1804 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. John Ogilvie

S., "To John Ogilvie D.D. on reading his Verses to a Friend" Gentleman's Magazine 74 (May 1804) 455.



O fraught with ev'ry grace that charms,
In glowing verse or moral page,
Thou, OGILVIE,* whom Life's alarms
Impress not, in thy lively age;

—Whom half a century in vain
Has heard the woodland choirs among
Breathe, awful, the aspiring strain,
Or sweetly wake the rural song:

O could I bend my wan'dring feet
Once more where winds the classic Dee!
O could I, in thy still retreat,
Offer my friendly vows to thee!

He feels not more extatic pleasure
Than would my grateful heart attain,
Who, long in search of foreign treasure,
Views his own native hills again.

But Fate forbids — (ah, wayward Fate!)
Each wish that most my soul desires;
Yet anxious leads me on till, late,
Hope wearies, sickens, and expires.

Yet, OGILVIE! I yet shall hear,
With extacy, th' immortal tale,
That to posterity shall bear
Thy name beyond Life's narrow pale!

And, if I be not giv'n to share
One intellectual hour of thine,
To hail thy Muse remote from care,
To mark thy setting glories shine;

O, I shall bear remembrance sweet
Of all thy varied, glowing lays;
And pant till, with devotion meet,
Bright Fancy wreaths thy lasting bays!

* Dr. Oglivie is the minister of Midmar, in Kincardineshire, North Britain. His first literary work was published in 1759. A Paraphrase of the CXLVIIIth Psalm, written by him at the age of 16, is infinitely superior to any similar production in our language.