« ForrigeFortsæt »
The laughing flowers, that round them blow,
And frantic Passions hear thy soft controul.
(i) Oh! Sovereign of the willing soul. Power of harmony to calm the turbulent passions of the soul. The thoughts are borrowed from the first Pythian of Pindar.
(k) Perching on the sceptred hand. This is a weak imitation of some beautiful lines in the same ode.
Of Jove, thy magic lulls the feather'd king
Now in circling troops they meet :
Glance their many-twinkling feet (m).
(1) Thee the voice, the dance obey. Power of harmony to produce all the graces of motion in the body. (m) Glance their many-twinkling feet. Μαρμαρυδας θηείτο σοδων θαύμαζε δε θυμα. .
Homer, Od. R.
Slow melting strains their Queen's approach de
clare: Where'er she turns the Graces homage pay.  With arms sublime, that float upon
In gliding state she wins her easy way: O’er her warm cheek, and rising bosom, move The bloom of young Desire and purple light of
 Slow melting strains their Queen's approach declare. This and the five flowing lines which follow are (as Mr. Mason observes) sweetly introduced by the short and unequal measures that precede them: the whole stanza is indeed a master-piece of rhythm, and charms the ear by its well-varied cadence, as much as the imagery which it contains ravishes the fancy. “ There is” (says Mr. Gray in one of his manuscript papers) " a tout ensemble of sound, as well as of “ sense, in poetical composition always necessary to its perfection. “ What is gone before still dwells upon the ear, and insensibly harmo“ nizes with the present line, as in that succession of tleeting notes " which is called Melody.” Nothing can better exemplify the truth of this fine observation than his own poetry.
 This line seems to have been imitated from Dryden's Fable of the Flower and the Leaf:
“ For wheresoe'er she turn'd her face they bow'd.”
Δάμπει δ' επί πορφυρέησι
Phrynicus apud Atheneum.
And Death, sad refuge from the storms of Fate!
of war 
(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 the night.
(P) Till down the eastern cliffs afar.
Or seen the Morning's well-appointed star
Cowley.  An anonymous writer suggests, that Mr. Gray has here been indebted to Euripides Phænissæ, ver. 173.
Εωοισιν ομοια φλελετων
II. 2. In climes beyond the solar road (9), 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.
Petrarch, Canzon. 2.