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 mould,
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 awhile repair
To dwell a weeping hermit there!
Walter C. Bronson (editor), The Poems of William Collins, Boston: Ginn & Company, 1898, pp. 43-44 [dates the poem as 1746]
A Collection of Poems in Six Volumes, vol. I, London: R. and J. Dodsley, 1763, p. 324 [this book dates the poem as 1745]
Notes by Andrew Guild:
A poem by William Collins (1721-1759), written either in 1745 or 1746.