1771 ca. ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Thomas Gray

Anonymous, in "Elegiac Poem on the Death of Mr. Gray" Arminian Magazine 11 (May 1788) 221.



'Tis done, 'tis done — the iron hand of pain,
With ruthless fury, and corrosive force,
Racks every joint, and seizes every vein;
He sinks, he groans, he falls a lifeless corse!

Thus fades the flower, nipped by the frozen gale,
Through once so sweet, so lovely to the eye!
Thus the tall oaks, when boisterous storms assail,
Torn from the earth, a mighty ruin lie.

Ye sacred sisters of the plaintive verse,
Now let the stream of fond affection flow;
Or pay your tribute o'er the slow drawn hearse,
With all the manly dignity of woe.

Oft when the curfew tolls its parting knell,
With solemn pause yon church-yard's gloom survey,
While sorrow's sighs, and tears of pity tell,
How just the moral of the poet's lay.

O'er his loved grave, in Contemplation's guise,
Oft let the pilgrim drop a silent tear;
Oft let the shepherd's louder accents rise,
Big with the sweets of each revolving year.