AGRIP. My thought aches at him; not the basilisk

More deadly to the sight, than is to me
The cool injurious eye of frozen kindness.
I will not meet its poison. Let him feel
Before he sees me.



Why then stays my sovereign,

Where he so soon may


Yes, I will be gone,


But not to Antium - all shall be confess'd,

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Whate'er the frivolous tongue of giddy fame

Has spread among the crowd; things, that but whisper'd

Have arch'd the hearer's brow, and riveted

His eyes in fearful extasy: no matter

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What; so't be strange and dreadful. - Sorceries,
Assassinations, poisonings - the deeper
My guilt, the blacker his ingratitude.

And you, ye manes of ambition's victims,
Enshrined Claudius, with the pitied ghosts
Of the Syllani, doom'd to early death,
(Ye unavailing horrors, fruitless crimes!)

V. 169. "Whom have I hurt? has poet yet or peer
Lost the arch'd eyebrow, or Parnassian sneer?"
Pope. Prol. to the Satires, ver. 95.

"To arch the brows which on them gaz'd."


V. Marvell. Poems, i. 45.

V. 172. Pour rendre sa puissance, et la vôtre odieuses, J'avoûrai les rumeurs les plus injurieuses,

Je confesserai tout, exils, assassinâts,

Poison même."

Britannicus, act iii. sc. 3.

See also Taciti Annales, lib. xiii. c. 15.

V. 176. "Prô facinus ingens! fœminæ est munus datus

If from the realms of night my voice ye hear,
In lieu of penitence, and vain remorse,

Accept my vengeance. Though by me ye bled,
He was the cause. My love, my fears for him,
Dried the soft springs of pity in my heart,
And froze them up with deadly cruelty.
Yet if your injur'd shades demand my fate,
If murder cries for murder, blood for blood,
Let me not fall alone; but crush his pride,
And sink the traitor in his mother's ruin.




Отно. Thus far we're safe. Thanks to the

rosy queen

Of amorous thefts: and had her wanton son
Lent us his wings, we could not have beguil'd 190
With more elusive speed the dazzled sight
Of wakeful jealousy. Be gay securely;
Dispel, my fair, with smiles, the tim'rous cloud
That hangs on thy clear brow. So Helen look'd,
So her white neck reclin'd, so was she borne

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Seneca Octavia, ver. 148.

V. 195. "Obstipum caput et tereti cervice reflexum."

Cic. de Nat. Deor. ii. 42.

"Et caput inflexâ lentum cervice recumbit


"Nivea cervice reclinis

Mollitur ipsa."

Virgilii Ciris. 449.

Manil. Astron. 5. v. 555.

This particular beauty is also given to Helen by Constantine

By the young Trojan to his gilded bark
With fond reluctance, yielding modesty,
And oft reverted eye, as if she knew not
Whether she fear'd, or wish'd to be pursued.

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[See Mason's Memoirs, vol. iii. p. 75. Supposed to be written about the year 1742, when Gray returned to Cambridge.]

HAIL, horrors, hail! ye ever gloomy bowers,
Ye gothic fanes, and antiquated towers,
Where rushy Camus' slowly winding flood
Perpetual draws his humid train of mud:

Manasses, in his "Annales," (see Meursii Opera, vol. vii. p. 390):

Δειρὴ μακρὰ καταλευκος, ὅθεν ἐμυθουργήθη

Κυκνογενῆ τὴν εὐόπτον Ἑλένην χρημάτιζειν.

And so also in the Antehomerica of Tzetzes, ed. Jacobs. p. 115 (though the passage is corrupted).

"That soft cheek springing to the marble neck,
Which bends aside in vain."

Akenside. Pl. of Imag. b. i. p. 112. ed. Park.

V. 197. See Milton. Par. L. iv. 310:

"Yielded with coy submission, modest pride,

And sweet, reluctant amorous delay."

V. 1. "Hail, horrors, hail!" Milton. Par. L. i. 205.


V. 3. "Jam nec arundiferum mihi cura revisere Camum," Miltoni Eleg. i. 11. and 89. "juncosas Cami remeare paludes." Luke.

Glad I revisit thy neglected reign,

Oh take me to thy peaceful shade again.




But chiefly thee, whose influence breathed from
Augments the native darkness of the sky;
Ah, ignorance! soft salutary power!
Prostrate with filial reverence I adore.
Thrice hath Hyperion roll'd his annual race,
Since weeping I forsook thy fond embrace.
Oh say, successful dost thou still oppose
Thy leaden ægis 'gainst our ancient foes?
Still stretch, tenacious of thy right divine,
The massy sceptre o'er thy slumb'ring line?
And dews Lethean through the land dispense
To steep in slumbers each benighted sense?
If any spark of wit's delusive ray
Break out, and flash a momentary day,
With damp, cold touch forbid it to aspire,
And huddle up in fogs the dang'rous fire.




Oh say she hears me not, but, careless grown, Lethargic nods upon her ebon throne.

V. 4.

"Where rivers now

Stream, and perpetual draw their humid train."

Milton. Par. Lost, vii. 310.

V. 14. "To hatch a new Saturnian age of lead."

Pope. Dunciad, i. 28.

And so in the speech of Ignorance in "Henry and Minerva," by I. B. 1729 (one among the poetical pieces bound up by Pope in his library, and now in my possession):

"Myself behind this ample shield of lead,

Will to the field my daring squadrons head." V. 17. "Let Fancy still my sense in Lethe steep."

Shakesp. T. Night. act iv. sc. 1. Luke. V. 22. "Here Ignorance in steel was arm'd, and there Cloath'd in a cowl, dissembled fast and pray'r;


Goddess!, awake, arise! alas, my fears!
Can powers immortal feel the force of years?
Not thus of old, with ensigns wide unfurl'd,
She rode triumphant o'er the vanquish'd world;
Fierce nations own'd her unresisted might,
And all was ignorance, and all was night.
Oh! sacred age! Oh! times for ever lost!
(The schoolman's glory, and the churchman's

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For ever gone
yet still to fancy new,
Her rapid wings the transient scene pursue,
And bring the buried ages back to view.

High on her car, behold the grandam ride
Like old Sesostris with barbaric pride;

*** a team of harness'd monarchs bend



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Against my sway her pious hand stretch'd out,
And fenc'd with double fogs her idiot rout."
Henry and Minerva.

And so in the Dunciad, b. i. ver. 80:

"All these, and more, the cloud-compelling queen
Beholds thro' fogs that magnify the scene."
Awake, arise, or be for ever fallen!"

V. 25.

Milt. P. L. i. 330. Luke.

V. 37. "Sesostris-like, such charioteers as these
May drive six harness'd monarchs if they please."
Young. Love of Fame, Sat. v.

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High on his car, Sesostris struck my view,
Whom sceptred slaves in golden harness drew."

Pope. T. of Fame. Luke.

And so S. Philips. Blenheim, v. 16:

"As curst Sesostris, proud Egyptian king,

That monarchs harness'd to his chariot yok'd."

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