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Published April 3! 1799. by J.Scatcherd Ave Maria Lane.

ODES.

ON THE SPRING.

[The title originally given by Mr. Gray to this Ode was

“ Noontide.”]

Lo! where the rosy-bosom'd Hours,

Fair Venus' train, appear,
Disclose the long-expected flowers,

And wake the purple year!
The Attic warbler pours her throat,
Responsive to the cuckow's note,

The untaught harmony of Spring:
While, whisp'ring pleasure as they fly,
Cool Zephyrs thro' the clear blue sky

Their gather'd fragrance fling.

Where'er the oak's thick branches stretch

A broader browner shade,
Where'er the rude and moss-grown beech

O'er-canopies the glade (a) *,
Beside some water's rushy brink
With me the Muse shall sit, and think

(At ease reclin'd in rustic state) How vain the ardour of the Crowd, How low, how little are the Proud,

How indigent the Great! [1]*

(a) O'er-canopies the glade.

a bank
O'er-canopied with luscious woodbine.

Shakesp. Mids. Night's Dream.

* The Notes referred to by Italic letters between parentheses (a) (b) &c. are Mr. Gray's. Those referred to by Figures between brackets [1] [2] &c. are chiefly drawn from the Criticisms and Commentaries of Dr. Johnson, Mr. Mason, Mr. Scott, of Amwell, and various anonymous writers. Among them are occasionally interspersed a few remarks by the Editor ; but these are not thought of importance enough to be distinguished,

[1] Variation :- How low, how indigent the Proud;

How little are the Great. Thus it stood in Dodsley's Miscellany, wherein it was first published. The author corrected it on account of the point of little and great. It certainly had too much the appearance of a Concetto, though it expressed his meaning better than the present reading.

Still is the toiling hand of Care;

The panting herds repose:
Yet hark, how thro' the peopled air

The busy murmur glows!
The insect youth are on the wing,
Eager to taste the honied spring,

And float amid the liquid noon: (b)
Some lightly o’er the current skim,
Some shew their gaily-gilded trim

Quick-glancing to the sun (c).

To Contemplation's sober eye (d)

Such is the race of Man:
And they that creep, and they that fly,

Shall end where they began.

(b) And float amid the liquid noon.
Nare per æstatem liquidam-

Virgil Georg. lib. 4.
(C) Quick glancing to the sun.

-sporting with quick glance, Shew to the sun their wav'd coats dropt with gold.

Milton's Paradise Lost, book 7.
(d) To Contemplation's sober eye.
While insects from the threshold preach, &c.

M. Green, in the Grotto.
Dodsley's Miscellanies, Vol. 5. p. 161.

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