Origin of the phrase "ignorance is bliss"

Posted by Bob on April 19, 2002

In Reply to: Origin of the phrase "ignorance is bliss" posted by Jennifer VandenBrooks on April 19, 2002

: I know the phrase is used in Animal Farm. Is this where it orginated or was it taken from somewhere else?

Gray's "Ode on a Distant Prospect of Eton College"

Yet ah, why should they know their fate
Since sorrow never comes too late
And happiness too quickly flies.

Thought would destroy their paradise.
Where ignorance is bliss, 'tis folly to be wise.

(I may not have that exactly word-for-word, since it's from memory... but it's pretty close)