1811 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Sir Walter Scott

Henry, in "To Walter Scott, Esq. Written in America" Poetical Magazine 4 (1811) 127.



Sweet Minstrel! here, tho', care-infected,
Too sure the Poet's laurels die;
Tho' oft, by such sad scenes dejected,
Columbia's Genius heaves the sigh;
Think not thy Border-Muse, neglected,
E'en here shall pass unhonour'd by;—
No, in thy praise one son of Song,
Ere yet he leave the vocal throng,
Tho' low his voice, unknown his name
Among the favour'd sons of Fame,
Shall, trembling, strive to tune the lyre,
And catch one spark of heav'nly fire.
Oh! could he sweep like thee the wire,
And notes of softest tune inspire,
He'd boldly echo back again
Thy feeling, wild, romantic strain;
Then sounds so soft, so loud, and clear,
Should break on thy enraptur'd ear,
That thou shouldst think the gales of even
Came freighted with the songs of Heaven;
And, as he pour'd the deathless strain,
Self-kindling with a rapture holy,
He'd proud repel the cold disdain
Of wretches born to wealth and folly....