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With eyes upraised, as one inspired,
And, dashing soft from rocks around,
Bubbling runnels joined the sound;
Love of peace, and lonely musing
Her bow across her shoulder flung,
Her buskins gemmed with morning dew,
The hunter's call, to faun and dryad known !
Peeping from forth their alleys green: Brown Exercise rejoiced to hear ;
And Sport leapt up, and seized his beechen spear. Last came Joy's ecstatic trial : He, with viny crown advancing,
First to the lively pipe his hand addrest; But soon he saw the brisk awakening viol,
Whose sweet entrancing voice he loved the best ;
They saw, in Tempe's vale, her native maids,
Love framed with Mirth a gay fantastic round :)
As if he would the charming air repay,
O Music! sphere-descended maid,
ODE ON THE DEATH OF MR. THOMSON."
In yonder grave a druid lies,
Where slowly winds the stealing wave ;
To deck its poet's sylvan grave.
In yon deep bed of whispering reeds
His airy harp shall now be laid,
May love through life the soothing shade.
1 The scene of the following stanzas is supposed to lie on the Thames, near Richmond.
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,
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 ! 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.
* Richmond Church, in which Thomson was buried.
Long, long, thy stone and pointed clay
Shall melt the musing Briton's eyes :
In yonder grave your druid lies!
AN ODE ON THE POPULAR SUPERSTITIONS OF THE HIGHLANDS
Inscribed to Mr. Home, Author of Douglas.
Home, thou return'st from Thames, whose naiads long
Have seen thee lingering with a fond delay
'Mid those soft friends, whose hearts, some future day, Shall melt, perhaps, to hear thy tragic song.
Go, not unmindful of that cordial youth ?
Together let us wish him lasting truth,
Go! nor regardless, while these numbers boast My short-lived bliss, forget my social name ;.
But think far off how, on the southern coast, I met thy friendship with an equal flame!
Fresh to that soil thou turn'st, whose every valc
To thee thy copious 'subjects ne'er shall fail ;
1 The text here given is that in which this ode was first printed, in the Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, 1780. Of the passages within brackets some were supplied in that version, to fill up lacunæ, by Dr. Carlyle, and some are from the later editions.
? Mr. John Barrow, who introduced Home to Collins.
'Tis Fancy's land to which thou set’st thy feet;
To the swart tribes their creamy bowl allots ; By night they sip it round the cottage door,
While airy minstrels warble jocund notes. There every herd, by sad experience, knows
How, winged with fate, their elf-shot arrows fly, When the sick ewe her summer food forgoes,
Or, stretched on earth, the heart-smit heifers lie. Such airy beings awe the untutored swain :
Nor thou, though learned, his homelier thoughts neglect; Let thy sweet muse the rural faith sustain ;
These are the themes of simple, sure effect, That add new conquests to her boundless reign, And fill, with double force, her heart-commanding strain.
Ev'n yet preserved, how often may'st thou hear,
Taught by the father to his listening son
At every pause, before thy mind possest,
With uncouth lyres, in many-coloured vest,
Whether thou bid'st the well-taught hind repeat
When every shrieking maid her bosom beat,
Or whether, sitting in the shepherd's shiel',
When at the bugle's call, with fire and steel,
A hut among the mountains.