1822 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Robert Burns

James B. Sheys, "Ode to the Memory of Burns, written for his Anniversary, Jan. 25th, 1822" Ladies' Literary Cabinet [New York] NS 5 (9 March 1822) 143.



To Scotia's Bard whase meltin' sang,
Thro' a' her wildwoods ringin'
Won ilka heart — e'en charm'd the thrang
Of bonnie birdies singin'.
To Scotia's Bard — this joyous night
We toom the fu'est glasses,
An' ask frae Heaven its holiest light,
To beam on Lads an' Lasses.

Yes! now oh, great, unrivall'd Burns!
Ilk Scot's warm heart is swellin',
Its proudest feelin' fondly turns
To thy high, hallow'd dwellin'.
An' while, wi' raptur'd e'en, he sees
The nations a' adore thee,
Blest angels in yon hallow'd skies
Flash dazzling splendours o'er thee.

Sweet Bard o' Ayr! meek nature's child!
Auld Scotia's grace an' glory;
Till frae Creation luves exil'd,
Thy name shall bloom in story.
This night — this night — thro' a' the world
Where men revere the thistle;
Her flag waves o'er thy urn unfurl'd,
Thy fume commands her whistle.

The flower-wove veil whan Simmer draws
O'er Ayr's clear glomin' bosom,
On bank an' brae whan sweetly blaws
The hawthorn's honour'd blossom,
Oh! matchless Burns! thy spirit then
O'er the dear landscape hovers;
Thy sangs, in ilka peacefu' glen,
Gie soul an' speech to lovers.

An' there, array'd in heavenly sheen,
Her thrillin' numbers breathin',
Thy semblance dear wi' holly green,
Thy gentle Coila's wreathin'.
Then, till thy tomb at Alloway,
Hie youth an' blushin' beauty;
There bend their braids in tender wae,
An' sing an' say aboot ye.

Oh Scots' wha' in this westlin clime
Far frae your native heather,
Gie honor till the son o' rhyme
Wha was fair virtue's blither,
Come — toom the glass again — again
To him the Bard an a' that,
Whase proud heart pour'd the noble strain—
"A man's a man for a' that!"