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"In D[iem]: 29am Maii"

"In D[iem]: 29am Maii"


1 Bella per Angliacos plusquam civilia campos
2 Praeteritae videre dies: desaevit Enyo,
3 Tempestasque jacet; circum vestigia flammae
4 Delentur, pacisque iterum consurgit imago:
5 Littore, quo nuper Martis fremuere procellae,
6 Alcyone tutum struit imperterrita nidum.
7 Reddita spes solii regno, regemque vagantem
8 Patria chara tenet, dictisque affatur amicis.
9     Quas ego te terras, quot per discrimina vectum
10 Accipio, quantis jactatum, Nate, periclis?
11 Quam metui, nequid tibi Gallica regna nocerent,
12 Belgarumque plagae, perjuraque Scotia patri!
13 Quam tremui, cum laeva tuas Vigornia turmas
14 Fudit praecipites, hostemque remisit ovantem!
15 Tuque, Arbor, nostrae felix tutela coronae,
16 Gloria camporum, et luci regina vocare:
17 Tota tibi sylva assurget, quae fronde dedisti
18 Securas latebras, nemorosa palatia regi;
19 Sacra Jovi Latio quondam, nunc sacra Britanno.
20 Olim factus honos, illi velasse capillos,
21 Qui leto civem abripuit, salvumque reduxit;
22 Jam potes ipsa tribus populis praestare salutem.

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0 "In D[iem]: 29am Maii" 1 Explanatory

Title/Paratext] "[Prose translation by J. R. [...]" H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.

"[Prose translation by J. R. Hendrickson:]
"On the twenty-ninth day of May"

    Bygone days have seen the bitterest of civil wars throughout the British fields; Enyo has ceased to vent her cruelty, the tempest is stilled; on all sides the scars left by the flame are being wiped out, and the image of peace once more arises; on the shore, where recently the storms of Mars raged, the Halcyon, free from fear, is building her nest in safety. The hope of the throne has been returned to the realm, and his beloved country possesses her wandering king, and speaks with loving words.
    My Son, at last I can welcome you home, after you have travelled through so many lands, and endured so many crises, and survived the many perils that assailed you. How I feared that the Gallic kingdoms would work you some harm, and the lands of the Belgians, and Scotland, traitor to your father! How I trembled when the accursed field of Worcester hurled your squadrons into headlong rout and sent the enemy back triumphant!
    Be Thou, O Tree, hailed as the auspicious guardian of our crown, the glory of the plains, the queen of the grove; the whole forest shall rise in homage to you, who afforded a safe hiding-place with your foliage, a leafy palace for a king! In ancient times you were sacred to Jove in Latium; now you will be held sacred in Britain. In olden days the honour was paid of placing a crown upon the head of the man who had rescued a single citizen from death and brought him safely home; now you alone can (claim to) be the saviour of three nations."

The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966, 126-127.

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1 Bella per Angliacos plusquam civilia campos
2 Praeteritae videre dies: desaevit Enyo,
3 Tempestasque jacet; circum vestigia flammae
4 Delentur, pacisque iterum consurgit imago:
5 Littore, quo nuper Martis fremuere procellae,
6 Alcyone tutum struit imperterrita nidum.
7 Reddita spes solii regno, regemque vagantem
8 Patria chara tenet, dictisque affatur amicis.
9     Quas ego te terras, quot per discrimina vectum
10 Accipio, quantis jactatum, Nate, periclis?
11 Quam metui, nequid tibi Gallica regna nocerent,
12 Belgarumque plagae, perjuraque Scotia patri!
13 Quam tremui, cum laeva tuas Vigornia turmas
14 Fudit praecipites, hostemque remisit ovantem!
15 Tuque, Arbor, nostrae felix tutela coronae,
16 Gloria camporum, et luci regina vocare:
17 Tota tibi sylva assurget, quae fronde dedisti
18 Securas latebras, nemorosa palatia regi;
19 Sacra Jovi Latio quondam, nunc sacra Britanno.
20 Olim factus honos, illi velasse capillos,
21 Qui leto civem abripuit, salvumque reduxit;
22 Jam potes ipsa tribus populis praestare salutem.

Works cited

  • The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966.

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Contractions, italics and initial capitalization have been largely eliminated, except where of real import. Initial letters of sentences have been capitalized, all accents have been removed. The editor would like to express his gratitude to library staff at Pembroke College, Cambridge, at the British Library, and at the Bodleian Library, Oxford, for their invaluable assistance.