1798 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

James Arbuckle

Alexander Campbell, in Introduction to the History of Poetry in Scotland (1798) 183-84.



JAMES ARBUCKLE, the friend of Allan Ramsay. This poet (by birth an Irishman) has written "Snuff a poem" dedicated to "His Grace John Duke of Roxburgh," in which are some pleasing enough conceits, very prettily turned — for instance.

Tho' in some solitary pathless wild,
Where mortal never trod, nor nature smil'd,
My cruel fate should doom my endless stay
To saunter all my lingring life away,
Yet still I'll have society enough,
While blest with virtue, and a Pinch of Snuff;
Enough for me the conscious joys to find,
And silent raptures of an honest mind.

Where the blest Plant in native beauty grows,
Commit my body to its long repose:
There as it moulders shall it kindly feed,
And with its substance cloath the embryo seed.
The earthly parts shall to the stem adhere,
The rest exhale in aromatick air,
So fragrant shall my mem'ry be and dust
The promis'd blessings of the good and just.
Hibernian Druids then shall sing my lays,
And largely quaff my sacred thirst of praise;
While pious matrons consecrate my mold,
Like precious relicts of the saints of old,
And dealing it about from hand to hand,
Disperse my glory thro' my native land.