[Page 270]


1 LO! where the rosy-bosom'd hours,
2 Fair VENUS' train appear,
3 Disclose the long-expecting flowers,
4 And wake the purple year!
5 The ATTICK warbler pours her throat
6 Responsive to the cuckow's note,
7 The untaught harmony of spring:
8 While whisp'ring pleasure as they fly,
9 Cool Zephyrs thro' the clear blue sky
10 Their gather'd fragrance fling.
11 Where-e'er the oak's thick branches stretch
12 A broader browner shade;
13 Where-e'er the rude and moss-green beech
14 O'er-canopies the glade;
15 Beside some water's rushy brink
16 With me the Muse shall sit and think
17 (At ease reclin'd in rustick state)
18 How vain the ardour of the crowd,
19 How low, how indigent the proud,
20 How little are the great!
[Page 271]
21 Still is the toiling hand of care:
22 The panting herds repose:
23 Yet hark, how through the peopled air
24 The busy murmur glows!
25 The insect youth are on the wing,
26 Eager to taste the honied spring,
27 And float amid the liquid noon:
28 Some lightly o'er the current skim,
29 Some shew their gayly-gilded trim
30 Quick-glancing to the sun.
31 To Contemplation's sober eye
32 Such is the race of man:
33 And they that creep, and they that fly,
34 Shall end where they began.
35 Alike the busy and the gay
36 But flutter thro' life's little day,
37 In fortune's varying colours dress'd:
38 Brush'd by the hand of rough mischance,
39 Or chill'd by age, their airy dance
40 They leave, in dust to rest.
41 Methinks I hear in accents low
42 The sportive kind reply:
43 Poor moralist! and what art thou?
44 A solitary fly!
[Page 272]
45 Thy joys no glittering female meets,
46 No hive hast thou of hoarded sweets,
47 No painted plumage to display:
48 On hasty wings thy youth is flown;
49 Thy sun is set, thy spring is gone
50 We frolick, while 'tis May.


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About this text

Title (in Source Edition): ODE.
Author: Thomas Gray
Themes: nature
Genres: ode
References: DMI 22461

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Source edition

Dodsley, Robert, 1703-1764. A Collection of Poems in Six Volumes. By Several Hands. Vol. II. London: printed by J. Hughs, for R. and J. Dodsley, 1763 [1st ed. 1758], pp. 270-272. 6v.: music; 8⁰. (ESTC T131163; OTA K104099.002) (Page images digitized by the Eighteenth-Century Poetry Archive from a copy in the archive's library.)

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The text has been typographically modernized, but without any silent modernization of spelling, capitalization, or punctuation. The source of the text is given and all editorial interventions have been recorded in textual notes. Based on the electronic text originally produced by the TCP project, this ECPA text has been edited to conform to the recommendations found in Level 5 of the Best Practices for TEI in Libraries version 4.0.0.

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Other works by Thomas Gray