1813 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Sir Walter Scott

Francis Hodgson, "The Lay of the Last Laureat, by W. S—" Leaves of Laurel; or New Probationary Odes, for the Vacant Laureatship (1813) 6-7.



The summer day throws dying fire
From Stanmore's height, from Harrow's spire;
Fair Headstone's lowlands swiftly fade
In gathering mist and closing shade;
And, Cardinal! the pensive hour
Sheds sadness on thy ruin'd bower.
Dim flits the bat o'er Harrow-weald,
And owl hoots hoarse in Pinner-field:
'Tis darker yet, and yet more still,
By watery vale, and wooded hill;
Like baby hush'd on mother's breast,
Meek nature droops, and sinks to rest.

The moon, half-hid, and half-display'd,
Shows like warm blush of Highland maid;
But, redder as it gleams through Heaven,
Blushes like sinner unforgiven.
Why sleeps it thus on new-rais'd grave?
Minstrel! it sleeps, thy pride to save.
Go, ponder by the red moon-light,
And read such aweful warning right!
The grave is emblem of distress
To dreaming child of happiness;
That grave thy wandering step will guide,
In winter, or in summer tide;
That grave will bid thee put aside
(Aside, proud bard, for ever put!)
Both 100 and malmsey butt.
Oh! follow such monition high,
And, Minstrel, say not "I am P—e!"