1748 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

James Thomson

Juba, "On the Death of Mr. Thomson" British Magazine 3 (October 1748) 451.



Mourn, mourn Britannia, mourn thy THOMSON'S loss;
THOMSON deplore, thy great, thy virtuous son;
Low stretch'd in earth he lies, and knows no more
The seasons changing, as they roll along,
His once delightful Theme! to this he oft
Attun'd his sounding lyre, and Britons grew
Enamour'd of fair virtue, as they hear'd
His solemn song; but who shall now restrain
The course of vice triumphant at his fall?
YOUNG'S left alone; and can his single arm
Oppose th' impetuous torrent's boundless rage?
His utmost he exerts to save thy sons
From ruin, and preserve thy sinful realm;
But, ah! too great's the task, vice stalks abroad,
And vengeance seems to aim the dreaful blow;
Impending o'er thy head the hand of fate
Is lifted high, and waits but the command
Of heav'n to fall, and crush thee for thy guilt.
Yet, ere the dreadful day of vengeance comes,
The virtuous quit the stage in peace, and rest
From all their labours, in the silent grave;
But impious men heav'n for the day of woe
Reserves and spares them as a punishment.
Oct. 14, 1748.