Verse > Anthologies > T. H. Ward, ed. > The English Poets > Vol. III. Addison to Blake
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Thomas Humphry Ward, ed.  The English Poets.  1880–1918.
Vol. III. The Eighteenth Century: Addison to Blake
 
Ode on the Death of Mr. Thomson
By William Collins (1721–1759)
 
IN 1 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, 2
  And ’mid the varied landscape weep.        20
 
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        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!
 
Note 1. The scene of the following stanzas is supposed to lie on the Thames, near Richmond. [back]
Note 2. Richmond Church, in which Thomson was buried. [back]
 
 
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