1788 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Robert Burns

Anonymous, "To Mr. Robert Burns" Edinburgh Magazine or Literary Miscellany 7 (January 1788) 70.



Now up to heav'n gate, ascending on the wing,
The Herald of the day does sweetly sing;
We see with glee the lovely Syren soar;
Still upward soaring, see him now no more.

Adown, adown the charmer sinks; we see—
With glee, we see him gently now descend.

With sweet delight upon the listning ear,
As up again he mounts, his notes we hear;
Till tir'd at last with his dear charming song,
Warbling so sweet the fleecy clouds among;
Adown, adown, the Syren sinks again,
Then swift descending lights upon the plain.

Thus, heav'n-born poet, have I heard thee sing,
High soaring sweetly on the muse's wing;
Then seen thee sportive on thy native plains
From smoking Pegasus withdraw the reins;
Set him to range, far, far on Coila's shore,
As if the steed you meant to mount no more;
Then quick returning from the rustic theme
Of village-gambols, or the lab'ring team,
Away, away, I saw thee fly,
I saw thee mount again on high;
The smoaking steed defies the reins;
Till tir'd at last, upon our plains,
Thou, like the messenger of day,
The chearful mate of lovely May,
Down to thy COILA'S rustic scenes descend.

Untutor'd Poet, may thy native lays
Still gain the meed of unaffected praise;
And may thy great unconquer'd country's fire,
Warm in thy song, and lighten from thy lyre.