1796 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

William Collins

C. D., "Inscription attempted for the Monument of Collins in Chichester Cathedral" Bath Herald (10 September 1796).



Not from Oblivion to preserve thy Name,
COLLINS, to thee this humble Stone we raise;
Thou ask'st no Marble to record thy fame,
Thou need'st no Sculptur'd Verse to speak thy praise.

With grateful rev'rence, and affection dear,
This votive Tablet we inscribe to thee,
Whose magic Lyre still charms the enraptur'd ear
With the rich strains of varied Poesy:

Whether with Patriot Song in numbers meet
Thou summon'st Freedom's Sons to glorious War,
Or fondly woo'st the "Pensive Pleasures" sweet
That wait on "dewy Evening's" shadowy car;

Or breath'st the Reed where Tigris rolls its wave,
Or wail'st the Bard that sang the changeful year;
Or sooth'st the Manes of the honor'd Brave,
Or deck'st with many a flower FIDELE'S bier:

Whether to Pity, soul-subduing power,
Thou plann'st the ideal fane and hallow'd shrine;
Or giv'st to "frantic Fear" the midnight hour
When terrors dire their fancied ills combine;

Or round Celestial Music's vaulted cell
Bid'st the enthusiast train of Passions throng,
Rapt by the Warblings of her potent Shell,
And waking wild the deep expressive Song.

To thee, great Master of the tuneful Lay,
Whose various powers thy genius bright proclaim,
To thee this debt of Gratitude we pay,
Who boast thy Birth, and glory in thy Fame!

*The three first stanzas written in November, 1789. The rest added in October, 1795.