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Ah! could they catch his strength, his easy grace,
His quick creation, his unerring line; The energy of Pope they might efface,
And Dryden's harmony submit to mine.
But not to one in this benighted age
Is that diviner inspiration giv'n, That burns in Shakespeare's or in Milton's page,
The pomp and prodigality of heav'n.
As when conspiring in the diamond's blaze,
The meaner gems, that singly charm the sight, Together dart their intermingled rays,
And dazzle with a luxury of light.
Enough for me, if to some feeling breast
My lines a secret sympathy impart;
A sigh of soft reflection heave the heart *.
* The words in Italic were supplied by Mr. Mason.
HIS OWN CHARACTER.
(This was written in 1761, and was found in one of his Pocket
Too poor for a bribe, and too proud to im
portune; He had not the method of making a fortune: Could love, and could hate, so was thought some
what odd; NO VERY GREAT WIT, HE BELIEV'D IN A GOD. A Post or a Pension he did not desire, But left Church and State to Charles Townshend
FOUR FOLLOWING POEMS,
WERE NEVER BEFORE COLLECTED.
[ The first of these ( Lyric Stanzas) might be a hasty performance, to
which he thought it not necessary to give the credit of his name. With respect to the other three jeux d'esprit, (undoubtedly his) the reason for their being anonymously sent forth into the world will be obvious to every Reader.]
Thyrsis, when he left me, swore
In the Spring he would return
And the bud that decks the thorn!
Idle notes! untimely green!
Why such unavailing haste? Gentle gales and sky serene
Prove not always Winter past. Cease, my doubts, my fears to move, Spare the honour of my love.
[Mr. Etoph, of Pembroke Hall, Cambridge, was a person as remarkable
for the eccentricities of his character, as for his personal appearance. A Mr. Tyson, of Bene't College, made an etching of his head, and presented it to Mr. Gray, who wrote under it the following lines:]
THUS Tophet look’d; so grinn’d the brawling
fiend, Whilst frighted prelates bow'd, and callid him
friend. Our mother-church, with half-averted sight, Blush'd as she bless'd her grimly proselyte; Hosannas rung thro' Hell's tremendous borders, And Satan's self had thoughts of taking orders,