1811 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. James Grahame

H., "Monody on the Death of J. Graham, Author of The Sabbath" Scots Magazine 73 (December 1811) 934.



What reverend wand'rer, o'er these plains,
Breathes to the air his woful strains?
Worn seems his visage! Yet, behold
How proud he treads the Scotian wold,
His locks in age's silver snow
Around, in artless ringlets flow.
Some minstrel's mien the wand'rer bears,
Some bard, that sung in happier years;
And hark! with bold prophetic fire,
Again! he wakes the warbling lyre.

MONODY.
The sun behind the dark'ning streams
Retires, reflecting radiant gleams;
While gathering shades absorb.
And lo! from yonder starry height,
Fair Cynthia sheds her genial light:
Resplendent from her pensive orb,
And, 'neath yon osier's arms reclin'd;
Sweet Hope with sighs distracts the wailing wind.

What Clutha! should thy parent tide?
That wont in wanton maze, to glide;
So mournful roll along.
When erst in tuneful rapid course;
Thou sweetly left thy silver source,
And flow'd, renown'd in ancient song.
But ah! yon sun that seek'st his urn,
Shall ne'er on Graham, thy native bard return.

Impatient from th' embattled ground,
Where (rung in loud response's 'round,)
The bugles blow the blast of death,
Stern fate, who gives the suff'rer's woes,
The sweet oblivion of repose:
Now 'twines his dark, and mystic wreath,
And hov'ring in decisive pow'r,
Invests with pious dread, the lethal hour.

The boding breeze now swells aloud,
And, see! beyond that shadowy cloud;
The moon withdraws from nature's sigh.
Now peace? ye winds! the hest is given:
And hark! that shock, 'twas generous heaven;
That warn'd his tranquil soul for flight,
His filial debt of life is paid;
And virtues, sacred, claim their votary's shade.

Far, from thy country's sighs below,
Now heaven hath weigh'd thy changeful woe,
In rest's oblivious tomb;
Yet shall thy mem'ry, Graham! appear,
While mem'ry lives to virtue dear;
And Scotia's genius mourn thy doom,
As lonely o'er her poet's bier,
Kind nature, grateful, drops the dewy tear.
Water of Lieth,
December 18, 1811.