1796 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

James Thomson

Anonymous, "Thomson and Burns" Lloyd's Evening Post (5 October 1796) 339.



On Thursday last, the anniversary of Thomson, the Poet, was celebrated, as usual, at Dryburgh-Abbey. On this occasion, an urn of Parian marble, cut by the late Mr. Jeans, the Statuary, was dedicated to the memory of Robert Burns, and placed by the Earl of Buchan on a therm immediately adjoining to the bust of Thomson, in the Chapter-house.
The beautiful verses composed by Burns, for the crowning of the bust of Ednam-hill, were recited, with the two additional stanzas to the memory of the Poet of Ayrshire.

While Virgin SPRING by Ednam's flood,
Unfolds her tender mantle green,
Or pranks the sod in frolic mood,
Or tunes Eolian strains between:

While SUMMER, with a matron grace,
Retreats to Dryburgh's cooling shade,
Yet oft, delighted, stops to trace
The progress of the spiky blade:

While AUTUMN, benefactor kind,
By Tweed erects his aged head,
And sees with self-approving mind,
Each creature on his bounty fed;

While maniac WINTER rages o'er
The hills whence classic Yarrow flows,
Rousing, the turbid torrent's roar,
Or, sweeping, wild, a waste of snows:

So long, sweet Poet of the year,
Shall bloom that wreath thou well hast won,
While SCOTIA, with exulting tear,
Proclaims that THOMSON was her SON!

And COILA'S Lark, who rais'd these strains,
So sweetly warbling THOMSON'S praise,
Though he is gone, he fills our plains
With his wild, varying, native lays.

And here, beside this votive urn,
With purple flowers and cypress bound,
With classic tears bedew'd, I mourn—
His like with us no more is found!