ODE ON THE DEATH OF MR. THOMSON.
THE SCENE OF THE FOLLOWING STANZAS IS SUPPOSED TO LIE
ON THE THAMES, NEAR RICHMOND.
IN yonder grave a Druid lies,
Where slowly winds the stealing wave!;
The year's best sweets shall duteous rise,
To deck its Poet's sylvan grave!
In yon deep bed of whispering reeds
His airy harp shall now be laid;
That he whose heart in sorrow bleeds
May love through life the soothing shade.
Then maids and youths shall linger here;
And, while its 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 whitening spire,*
And, 'mid the varied landscape weep.
But thou who own'st that earthly bed,
Ah! what will every 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 glimmering near!
With him, sweet Bard, may fancy die;
And Joy desert the blooming year.
But thou, lorn stream, whose sullen tide
No sedge-crown'd sister 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 veil'd 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!
* Richmond Church, in which Thomson was buried.
The Poetical Works of William Collins.
Dr. J. Langhorne, ed.
New York: Leavitt, Trow & Co., 1848. 88-90.
to Works of William Collins
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