1826 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Robert Burns

Anonymous, "Lines Spoken at the Anniversary Meeting at Leeds, 1826, to celebrate the Birth-day of Burns" The Sun (4 December 1827).



Learning has many a rhymer made,
To flatter near the throne,
But Scotia's genius has displayed
A poet of her own.

His lyre he took to vale and glen,
To mountain and the shade;
Cent'ries may pass away, but when
Will such a harp be played?

His native strains each bard may try,
But who has got his fire?
Who, none — for Nature saw him die,
Then took away his lyre.

And for that lyre the learned youth
May search the world in vain:
She vow'd she ne'er would lend it more
To sound on earth again.

But called on Fame to hang it by—
She took it with a tear,
Broke all the strings to bind the wreath
That Burns shall ever wear.