1812 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Sir Walter Scott

A Native Bard, "Epistle to Walter Scott, Esq." The Polyanthos [Boston] S3 1 (December 1812) 153-54.



Think not that SCOTIA'S sons alone
The influence of thy harp can own;
In these far regions of the west
It sweetly thrills thro' ev'ry breast;
In all its native strength, each strain
Comes, wafted o'er the Atlantic main;—
If LOVE'S soft theme employ thy lay,
Our hearts with passion glow;
Or if of glorious BATTLE DAY
The martial measures flow,
We paint those far-fam'd fields to view
Where SCOTIA'S bloody Lion flew

We n'er have rov'd GLENFINLAS' side,
We ne'er have seen BEN LEDI'S head,
We ne'er have cross'd LOCH KATRINE'S tide,
Or view'd the mist her isles o'erspread;
Yet oft in fancy even here
We hail the scenes by THEE made dear
In ev'ry lake and glen;
And oft on doubling echoes borne
Expect to hear the bugle horn
Startle the RED DEER from his den!

No castled cliffs here crown the glade;
No mould'ring tower or keep;
No splendid ruins, where 'tis said
That mighty heroes sleep:
Yet sometimes, when, with listless eye
We view the clouds in western sky,
As the last sun-beams on them fall,
They seem as 'twere embattled wall;—
And while these dreams of fancy last
We figure out TANTALL0N vast!—

Oh, as you raise the descant bold
Of your bearded chiefs in arms grown old,
Still, still they live in story!
Sudden it makes the life-blood start
When thy magic lyre rings with the glory
Of the gallant chieftains of the bloody heart,
Whom, tho' their banners are for ever furl'd,
You've made the wonders of another world!

HARP OF THE NORTH! Oh, tell us not, thy strain
No more shall vibrate on the ravish'd ear!
Oh, tell us not we ne'er may hope again
Thy deep, majestic melody to hear,
For not to SCOTIA are those lays more dear!—
What tho' to us thy plains are all unknown?
Yet to fair SCOTIA claim we kindred near;
And SCOTIA sure that kindred near will own,
Since WALLACE once was hers and ours a WASHINGTON.