Saturday, August 29, 2009


Set in Stone

David Norton wrote in an email:
Reading the item you posted for August 26th, I recalled my visit to Stoke Poges and the monument there to Thomas Gray, which misquotes what is perhaps his most famous stanza:
The boast of heraldry, the pomp of power,
And all that beauty, all that wealth e'er gave,
Await alike th' inevitable hour.
The paths of glory lead but to the grave.
Gray wrote "Awaits", and few critics (and no scholar) would prefer the mason's version. I hate to think how many poets and scholars will never rest easy because their gravestones misquote them--or others.
David also drew my attention to textual notes on this corruption at The Thomas Gray Archive.

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