1757 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Thomas Gray

Anonymous, "To Mr. Gray, upon his Odes" London Chronicle (1 October 1757) 320.



Repine not, Gray, that our weak dazzled eyes
Thy daring heights and brightness shun;
How few can trace the eagle to her skies,
Or, like him, gaze upon the sun!

Each gentle reader loves the gentle Muse,
That little dares, and little means;
Who humbly sips her learning from Reviews,
Or flutters in the Magazines.

No longer now from Learning's sacred store
Our minds their health and vigour draw;
Homer and Pindar are rever'd no more,
No more the Stagyrite is law.

Tho' nurst by thee, in vain thy Muse appears
To breathe her ardours in our souls;
In vain to sightless eyes and deaden'd ears,
The lightening gleams, the thunder rolls.

Yet droop not, Gray, nor quit thy heaven born art,
Again thy wondrous powers reveal,
Wake slumbering virtue in the Briton's heart,
And rouse us to reflect and feel!

With ancient deeds our long chill'd bosoms fire,
Those deeds that mark Eliza's reign!
Make Britons Greeks again, then strike the lyre,
And Pindar shall not sing in vain.