1748 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

James Thomson

Thirsis, "To the Memory of the celebrated Mr. James Thomson" Newcastle General Magazine 1 (September 1748) 487.



Farewell, immortal Bard! — bright Shade, farewell!
Accept from me this last Adieu — and deign,
Before thou wing'st aloft the blue Immense,
And soar'st beyond the Reach of Earth-born Mortals;
Before thy boundless Fancy roams at large,
And, joyful, mixes 'midst Heav'n's rolling Wonders:
Where Worlds on Worlds — Systems on Systems rise,
In infinite Degree — O deign to hear
The grateful Tribute of a mourning Friend.—

Tho' now thou'st shaken off this mortal Frame,
Left it to moulder with the Worms in Dust:
Oh! Thomson yet, still blooming, sure thou liv'st,
And distant Ages shall proclaim the Sound:
Yes, yes! thou liv'st — I feel thy Influence here,
Breath o'er the finer Movements of my Soul.
Thou Nature's darling Friend, and Nature's Boast,
With ev'ry Virtue, ev'ry Worth refin'd,
Gen'rous, sincere, sublimely simple Man;
Whose Harmony of Song creative swell'd
Th' enlighten'd Fancy, to approaching Life;
Whose lofty Sense, adorn'd with ev'ry Grace,
Imagination's vivid Eye could paint,
First led th' enraptur'd Soul, in Lays perfum'd,
Thro' various pleasing and enchanted Rounds,
Th' unbounded Works of Nature to trace out;
Whose each revolving Year, speaks forth thy Fame,
For thou her Voice didst e'er attend, view'd her
In ev'ry Shape, and at thy Heart did'st feel
Her sweet Emotions — which thy Lays infuse,
And thy admiring Country ever hears
With Rapture and divine Astonishment.

Hail! heav'nly Bard — Thrice hail! departed Shade,
Oh! yet look back, this one Request receive;
If thou should'st ever hover round this Globe,
Or deal to Souls thy Influence unseen,
Oh! sometimes wander near this Place: Teach me,
Like thee, to stand unmov'd 'gainst Rage of States
And Crush of Nations; from the World escap'd
In still Retreats of Nations; from the World escap'd
Teach me, like thee, with such a Master-hand
To tune my Dorick Reed, and touch each Thought
To swell into Perfection — Oh! teach me:
Tell — direct me where thy willing Muses
Are retir'd, whom thou didst never woo in vain;
But still obedient, ever heard thy Voice,
And ever dwelt upon thy Song.
Newcastle.