1806 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Robert Burns

H. C., "In Memory of Burns" Port Folio [Philadelphia] NS 2 (30 August 1806) 128.



Attend me now, ye sacred nine;
And gently smooth the artless line;
Attend, and shed o'er merit's bier,
Lone sorrow's sweet, embalming tear.
Auld Scotia's thistle sighs an mourns
In memory of her long lost Burns;
Each Scottish bard now droops his head,
Since Burns is number'd with the dead.
Nae mair by bonie Doon he'll stray,
Nae mair he'll hear the zephyrs play
Along thy banks at parting day;
At eventide when a' was still
Except some gently purling rill,
Whose wimpling streams wi' pleasant din
Runs down the rock into the lin.
This was the hour thy Poet sought
To wander here in pensive thought,
Inspir'd by yonder rising moon
That glanc'd so clear on bonie Doon.
But Oh! nae mair he'll see thee flow,
Nae mair to thee he'll tell his woe;
Whle sweet the blackbird gently sung,
While all around the woodland rung,
E'en nature seem'd to lisp her thanks
To Burns upon thy flowery banks.
Ye banks of Ayr an' flowing stream
Nae mair ye'll be your bardie's theme.
Now mournfu' rolling, on ye go,
Nae mair he tells how sweet ye flow.
Ye warbling songsters o' the vale,
Nae mair ye'll hear his rural tale;
Wi' uncouth notes, by nature bred,
Nae mair ye'll charm him in the shade.
Ah Scotia fair, my guide auld mither,
Whar waves sae sweet the bloomin' hether,
Is there no bard to tune ye'r lays
Nane left to sing his country's praise,
Nane left to rhyme auld nature's turns,
Wi' cantie strains like Rabie Burns.
Nane left to touch the sacred lyre,
Or climb yon hill wi' fond desire,
Enrapt in wild poetic fire.
Departed bard! art thou no more!
Thou hast fled to a far distant shore,
There to enjoy eternal rest,
By mortals never here possest.
Departed genius! art thou lost?
My country's pride, her greatest boast!
Go, gently zephyrs, sweetly wave
The binding laurels o'er his grave,
While Fame proclaims on ilka shore
That Scotland's bard is now no more.
Rise youthful Bards where'er ye be,
In native vales, or o'er the sea.