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MONODY

ON THE DEATH OF SIR WALTER SCOTT, BART.

In Dryburgh's deep romantic shade,

And ruins gray, with ivy crown’d, A magic harp and wand are laid

The minstrel sleeps his sleep profound : Hush'd is the music of the glade,

The wand is broke, the spell unbound.

Ye stately turrets ! arches dim !

Mourn not your ancient glories pass'd, Though vocal once to choral hymn,

Now to the moanings of the blast! Ye are become the shrine of him,

The noblest Druid, and the last.

Wit in her robe of fiction dress’d,

And fancy in her highest mood, All that a blessing are, and bless'd

The wise, the generous, and the good, Shall each repair-a welcome guest,

As pilgrims to thy solitude.

Z

And call it not an idle dream,

That fairy footsteps print the ground By lonely glen, and wizard stream;

That harps unseen a requiem sound, And spirits by the moon's pale beam,

Their watchful vigils keep around;

That mountain, woodland, valley green,

To the hoarse breeze responsive sigh; And soft and gentle dews at e'en

Weep to behold the poet die; And Scotia, genius of the scene,

Joins the lament, the funeral cry.

For he was cradled in her arms,

She nurs'd and rear'd the wondrous child; Her rugged, stern, romantic charms,

Her tales of yore, and legends wild, And deeds of chivalry and arms,

In youth's gay morn his hours beguild.

And as he trod the heather bloom,

By desert cave, or mountain-steep, Some holy altar, banner'd tomb,

Or battled tower, or donjon-keep, — A martyr's fate, a warrior's doom,

Have bade the pilgrim pause to weep.

And then he struck the ready lyre,

And sung the minstrel's parting lay; And rapt with inspiration higher,

The feuds of Flodden's fatal day ; And bade with undiminish'd fire

The Knight of Snowdoun live for aye.

By guilt, despair, and madness driv'n,

A spirit rose at his commandA fiend from hell, a saint from heav'n,

And sparkling wit, and humour bland, And patriot love, to him were giv'n,

For thee, fair Scotia, native land !

His heart, inflexible and true,

Shone brightest in affliction's hour; Though gentle as the morning dew, That

gems with silver drops the flower; Heaven spares not the immortal few,

The tempest shakes the loftiest tower.

Yet not alone does Scotia mourn

Her noblest son who sleeps beneath : Assembled nations round his urn

The laurel with the cypress wreathe ; Where arctics freeze, and tropics burn,

A tear shall drop, a sigh shall breathe.

340

ON THE DEATH OF SIR WALTER SCOTT.

And woe is me! for I have seen

The glorious pile his genius rear'd; The hall antique, superbly sheen!

The social hearth his presence cheer'd, The classic bow'r, poetic scene,

His virtue, wisdom, wit endear’d.

Have mark'd his

eye

with dewy lid A tear distil, a smile unfold; Have heard his voice, that welcome bid

In token of remembrance old, Or long delay, or absence chid —

And press'd his hand that now is cold.

Not mine to build the lofty verse

Yet had I left the song unsung,
(Garland unmeet for such a hearse !

Or lay for such a tuneful tongue !)
Of deep ingratitude the curse,

My harp had broke, my lyre unstrung.

Ye ruin'd altars ! shrines o'erthrown

By sacrilegious hands of old,
Now shapeless heaps of crumbling stone-

That sacred dust, that hallow'd mould
Shall make ye still a mark, and known,
When thrones have wan'd, and

ages

roll’d.*

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The death of a poet can only rightly determine the space he held in the world. Whatever his popularity while living, though fame sound his praise in every land where letters have made their way, it is only in the deep solemn panse which succeeds the universal lament for departed genius, that reflection tells us what a treasure we have lost, and asks who is worthy to wear the laurel that is now in abeyance ? The death of Sir Walter Scott has left a chasm in the literary world that time will not easily fill up. In private society the loss sustained, and the wound inflicted, can only be healed by a higher hope, a more glorious consolation

~ Father Cardinal, I have heard you say,

That we shall see and know our friends in heaven." The effects of painful anxiety, and unremitting study soon became visible in his once vigorous frame. It was too plainly per. ceived by those who watched with tender solicitude his laborious vigils, that the great spirit could not long sustain the load imposed upon it, and its o'er-informed tenement was gradually sinking to its kindred dust. In the Autumn of 1831, he was advised by his physicians to try the more genial air of Italy. Greatly enfeebled, he set sail on the 27th of October, in a ship of war expressly commissioned by His Majesty, accompanied by a beloved daughter. Never bark had richer freight. The united prayers of three kingdoms were poured forth for his recovery and safe return to the land of his birth. He reached the sunny climate of the south; he was received at Naples with extraordi. nary honours ; a pageant, consisting of his principal characters, was represented, and prince and people hailed the appearance of that brilliant star which had shone with such mighty lustre over the literature of the world. With a sinking frame, and a faded eye, he beheld the eternal city. Her ruined palaces and towers, seemed but as a sad emblem of his own expiring energies; a prototype of that mental darkness which was soon to eclipse the highest intelligence of which our nature is capable. Finding no improvement in his health, he turned towards home. He arrived in London, and took up his temporary residence at the St. James's Hotel, in Jermyn Street. Life was just glimmering in the socket. He expressed an earnest wish to return to Scotlandhis prayer was granted-he reached his beloved Abbotsfordoccasional glimpses of returning consciousness brought a remembrance of the past—he recognised some attached friends, some ancient domestics whose heads had grown gray in his service, and who watched round the couch of their dying master to anti

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