John Dawson Ross.

Round Burns' grave: the paeans and dirges of many bards online

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presented to the





Dr. Allan D. Rosenblatt







Paeans and Dirges of Many Bards,



, - 'Tf-




Paeans and Dirges of Many Bards,





:f ubltsber in i^ur Majesty tbe Queen.


Round Burns' Grave, a poet band —
Singers, not of his native land
Alone — but bards of every clime,
Salute the Poet of all time.

And each his loving tribute lays —
A wreath of cypress twin'd with bays ;
As they approach the tomb by turns
That holds the sacred dust of Burns—

Feeble they feel their tongues to sing
The praises of their Poet King ;
But in each heart a quenchless flame
Leaps up to greet the Poet's name !

Perchance his spirit hovering near
May stoop these lays of love to hear.
And breathe once more its magic spell
O'er brother bards who love him well.

—James D. Crichton.

Dedicated to

(Author of " The Kiss ahint the Door," " When we were at the
£chule," and various otiier well-ktiown Scottish Songs and Poems),


J. D. R.



Ode on the Centenary of Burns,

On the Death of Burns,

Robert Burns, ...

Ode to the Memory of Burns,

The Gift of Burns,

For the Burns CbNTENNiAL Celebration,

Jan. 25, 1859,
Burns, ...

An Incident in a Railroad Car,

To the Sons of Burns,

Burns at Mossgiel,
Robert Burns, ...

For the Centenary of Robert Burns,
Address to the Shade of Burns,
Robert Burns,

Rantin' Robin, Rhymin' Robin, ...
Ellisland, ...
Burns' Birthday,
Burns, ...









S (JOlSTliNTh.

Robin's Awa' ! ... ... .. ... 91

Ode. ... ... ... ... ... 93

Robert Burns, ... ... .. ... 97

The Baku of Song, ... ... ... 105

Ode, ... ... .. ... ... 108

Verses, ... ... ... ... ... m

Coila's Bard, ... ... ... ... 113

Elegy to the Memory of Robert Burns, 116

What is Success? ... ... ... ... 125

Burns, ... ... ... ... ... 131

The Birthplace of Robert Burns, "... ... 132

A Poet King, ... ... ... ... 133

Rantin' Robin, ... ... ... ... 135

To the Memory of Burns, ... ... 137

Address to Burns, ... ... ... ... 139

To THE Memory of Robert Burns, ... 145

Robert Burns, ... ... ... ... 149

On the Death of Burns, ... ... 151

Stanzas, ... ... ... ... ... 155

Written for Burns' Anniversary, ... 157

Thoughts, ... ... ... ... ... 159

Song, ... ... ... ... ... 162

Robert Burns, ... ... ... ... 164

Birth-Place of Robert Burns, .. ... 165

To the Memory of Robert Burns, ... ... 167

Ye may Talk o' Your Learning, ... 170

The Night you quoted Burns to me, ... 172

Birth of Burns, ... .. ... 174

An Evening with Burns, ... ... ... 180


513 urns.

Fitz-Greene IIalleck.

To a KosCf brought from near Allozvay Kirk, in Ayrshire,
in the Autumn of 1822.

Wild Rose of AUoway ! my thanks :
Thou 'mindst me of that autumn noon

When fust we met upon " the banks
And braes o' bonny Doon."

Like thine, beneath the thorn-tree's bough,
My sunny hour was glad and brief ;

We've crossed the winter sea, and thou
Art withered — flower and leaf.

Aud will not thy death-doom be mine —
The doom of all things wrought of clay

And withered my life's leaf like thine,
Wild Rose of Alloway?


Not so his memory, for whose sake
My bosom bore thee far and long ;

His— who a humbler flower could make
Immortal as his song.

The memory of Burns ! -a name

That calls, when brimmed her festal cup,

A nation's glory and her shame,
In silent sadness up.

A nation's glory ! — be the rest

Forgot — she's canonized his mind ;

And it is joy to speak the best
We may of human kind.

