1720 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Allan Ramsay

C. T., "To the Author of Tartana, or The Plaid" Ramsay, Poems (1720) 43-44.



Accept of my kind Wishes, with
The same to Dons Buttler and Smith;
Health Wit and Joy, Sauls large and free,
Be a' your Fates, — sae God be wi' ye.

As once I view'd a rural Scene,
With Summer's Sweets profusely wild;
Such Pleasure sooth'd my giddy Sense,
I ravish'd stood, while Nature smil'd.

Straight I resolv'd and chose a Field,
Where all the Spring I might transfer;
There stood the Trees in equal Rows,
Here Flora's Pride in one Parterre.

The Task was done, the Sweets were fled,
Each Plant had lost its sprightly Air,
As if they grudg'd to be confin'd,
Or to their Will not matched were.

The narrow Scene displeas'd my Mind,
Which daily still more homely grew:
At length I fled the loathed Sight,
And hy'd me to the Fields anew.

Here Nature wanton'd in her Prime;
My Fancy rang'd the boundless Waste.
Each different Sight pleas'd with Surprise,
I welcom'd back the Pleasures past.

Thus some who feel Apollo's Rage,
Would teach their Muse her Dress and Time,
Till hamper'd so with Rules of Art,
They smother quite the vital Flame.

They daily chime the same dull Tone,
Their Muse no daring Sallies grace,
But stifly held with Bit and Curb,
Keeps heavy Trot, tho equal Pace.

But who takes Nature for his Rule,
Shall by her gen'rous Bounty shine;
His easy Muse revells at Will,
And strikes new Wonders every Line.

Keep then, my Friend, your native Guide,
Never distrust her plenteous Store,
Ne'er less propitious will she prove
Than now; but, if she can, still more.