1796 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Robert Burns

Alouette, "Reflections on the Death of Robert Burns, the Ayrshire Ploughman" Massachusetts Magazine or Monthly Museum 8 (November 1796) 617-18.



'Twas always thus in antient day:
Rapt poets, in their honor'd lay,
Would inspiration's power display;
And, by a view
Which clearly trac'd time's devious way,
The future knew.

Thou, soul enchanting bard of Ayr,
Of all their force of genius heir,
Didst ev'n in this with them compare,
As to foresee
How very soon death's ruthless share
Should drive o'er thee.

Nor didst thou fear the hastening fate:
Nor would'st thou shun the coulture's weight,
Which on thy bloom thus drove, elate,
And overthrew
A flower of as admir'd a rate
As ever grew.

Now — where thy grave's deep furrow's laid,
The rural swain and village maid
With duteous love frequent the glade,
The sod to grace;
Spread garlands there — and as they fade,
Each eve replace.

There shall thy own lov'd DAISY grow,—
Nor plough shall whelm, nor sythe shall mow,
But freely its best sweets bestow,
And bloom most fair:
More priz'd than all the flowers which strow
The gay parterre.
Nov. 1796.