Originally Answered: can anyone explain this so well. 1st to explain clearly BEST ANSWER.?
In his poem The Bard, Thomas Gray tells the story of how the English king Edward I, during the conquest of Wales, was met by a druid (ancient Welsh Oak-priest and poet) who prophesies that the English royal line will suffer for their mistreatment of Wales, and that England will only have peace again when its throne is finally given to a Welsh prince (Henry VII).
In this verse the bard prophesies the period of the Wars of the Roses, between the murder of Richard II around 1400, to the accession of Richard III (1483).
Fill high the sparkling bowl,
The rich repast prepare;
Reft of a crown, he yet may share the feast:
(Richard II - the legitimate king - was deposed and starved to death by his cousin Henry IV around 1400. The Bard says that Richard deserves our honour - as a rightful king - even though he was deposed and assassinated).
Close by the regal chair
Fell Thirst and Famine scowl
A baleful smile upon their baffled guest.
(Reference to the tradition that Richard was starved to death).
Heard ye the din of battle bray,
Lance to lance, and horse to horse?
Long years of havoc urge their destined course,
(The murder of the legitimate king - Richard - led to generations of civil war, as the houses of Lancaster and York murdered each other for the right to the throne).
And thro' the kindred squadrons mow their way.
(The squadrons of cavalry are going through the 'kindred' because it is a civil war: brother is murdering brother).
Ye Towers of Julius, London's lasting shame,
With many a foul and midnight murder fed,
(There is a tradition that the Tower of London was originally built by Julius Caesar. The bard prophesies some of the murders which will take place there during the war - Duke of Clarence, brother to Edward IV; Edward V, son to Edward V (Both House of York); Henry VI (House of Lancaster))
Revere his consort's faith, his father's fame,
And spare the meek usurper's holy head.
(Gray is saying that even though Henry VI was not a legitimate king, he should be respected because his father - Henry V - was a great ruler, and his wife - Margaret of Anjou - was unusually loyal to him. Henry VI himself also had a reputation as a very saintly person - though he was a weak and incompetent ruler).
Above, below, the rose of snow,
Twined with her blushing foe, we spread:
(the badge of the House of York was a white rose, a red rose stood for the House of Lancaster. The bard compares mixing the two colours to blood on snow - a powerful image in British history - especially after the Battle of Towton).
The bristled boar in infant-gore
Wallows beneath the thorny shade.
(The last 'English' king was Richard III - whose badge was a boar's head. The bard prophesies that he will be a child-killer - he probably killed the sons of his elder brother Edward IV, on his way to the crown of England).
Now, brothers, bending o'er th' accursed loom
Stamp we our vengeance deep, and ratify his doom.
(The bard says that the Welsh are putting a curse on the English, which will lead to Richard III's death, and his replacement by a Welsh prince).
You need to know a great deal of English medieval history to make sense of these lines. That is the point of them: Gray's poetry is full of specialist knowledge, and semi-private references. it is poetry for a coterie, a group of people who share the same prejudices and expectations of history.