1774 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Allan Ramsay

William Richardson, "To a Lady, with the Gentle Shepherd" Poems, chiefly Rural (1774) 93.



Fair Lady! this affecting lay peruse,
The genuine offspring of the Doric Muse:
The Muse erewhile on Caledonia's plains
That charmed the forests with mellifluous strains.
Copious and clear where Leven glides along,
Where Tweda listens to the shepherds song,
Where Spey impetuous pours his rapid tide,
Or in the valley of commercial Clyde,
By winding Forth, or by the silver Tay,
Warbling she welcomed the return of May.
Cold now the hands, extinct the heavenly fire
That waked to extasy the living lyre;
No more the energy of song pervades
Our silent valleys, and forsaken glades;
No more the green hill and the deepening grove
Resound the longing, languid voice of love:
For Hamilton the Loves and Graces mourn;
And tuneful Muses weep at Ramsay's urn.