1773 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Thomas Gray

William Hayward Roberts, in A Poetical Epistle to Christopher Anstey on the English Poets (1773); Poems (1774) 110 & n.



Would I could name thee, GRAY! but Ode is thine,
And plaintive Elegy. Not Pindar soars
On bolder wing — But hark! what means that bell
At this still hour slow rising on mine ear?
It is the voice of death. Even while I write,
Cold icy dew-drops chill thy languid limbs,
And life's short date is out. From these high spires,
"These antique towers, that crown the watry glade,"
These fields, that ecchoed to thy moral muse,
Warbling in childhood's happiest hour, accept
This boon; and, O sweet melancholy bard,
Rest to thy cares, and mercy to thy soul!

This was written at the time of Mr. Gray's death. He was buried at Stoke, about three miles from Eton College.