1784 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

James Beattie

Anonymous, "Stanzas addressed to Dr. Beattie, Author of the Minstrel" Edinburgh Fugitive Pieces (1784) 182-83.



Ah! wherefore silent is thine Edwin's muse?
The muse which erst inspir'd his infant thought,
Which shew'd him Nature in its various views,
And in his breast sublime conceptions wrought;
Which his young genius to perfection brought,
And rais'd to heaven his heaven-aspiring soul;
Gave him to know what he so keenly sought,
How stars and planets in their orbits roll,
Obedient still to him whose power propels the whole.

Time's lenient hand hath pour'd his sov'reign balm,
And sooth'd the anguish of thine wounded heart;
Restor'd thy bosom to its wonted calm,
And gently eas'd it of Affliction's dart:
Oh! may it never more a pang impart,
To interrupt the progress of the song,
Where Nature shines, array'd with justest art,
Moving with grace majestical along,
In numbers sweetly smooth, with sense sublimely strong.

Forgive the friend who, in unpolish'd strains,
Would fondly rouse thee to resume the lyre,
And sing of Edwin, boast of Scottish swains,
With all thy wonted energy and fire.
From graver studies for a while respire,
Thro' cheerful Fancy's flow'ry fields to stray;
Clad in the Minstrel's favourite attire,
His modest worth, his dignity, display,
Ammending thoughtless man by thy instructive lay.