1847 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

William Motherwell

William Kennedy, "Lines written after a Visit to the Grave of my Friend, William Motherwell, November 1847" Motherwell, Poetical Works, 4th ed (1847) v-vi.



Place we a stone at his head and his feet;
Sprinkle his sward with the small flowers sweet;
Piously hallow the Poet's retreat!
Ever approvingly,
Ever most lovingly,
Tuned he to Nature, a worshipper meet.

Harm not the thorn which grows at his head;
Odorous honors its blossoms will shed,
Grateful to him, early summoned, who sped
Hence, not unwillingly—
For he felt thrillingly—
To rest his poor heart 'mong the low-lying dead.

Dearer to him than the deep Minster bell,
Winds of sad cadence, at midnight, will swell,
Vocal with sorrows he knoweth too well,
Who, for the early day,
Plaining this roundelay,
Might his own fate from a brother's foretell.

Worldly ones treading this terrace of graves,
Grudge not the minstrel the little he craves,
When o'er the snow-mound the winter-blast raves—
Tears — which devotedly,
Though all unnotedly,
Flow from their spring, in the soul's silent caves.

Dreamers of noble thoughts, raise him a shrine,
Graced with the beauty which lives in his line;
Shew with pale flow'rets, when pensive moons shines,
His grassy covering,
Where spirits hovering,
Chant, for his requiem, music divine.

Not as a record he lacketh a stone!
Pay a light debt to the singer we've known—
Proof that our love for his name hath not flown
With the frame perishing—
That we are cherishing
Feelings akin to the lost Poet's own.