1816 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Robert Burns

Anonymous, "Suggested whilst reflecting on the Mausoleum about to be erected to the Memory of Burns" Ladies' Monthly Museum S3 4 (October 1816) 235-36.



"Rear high thy bleak majestic hills,
Thy shelter'd valleys proudly spread,
And Scotia pour thy thousand rills,
And wave thy heaths with blossoms red.
But ah! what poet now shall tread
Thy airy heights and woodland reign,
Since he, the sweetest bard, is dead,
That ever breath'd the soothing strain?"

Ask why I weep, elegiac lay,
For him who sleeps in "parent clay,"
And I, with swelling heart, will say—
The wild harp ne'er shall breathe again
In half so sweet or pleasing strain
As his who wak'd, with rapt desire,
To life and love the tend'rest lyre!

Oh! moan for aye, romantic Dee—
Ye fairer flow'rs on banks of Cree,
And Lavrock's chanting minstrelsy!
How fade your forms, and droops the song,
That would his "wood-notes wild" prolong
In pathos of sweet melody,
For him — beneath the willow tree!

He's dead! — the tear that dims mine eye
Shall ne'er its fountain spring run dry—
Grief finds a joy in sympathy!
Ah, Scotia! can'st thou cease to wail
Thy poet in his love-fraught tale?
No! — thou shalt weep in sorrow's gloom,
And steep in tears his early tomb!

"Rear high thy bleak majestic hills,
Thy shelter'd valleys proudly spread,
And Scotia pour thy thousand rills,
And wave thy heaths with blossoms red.
But never more shall poet tread
Thy airy heights — thy woodland reign,
Since he, the sweetest bard, is dead,
That ever breath'd the soothing strain!"