1824 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Thomas Gray

T. Z., "Stanzas to the Memory of Gray" Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction 3 (10 January 1824) 21.



Sir, — The following simple lines were suggested by occasionally visiting the church, and church-yard, of Stoke, during the summer of 1822, as it was here that Gray wrote his Elegy, and the place where he is buried. Mr. Penn, the gentleman whose name is mentioned, appears to have been a great lover of poetry, as many quotations from Gray, and other poets appear in a small inclosure near the church. He is a descendant of the great founder of Pennsylvania. T. Z.

I love to lean upon thy tomb, oh, Gray,
Altho' not raised, in memory of thee,
In ruminating mood, at close of day,
And muse upon thy worth and piety.

I love to sit within the antique porch,
And listen to the murm'ring of the breeze;
Or trace the pathway round the modest church,
Which meekly rises, midst surrounding trees:

For on the spot perchance, where I've reclined,
Thou hast been seated, or the pathway trod
Which I so lately pac'd, with pious mind
To praise my maker, glorify my God!

And much, oh, noble Penn, I thee revere;
Whose taste could raise yon monumental stone,
'Midst the wild scenes, to Gray, so truly dear,
And make his modest worth, and virtues known,

To such as I, who wandering near the spot,
But for that stone, had never known, that he
Whose sweetest lay can never be forgot,
Rested so near in calm obscurity.