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Poem by William Collins

Ode on the Grave of Thomson

IN yonder grave a Druid lies,
  Where slowly winds the stealing wave;
The years best sweets shall duteous rise
  To deck its poets 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 Pitys ear
  To hear the woodland pilgrims 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 ownst 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 hills 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 Natures child, again adieu!

Thy genial meads, assigned 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 Britons eyes:
O vales and wild woods, shall he say,
  In yonder grave a Druid lies!

William Collins

William Collins's other poems:
  1. Abra; or, The Georgian Sultana
  2. Hassan; or, The Camel Driver
  3. Selim; or, The Shepherd's Moral
  4. Ode on the Poetical Character
  5. Ode to Mercy

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