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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,
And wake the purple year!
The untaught harmony of spring:
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!  *
(a) O'er-canopies the glade.
Shakesp. Mid's. Night's Dream.
* The Notes referred to by Italic letters between parentheses (0) (b) &c. are Mr. Gray's. Those referred to by Figures between brackets   &c. are chiefly selected from the Criticisms and Commentaries of Dr. Johnson, Mr. Mason, Mr. Scott, of Amwell, and various other writers. Among them are occasionally interspersed a few remarks by the Editor; but these are not of importance enough to be distinguished.
 Variation :-How low, how indigent the Proud;
Ilow little are the Great. Thus it stood in Dodsley's Miscellany, wherein it was first published. The author corrected it on account of tire point of little and great. certainly had too much the appearance of a Concetto, though it expressed his ineaning better than the present reading.
Still is the toiling hand of Care;
The panting herds repose:
The busy murmur glows!
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,
Milton's Paradise Lost, book 7. (d) To Contemplation's sober eye. While insects from the threshold preach, &c.
M. Green, in the Grotto.
Alike the Busy and the Gay
In Fortune's varying colours drest; Brush'd by the hand of rough Mischance, Or chill'd by Age, their airy dance
They leave, in dust to rest.
Methinks I hear, in accents low,
The sportive kind reply:
A solitary fily!
No painted plumage to display:
We frolic while 'tis May.