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Where'er the oak's thick branches stretch

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

O’er-canopies the glace 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 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 London 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 ac

Still is the tciling 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

count 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.

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

Milton's Paradise Lost, book 7.

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.
Alike the Busy and the Gay .
But flutter thro' Life's little day,

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:
Poor Moralist ! and what art thou ?

A solitary fly!
Thy joys no glitt’ring female meets,
No hive hast thou of hoarded sweets,

No painted plumage to display :
On hasty wings thy youth is flown;
Thy sun is set, thy spring is gone
We frolic while 'tis May.

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. 1




| TWAS on a lofty vase's side,
Where China's gayest art had dy'd

The azure flowers, that blow;
Demurest of the tabby kind,
The pensive Selima, reclin'd,
| Gaz'd on the lake below.

Her conscious tail her joy declar'd;
The fair round face, the snowy beard,

The velvet of her paws,
Her coat, that with the tortoise vies,
Her ears of jet, and emerald eyes,
She saw; and purr'd applause.

! [2] Mr. Walpole, after the death of Mr. Gray, placed the China vase in question (for it was not a tzb) on a pedestal at Strawberry-Hill, with a few lines of the Ode for its inscription.

'Twas on this Vase's lofty side, &c.

Still had she gaz'd; but ʼmidst the tide
Two angel forms were seen to glide, [3]

The Genii of the stream:
Their scaly armour's Tyrian hue
Thro' richest purple to the view

Betray'd a golden gleam.

The hapless Nymph with wonder saw :
A whisker first, and then a claw,

With many an ardent wish,
She stretch'd, in vain, to reach the prize,
What female heart can gold despise ?

What Cat's averse to fish ?

Presumptuous Maid! with looks intent
Again she stretch'd, again she bent,

Nor knew the gulf between.
(Malignant fate sat by, and smild)
The siipp’ry verge her feet beguild,
She tumbled headlong in.

[3] Var.-Two beauteous forms.

First edition in Dodsley's Misc.

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