I've stood beside the cottage bed

Where the Bard-peasant first drew breath
A straw-thatched roof above his head,

A straw-wrought couch beneath.

And I have stood beside the pile, 1

His monument — that tells to Heaven ]

The homage of earth's proudest isle i
To that Bard-peasant given !

Bid thy thoughts hover o'er that spot,
Boy-minstrel, in thy dreaming hour

And know, however low his lot,
A Poet's pride and power.


The pride that lifted Burns from earth, —

The power that gave a child of song
Ascendency o'er rank and birth,

The rich, the brave, the strong ;

And if despondency weigh down
Thy spirit's fluttering pinions then,

Despair — thy name is written on
The roll of common men.

There have been loftier themes than his,
And longer scrolls, and louder lyres,

And lays lit up with Poesy's
Purer and holier fires :

Yet read the names that know not death ;

Few nobler ones than Burns are there ;
And few have won a greener wreath

Than that which binds his hair.

His is that language of the heart.

In which the answering heart would speak, -
Thought, word, that bids the warm tear start,

Or the smile light the cheek ;

And his that music, to whose tone

The common pulse of man keeps time.

In cot or castle's mirth or moan.
In cold or sunny clime.


And who hath heard his song, nor knelt
Before its spell with willing knee,

And listened, and believed, and felt
The Poet's mastery.

O'er the Mind's sea, in calm or storm,
O'er the Heart's sunshine and its showers,

O'er Passion's moments, bright and warm.
O'er Reason's dark, cold hours ;

On fields where brave men " die or do,"
In halls where rings the banquet's mirth.

Where mourners weep, where lovers woo,
From throne to cottage hearth ?

What sweet tears dim the eyes unshed.
What wild vows falter on the tongue,

When " Scots wha hae wi' Wallace bled,"
Or " Auld Lang Syne " is sung !

Pure hopes, that lift the soul above,
Come with his Cottar's hymn of praise.

And dreams of youth, and truth, and love,
With " Logan's " banks and braes.

And when he breathes his master-lay
Of Alloway's witch-haunted wall.

All passions in our frames of clay
Come thronging at his call.


Imagination's world of air,

And our own world, its gloom and glee,
Wit, pathos, poetry, are there.

And death's sublimity.

And Burns — though brief the race he ran.
Though rough and dark the path he trod-

Lived — died — in form and soul a Man, —
The image of his God.

Through care, and pain, and want and woe,
With wounds that only death could heal ;

Tortures — the poor alone can know,
The proud alone can feel ;

He kept his honesty and truth.
His independent tongue and pen.

And moved, in manhood as in youth,
Pride of his fellow men.

Strong 9ense, deep feeling, passions strong,
A hate of tyrant and of knave ;

A love of right, a scorn of wrong,
Of coward and of slave ;

A kind, true heart, a spirit high,

That could not fear and would not bow.

Were written in his manly eye
And on his manly brow.


Praise to the bard ! his words are driven,
Like flower-seeds by the far wind sown,

Where'er, beneath the sky of heaven,
The birds of fame have flown.

Praise to the man ! a nation stood
Beside his coffin with wet eyes, —

Her brave, her beautiful, her good,
As when a loved one dies.

And still, as on his funeral day,

Men stand his cold earth-couch around,

With the mute homage that we pay
To consecrated ground.

And consecrated ground it is, —
The last, the hallowed home of one

Who lives upon all memories,
Though with the buried gone.

Such graves as his are pilgrim-shrines, -
Shrines to no code or creed confined-

The Delphian vales, the Palestines,
The Meccas of the mind.

Sages, with wisdom's garland wreathed,
Crowned kings, and mitred priests of power,

And warriors with their bright swords sheathed.
The mightiest of the hour ;


And lowlier names, whose humble home

Is lit by Fortune's dimmer star,
Are there — o'er wave and mountain come,

From countries near and far ;

Pilgrims whose wandering feet have pressed
The Switzer's snow, the Arab's sand,

Or trod the piled leaves of the West, —
My own green forest-land.

All ask the cottage of his birth.

