1813 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

James Thomson

William Cameron, in "Poet's Manual" Poems (1813) 112-13.



Where tuneful Tweed meandering rolls along,
Thro' verdant vales renown'd in pastoral song;
Thy power inspir'd a Druid to proclaim,
With music's voice, fair Truth's unsullied fame.
The laurel twin'd with flowers that brightest blow,
A dazzling wreath compos'd to shade his brow.
With scanning eye he travers'd Nature's sphere,
Marking her motions thro' the varying year;
With Fancy's pencil heighten'd Summer's bloom,
And doubly deepened Winter's awful gloom.
As the early lark high carols 'midst the skies,
While yet the world below in slumber lies;
So he first wak'd his rich descriptive strain,
Unseen, unheeded on his native plain.
Against his breast Misfortune aim'd her dart,
Forc'd him to fly, with anxious heavy heart,
Imploring refuge in a distant land,
For help dependent on a stranger's hand.
Long wandering wild, pursued by gulling Care,
Till verging nigh the brink of dark Despair,
Kind Pity lent at last a twinkling ray,
And led him back from dungeons to the day.
Yet urgent Want could ne'er his soul incline,
By serving Gain to shame the Muse divine:
Virtue and Truth he followed unrestrain'd,
Till, Fate subdued, a spotless palm he gain'd.