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O Music! sphere-descended maid,
Friend of pleasure, wisdom's aid!
Why, goddess! why, to us denied,
Lay'st thou thy ancient lyre aside
As, in that loved Athenian bower,
You learned an all-commanding power,
Thy mimic soul, O nymph endeared,
Can well recall what then it heard;
Where is thy native simple heart,
Devote to virtue, fancy, art?
Arise, as in that elder time,
Warm, energetic, chaste, sublime!
Thy wonders, in that godlike age,
Fill thy recording sister's page—
'Tis said, and I believe the tale,
Thy humblest reed could more prevail,
Had more of strength, diviner rage,
Than all which charms this laggard age;
E'en all at once together found,
Cecilia's mingled world of sound-
O bid our vain endeavours cease;
Revive the just designs of Greece:
Return in all thy simple state!
Confirm the tales her sons relate!

ODE ON THE DEATH OF MR. THOMSON.1

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.

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,
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!

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:
O vales and wild woods! shall he say,
In yonder grave your druid lies!

AN ODE ON THE POPULAR SUPERSTITIONS OF THE HIGHLANDS OF SCOTLAND1.

Inscribed to Mr. Home, Author of Douglas.

1.

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 2
Whom, long endeared, thou leav'st by Lavant's side;
Together let us wish him lasting truth,
And joy untainted with his destined bride.

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 vale
Shall prompt the poet, and his song demand:

To thee thy copious subjects ne'er shall fail;
Thou need'st but take thy pencil to thy hand,
And paint what all believe who own thy genial land.

:

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.

2

" Mr. John Barrow, who introduced Home to Collins.

11.

There must thou wake perforce thy Doric quill;
'Tis Fancy's land to which thou set'st thy feet;
Where still, 'tis said, the fairy people meet,
Beneath each birken shade, on mead or hill.
There, each trim lass that skims the milky store

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.

III.

Ev'n yet preserved, how often may'st thou hear,
Where to the pole the Boreal mountains run,
Taught by the father to his listening son
Strange lays, whose power had charmed a Spenser's ear,
At every pause, before thy mind possest,
Old Runic bards shall seem to rise around,

With uncouth lyres, in many-coloured vest,
Their matted hair with boughs fantastic crowned:

Whether thou bid'st the well-taught hind repeat
The choral dirge that mourns some chieftain brave,
When every shrieking maid her bosom beat,
And strewed with choicest herbs his scented grave;

Or whether, sitting in the shepherd's shiel',
Thou hear'st some sounding tale of war's alarms;
When at the bugle's call, with fire and steel,
The sturdy clans poured forth their bony swarms,
And hostile brothers met to prove each other's arms.
A hut among the mountains.

IV.

'Tis thine to sing, how, framing hideous spells,
In Sky's lone isle, the gifted wizard seer,
Lodged in the wintry cave with [fate's fell spear',]
Or in the depth of Uist's dark forest dwells :

How they, whose sight such dreary dreams engross,
With their own vision oft astonished droop,

When, o'er the watery strath, or quaggy moss, They see the gliding ghosts unbodied troop.

Or, if in sports, or on the festive green,
Their [piercing] glance some fated youth descry,
Who now, perhaps, in lusty vigour seen,
And rosy health, shall soon lamented die.

For them the viewless forms of air obey;
Their bidding heed, and at their beck repair:

They know what spirit brews the stormful day,
And heartless, oft like moody madness, stare
To see the phantom train their secret work prepare.

[Stanza v, and half of stanza vi, are missing in the MS.] What though far off, from some dark dell espied, His glimmering mazes cheer the excursive sight,

Yet turn, ye wanderers, turn your steps aside, Nor trust the guidance of that faithless light;

For watchful, lurking, 'mid the unrustling reed, At those mirk hours the wily monster lies,

And listens oft to hear the passing steed,

And frequent round him rolls his sullen eyes,

If chance his savage wrath may some weak wretch surprise.

VII.

Ah, luckless swain, o'er all unblest indeed!

Whom late bewildered in the dank, dark fen, Far from his flocks and smoking hamlet then! To that sad spot [his wayward fate shall lead :]

On him, enraged, the fiend in angry mood, Shall never look with pity's kind concern,

But instant, furious, raise the whelming flood O'er its drowned banks, forbidding all return.

1 Inserted from the later editions.

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