1805 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Sir Walter Scott

Anna Seward, "Address to the River Tweed, on Mr. Scott's having chosen his Habitation near its Banks" Poetical Register and Repository of Fugitive Poetry for 1805 (1807) 171-72.



Tweed, thou wert charm'd by seldom equall'd strains
When tender RAMSEY tun'd his Doric quills;
Or HE, the Child and Glory of those plains
That hear the swol'n AYR thunder down the hills.

Since oft they left their native scenes to rove
Where thy devouring waters wind the vales;
And pour'd, to consecrate each field and grove,
Lays of wild poesy on all the gales.

But now a BARD, whom loftier MUSES fire,
Loud, on the shores of thy cerulean stream,
Wakes as exalted and as sweet a lyre
As ever rung to youthful Poet's theme.

Inemulous of LYDIA'S boasted tide,
Thy hallow'd wave in Delphic light expands;
And thou, in purer glory, may'st deride
PACTOLUS, rolling o'er his golden sands.

Not those bright sands; — not PLUTUS' shrines procure
Meed rich as waits the genuine POET'S claim;
But transiently the flowers of WEALTH endure
While wreaths of amaranth are his wreaths of Fame.

And, TWEED, 'tis thine to bear, on thy clear course,
Thro' the recording rounds of fateful Time,
The echoes of thy SCOTT'S transcendent VERSE,
His high, HEROIC SONGS, and EPIC LAY sublime.