1792 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Thomas Gray

N., "On Gray" Poems by Gentlemen of Devonshire and Cornwall (1792) 1:144-45.



Mix thy soft tear with GRAY'S enchanting line,
The sparkling tribute Taste can ne'er refuse:
Virtue and Genius pour the melting verse,
The noblest effort of the mournful Muse.

His liberal eye, to purest nature true,
O'erlooks the mansions of the trophied dead:
He loves to sit beneath the yew-tree's gloom,
Which shades the tenant-of the rustic shed.

He mounts with daring step the lyric car;
He paints the Prophet high o'er Conway's flood,
When the first EDWARD, in his tyrant hand,
Grasp'd England's falchion, black with Cambrian blood.

From rock to rock, when vengeance-spreading death
Left but one tuneful tongue her crimes to tell,
Then Poetry and Empire sunk at once,
The Celtic harp was broke — LEWELLYN fell.

Which most will Rapture's generous soul admire,
His ardent numbers, or sweet moral song?
He claims, and bears a double meed — the crown
Of Elegy and Ode to him belong.