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In the Downhill of Life

A bridge to the Romantic era

William Collins
William Collins
  • In the downhill of life, when I find I’m declining,
  • May my lot no less fortunate be
  • Than a snug elbow-chair can afford for reclining,
  • And a cot that o’erlooks the wide sea;
  • With an ambling pad-pony to pace o’er the lawn,
  • While I carol away idle sorrow,
  • And blithe as the lark that each day hails the dawn
  • Look forward with hope for tomorrow.
  • With a porch at my door, both for shelter and shade too,
  • As the sunshine or rain may prevail;
  • And a small spot of ground for the use of the spade too,
  • With a barn for the use of the flail;
  • A cow for my dairy, a dog for my game,
  • And a purse when a friend wants to borrow;
  • I’ll envy no Nabob his riches or fame,
  • Nor what honours may wait him tomorrow.
  • From the bleak northern blast may my cot be completely
  • Secured by a neighbouring hill;
  • And at night may repose steal upon me more sweetly
  • By the sound of a murmuring rill;
  • And while peace and plenty I find at my board,
  • With a heart free from sickness and sorrow,
  • With my friends may I share what today may afford,
  • And let them spread the table tomorrow.
  • And when I at last must throw off this frail cov’ring
  • Which I’ve worn for threescore years and ten,
  • On the brink of the grave I’ll not seek to keep hov’ring,
  • Nor my thread wish to spin o’er again;
  • But my face in the glass I’ll serenely survey,
  • And with smiles count each wrinkle and furrow;
  • As this old worn-out stuff, which is threadbare today,
  • May become everlasting tomorrow. 

William Collins (1721–1759) was an English poet whose influence was only second to Thomas Gray (1716–1771) as a poet of the middle decades of the 18th Century. Emotive and wistful in their expression, his lyrical odes mark a distinct departure from the Augustan poets of the previous generation — Alexander Pope and Michael Dryden foremost. Because his work is of florid and effusive sentiments, Collins is often seen, like William Blake, as a bridge to the Romantic era which would follow his generation’s output.

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William Collins
William Collins
  • In the downhill of life, when I find I’m declining,
  • May my lot no less fortunate be
  • Than a snug elbow-chair can afford for reclining,
  • And a cot that o’erlooks the wide sea;
  • With an ambling pad-pony to pace o’er the lawn,
  • While I carol away idle sorrow,
  • And blithe as the lark that each day hails the dawn
  • Look forward with hope for tomorrow.
  • With a porch at my door, both for shelter and shade too,
  • As the sunshine or rain may prevail;
  • And a small spot of ground for the use of the spade too,
  • With a barn for the use of the flail;
  • A cow for my dairy, a dog for my game,
  • And a purse when a friend wants to borrow;
  • I’ll envy no Nabob his riches or fame,
  • Nor what honours may wait him tomorrow.
  • From the bleak northern blast may my cot be completely
  • Secured by a neighbouring hill;
  • And at night may repose steal upon me more sweetly
  • By the sound of a murmuring rill;
  • And while peace and plenty I find at my board,
  • With a heart free from sickness and sorrow,
  • With my friends may I share what today may afford,
  • And let them spread the table tomorrow.
  • And when I at last must throw off this frail cov’ring
  • Which I’ve worn for threescore years and ten,
  • On the brink of the grave I’ll not seek to keep hov’ring,
  • Nor my thread wish to spin o’er again;
  • But my face in the glass I’ll serenely survey,
  • And with smiles count each wrinkle and furrow;
  • As this old worn-out stuff, which is threadbare today,
  • May become everlasting tomorrow. 

William Collins (1721–1759) was an English poet whose influence was only second to Thomas Gray (1716–1771) as a poet of the middle decades of the 18th Century. Emotive and wistful in their expression, his lyrical odes mark a distinct departure from the Augustan poets of the previous generation — Alexander Pope and Michael Dryden foremost. Because his work is of florid and effusive sentiments, Collins is often seen, like William Blake, as a bridge to the Romantic era which would follow his generation’s output.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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