1748 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

James Thomson

Anonymous, "On the Death of the celebrated James Thomson, in his Manner" Gentleman's Magazine 18 (September 1748) 423.



Farewel, now sojourner on earth no more!
Farewel, immortal denizen of heav'n!
Deign, as thy flight, uncheck'd, unbounded now,
Measures yon blue immense, and passes there
Heav'n's rolling wonders, worlds round worlds revolv'd,
Round systems, systems, infinite! stupendous!
Deign, from this point of darkness and of woe,
To hear the sigh of social love, the praise
That friendship yields, th' o'erflowing of the heart.

Methinks I feel thy influence in my breast,
And catch the pleasing frenzy of thy song!
Thy song that shall on earth embalm thy name,
Fragrant from age to age; thou, nature's friend,
And nature's boast recorded, lov'd and known,
Till seasons lose their name, and nature die.

Gen'rous, sincere, sublimely simple man!
Thy nervous sense, in musick softly breath'd,
Joins with the sweet, the strong, thy scenes
With all imagination's colours glow,
Yet still distinguish truth's unspotted white.
There Virtue roves, thy Venus she, unblam'd,
Whose steps with grace attends, and hallow'd love,
The source, the band, the joy of all below!

O happy spirit! if to thee 'tis giv'n
Earth to revisit yet again, and shed,
Unseen, a secret influence on the soul,
O! let him, like thee, with inward peace to smile
Amidst the roar of war, and fall of states!
Escaping from the world, to sill retreats,
And pleasing solitude, with happy skill
To touch the Doric reed, to sooth at once
And harmonize the mind; O tell me where
Thy willing Muses stray, ne'er woo'd in vain;
Indulgent to my voice, invoking oft,
O! let them dwell with me, and give my lays
Perfection, and my life a bliss like thine!