1806 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Hugh Mulligan

Edward Rushton, "On the Death of Hugh Mulligan" Poems (1806) 28-30.



A Bard from the MERSEY is gone,
Whose carols with energy flow'd;
Whose harp had a wildness of tone,
And a sweetness but rarely bestow'd.
Then say — ye dispensers of fame,
Of wreathes that for ages will bloom,
Ah! say, shall poor MULLIGAN'S name,
Go silently down to the tomb?

When the lordly are call'd from their state,
The marble their virtue imparts,
Yet the marble, ye insolent great,
Is often less cold than your hearts.
When the life of the warrior is o'er,
His deeds every tongue shall rehearse.
And now a pale Bard is no more,
Ah! would you deny him a verse!

The thrush from the icicl'd bough,
Gives his song to the winterly gale,
And the violet, 'midst half melted snow,
Diffuses its sweets thro' the vale.
And thus, while the minstrel I mourn
'Mid the blasts of adversity pin'd,
While he droop'd all obscure and forlorn,
He pour'd his wild sweets on the wind.

Tho' the clouds that had sadden'd his days,
Were scatter'd and ting'd near the close;
Tho' he saw a few comforting rays,
Twas too late, and he sunk to repose.
So the bark, that fierce winds has endur'd,
And the shocks of the pityless wave,
Finds a harbour, yet scarcely is moor'd,
When she sinks to the dark oozy grave.

To the turf where poor MULLIGAN lies,
The lover of genius shall stray,
And there should a rank weed arise,
He shall pluck the intruder away.
But lowly, and simple, and sweet,
Ah! should the wild violet appear,
He will sigh o'er an emblem so meet,
And will water its cup with a tear.