1816 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

James Thomson

George Scott, "Verses on the Anniversaries of Thomson's Birth-Day, 1816" Heath Flowers, or Mountain Melodies (1820) 98-100.



O for some portion of that skill
Which prompts of Scotia's bards the sire;
Or of that strength which stamps thee still
Great master of the Aeolian lyre;
Then would I frame such matchless lays,
As well deserves thy peerless praise,
Sweet poet of the "rolling year;"
Fling from my shell such fairy tones,
That Naiads, in their osier zones,
From Eden's oozy caves would start with ravish'd ear!

But artless is the minstrel wight
Who sweeps with trembling hand each string;
Viewing from far th' adventurous height,
Tamed fancy flags with drooping wing.
Theme, worthy of a seraph's tong,
Thy praises, Thomson, shall be sung,
Where genius bids bold science soar;
Where Ganges glides through Brachma's land;
Where Plata laves the western strand,
Pealing from Dieman's Cape to Zembla's frozen shore.

Thou, Albion, favour'd land of heaven,
'Tis thine the anthem to prolong:
Queen of the Isles! to thee, 'tis given
To hail thy native poet's song.
But chiefly, ye of pastoral Tweed,
Where first he tuned his "Doric reed,"
O, weave a chaplet for his brow!
Go, bid the polish'd column rise,
Pointing his glory to the skies,—
Can Scotia's honest pride the flattering thought forego?

Deign'st thou to view, by times, blest shade!
As leaning from the lucid skies,
The spot where patriot Buchan bade
Thy tributary temple rise?
Methinks in future times I see,
Sacred to Thomson's Memory,
By Eden's strand the obelisk shine;
Yet happier still, sweet bard, thy part,—
Sculptur'd on every Briton's heart,
Thy proud Mausoleum beams in nature's own design!

While bursts the germe, and harvest wave,
Thy name, great poet, still shall live;
While summers smile, and winters rave,
Thy page the virtous glow shall give:
Till weary Nature seek repose,
And, Ages drawing to a close,
THE SEASONS cease their long career;
When from his sphere yon sun is hurl'd,
When sinks in flames the ruin'd world,
And Time is swallow'd up in one Eternal Year!