1828 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Robert Burns

James, "To the Memory of Scotia's Bard" The Souvenir [Philadelphia] 1 (4 June 1828) 420.



Oh! Natures gifted, erring child
Thy charming, plaintive, wood notes wild
So dulcet, clear, so soft and mild,
Are hushed for aye,
Nay all thy failings so reviled,
Forgotten lay.

For thou wert ever true and kind,
And free from treachery thy mind,
Affections cords thy heart did bind,
To thy loved isle,
A heart by av'rice unconfined,
And free from guile.

A heart by bribery unbought,
But with ennobling feelings fraught,
A heart alike despising ought,
Servile or low,
A heart that ne'er to man was taught,
Humbly to bow.

Oh, for thy soul enchanting strain,
Thy muse with her promethean train,
So bright — then had I not in vain,
Attuned my lyre,
But ah! we ne'er shall hear again,
Thy notes of fire.

Cold Death has closed thy kindling eye,
Pale Scotia heaves the grief taught sigh,
And oft the foot of sympathy,
The spot has trod,
Where thy lov'd ashes humbly lie,
Neath the green sod.

And should oppression seek thy strand,
May thy lov'd strains fire Scotia's band,
With tenfold vigour nerve each hand,
To strike the foe;
Or martyrs for their native land,
With thee lie low.

And when from worldly cares we flee,
And mix in social mirth and glee,
Hushed shall the notes of laughter be,
As each one turns,
And drinks, with tear-drop in his e'e,
To ROBERT BURNS.
New York, April 16, 1828.