fancy's hand O'er the white surge he treads with printless feet,

To magic shores he flies, and fairy land, Imagination's blest retreat.

Here roses paint the crimson way,

No setting sun, eternal May,
Wild as the priestess of the Thracian fane,
When Bacchus leads the madd’ning train,
His bosom glowing with celestial fire,
To harmony he struck the golden lyre ;

[57] The Bard, a Pindaric Ode.
[58] The Progress of Poetry, a Pindaric Ode.

To harmony each hill and valley rung!

The bird of Jove, as when Apollo sung, To melting bliss resign'd his furious soul, With milder rage his eyes began to roll,

The heaving down his thrilling joys confest, Till by a mortal's hand subdued he sunk to rest.

[59] O, guardian angel of our early day,

Henry, thy darling plant must bloom no more! By thee attended, pensive would he stray, Where Thames soft-murmuring laves his

winding shore. Thou bad'st him raise the moralizing song,

Through life's new seas the little bark to steer ; The winds are rude and high, the sailor young ;

Thoughtless he spies no furious tempest near, Till to the poet's hand the helm you gave, From hidden rocks an infant crew to save!

[59] Ode on a distant Prospect of Eton College.

[60] Ye fiends who rankle in the human heart, Delight in woe, and triumph in our tears,

Resume again

Your dreadful reign: Prepare the iron scourge, prepare the venom'd

dart, Adversity no more with lenient airs

appear: The snakes that twine about her head

Again their frothy poison shed ;
For who can now her whirlwind flight controul,

Her threatening rage beguile?
He who could still the tempest of her soul,
And force her livid lips to smile,

To happier seats is fled!
Now seated by his Thracian sire,

At the full feast of mighty Jove
To heavenly themes attunes his lyre,

And fills with harmony the realms above!

[60] Hymn to Adversity.






CLOS'D is that curious ear, by death's cold

hand, That mark'd each error of my careless strain With kind severity ; to whom my muse Still lov'd to whisper, what she meant to sing In louder accent; to whose taste supreme She first and last appeal'd, nor wish'd for praise, Save when his smile was herald to her fame. Yes, thou art gone; yet friendship’s fault'ring

tongue Invokes thee still; and still, by fancy sooth’d, Fain would she hope her Gray attends the call. Why then, alas! in this my fav'rite haunt,

Place I the urn, the bust, the sculptur'd lyre[61],
Or fix this votive tablet, fair inscrib’d
With numbers worthy thee, for they are thine?
Why, if thou hear’st me still, these symbols sad
Of fond memorial? Ah! my pensive soul!
He hears me not, nor ever more shall hear
The theme his candour, not his taste approv'd.

Oft, ‘smiling as in scorn,' oft would he cry, Why waste thy numbers on a trivial art, “ That ill can mimic even the humblest charms Of all-majestic Nature?” at the word His eye would glisten, and his accents glow With all the Poet's frenzy, “ Sov'reign queen!

[61] Mr. Gray died July 31st, 1771. This book was begun a few months after. The three following lines allude to a rustic alcove the author was then building in his garden, in which he placed a medallion of his friend, and an urn; a lyre over the entrance with the motto from Pindar, which Mr. Gray had prefixt to his Odes, OSLNANTA ETNETOIEI, and under it, on a tablet, this stanza, taken from the first edition of his Elegy written in a Country Church-yard.

Here scatter'd oft, the loveliest of the year,
By hands unseen, are showers of violets found;
The redbreast loves to build and warble here,
And little footsteps lightly print the ground.

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