Verse > Anthologies > James and Mary Ford, eds. > Every Day in the Year
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James and Mary Ford, eds.  Every Day in the Year.  1902.
 
August 27
Ode on the Death of Thomson
By William Collins (1721–1759)
 
          James Thomson, author of “The Seasons,” died August 27, 1748.

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        5
  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,        10
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        15
  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.        20
 
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        25
  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,        30
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,        35
  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.        40
 
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!”
 
 
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