1815 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Thomas Gray

Thomas James Mathias, "To the Memory of Gray" Gentleman's Magazine 85 (April 1815) 350.



Lord of the various lyre! devout we turn
Our pilgrim steps to thy supreme abode,
And tread with awe the solitary road,
To deck with votive wreaths thy hallow'd urn!
Yet, as we wander thro' this dark sojourn,
No more the notes we hear, that all abroad
Thy fancy wafted, as the inspiring God
Prompted the "thoughts that breathe, the words that burn."
But hark! a voice in solemn accents clear,
Bursts from Heaven's vault, with temperate fire:
"Cease, mortal, cease, to drop the fruitless tear,
Mute though the raptures of his full-strung lyre:
Even his own warblings, 'lessening in his ear,'
Lost in Seraphic harmony expire."