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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 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, 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! 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 Briton’s eyes: O vales and wild woods, shall he say, In yonder grave a Druid lies!
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