GRAY, Thomas. ~ Poems by Mr. Gray. London: for J. Dodsley, 1768.
8vo (178 × 110 mm), pp. , 119, , complete with half-title. Typographical ornaments. Full panelled red morocco, gilt, with gilt edges, c. 1900 by Riviere. Book plate of Sir Daniel Cooper. A handsome copy.
First collected edition, including best-known of Gray’s relatively few published poems: ‘Ode on the Spring’, ‘Ode on the Death of a Favourite Cat’, ‘Ode on a Distant Prospect of Eton College’ and ‘Elegy written in a Country Church-yard’ as well as the first appearances ‘The Fatal Sisters’, ‘The Descent of Odin’ and The Triumphs of Owen’.
‘Ode on a Distant Prospect of Eton College’ (first published in 1747, and Gray’s first poem to appear in print) represents the poet’s homecoming to his alma mater, occasioning the now classic meditation on the contrast between the innocence of youth, ‘careless childhood’ and the later cares of adulthood.
This copy bound for the library of Sir Daniel Cooper Bart KCMG (1821-1902, Australian administrator and sometime Agent-General for New South Wales). Rothschild 1071.