Gray's father was a scrivener while his mother and aunt kept a milliner's shop. He led a quiet, studious life in the main, training in law after his degree at Cambridge and then becoming a history done at Peterhouse.
Gray formed a friendship with Walpole which was broken off as a result of a disagreement during a "Grand Tour of Europe" (1734-39), though they were eventually reconciled in 1745. This friendship was important to Gray's literary career and Walpole later published The Progress of Poetry and The Bard, an impassioned summary of English history, on his Strawberry Hill Press. Gray sent his Ode on the Spring to an Etonian friend, Richard West, who died shortly ... more »
Click here to add this poet to your My Favorite Poets.
Thomas Gray Poems
Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard
The Curfew tolls the knell of parting day, The lowing herd wind slowly o'er the lea, The plowman homeward plods his weary way, And leaves the world to darkness and to me.
Ode On The Death Of A Favourite Cat Drow...
'Twas on a lofty vase's side, Where China's gayest art had dy'd The azure flow'rs that blow; Demurest of the tabby kind, The pensive Selima, reclin'd, Gazed on the lake below.
Ode On The Spring
Lo! where the rosy-bosom'd Hours, Fair Venus' train appear, Disclose the long-expecting flowers, And wake the purple year! The Attic warbler pours her throat,
Ode On A Distant Prospect Of Eton Colleg...
Ye distant spires, ye antique towers, That crown the watry glade, Where grateful ScienceÊ still adores Her Henry'sÊ holy shade; And yeÊ that from the stately brow
Hymn to Adversity
Daughter of Jove, relentless Power, Thou tamer of the human breast, Whose iron scourge and tort'ring hour The Bad affright, afflict the Best!
Sonnet on the Death of Mr Richard West
In vain to me the smiling mornings shine, And redd'ning Phoebus lifts his golden fire: The birds in vain their amorous descant join; Or cheerful fields resume their green attire:
'Ruin seize thee, ruthless King! Confusion on thy banners wait, Tho' fanned by Conquest's crimson wing They mock the air with idle state.
On the Death of Richard West
1 In vain to me the smiling Mornings shine, 2 And reddening Phœbus lifts his golden fire; 3 The birds in vain their amorous descant join;
The Fatal Sisters
Now the storm begins to lower, (Haste, the loom of Hell prepares!) Iron-sleet of arrowy shower Hurtles in the darkened air.
The Progress of Poesy
Awake, Aeolian lyre, awake, And give to rapture all thy trembling strings. From Helicon's harmonious springs A thousand rills their mazy progress take:
Ode On The Pleasure Arising From Vicissi...
Now the golden Morn aloft Waves her dew-bespangled wing, With vermeil cheek, and whisper soft She woos the tardy Spring:
The Curse Upon Edward
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.
If I Should Die
If I should die and leave you Be not like the others, quick undone Who keep long vigils by the silent dust and weep.
Epitaph On A Child
Here, freed from pain, secure from misery, lies A child, the darling of his parents' eyes: A gentler lamb n'er sported on the plain, A fairer flower will never bloom again:
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
(31 May 1819 - 26 March 1892)
(16 August 1920 – 9 March 1994)
Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard
The Curfew tolls the knell of parting day,
The lowing herd wind slowly o'er the lea,
The plowman homeward plods his weary way,
And leaves the world to darkness and to me.
Now fades the glimmering landscape on the sight,
And all the air a solemn stillness holds,
Save where the beetle wheels his droning flight,
And drowsy tinklings lull the distant folds;
Save that from yonder ivy-mantled tow'r
The moping owl does to the moon complain
Of such as, wand'ring near her secret bow'r,
Molest her ancient solitary reign.
Beneath those rugged elms, that ...