1749 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

James Thomson

William Collins, Ode occasion'd by the Death of Mr. Thomson (1749) 5-8.



In yonder grave a DRUID lies
Where slowly winds the stealing Wave!
The Year's best Sweets shall duteous rise
To deck it's POET's sylvan Grave!

In yon deep Bed of whisp'ring Reeds
His airy Harp shall now be laid,
That He, whose Heart in Sorrow bleeds,
May love thro' Life the soothing Shade.

Then Maids and Youths shall linger here,
And, while it's Sounds at distance swell,
Shall sadly seem in Pity's Ear
To hear the WOODLAND PILGRIM's Knell.

REMEMBRANCE oft shall haunt the Shore
When THAMES in Summer-wreaths is drest,
And oft suspend the dashing Oar
To bid his gentle Spirit rest!

And oft as EASE and HEALTH retire
To breezy Lawn, or Forest deep,
The Friend shall view yon whit'ning Spire,
And 'mid the varied Landschape weep.

But Thou, who own'st that Earthy Bed,
Ah! what will ev'ry Dirge avail?
Or Tears, which LOVE and PITY shed
That mourn beneath the gliding Sail!

Yet lives there one, whose heedless Eye
Shall scorn thy pale Shrine glimm'ring near?
With Him, Sweet Bard, may FANCY die,
And JOY desert the blooming Year.

But thou, lorn STREAM, whose sullen Tide
No sedge-crowned SISTERS now attend,
Now waft me from the green Hill's Side
Whose cold Turf hides the buried FRIEND!

And see, the Fairy Valleys fade,
Dun Night has veiled the solemn View!
—Yet once again, Dear parted SHADE,
Meek NATURE's CHILD again adieu!

The genial Meads, assign'd to bless
Thy Life, shall mourn thy early Doom,
Their Hinds, and Shepherd-Girls shall dress
With simple Hands thy rural Tomb.

Long, long, thy Stone and pointed Clay
Shall melt the musing BRITON's Eyes,
O! VALES, and WILD WOODS, shall He say
In yonder Grave Your DRUID lies!