« PreviousContinue »
That owns no decent grave, no letter'd pile,
While friends may ardent wish,
The safe return of injur'd innocence!
To taste parental bliss,
Then share, come share with me my humble shed,
And heal with friendly balms,
In pausing sounds convey,
Is waiting for its prey.
'Tis Edwin's passing bell !
As tolls the fatal knell.
To dictate to thy God;
On whom to lay the rod.
Could proudly lay no claim;
Adorn'd his humble name.
No tender hand was there,
Or guard from noxious air :
While in the finish'd border's side,
See base exotics spread
Sole tenants of the bed,
He ever felt another's woe
With unaffected grief,
An ear could bring relief.
No; active charity was his,
And deeply did he scorn
But leaves the wretch forlorn;
The peasant's sorrowing soul to ease
He journey'd many a mile,
'Twas given with a smile.
Each knee receiv'd a chubby wight,
Who, proud the place to share, Would turn his buttons to the light,
“To see their pictures there ;"
Or tell, with hands twin'd o'er their heads,
His arms about them cast,
Since they had seen him last.
The taunts of those, who should have bless'd
His efforts meant to save,
He pitied, and forgave.
Lost in the dream which genius knows,
His fancy would arise,
And glowing seek the skies;
Oft have I mark'd him by yon hut,
His eyes fix'd on the ground, Ranging the pebbles with his foot, Nor heeding those around.
The worldling's vain pursuits to him
No winning lure possess'd,
Did ever cheer his breast.
At times in nature-prompted lays
His thoughts would he impart, Which only claim'd the lowly praise
Of flowing from the heart.
But though his strains no polish knew,
Nor ancient classic lore,
A tear-he wish'd no more.
The tinkling stream, that speeds along.
Yon woody sinuous vale, Hath often heard his artless song
His sympathetic tale;
On its glad banks in some lone nook,
Emboss'd with musky flowers, He'd hang enraptur'd o'er his book,
Through evening's pensive hours ;
Or watch the feather on its tide
Approach the eddying whirl, Now coily steal from side to side
Now to destruction twirl.
While moralizing on the sight
A pearly drop would gem
Have deck'd her diadem.
Such were the pleasures he pursu'd,
The charms of nature stole His soft affections, and subdu'd
His wild romantic soul.
Still would he ever humbly kneel,
And thank that great first cause, That God who gives the power to feel,
Who fram'd earth's wond'rous laws.
Poor Edwin! eighteen springs had he
Scarce witness'd here below,
Dealt out the mortal blow.
Disease assail'd his slender frame,
He, smiling, welcom'd death When leaning on a Saviour's name, • To him resign'd his breath.
Poor Edwin!' to thy grave I'll turn,
And musing o'er the earth,
To emulate thy worth.
At Ednam, in the west of Scotland, on the 22d September, the birthday of the celebrated author of the “ Seasons" is kept with all the reverence due to the name of a poet universally admired, and all the enthusiasm of affection for his memory as a native of that part of the country. The bust of the bard is crowned with laurel, the nymphs and the swains foot it on the green to the sound of the tabor, and the day closes with jollity and song. A gentleman, whose friendship I hold very dear, and whose correspondence I value very much, has communicated to me the following Ode for this occasion, a copy of which I should like to see inserted in your miscellany, provided you have as great a regard for the memory of the " Poet of the Year” as has your obedient servant,
AUTHOR OF THE “SEASONS.”
Long shalt thou be to Britain dear;
With lustre crown the circling year.
With splendour smile o'er freedom's land,
Thy son's sweet natal morn at hand,
And O! dear, consecrated scene,
Still to his memory sacred be; Rob'd rich in gay, perennial green,
May future ages Ednam see.
On thee may Spring her verdure shed,
Fair as the landscape which he drew, And Summer all the beauties spread
His heav'n-taught Muse hath sung so true.
In Autumn may thy fertile vales
Be crown'd with sheaves, rich as his song, And may each son of thy soft dales
Be as their poet's Winter strong.
Hither let every Scotian bard
Come, and a grateful tribute pay; And, as a mark of true regard,
Their bays before his altar lay.
A flowery garland did prepare,
And all its kind effusions share.
O bring with thee thy Doric reed,
And from it pour a plaintive lay,
That Scotia loves her Thomson's clay.
And you, ye modest virgins fair,
With glowing breast this scene attend, To crown his name a wreath prepare,
For he was yours and virtue's friend,
He well could warn your sliding hearts,
To guard against the infectious wound, Which adulation smooth imparts,
When Ev'ning draws her curtain round.
And when on Ednam's verdant top
In modest beauty you appear,
For his sweet shade a tender tear.