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ODE ON THE DEATH OF MR. THOMSON.
IN yonder grave a Druid lies,
I 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!
· The scene of the following stanzas is supposed to lie on the Thames, near Richmond.
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 earthy 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-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, assigned 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!
1 Richmond Church, in which Thomson was buried..
WRITTEN IN THE YEAR 1746.
H OW sleep the brave, who sink to rest
11 By all their country's wishes blest!
When Spring, with dewy fingers cold,
Returns to deck their hallowed mould,
She there shall dress a sweeter sod
Than Fancy's feet have ever trod.
By fairy hands their knell is rung ;
By forms unseen their dirge is sung ;
There Honour comes, a pilgrim gray,
To bless the turf that wraps their clay;
And Freedom shall awhile repair,
To dwell, a weeping hermit, there!
THEN Music, heavenly maid, was young, W While yet in early Greece she sung, The Passions oft, to hear her shell, Thronged around her magic cell, Exulting, trembling, raging, fainting, Possest beyond the muse's painting : By turns they felt the glowing mind Disturbed, delighted, raised, refined ; Till once, 'tis said, when all were fired, Filled with fury, rapt, inspired, From the supporting myrtles round They snatched her instruments of sound; And, as they oft had heard apart Sweet lessons of her forceful art, Each (for Madness ruled the hour) Would prove his own expressive power.
First Fear, his hand, its skill to try,
Amid the chords bewildered laid,
And back recoiled, he knew not why,
Even at the sound himself had made.
Next Anger rushed ; his eyes on fire,
In lightning owned his secret stings :
In one rude clash he struck the lyre,
And swept with hurried hands the strings.
With woful measures wan Despair
Low, sullen sounds his grief beguiled ;
A solemn, strange, and mingled air ;
'Twas sad by fits, by starts 'twas wild.
But thou, O Hope, with eyes so fair,
What was thy delighted measure ?
Still it whispered promised pleasure,
And bade the lovely scenes at distance hail!
Still would her touch the strain prolong ;
And from the rocks, the woods, the vale,
She called on Echo still, through all the song ;
And, where her sweetest theme she chose,
A soft responsive voice was heard at every close,
And Hope enchanted smiled, and waved her golden hair.
And longer had she sung ;—but, with a frown,
Revenge impatient rose :
He threw his blood-stained sword, in thunder, down ;
And with a withering look,
The war-denouncing trumpet took,
And blew a blast so loud and dread,
Were ne'er prophetic sounds so full of woe!
And, ever and anon, he beat
The doubling drum, with furious heat ;
And though sometimes, each dreary pause between,
Dejected Pity, at his side,
Her soul-subduing voice applied,
Yet still he kept his wild unaltered mien,
While each strained ball of sight seemed bursting from his head.
Thy numbers, Jealousy, to naught were fixed ;
Sad proof of thy distressful state ;
Of differing themes the veering song was mixed ;
And now it courted love, now raving called on hate.
With eyes upraised, as one inspired,
Pale Melancholy sat retired,
And, from her wild sequestered seat,
In notes by distance made more sweet,
Poured through the mellow horn her pensive soul :
And, dashing soft from rocks around,
Bubbling runnels joined the sound ;
Through glades and glooms the mingled measure stole,
Or, o'er some haunted stream, with fond delay,
Round an holy calm diffusing,
Love of peace, and lonely musing,
In hollow murmurs died away.
But O! how altered was its sprightlier tone,
When Cheerfulness, a nymph of healthiest hue,
Her bow across her shoulder flung,
Her buskins gemmed with morning dew,
Blew an inspiring air, that dale and thicket rung,
The hunter's call to faun and dryad known !
The oak-crowned sisters, and their chaste-eyed queen,
Satyrs and sylvan boys, were seen,
Peeping from forth their alleys green :
Brown Exercise rejoiced to hear ;
And Sport leapt up, and seized his beechen spear.
Last came Joy's ecstatic trial :
He, with viny crown advancing,
First to the lively pipe his hand addrest ;
But soon he saw the brisk awakening viol,
Whose sweet entrancing voice he loved the best ;
They would have thought who heard the strain