1803 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Robert Burns

William Wordsworth, "Address to the Sons of Burns, after visiting their Father's Grave (August 14th, 1803)" Poems in Two Volumes (1807) 2:203-04.



Ye now are panting up life's hill!
'Tis twilight time of good and ill,
And more than common strength and skill
Must ye display
If ye would give the better will
Its lawful sway.

Strong bodied if ye be to bear
Intemperance with less harm, beware!
But if your Father's wit ye share,
Then, then indeed,
Ye Sons of Burns! for watchful care
There will be need.

For honest men delight will take
To shew you favor for his sake,
Will flatter you; and Fool and Rake
Your steps pursue:
And of your Father's name will make
A snare for you.

Let no man hope your souls enslave;
Be independent, generous, brave!
Your Father such example gave,
And such revere!
But be admonish'd by his Grave,
And think, and fear!