Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, ODE ON THE SPRING, by THOMAS GRAY



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ODE ON THE SPRING, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Lo! Where the rosy-bosomed hours
Last Line: We frolic while 't is may.
Variant Title(s): On The Spring;spring
Subject(s): Nature; Spring


LO! where the rosy-bosomed Hours,
Fair Venus' train, appear,
And wake the purple year!
The Attic warbler pours her throat
Responsive to the cuckoo's note,
The untaught harmony of spring:
While, whispering pleasure as they fly,
Cool zephyrs through the clear blue sky
Their gathered fragrance fling.
Where'er the oak's thick branches stretch
A broader, browner shade,
Where'er the rude and moss-grown beech
O'ercanopies the glade,
Beside some water's rushy brink
With me the Muse shall sit, and think
(At ease reclined in rustic state)
How vain the ardor of the crowd,
How low, how little are the proud,
How indigent the great!
Still is the toiling hand of care;
The panting herds repose:
Yet hark, how through the peopled air
The busy murmur glows!
The insect youth are on the wing,
Eager to taste the honeyed spring
And float amid the liquid noon:
Some lightly o'er the current skim,
Some show their gayly gilded trim
Quick-glancing to the sun.
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,
In fortune's varying colors drest:
Brushed by the hand of rough mischance
Or chilled by age, their airy dance
They leave, in dust to rest.
Methinks I hear in accents low
The sportive kind reply:
Poor moralist! and what art thou?
A solitary fly!
Thy joys no glittering female meets,
No hive hast thou of hoarded sweets,
No painted plumage to display;
On hasty wings thy youth is flown;
Thy sun is set, thy spring is gone,--
We frolic while 't is May.




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