Thomas Gray (1716-1771)


Thomas Gray by J. G. Eccardt, 1748 (detail)
(National Portrait Gallery, London)

Thomas Gray, known for his "Elegy in a Country Churchyard," wrote only one sonnet.

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On the Death of Mr. Richard West

In vain to me the smiling mornings shine,
And reddening Phoebus lifts his golden fire;
The birds in vain their amorous descant join;
Or cheerful fields resume their green attire:
These ears, alas! for other notes repine,
A different object do these eyes require;
My lonely anguish melts no heart but mine,
And in my breast the imperfect joys expire.
Yet morning smiles the busy race to cheer,
And newborn pleasure brings to happier men;
The fields to all their wonted tribute bear;
To warm their little loves the birds complain;
I fruitless mourn to him that cannot hear,
And weep the more because I weep in vain.