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REMEMBRANCE

OF COLLINS

COMPOSED UPON THE THAMES NEAR RICHMOND

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LIDE gently, thus for ever glide,

O Thames! that other bards may

see

As lovely visions by thy side

As now, fair river! come to me.

Oh glide, fair stream! for ever so,
Thy quiet soul on all bestowing,
Till all our minds for ever flow

As thy deep waters now are flowing.

Vain thought!-Yet be as now thou art,

That in thy waters may be seen

The image of a poet's heart,

How bright, how solemn, how serene !

Such as did once the Poet bless,

Who murmuring here a later * ditty,
Could find no refuge from distress

But in the milder grief of pity.

*Collins's Ode on the death of Thomson, the last written, I believe, of the poems which were published during his lifetime. This Ode is also alluded to in the next stanza.

Now let us, as we float along,
For him suspend the dashing oar;
And pray that never child of song
May know that Poet's sorrows more.
How calm! how still! the only sound,
The dripping of the oar suspended!
-The evening darkness gathers round
By virtue's holiest Powers attended.

1789.

LINES

LEFT UPON A SEAT IN A YEW-TREE WHICH STANDS NEAR THE LAKE OF ESTHWAITE, ON A DESOLATE PART OF THE SHORE COMMANDING A BEAUTIFUL PROSPECT

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What if the bee love not these barren boughs?
Yet, if the wind breathe soft, the curling waves,
That break against the shore, shall lull thy mind
By one soft impulse saved from vacancy.

Who he was

That piled these stones and with the mossy sod
First covered, and here taught this aged Tree

With its dark arms to form a circling bower,
He was one who owned

I well remember.

No common soul.

In youth by science nursed,

And led by nature into a wild scene

Of lofty hopes, he to the world went forth
A favoured Being, knowing no desire

Which genius did not hallow; 'gainst the taint
Of dissolute tongues, and jealousy, and hate,
And scorn, against all enemies prepared,
All but neglect. The world, for so it thought,
Owed him no service; wherefore he at once
With indignation turned himself away,

And with the food of pride sustained his soul
In solitude. Stranger! these gloomy boughs
Had charms for him; and here he loved to sit,
His only visitants a straggling sheep,
The stone-chat, or the glancing sand-piper:
And on these barren rocks, with fern and heath,
And juniper and thistle, sprinkled o'er,

Fixing his downcast eye, he many an hour
A morbid pleasure nourished, tracing here

An emblem of his own unfruitful life:
And, lifting up his head, he then would gaze
On the more distant scene,-how lovely 'tis
Thou seest, and he would gaze till it became
Far lovelier, and his heart could not sustain
The beauty, still more beauteous! Nor, that time,
When Nature had subdued him to herself,

Would he forget those Beings to whose minds
Warm from the labours of benevolence

The world, and human life, appeared a scene

Of kindred loveliness: then he would sigh,
Inly disturbed, to think that others felt

What he must never feel: and so, lost Man!

On visionary views would fancy feed,

Till his eye streamed with tears. In this deep vale

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He died, this seat his only monument.

If Thou be one whose heart the holy forms

Of young imagination have kept pure,

Stranger! henceforth be warned; and know that pride, Howe'er disguised in its own majesty,

Is littleness; that he who feels contempt

For any living thing, hath faculties

Which he has never used; that thought with him

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