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II. 1.
Man's feeble race what ills await (0)!
Labour, and Penury, the racks of Pain,
Disease, and Sorrow's weeping train,

And Death, sad refuge from the storms of Fate!
The fond complaint, my song, disprove,
And justify the laws of Jove.
Say, has he giv'n in vain the heav'nly Muse?
Night and all her sickly dews,
Her spectres wan, and birds of boding cry,
He gives to range the dreary sky:
Till down the eastern cliffs afar (p)
Hyperion's march they spy, and glitt'ring shafts

of war [7].

(0) Man's feeble race what ills await! To compensate the real or imaginary ills of life, the Muse was given us by the same Providence that sends the day, by its cheerful presence, to dispel the gloom and terrors of night.

(D) Till down the eastern cliffs afar.

Or seen the Morning's well-appointed star
Come marching up the eastern hills afar.

Cowley. [7] An anonymous writer suggests, that Mr, Gray has here been indebted to Euripides Phænissie, ver. 173.

Εωοισιν ομοια φλελετων
Βολαις αελιά. .

II. 2. In climes beyond the solar road (q), Where shaggy forms o'er ice-built mountains roam, The Muse has broke the twilight-gloom

To cheer the shiv'ring Native's dull abode. And oft, beneath the od'rous shade Of Chili's boundless forests laid, She deigns to hear the savage Youth repeat In loose numbers wildly sweet Their feather-cinctur'd Chiefs, and dusky Loves. Her track, where'er the Goddess roves, Glory pursue, and generous Shame, Th’ unconquerable Mind, and Freedom's holy


(9) In climes beyond the solar road. Extensive intluence of poetic genius over the remotest and most uncivilized nations: its connection with liberty, and the virtues that naturally attend on it. (See the Erse, Norwegian, and Welsh Fragments, the Lapland and American songs, &c.] « Extra anni solisque vias"

“ Tutta lontana dal camin del sole."

Petrarch, Canzon...

II. 3.
Woods, that wave o'er Delphi's steep (r),
Isles, that crown th' Ægean deep,

Fields, that cool Ilissus laves,

Or where Mæander's amber waves In lingering lab'rinths creep,

How do your tuneful Echoes languish,

Mute, but to the voice of Anguish! Where each old poetic Mountain

Inspiration breath'd around;
Ev'ry shade and hallow'd Fountain

Murmur'd deep a solemn sound:
Till the sad Nine, in Greece's evil hour,

Left their Parnassus for the Latian plains.
Alike they scorn the pomp of tyrant Power,

And coward Vice, that revels in her chains.

(7) Woods that wave o'er Delphi's steep. Progress of Poetry from Greece to Italy, and from Italy to England. Chaucer was not unacquainted with the writings of Dante or of Petrarch. The Earl of Surry and Sir Thomas Wyatt had travelled in Italy, and formed their taste there. Spenser imitated the Italian writers, and Milton improved on them ; but this school expired soon after the Restoration, and a new one arose on the French inodel, which has subsisted ever since.

When Latium had her lofty spirit lost,
They sought, oh Albion! next, thy sea-encircled


III. 1 [8]

. Far from the sun and summer-gale, In thy green lap was Nature's Darling (s) laid, What time, where lucid Avon stray'd,

To him the mighty Mother did unveil Her awful face: The dauntless Child Stretch'd forth his little arms, and smil'd.

[8] An ingenious person (as Mr. Mason tells us) who sent Mr. Gray his remarks anonymously on this and the following Ode soon after they were published, gives this stanza and the following a very just and well-expressed eulogy: “ A Poet is perhaps never more conciliating “ than when he praises favourite predecessors in his art. Milton is “ not more the pride than Shakespeare the love of their country: It is « therefore equally judicious to diffuse a tenderness and a grace through “ the praise of Shakespeare, as to extol in a strain more elevated and “ sonorous the boundless soarings of Milton's epic imagination.” The critic has here well noted the beauty of contrast which results from the two descriptions; yet it is further to be observed, to the honour of our Poet's judgment, that the tenderness and grace in the former does not prevent it from strongly characterizing the three capital perfections of Shakespeare's genius; and when he describes his power of exciting terror (a species of the sublime) he ceases to be diffuse, and becomes, as he ought to be, concise and energetical.

(s) Nature's darling.


This pencil take (she said), whose colours clear
Richly paint the vernal year:
Thine too these golden keys, immortal Boy!
This can unlock the gates of Joy;
Of Horror that, and thrilling Fears,

ope the sacred source of sympathetic Tears.

III. 2.
Nor second He, that rode sublime (t)
Upon the seraph-wings of Ecstasy,
The secrets of th' Abyss to spy.
He pass'd the flaming bounds of Place and

Time (u):
The living Throne, the sapphire-blaze (x),
Where Angels tremble while they gaze,

(t) Nor second he, that rode sublime,

(u) He pass'd the flaming bounds of Place and Time.
flammantia monia mundi.”


(x) The living throne, the sapphire blaze. For the spirit of the living creature was in the wheels.-And above the firmament that was over their heads, was the likeness of a throne, as the appearance of a sapphire stone. This was the appearance of the glory of the Lord. Ezekiel i. 20, 26, 28.

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