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GRAY, who was “sat
urated with the finest essence of the Attic muse,” has given us some grand
stanzas, in his Ode founded upon the Welsh tradition, that when Edward the First conquered Wales, he ordered the bards to be put to death. These are the opening stanzas :
Helm, nor hauberk's twisted mail,
Of the first Edward scattered wild dismay,
He wound with toilsome march his long array.
Stout Glo'ster stood aghast in speechless trance ; “To arms !” cried Mortimer, and couch'd his quiv’ring lance.
On a rock, whose haughty brow
Frowns o'er old Conway's foaming food,
With haggard eyes the poet stood ;
Sighs to the torrent's awful voice beneath!
Revenge on thee in hoarser murmurs breathe :
Both Campbell and Rogers were much charmed with Gray's writings: the latter used to carry a copy of them in his pocket, to read during his morning walks, till at length, he says, he could repeat them all. Byron considered Gray's Elegy the corner-stone of his glory. Tuckerman, with all a poet's appreciation, thus refers to this remarkable production :-“Almost every line is a select phrase, not to be improved by taste or ingenuity. The subject is one of the