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Idle notes! untimely green!
Speak not always winter past.
[This Song is in this edition printed from the copy as it appears in H. Walpole's Letters to the Countess of Ailesbury. See his Works, vol. v. p. 561.]
Var. V. 8. Why this] In Mr. Park's edition, "why such." V. 9. Western, &c.] In Mr. Park's edition, these lines are printed thus:
"Gentle gales and sky serene
Prove not always winter past."
THUS Tophet look'd; so grinn'd the brawling fiend, Whilst frighted prelates bow'd, and call'd him friend.
Our mother-church, with half-averted sight, Blush'd as she bless'd her grisly proselyte; Hosannas rung thro' hell's tremendous borders, And Satan's self had thoughts of taking orders.*
*The Rev. Henry Etough, of Cambridge University, the person satirized, was as remarkable for the eccentricities of his character, as for his personal appearance. Mr. Tyson, of
Bene't College, made an etching of his head, and presented it to Gray, who embellished it with the above lines. Information respecting Mr. Etough, (who was rector of Therfield, Herts, and of Colmworth, Bedfordshire, and patronized by Sir Robert Walpole,) may be found in the Gentleman's Magaz. vol. lvi. p. 25. 281; and in Nichols's Literary Anecdotes of the xviiith Century, vol. viii. p. 261, and Brydges' Restituta, vol. iv. p. 246, and Polwhele's Recollect. i. 212. "Etough was originally a Jew, but renounced his religion for the sake of a valuable living. To understand the second line, it is necessary to inform you, that Tophet kept the conscience of the minister." See Neville. Imit. of Horace, p. 59. "The slanderous pests, the ETOUGHS of the age." See an account of Dr. Etough in Coxe's Life of Sir R. Walpole, vol. i. p. xxvi. "Etough was a man of great research and eager curiosity, replete with prejudice, but idolizing Sir R. Walpole, &c."
SIGGESTED BY A VIEW, IN 1766, OF THE SEAT AND RUINS OF A DECEASED NOBLEMAN, AT
[Vritten at Denton in the spring of 1766. See Nichols' Select Poems, vol. vii. p. 350, and W. S. Landori Poemata, p. 196.]
(LD, and abandon'd by each venal friend,
Here H- -d form'd the pious resolution To smuggle a few years, and strive to mend A broken character and constitution.
On this congenial spot he fix'd his choice; Earl Goodwin trembled for his neighbouring sand;
Hee sea-gulls scream, and cormorants rejoice, And mariners, though shipwreck'd, dread to land.
Hee reign the blustering North and blighting East,
No tree is heard to whisper, bird to sing; 10
*Dllaway, in his Anecdotes of the Arts, p. 385, says, that this base was built by Lord Holland as a correct imitation of Cicco's Formian villa, at Baix, under the superintendence of Sir Thomas Wynne, Bart. afterwards Lord Newborough. See Get. Mag. vol. lxxvii. p. 1116.
Yet Nature could not furnish out the feast,'
Here mouldering fanes and battlements arise,
"Ah!" said the sighing peer, "had B―te been true,
Nor M-'s, R-'s, B-'s friendship vain, Far better scenes than these had blest our view, And realiz'd the beauties which we feign:
"Purg'd by the sword, and purified by fire,
Then had we seen proud London's hated wals; Owls would have hooted in St. Peter's choir, And foxes stunk and litter'd in St. Paul's."
V. 14. Turrets and arches] Arches and turrets. MS
V. 18. M-'s, R—'s, B—'s] Shelburne's, Rigby's Cal-
Nor C-'s nor B-d's promises been vain. Nich.
V. 21. Purified] Beautified. MS.
V. 18. These initials stand for "Mungo's, Rigby's Bradshaw's. See Heroic Epistle, v. 95; and Verses by Lod Holland in returning from Italy, 1767, in Asylum for Fug. Pieces, ii. p. 10: