1808 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Sir Walter Scott

Mary Leadbeater, "To Walter Scott" 1808; Leadbeater Papers (1862) 2:264-65.



Oh! thou who soar'st with eagle flight
To regions of poetic light,
And by the magic of thy lays
Bring'st back the scenes of former days!
Thou minstrel! — say, what bard of yore
A harp so tuned by nature bore,
Whether her varied charms to sing,
Or move the heart's responsive string!

O Caledonia! favoured land,
Where genius, science, taste expand,
Well may'st thou glory in thy son,
And wear the trophy he has won!
And see! the generous bard even now
Binds the rich wreath on Britain's brow,
While forth he leads to thickest fight
In gallant show a British knight.

O minstrel! tune thy harp again,
Let not the sister isle complain;
Pierce through oblivion's sullen shade,
Where Erin's chiefs in dust are laid,
And with thy song of potent might
Dispel their long-enduring night.
Loose these unworthy chains — unbind
The struggling and immortal mind;
And bare, all-powerful as thou art,
The son of Erin's glowing heart,
Where candour reigns, and native taste
Fair beams o'er an uncultured waste—
Where freedom, candour, taste agree
To pay the tribute due to thee.
Ballitore, 15th of Ninth-month, 1808.