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Then will I dress once more the faded bower,
Where Jonson sat in Drummond's classic shade *; Or crop, from Tiviotdale, each lyric flower, And mourn, on Yarrow's banks, where Willy's
laid! Meantime, ye powers, that on the plains which bore
The cordial youth, on Lothian's plains + attend ! Where'er Home dwells, on hill or lowly moor,
To him I lose, your kind protection lend, And, touch'd with love like mine, preserve my ab
THE SCENE OF THE FOLLOWING STANZAS IS SUPPOSED
TO LIE ON THE THAMES, NEAR RICHMOND.
In yonder grave a Druid lies
Where slowly winds the stealing wave :
To deck its poet's sylvan grave.
* Ben Jonson paid a visit on foot, in 1619, to the Scotch poet, Drummond, at his seat of Hawthornden, within four miles of Edinburgh.
+ Barrow, it seems, was at the Edinburgh Uni.. versity, which is in the county of Mid-Lothian.
May love through life the soothing shade.
Then maids and youths shall linger here,
And, while its sounds at distance swell,
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,
And ’mid the varied landscape weep.
But thou, who own'st that earthly bed,
Ah! what will every dirge avail ?
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.
* The harp of Æolus, of which see a description in the Castle of Indolence. + Mr. Thomson was buried in Richmond church. But thou, lorn stream, whose sullen tide
No sedge-crown'd sisters now attend,
Whose cold turf hides the buried friend!
And see, the fairy valleys fade,
Dun Night has veil'd the solemn view !
Meek Nature's child, again adieu !
The genial meads * assign'd to bless
Thy life, shall mourn thy early doom!
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 !"
* Mr. Thomson resided in the neighbourhood of Richmond some time before his death.
John DYER, an agreeable poet, was the son of a solicitor at Aberglasney, in Carmarthenshire, where he was born in 1700. He was brought up at Westminster-school, and was designed by his father for his own profession; but being at liberty, in consequence of his father's death, to follow I'; own inclination, he indulged what he took for natural taste in painting, and entered as pupil to Mr. Richardson. After wandering for some time about South Wales and the adjacent counties as an itinerant artist, he appeared convinced that he should not attain to eminence in that profession. In 1727, he first made himself known as a poet, by the publication of his “ Grongar Hill," descriptive of a scene afforded by his native country, which became one of the most popular pieces of its class, and has been admitted into numerous collections. Dyer then travelled to Italy, still in pursuit of professional improvement; and if he did not acquire this in any considerable degree, he improved his poetical taste, and laid in a store of new images. These he displayed in a poem of some length, published in 1740, which he entitled “The Ruins of Rome,"
that capital having been the principal object of his journeyings. Of this work it may be said, that it contains many passages of real poetry, and that the strain of moral and political reflection denotes a benevolent and enlightened mind.
His health being now in a delicate state, he was advised by his friends to take orders; and he was accordingly ordained by Dr. Thomas, Bishop of Lincoln ; and, entering into the married state, he sat down on a small living in Leicestershire. This he exchanged for one in Lincolnshire ; but the fenny country in which he was placed did not agree with his health, and he complained of the want of books and company. In 1757, he published his largest work, “ The Fleece,” a didactic poem, in four books, of which the first part is pastoral, the second mechanical, the third and fourth historical and geographical. This poem has never been very popular, many of its topics not being well adapted to poetry; yet the opinions of critics have varied concerning it. It is certain that there are many pleasing, and some grand and impressive passages in the work; but, upon the whole, the general feeling is, that the length of the performance necessarily imposed upon it a degree of tedious. ness.
Dyer did not long survive the completion of his book. He died of a gradual decline in 1758, leaving behind him, besides the reputation of an inge nious poet, the character of an honest, humane, and worthy person.