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THOMAS GRAY
English poet, prose writer and scholar
(1716 - 1771)
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They had finished her own crown in glory, and she couldn't stay away from the coronation.
      - Enigmas of Life [Heaven]

The tear forgot as soon as shed,
  The sunshine of the breast.
      - Eton College (st. 5) [Tears]

Hard Unkindness' alter'd eye,
  That mocks the tear if forced to flow.
      - Eton College (st. 8) [Unkindness]

The still small voice of gratitude.
      - For Music (st. 5) [Gratitude]

Thou tamer of the human breast,
  Whose iron scourge and tort'ring hour
    The bad affright, afflict the best!
      - Hymn to Adversity (st. 1) [Adversity]

And leave us leisure to be good.
      - Hymn--Adversity (sc. 3) [Leisure]

As to posterity, I may ask (with somebody whom I have forgot) what has it ever done to oblige me?
      - Letter to Dr. Wharton [Posterity]

While bright-eyed science watches round.
      - Ode for Music--Chorus (l. 11) [Science]

Since sorrow never comes too late
  And happiness too swiftly flies.
      - Ode on a Distant Prospect of Eton College
        [Sorrow]

Grim-visaged, comfortless despair.
      - Ode on Eton College [Misery]

The hues of bliss more brightly glow,
  Chastis'd by sabler tints of woe.
      - Ode on the Pleasure arising from Vicissitude
         (l. 45) [Bliss]

And to hie him home, at evening's close,
  To sweet repast, and calm repose.
    . . . .
      From toil we wins his spirits light,
        From busy day the peaceful night;
          Rich, from the very want of wealth,
            In heaven's best treasures, peace and health.
      - Ode on the Pleasure Arising from Vicissitude
         (l. 87) [Wealth]

The meanest floweret of the vale,
  The simplest note that swells the gale,
    The common sun, the air, the skies,
      To him are open paradise.
      - Ode on the Pleasure Arising from Vicissitudes
         (l. 53) [Paradise]

The Attic warbler pours her throat
  Responsive to the cuckoo's note.
      - Ode on the Spring [Cuckoos]

The insect-youth are on the wing,
  Eager to taste the honied spring,
    And float amid the liquid noon!
      - Ode on the Spring (st. 3, l. 5) [Youth]

Some bold adventurers disdain
  The limits of their little reign,
    And unknown regions date descry.
      - Ode to a Distant Prospect of Eton College
        [Adventure]

Slow-consuming age.
      - Ode to a Distant Prospect of Eton College
         (st. 9) [Age]

When iron scourge, and tort'ring hour
  The bad affright, afflict the best.
      - Ode to Adversity [Repentance]

Not all that tempts your wandering eyes
  And heedless hearts is lawful prize,
    Not all that glisters gold.
      - Old on a Favorite Cat [Appearance]

Yet, ah! why should they know their fate,
  Since sorrow never comes too late,
    And happiness too swiftly flies?
      Thought would destroy their paradise.
      - On a Distant Prospect of Eton College
        [Fate]

To each his suff'rings; all are men,
  Condemn'd alike to groan;
    The tender for another's pain,
      Th' unfeeling for his own.
        Yet ah! why should they know their fate,
          Since sorrow never comes too late,
            And happiness too swiftly flies?
              Thought would destroy their paradise.
      - On a Distant Prospect of Eton College
         (st. 10) [Suffering]

Where ignorance is bliss,
  'Tis folly to be wise.
      - On a Distant Prospect of Eton College
         (st. 10) [Ignorance : Proverbs]

They hear a voice in every wind,
  And snatch a fearful joy.
      - On a Distant Prospect of Eton College
         (st. 4) [Joy]

Gay hope is theirs by fancy fed,
  Less pleasing when possest;
    The tear forgot as soon as shed,
      The sunshine of the breast.
      - On a Distant Prospect of Eton College
         (st. 5) [Hope]

Alas! regardless of their doom,
  The little victims play;
    No sense have they of ills to come,
      Nor care beyond to-day.
      - On a Distant Prospect of Eton College
         (st. 6) [Childhood]


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