1788 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Robert Burns

Gavin Turnbull, in "The Bard, a Poem; in the Manner of Spencer" Poetical Essays (1788) 137-38.



Happy the youth, on whom dame fortune smiles,
And gives him wealth, his wishes to pursue;
The jocund hours he easily beguiles,
Still steering on to pleasures ever new.
And if fair Science can attract his view,
Enamour'd of the worthy Bards of old,
He knows not the distresses of the crew,
On whom the beldam ne'er her favours roll'd,
Or him whose hapless fate I purpose to unfold.

O thou, who from the pleasant banks of Ayr
Thy merit summon'd to Edina's walls,
Whose songs delight her sons and daughters fair,
And loudly echo through her splendid balls.
On thee a simple Poet humbly calls,
A simple Poet who obscur'd the while,
The fear of scornful critic sore appals,
On whom, if COILA'S BARD vouchsafe to smile,
His name shall spread abroad thro' Albion's sea-girt Isle.