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[See “ The Death of Hoel,” p.98.]

Have ye seen the tusky Boar,
Or the Bull with sullen roar,
On surrounding foes advance ?
So Caradoc bore his lance.

Conan's name, my lay, rehearse,
Build to him the lofty verse,
Sacred tribute of the Bard,
Verse, the Hero's sole reward!
As the flame's devouring force;
As the whirlwind in its course;
As the thunder's fiery stroke
Glancing on the shiver'd oak ;
Did the sword of Conan mow
The crimson harvest of the foe.




[This was made by Mr. Gray while at Cambridge in

the Year 1736, and at the age of 20.-It is placed here as a curiosity, Mr. Mason having expressed his belief that it was Gray's first attempt in English Verse.]

THIRD in the labours of the Disc came on,
With sturdy step and slow, Hippomedon ;
Artful and strong he pois'd the well-known weight,
By Phlegyas warn'd, and fir'd by Mnestheus' fate,
That to avoid, and this to emulate.
His vigorous arm he try'd before he flung,
Brac'd all his nerves, and every sinew strung;
Then with a tempest's whirl, and wary eye,
Pursu'd his cast, and hurl'd the orb on high ;
The orb on high tenacious of its course,
True to the mighty arm that gave it force,
Far overleaps all bound, and joys to see
Its ancient lord secure of victory.
The theatre's green height and woody wall
Tremble ere it precipates its fall;

The ponderous mass sinks in the cleaving ground,
While vales and woods and echoing hills rebound.
As when from Ætna's smoking summit broke,
The eyeless Cyclops heav'd the craggy rock;
Where Ocean frets beneath the dashing oar,
And parting surges round the vessel roar;
'Twas there he aim'd the meditated harm,
And scarce Ulysses scap'd his giant arm.
A tyger's pride the victor bore away,.
With native spots and artful labour gay,
A shining border round the margin roll’d,
And calm’d the terrors of his claws in gold.

Cambridge, May 8, 1736.






[Mr. Mason's account of this Fragment is as follows: “ The Britannicus of M. Racine, I know, was one

of Mr. Gray's most favourite plays; and the « admirable manner in which I have heard him “ say that he saw it represented at Paris, " seems to have led him to choose the death of “ Agrippina for this his first and only effort in the “ drama. The execution of it also, as far as it “ goes, is so very much in Racine's taste, that I « suspect, if that great poet had been born an En“ glishman, he would have written precisely in the “ same style and manner. However, as there is at “ present in this nation a general prejudice against “ declamatory plays, I agree with a learned friend, “who perused the manuscript, that this fragment

[47] See Tacitus' Annals, Book xiii. xiv.

“ will be little relished by the many ; yet the admi66 rable strokes of nature and character with which 6 it abounds, and the majesty of its diction, prevent 6 me from withholding from the few, who I expect « will relish it, so great a curiosity (to call it no“ thing more) as part of a tragedy written by Mr. “ Gray. These persons well know, that till style “ and sentinjent be a little more regarded, mere “ action and passion will never secure reputation « to the Author, whatever they may do to the Ac

tor. It is the business of the one « to strut and “ fret his hour upon the stage ;” and if he frets and “ struts enough, he is sure to find his reward in the “ plaudit of an upper gallery ; but the other ought “ to have some regard to the other judgment of the “ closet : For I will be bold to say, that if Shakes“ peare himself had not written a multitude of pas“ sages which please there as much as they do on “ the stage, his reputation would not stand so uni“ versally high as it does at present. Many of " these passages, to the shame of our theatrical “ taste, are omitted constantly in the representation: “ But I say not this from conviction that the mode

of writing, which Mr. Gray pursued, is the best “ for dramatic purposes. I think myself, that a ~ medium between the French and English taste 66 would be preferable to either; and yet this me6 dium, if hit with the greatest nicety, would fail of 6 success on our theatre, and that for a very obvious « reason. Actors (I speak of the troop collective« ly) must all learn to speak as well as act, in or

« der to do justice to such a drama. < But let me hasten to give the reader what little in

« sight I can into Mr. Gray's plan, as I find, and

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