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Written upon the Thames near Richmond.
Glide 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.
O 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, pouring here a later* ditty,
Could find no refuge from distress
But in the milder grief of pity.
Now let us, as we float along,
For him suspend the dashing oar ;
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.
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.
Or The last Stage of AVARICE.
O now that the genius of Bewick were mine,
And the skill which he learned on the banks of the Tyne !
Then the Muses might deal with me just as they chose,
For I'd take my last leave both of verse and of prose.
What feats would I work with my magical hand ! Book learning and books should be banished the land : And for hunger and thirst and such troublesome calls ! Every Ale-house should then have a feast on its walls.
The Traveller would hang his wet clothes on a chair ; Let them smoke, let them burn, not a straw would he care; For the Prodigal Son, Joseph's Dream and his Sheaves, Oh, what would they be to my tale of two Thieves ?
Little Dan is unbreeched, he is three birth-days old; His Grandsire that age more than thirty times told; There are ninety good seasons of fair and foul weather Between them, and both go a-stealing together.
With chips is the Carpenter strewing his floor?
Is a cart-load of peats at an old Woman's door?
Old Daniel his hand to the treasure will slide;
And his Grandson 's as busy at work by his side.
Old Daniel begins, he stops short--and his eye
Through the last look of dotage is cunning and sly.
'Tis a look which at this time is hardly his own,
But tells a plain tale of the days that are flown.
Dan once had a heart which was moved by the 'wires
Of manifold pleasures and many desires :
And what if he cherished his purse? 'Twas no more
Than treading a path trod by thousands before.
'Twas a path trod by thousands ; but Daniel is one
Who went something further than others have gone:
And now with old Daniel you see how it fares;
You see to what end he has brought his gray
The Pair sally forth hand in hand : ere the sun
Has peered o'er the beeches their work is begun:
And yet, into whatever sin they may fall,
This Child but half knows it, and that not at all.
They hunt through the streets with deliberate tread,
And each in his turn is both leader and led;
And, wherever they carry their plots and their wiles,
Every face in the village is dimpled with smiles.