One of the greatest English poets. Thomas Gray met Horace Walpole at Eton and accompanied him on a Grand Tour of France and Italy. His Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard was published in 1751. The words fostered the rich nostalgia through which many English people view their gardens and approach their garden design:
Full many a gem of purest ray serene
The dark unfathomed caves of ocean bear:
Full many a flower is born to blush unseen,
And waste its sweetness on the desert air.
There at the foot of yonder nodding beech
That wreathes its old fantastic roots so high,
Brushing with hasty steps the dews away
To meet the sun upon the upland lawn.
Thomas Gray's Descent of Odin is regarded as a precursor of literary romanticism and includes the well-known lines: " Now my weary lips I close; Leave me, leave me to repose!"