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"[Couplet about Birds]"

"[Couplet about Birds]"


1 There pipes the woodlark, and the song-thrush there
2 Scatters his loose notes in the waste of air.

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0 "[Couplet about Birds]" 1 Explanatory

Title/Paratext] "This couplet was first published [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1891.

"This couplet was first published in Mathias' edition of Gray's Works (1814), vol. ii., p. 596, introduced thus:—"One fine morning in the spring Mr. Nicholls was walking in the neighbourhood of Cambridge with Mr. Gray, who, feeling the influence of the season, and cheered with the melody of the birds on every bough, turned round to his friend, and expressed himself extempore in these beautiful lines." Mathias, no doubt, based his remarks on Norton Nicholls' "Reminiscences of Gray," written in 1805, the MS. of which was in his possession,—Nicholls' reference to them being:—"Two verses made by Mr. Gray as we were walking in the spring in the neighbourhood of Cambridge."
    Norton Nicholls' "Reminiscences" were printed by Mitford in vol. v. of his "Works of Gray," published by Bell and Daldy in 1843."

The Poetical Works of Thomas Gray: English and Latin. Edited with an introduction, life, notes and a bibliography by John Bradshaw. The Aldine edition of the British poets series. London: George Bell and sons, 1891, 275.

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1 There pipes the woodlark, and the song-thrush there
2 Scatters his loose notes in the waste of air.

Works cited

  • The Poetical Works of Thomas Gray: English and Latin. Edited with an introduction, life, notes and a bibliography by John Bradshaw. The Aldine edition of the British poets series. London: George Bell and sons, 1891.

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Spelling has been modernized throughout, except in case of conscious archaisms. Contractions, italics and initial capitalization have been largely eliminated, except where of real import. Obvious errors have been silently corrected, punctuation has been supplied. The editor would like to express his gratitude to the library staff of the Göttingen State and University Library (SUB Göttingen) for their invaluable assistance.