1810 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Sir Walter Scott

James Hogg, "Epitaphs on Living Characters II" Scots Magazine 72 (June 1810) 447.



Some spirit wakes the Border lyre,
To ring her Minstrel's parting wail;
For sounds, replete with heavenly fire,
Come sailing on the southland gale.

List, gentle friend, that dying strain,
That harp hath often cheer'd our toil;
Hath pour'd o'er Tiviot's dazied plain,
And the wild woods of Aberfoyle;

Hath rous'd the hero's spirit high,
To danger, death, and warrior deed;
Taught blooming maid the tender sigh,
And pity's gentle heart to bleed.

Now all unstrung the skilful hand
That peal'd her magic notes so high!
The Border spear, and Highland brand,
May now unsung forgotten lie.

But long, on Yarrow's fairy vale,
His tales the evening ring shall cheer;
And many a maid his loss bewail,
And stream for him the shepherd's tear.

His faults were only faults of taste;
Thro' clouds his genius splendour threw;
No hand could stay his rapid haste;
Thro' fire and flood he furious flew.

Sound be thy sleep, our Minstrel wild!
And sweet thy dreams till time shall flee!
And every eve, and morning mild,
Moisten the green turf over thee.