1791 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Robert Fergusson

Samuel Thomson, in "Epistle to Luke Mullan" 1791; Poems, on different Subjects, partly in the Scottish Dialect (1793) 98.



While wintry gales around the cottage whistle,
An' Phoebus far to southern climes retir'd,
I thus attempt another short epistle;
You have it here just as the muse inspir'd—
Ah! was the limner at this season fir'd
Wi' a spark o Fergusson, or Burns's flame!
Nae ither boon aff Heaven should be desir'd,
That I might boast a meritorious claim
To unfading bays, and everlasting fame!

Thrice famous Ferguson! old Scotia's joy!
That erst melodiously, sae aft by turns,
Atun'd thy reed to charm the list'ning fry;
My muse tho' distant far in sorrow mourns,
And with thy bauld successor, famous Burns,
Laments thy premature untimely fate—
Tho' now thy soul with heavenly ardour spurns
All earthly joys, with glory flush'd elate,
Yet Heaven might spar'd thee to a longer date.