Ode on the Spring

1 Lo! where the rosy-bosomed Hours,
2 Fair Venus' train, appear,
3 Disclose the long-expecting flowers,
4 And wake the purple year!
5 The Attic warbler pours her throat,
6 Responsive to the cuckoo's note,
7 The untaught harmony of spring:
8 While whispering pleasure as they fly,
9 Cool zephyrs through the clear blue sky
10 Their gathered fragrance fling.
11 Where'er the oak's thick branches stretch
12 A broader browner shade;
13 Where'er the rude and moss-grown beech
14 O'er-canopies the glade,
a bank [...]
[Quite] O'er-canopied with luscious woodbine.
Shakesp. Mids. Night's Dream. [II. i. 249-51]
15 Beside some water's rushy brink
16 With me the Muse shall sit, and think
17 (At ease reclined in rustic state)
18 How vain the ardour of the crowd,
19 How low, how little are the proud,
20 How indigent the great!
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 honeyed spring,
27 And float amid the liquid noon:
[*] ''Nare per aestatem liquidam '' [To swim through cloudless summer]Virgil. Georg. lib. 4. [l. 59]
28 Some lightly o'er the current skim,
29 Some show their gaily-gilded trim
30 Quick-glancing to the sun.
sporting with quick glance
Shew to the sun their waved coats drop'd with gold.
Milton's Paradise Lost, book 7. [ll. 405-6]
While insects from the threshold preach, &c.
M. Green, in the Grotto. Dodsley's Miscellanies, Vol. V, p. 161.
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 through life's little day,
37 In fortune's varying colours dressed:
38 Brushed by the hand of rough Mischance,
39 Or chilled 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!
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 frolic, while 'tis May.


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About this text

Title (in Source Edition): Ode on the Spring
Author: Thomas Gray
Themes: nature
Genres: ode

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Gray, Thomas, 1716-1771. Thomas Gray: English poems. Web. Oxford: Thomas Gray Archive, 2002. http://www.thomasgray.org/texts/poems.shtml

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