1768 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

William Collins

G. B., "An Ode, to the Memory of Mr. Collins" Newcastle Chronicle (17 December 1768).



If aught, O COLLINS! bard divine,
May hope acceptance at thy shrine,
Which guardian spirits keep;
A lowly muse, that loves thy lays,
Fain would the voice of pity raise,
And o'er thy cold urn weep.

Rapt with thy song, bright Fancy's child,
We ramble in amazement wild,
As various passions sway:
When gentle EVE o'erspreads her veil
On each green bank and flowery dale,
With Elves and Fays we stray.

E're long, the secret, silent grove
In meditating muse we rove,
How awful, how serene!
When not a whisper's heard around;
Save where the riv'let's murm'ring sound
Improves the solemn scene.

Enthusiast sweet! with thee we tread
The deary mansions of the dead,
Near some sequester'd fane;
Where melancholy, sadly — slow,
For ever pensive, full of woe,
Has fix'd her gloomy reign.

Soon as thy varying measures change,
Uncultivated wilds we range,
'Mongst rocks and desarts rude:
See! down the mountain's ragged side,
Yon torrent pours its thund'ring tide,
A vast, resistless flood.

How shall the muse, dear shade, relate
Thy much lamented, wretched fate?
How tell the sad'ning tale?
Tho' with the finest feelings blest,
That ever warm'd a mortal breast:
Ah! these could nought avail.

To struggle thro' this scene of life,
Beset with hunger, envy, strife,
Far other pow'r requires:
Alas! Discretion seldom dwells
With souls like thine, where passion swells
As ev'ry breeze inspires.

Whilst fancy's boldest flights can please,
And loftiest thoughts exprest with ease,
Applause and fame are thine:
The tear upon thy mossy bed
The feeling soul shall duly shed,
And croud thy honour'd shrine.
North-Shields.