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THOMAS GRAY
English poet, prose writer and scholar
(1716 - 1771)
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Beneath those rugged elms, that yew-tree's shade,
  Where heaves the turf in many a mouldering heap,
    Each in his narrow cell forever laid,
      The rude forefathers of the hamlet sleep.
        The breezy call of incense-breathing morn,
          The swallow twittering from the straw-built shed,
            The cock's shrill clarion, or the echoing horn,
              No more shall rouse them from their lowly bed.
                For them no more the blazing hearth shall burn,
                  Or busy housewife ply her evening care;
                    No children run to lisp their sire's return,
                      Or climb his knees the envied kiss to share.
      - [Graves]

Bright-eyed fancy, hovering o'er,
  Scatters from her pictured urn,
    Thoughts, that breathe, and words that burn.
      - [Fancy]

Can honor's voice provoke the silent dust, or flattery soothe the dull, cold ear of death?
      - [Death]

Chill penury repressed their noble rage,
  And froze the genial current of the soul.
      - [Proverbs]

Each in his narrow cell forever laid, the rude forefathers of the hamlet sleep.
      - [Graves]

Happy are they who can create a rose tree or erect a honeysuckle.
      - [Flowers]

Hard kindness' alter'd eye,
  That mocks the tear it forced to flow.
      - [Unkindness]

Her ample page rich with the spoils of time.
      - [History]

If the best man's faults were written on his forehead, he would draw his hat over his eyes.
      - [Faults]

Moody madness laughing wild.
      - [Madness]

One principal characteristic of vice in the present age is the contempt of fame.
      - [Vice]

Some mute, inglorious Milton here may rest.
      - [Proverbs]

Sorrow's faded form, and solitude behind.
      - [Solitude]

The different steps and degrees of education may be compared to the artificer's operations upon marble; it is one thing to dig it out of the quarry, and another to square it, to give it gloss and lustre, call forth every beautiful spot and vein, shape it into a column, or animate it into a statue.
      - [Education]

The path of glory leads but to the grave.
      - [Ambition]

To contemplation's sober eye,
  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 through life's little day.
      - [Mortality]

To him the mighty mother did unveil her awful face.
      - [Shakespeare]

Truth, severe by fairy fiction drest.
      - [Fiction]

We frolic while 'tis May.
      - [Proverbs]

What sorrow was, thou bad'st her know,
  And from her own she learnt to melt at others' woe.
      - [Proverbs]

Rich windows that exclude the light,
  And passages that lead to nothing.
      - A Long Story [Architecture]

Weave the warp, and weave the woof,
  The winding sheet of Edward's race;
    Give ample room and verge enough
      The characters of Hell to trace.
      - Bard (canto II) [Hell]

Their name, their years, spelt by the unlettered Muse.
      - Elegy (20) [Authorship]

Some heart once pregnant with celestial fire.
      - Elegy (46) [Fire]

Can storied urn or animated bust
  Back to its mansion call the fleeting breath?
    Can honour's voice provoke the silent dust,
      Or flattery soothe the dull cold ear of death?
      - Elegy (st. 11) [Death]


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