1812 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Robert Burns

A. Kyne, "On Robert Burns, written immediately after perusing a melancholy Account of his last Illness" European Magazine 62 (October 1812) 303.



No splendid urn perpetuates the name
Of him whose moral worth transcends his fame!
Of him, whose soul, disdaining selfish views,
Found what she sought, the solace of the Muse!
Of him, whose cares sweet Fancy oft beguil'd;
Whose harmless foibles rank'd him with the child—
If there's a being that can harshly ban
The devious wand'rings of his brother man,
Here let him know (and snap his partial rod)
That imperfection dwells with all but God.
He sought not means to drive his native land
From Freedom's hold to Ruin's faithless strand;
Nor stood aloof, with views insatiate,
While downward verg'd the shatter'd bark of state;
Nay, Heav'n inspir'd his mind for nobler ends,
And Scotia class'd him with her warmest friends:
From Truth's firm base his independence grew,
He scourg'd her foes, and watch'd her int'rest too.
Pleas'd with the meed that Wisdom had unfurl'd,
He gave his judgment to instruct the world.
Ah, such was Burns! and such his hapless doom!
The hand of Mis'ry led him to the tomb.
London, 1812.