1830 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Robert Fergusson

John Wright, "Lines Composed over Robert Fergusson's Grave" Wright, The Retrospect (1830) 169.



Bright was thy short career, ill-fated Bard!
Too bright to last — martyr of song! to me
Dear for thy woes; thy comeliness was marr'd
In the worst blight of bitter penury;
And cold neglect came heavily o'er thee,
Shrouding thy soul in phrenzy's darkest gloom!
Shamed be thy leaden townsmen, that could see
Such beauty die, and not revoke the doom—
They brought thee, child of song! to this untimely tomb.

Thus, bending o'er thee — not fate's sternest frown,
Nor fortune's smile could grieve or gladd in me;
Thus, bending o'er thee, I could lay me down,
And weep my soul away, and sleep with thee:
There hovers round, a spell, a witchery,
That more than loveliest scene or loftiest song,
Dissolves the heart to tearful ecstacy
And pleasing sadness: Poetry more strong
Burns o'er thee dead, than could to living Bard belong.