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Written in the Beginning of the Year 1746
- HOW sleep the Brave, who sink to Rest,
- By all their Country's Wishes blest!
- When Spring, with dewy Fingers cold,
- Returns to deck their hallow'd Mold,
- She there shall dress a sweeter Sod,
- Than Fancy's Feet have ever trod.
- By Fairy Hands their Knell is rung,
- By Forms unseen their Dirge is sung;
- There Honour comes, a Pilgrim grey,
- To bless the Turf that wraps their Clay,
- And Freedom shall a-while repair,
- To dwell a weeping Hermit there!
- William Collins
- IF ought of Oaten Stop, or Pastoral Song,
- May hope, chaste EVE, to soothe thy modest ear,
- Like thy own solemn Springs,
- Thy Springs, and dying Gales,
- O Nymph reserv'd, while now the bright-hair'd Sun
- Sits in yon western Tent, whose cloudy Skirts,
- With Brede ethereal wove,
- O'erhanh his wavy Bed:
- Now Air is hush'd, save where the weak-ey'd Bat,
- With short shrill Shriek flits by on leathern Wing,
- Or where the Beetle winds
- His small but sullen Horn,
- As oft he rises 'midst the twilight Path,
- Against the Pilgrim born in heedless Hum:
- Now teach me, Maid compos'd,
- To breathe some soften'd Strain,
- Whose Numbers stealing thro' thy darkning Vale,
- May not unseemly with its Stillness suit,
- As musing slow, I hail
- Thy genial lov'd Return!
- For when thy folding Star arising shews
- His paly Circlet, at his warning Lamp
- The fragrant Hours, and Elves
- Who slept in flow'rs the day,
- And many a Nymph who wreaths her Brows with Sedge,
- And sheds the fresh'ning Dew, and lovelier still,
- The Pensive Pleasures sweet
- Prepare thy shadowy Car.
- Then lead, calm vot'ress, where some sheety lake
- Cheers the lone heath, or some time-hallow'd pile,
- Or up-land fallows grey
- Reflect its last cool gleam.
- But when chill blustring Winds, or driving Rain,
- Forbid my willing Feet, be mine the Hut,
- That from the Mountain's Side,
- Views Wilds, and swelling Floods,
- And Hamlets brown, and dim-discover'd Spires,
- And hears their simple Bell, and marks o'er all
- Thy Dewy Fingers draw
- The gradual dusky Veil.
- While Spring shall pour his Show'rs, as oft he wont,
- And bathe thy breathing Tresses, meekest Eve!
- While Summer loves to sport,
- Beneath thy ling'ring Light:
- While sallow Autumn fills thy Lap with Leaves,
- Or Winter yelling thro' the troublous Air,
- Affrights thy shrinking Train,
- And rudely rends thy Robes,
- So long, sure-found beneath the Sylvan shed,
- Shall FANCY, FRIENDSHIP, SCIENCE, rose-lip'd HEALTH,
- Thy gentlest Influence own,
- And Hymn thy fav'rite Name!
- William Collins
Poets' Corner .
H O M E .