The loud, apt epithet, applying sure;
The dim-drawn image, artfully obscure;
The perfect stanza, framed of words as choice
And round as pearls, yet liquid to the voice;
A pith of phrase, and musical array
Of numbers;—these are the prime charms of Gray.
The naked majesty and open wonder
Of true sublimity heaped in lines of thunder;
That artless grace wherewith the olden time
Dandled the happy infancy of Rhyme;
That negligent melody which shames the trick
Of wire-drawn verse, and verse-drawn rhetoric:
These in our rich old Bards abound; but these
To Gray were literary heresies.