1775 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Thomas Gray

J. P., "Written in the Play-Fields at Eton" Westminster Magazine 3 (September 1775) 494.



Oh Gray, sweet bard! that hast with so much art
Exprest each feeling Nature can impart;
Whether thou tun'st the sweetly-sounding lyre
To speak the plaints of Love, Ambition's fire,
Or the soft thrilling joys that Pity yields,
Or wouldst describe these blythe, these jocund fields,
Where blest with freedom from the Pedant's frown,
Thou juv'nile cares in juv'nile sports did drown,
Alike supreme — Oh how in feeble lays
Shall I thy ample merit amply praise?
My Muse, unequal, must the task decline
Of paying honour to a Muse like thine.
In thine own verse for e'er shall live thy name,
And Bards unborn shall emulate thy fame.