Gray's father was a scrivener while his mother and aunt kept a milliner's shop. He led a quiet, studious life in the main, training in law after his degree at Cambridge and then becoming a history done at Peterhouse.

Gray formed a friendship with Walpole which was broken off as a result of a disagreement during a "Grand Tour of Europe" (1734-39), though they were eventually reconciled in 1745. This friendship was important to Gray's literary career and Walpole later published The Progress of Poetry and The Bard, an impassioned summary of English history, on his Strawberry Hill Press. Gray sent his Ode on the Spring to an Etonian friend, Richard West, who died shortly afterwards, prompting the Sonnet on the Death of West. Gray was immensely popular and helped to create a new taste in poetry; fertile ground for the romantic poets to follow him. In 1757 at the death of the Poet

Laureate Cibber, the post was offered to Gray, but he refused it.

Poet of the day

Henry Fielding (Sharpham, 22 April 1707 – near Lisbon, 8 October 1754) was an English novelist and dramatist known for his rich earthy humour and satirical prowess, and as the author of the novel Tom Jones.

Aside from his literary achievements, he has a significant place in the history of...
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Poem of the day


Deilige Slot med de glimtende Fløie,
Aldrig i Norden Din Lige man saae,
Issen Du strakte mod Himlen den høie,
Foden Du vasked i Bølgen den blaa.

Kløgtig med Kunst har en kongelig Mester
Manet Dig frem over Vandenes Strøm,
Hvælvet Dit Tag over tusinde...
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