Thomas Gray

Poetry on Gratitude

Thomas Gray:

Ode for Music (1769)

Edited by Peter Y. Chou

Ode for Music (1769)

Recitative (Lines 13-22)

From yonder realms of empyrean day
Bursts on my ear the indignant lay:
There sit the sainted sage, the bard divine,
The few whom genius gave to shine
Through every unborn age and undiscovered clime.
Rapt in celestial transport they, (accomp.)
Yet hither oft a glance from high
They send of tender sympathy
To bless the place, where on their opening soul
First the genuine ardour stole.

Recitative (Lines 35-36, 55-56)

But hark! the portals sound and, pacing forth
With solemn steps and slow,
And thus they speak in soft accord
The liquid language of the skies.

Quartetto (Lines 57-64)

What is grandeur, what is power?
Heavier toil, superior pain.
Sweet is the breath of vernal shower,
The bee's collected treasures sweet,
Sweet music's melting fall, but sweeter yet
The still small voice of gratitude.

Air (Lines 71-76)

Thy liberal heart, thy judging eye,
The flower unheeded shall descry,
And bid it round heaven's altars shed
The fragrance of its blushing head:
Shall raise from earth the latent gem
To glitter on the diadem.

Thomas Gray (1710-1771)
Ode for Music (1769)

Complete poem: 94-lines

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© Peter Y. Chou,
P.O. Box 390707, Mountain View, CA 94039
email: peter(at) (1-5-2006)