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A voice, as of the cherub-choir,
height Deep in the roaring tide he plunged to endless
BORN 1720-DIED 1756.
ODE TO 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, (a)
And ʼmid 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 Sisters now attend,
(a) Mr Thomson was buried in Richmond church.
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 (a) assign’d to bless
Thy life, shall mourn thy early doom ! There 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 : 56 0! vales, and wild woods,” shall he say,
“ In yonder grave your Druid lies !”
ODE TO THE SUPERSTITIONS OF THE
INSCRIBED TO MR JOHN HOME.
HOME thou return'st from Thames, whose Naiads
long Have seen thee lingering with a fond delay, Mid those soft friends, whose hearts some future
day Shall melt, perhaps, to hear thy tragic song.
(a) Mr Thomson resided in the neighbourhood of Richmond some time before his death.
Go, not unmindful of that cordial youth (a)
Whom, long endear'd, thou leav'st by Lavant's
Together let us wish him lasting truth,
And joy untainted with his destined bride. Go! nor regardless, while these numbers boast
My short-lived bliss, forget my social name ; But think, far off, how, on the southern coast,
I met thy friendship with an equal flame ! Fresh to that soil thou turn'st, where every vale
Shall prompt the poet, and his song demand : To thee thy copious subjects ne'er shall fail ;
Thou need'st but take thy pencil to thy hand, And paint what all believe, who own thy genial
There must thou wake perforce thy Doric quill ;
'Tis Fancy's land to which thou turn'st thy feet ;
Where still, 'tis said, the fairy people meet, Beneath each birken shade, on mead or hill. There each trim lass, that skims the milky store
To the swart tribes, their creamy bowls allots ; By night they sip it round the cottage-door,
While airy minstrels warble jocund notes. There, every herd, by sad experience, knows
How, wing’d with fate, their elf-shot arrows fly, When the sick ewe her summer food foregoes,
Or, stretch'd on earth, the heart-smit heifers lie. Such airy beings awe th' untutor'd swain :
(a) A gentleman of the name of Barrow, who introduced Home to Collins.
Nor thou, though learn’d, his homelier thoughts
neglect; Let thy sweet Muse the rural faith sustain ;
These are the themes of simple, sure effect, That add new conquests to her boundless reign, And fill with double force her heart-command
E'en yet preserved, how often mayst thou hear,
Where to the pole tho Boreal mountains run,
Taught by the father to his listening son ; Strange lays, whose power had charm'd a Spenser's
At every pause, before thy mind possest,
Old Runie bards shall seem to rise around, With uncouth lyres, in many-colour'd vest,
Their matted hair with boughs fantastic crown'd: Whether thou bidd'st the well-taught hind repeat The choral dirge that mourns some chieftain
brave, When every shrieking maid her bosom beat, And strew'd with choicest herbs his scented
grave; Or, whether sitting in the shepherd's shiel, (a)
Thou hear'st some sounding tale of war’s alarms; When at the bugle's call, with fire and steel, The sturdy clans pour'd forth their brawny
swarms, And hostile brothers met, to prove each others'
(a) A summer hut, built in the high part of the moun. tains, to tend their flocks in the warm season, when the pasture is fine.