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Each lonely scene shall thee restore,
For thee the tear be duly shed;
And mourn'd, till pity's self be dead.
OD E. ON THE DEATH OF MR. THOMSON. The Scene of the following Stanzas is supposed to lie on the
Thames, near Richmond.
In yonder grave a Druid lies
Where slowly winds the stealing wave!
To deck its poets sylvan grave!
In yon deep bed of whispering reeds
His airy harp * shall now be laid,
May love through life the soothing shade.
And while its sounds at distance swell,
To hear the woodland pilgrim's knell.
Remembrance oft shall haunt the shore
When Thames in summer wreaths is drest,
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.
• The harp of Æolus, of which see a description in the Castle
+ Mr. Thomson was buried in Richmond church.
But thou who own'st that earthly bed,
Ah! what will every dirge avail?.
That mourņ beneath the gliding sail!
Shall scorn thy pale shrine glimmering near?
And joy desert the blooming year.
No sedge-crown'd sisters now attend,
Whose cold turf hides the buried friend!
Dun night has veil'd the solemn view!
Meek nature's child, again adieu!'
Thy life, shall mourn thy early doom !
With simple hands thy rural tomb.
Shall melt the musing Briton's eyes,
In yonder grave your Druid lies !
* Mr. Thomson resided in the neighbourhood of Richmond some time before his death.
John DYER was born in 1700, at Aberglasney in Caermarthenshire, where his father, a man of property and professional talents, as a lawyer, resided. He was the second son; and being sent to Westminster-school, continued there, till he was articled to his father, who dying soon after, and Dyer being averse to the study of law, and attached to painting, put himself under the direction of Richardson, a man of eminence, but better known by his writings than his pictures.
He afterwards became an itinerant painter in the principality, and mingling poetry with the sister art, produced « Grongar Hill,” the most popular of all his compositions.
Dyer afterwards travelled into Italy for improvement, where he conceived the idea of his « Ruins of Rome,” which was published in 1740. Ill health, and probably the want of success as a painter, determined him to take orders; and having married a Miss Enser of Warwick. shire, he obtained the living of Coningsby in Leicestershire, where he settled. He afterwards procured one or two other small pieces of preferment, but never any thing of consequence.
His “ Fleece," the largest and most elaborate of his poems, and on which he seems to have prided himself the most, appeared in 1757. It was coldly received, and has never excited that attention which its real merits deserve.*
• A literary friend of the Editor has it in contemplation to publish an elegant edition of this poem, with georgical notes, illustrations, and plates.
The author died soon after, in the 58th year of his age, lamented by his friends, for the sweetness of his disposition, and respected by the world, as a man of superior endowments. He lived in habits of intimacy with the most celebrated literary characters of his day, and carried on a correspondence with others, which shews him in a very amiable point of view.
As a poet, Dyer ranks high among those who have attempted description, and he has the art of impressing morals as well as of delineating objects. “Grongar Hill," though not without imperfections, possesses many beauties; and may be considered as a landscape painted with words instead of colours. Had he written nothing else, he would have been enrolled among the British poets; but his “ Ruins of Rome” and his “ Fleece," in spite of public neglect, justly entitle him to the highest praise
“ The care of sheep, the labors of the loom,” are of universal concern to Britons, and are one day likely to augment the fame of Dyer.
Notwithstanding the general neglect of “The Fleece," or what Johnson has said of the woolcomber and the poet appearing such discordant natures, that an attempt to bring them together is to couple the serpent with the lark, he confesses he has been told, that Akenside, who, upon a poetical question, has a right to be heard, said, that he would regulate his opinion of the reigning taste by the sale of Dyer's Fleece ; for if that were ill received, he should not think it any longer reasonable to expect fame from excellence.
Silent nymph, with curious eye!
About his chequer'd sides I wind,
Adds a thousand woods and meads;