1820 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Robert Burns

Anonymous, "From the Liverpool Mercury: Burn's Anniversary" New England Galaxy [Boston] 3 (2 June 1820) 136.



'Tis sweet, where'er you turn, to meet
The friendly smile in every eye;
And ah! with one fond heart, how sweet!
To share love's undivided sigh.

'Tis sweet, in this brief life, to know,
That all the countless tongues of fame,
Through every clime, where man can go,
Are busy noising forth thy name.

But ah! there's something still more dear,
A holier boon, that genius craves:
A voice, to keep their memory here,
A tear, to dew their hallowed graves.

And many a tear, and many a tongue,
And many a strain, sweet Coila join,
To make thy fame forever young,
And ever green thy laurelled shrine.

The sons of pride, who viewed before
With scorn, the shepherd's simple themes,
With thee at Nature's shrine adore,
And fondly share the shepherd's dreams.

The shepherd swain, with songs of thine,
The bashful rose-lipp'd virgin woos;
And dreams his lot alone divine,
Embalmed in thy immortal muse!

The princely hall, the lowly cot,
The sheep-crown'd hill, and daisied plain;
The frozen wild, and Indian grot,
Alike have echoed every strain.

And shall we round this festive bowl
Forget the grateful pledge to him,
Who dying, left such flow of soul,
To hallow every mantling brim?

The friend of song and social bliss:
The friend of love, and honest pride;
And Freedom's friend, will join in this,
And surely none are here beside.

Nor shall the votive cup be drained,
To grace, alone, the Poet's name;
If flows to one, who else had gained
A prouder, purer wreath of fame;

Who, had he lived when "Wallace bled,"
Had added one more dauntless heart,
To check oppression's reckless tread,
And act the god-like patriot's part.

E'en as it is, the warrior makes
His mighty strains a constant creed;
And bleeding Freedom, from them, takes
Her watch-word in the hour of need.

Then let the pledge be proudly sped,
Which needed not this idle lay:
When Freedom, Feeling, Nature's dead,
Then, Burns, thy fame may pass away!