1820 ca. ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

John Scott of Amwell

Bernard Barton, "Scott of Amwell" 1820 ca.; Memoir, Letters, and Poems (1850) 349.



In childhood's dawn, in boyhood's later days,
Dear to my heart, the Bard of Amwell's lays:
Whether his Muse portray'd upon her scroll
The ever-changing "SEASONS," as they roll;
Or touch'd the heart's more tender sympathies,
Mourning the rupture of love's sweetest ties;
Or whether, with a genuine past'ral grace,
The simple scenery round her loved to trace,
And tune her Doric reed, or artless lyre,
To AMWELL'S tufted groves, and modest spire;
Or, mindless how the world's vain glory frown'd,
Denounced the martial "drum's discordant sound;"
Or true to Nature's social feelings, penn'd
Sonnets and rhymes to many a distant friend;—
Whate'er the theme — truth, tenderness, in all
Their echo woke, and held my heart in thrall.

And, even now, in health and strength's decay,
Ay, on this cheerless, dull November day,
When moaning winds through trees all leafless sigh,
And all is sad that greets the ear and eye;
Now in my heart of hearts, I cherish still
The lingering throb, the unextinguish'd thrill,
Woke by the magic of his verse of yore,
When new to me the Muse's gentle lore;
And gratefully confess the boundless debt
Due to my boyhood's benefactor yet;
Nor boyhood's only — when his page I scan,
What charm'd the child, still fascinates the man,
And better test of merit none need claim,
Than thus in youth and age to seem the same.