1802 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

James Thomson

W. G., "On the Poet Thomson" Scots Magazine 64 (January 1802) 72.



Gentle Poet, farewell! ah! when shall thy bosom,
Again, or with fancy, or nature be blest;
Sweet bard of the Spring, canst thou mark the young blossom,
That sprouts from the green turf that lies on thy breast.

No more while the Summer unfolds her wild-roses,
The dew-sprinkled meads by the feet shall be prest;
Unconscious, the bard in his lone cell reposes,
While flowers paint the green turf that lies on his breast.

In the pale morn of Autumn, the horn of the reaper,
Shall rouse thee no more from the dreams of thy rest.
What sound from the grave shall awaken the sleeper,
Tho' the woodlark sings sweet o'er the turf on thy breast?

Nor more shalt thou trace or the tempest's wild motion,
Or the ghosts gliding slow on the wings of their mist?
Far from Winter remov'd, and from life's stormy ocean,
Tho' snows hide the green turf that lies on thy breast.

While Eden, sad flows, thro' his green whispering sedges,
While Tweed's tufted banks are with primroses drest,
So long shalt thou live in the bosom of ages,
And hallow'd the turf be that lies on thy breast.

The damsels of Ednam, while Autumn is fading,
Their long hair with chaplets of willow incas'd,
In the moon-beams shall sing, on the banks of the Eden,
"Ah! light be the green turf that lies on thy breast."

Say, hast thou, sweet Poet, our woodlands forsaken!
To tune thy soft harp to the choir of the blest?
Even angels shall list while its numbers awaken,
And bless shall the green turf that lies on thy breast.
Banks of the Ken, Dec. 30, 1801.