1791 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Robert Fergusson

John Learmont, in "An Encomium on Allan Ramsay and Robert Fergusson" Poems (1791) 400-01.



O Rob! thy strains are a' your ain,
You scorn'd to borrow, whan your brain,
Was sae resplendent wi' a train
O' bright ideas;
Which shed o'er thy spontaneous strain
Immortal praise.

And had nae Death sae dolefu' dread,
Ta'en him untimely on the head,
And laid him wi' the drowsy dead,
He sweetly liltin',
Frae fair Parnassian braes wi' speed
Had tumbled Milton.

Believe me, Sirs, o' thir short hours
He gat sma' share to shaw his powers;
But in yon sempiternal bowers,
Whare seraphs sing,
He lilts amang celesital choirs
A sweeter spring.

O! comic Shade, around thy bier,
May fragrance float the lie-lang year;
And O! my Readers, drop a tear
Upon his urn:
Whan ye at yon gowd gates appear,
He'll thanks return.

Ye'll hear him there lilt sic a sang,
Amang yon grand etherial thrang,
Eternity's bright dome shall clang
Solemn, profound;
And frae heaven's throne re-echoin' lang,
Mair sweet resound.