1805 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Robert Burns

J. G. Bagshaw, Nottinghamshire Militia, "Epitaph on Robert Burns" Lady's Monthly Museum 15 (October 1805) 280



Stay thou, who near this hallow'd earth dost tread,
The humble mansion of the peaceful dead!
Pause — silent gaze — with Admiration's eye,
And greet departed genius with a sigh.
'Tis BURNS! — who spurn'd the ignorance of art,
With Nature's eloquence entranc'd the heart,
Form'd in fair wreaths the flow'rs by Fancy giv'n,
And charm'd the soul with an ideal heaven!
Though proud the Muse her favorite to boast,
Yet still she mourns him thus untimely lost;
But hope can trace him through the dreary way,
And hail the bard in realms of brightest day.
Long may posterity admire his lays,
Whom Caledonia rear'd, and sound his praise:
Well may he prove the fav'rite of her youth,
Who wrote with freedom, but who wrote with truth,
Scorn'd titl'd Vice in plausive strains to scan,
And while he grac'd the Poet, was the Man!
Dumfries, North Briton.