Gaze on the scenes he loved and sung,

And gather feelings not of earth
His fields and streams among.

They linger by the Boon's low trees,
And pastoral Nith, and wooded Ayr,

And round thy sepulchres, Dumfries !
The poet's tomb is there.

But what to them the sculptor's art.

His funeral columns, wreaths, and urns?

Were they not graven on the heart —
The name of Robert Burns !

(Dbe oil the Centeimi-g of ^unis.

Isabella Craig Knox.

We hail this morn,
A century's noblest birth ;

A poet peasant-born,
Who more of Fame's immortal dower

Unto his country brings

Than all her kings !

As lamps high set
Upon some earthly eminence ;
And to the gazer brighter thence
Than the sphere lights they flout —

Dwindle in distance and die out,

While no star waneth yet ;
So through the past's far-reaching night

Only the star-souls keep their light.

A gentle boy.
With moods of sadness and of mirth,

Quick tears and sudden joy.
Grew up beside the peasant's hearth.

His father's toil he shares ;

But half his mother's cares

From his dark, searching eyes,
Too swift to sympathise,

Hid in her heart she bears.


At early morn 1

His father calls him to the field ; j

Through the stiff soil that clogs his feet, ■'

Chill rain, and harvest heat

He plods all day ; returns at eve outworn, j

To the rude fare a peasant's lot doth yield — i

To what else was he born ? \

The God-made king

Of every living thing ;
(For his great heart in love could hold them all) ;
The dumb eyes meeting his by hearth and stall —

Gifted to understand ! —

Knew it and sought his hand ;
And the most timorous creature had not fled

Could she his heart have read,
Which fain all feeble thinsrs had blessed and sheltered.

To Nature's feast.
Who knew her noblest guest
And entertained him best,
Kingly he came. Her chambers of the east
She draped with crimson and with gold,
And poured her pure joy wines
For him the poet-souled ;
For him her anthem rolled
From the storm-wind among the winter pines,

Down to the slenderest note
Of a love-warble from the linnet's throat.

But when begins
The array for battle, and the trumpet blows,


A king must leave the feast and lead the fight ;

And with its mortal foes,
Grim gathering hosts of sorrows and of sins,

Each human soul must close ;

And Fame her trumpet blew
Before him, wrapped him in her purple state,
And made him mark for all the shafts of Fate

That henceforth round him flew.

Though he may yield,
Hard-pressed, and wounded fall

Forsaken on the field ;

His regal vestments soiled ;

His crown of half its jewels spoiled ;
He is a king for all.

Had he but stood aloof !
Had he arrayed himself in armour proof

Against temptation's darts !
So yearn the good — so those the world calls wise,

With vain, presumptuous hearts.
Triumphant moralise.

Of martyr-woe
A sacred shadow on his memory rests —

Tears have not ceased to flow —
Indignant grief yet stirs impetuous breasts,

To think — above that noble soul brought low,
That wise and soaring spirit fooled, enslaved —

Thus, thus he had been saved !

It might not be !
That heart of harmony
Had been too rudely rent ;



Its silver chords, which any hand could wound, j

By no hand could be tuned, \

Save by the Maker of the instrument, 'j
Its every string who knew.

And from profaning touch His heavenly gift withdrew.


Regretful love

His country fain would prove.
By grateful honours lavished on his grave ;

Would fain redeem her blame j

That he so little at her hands can claim, 1;

Who unrewarded gave j

To her his life-bought gift of song and fame. •!

The land he trod ■

Hath now become a place of pilgrimage ; i

Where dearer are the daisies of the sod '.

That could his song engage. ',

The hoary hawthorn, wreathed ■►
Above the bank on which his limbs he flung

While some sweet plaint he breathed ; '

The streams he wandered near ; ;

The maidens whom he loved ; the songs he sung — \

All — all are dear ! i

The arch blue eyes —

Arch but for love's disguise —
Of Scotland's daughters, soften at his strain ;
Her hardy sons, sent forth across the main
To drive the ploughshare through earth's virgin soils,

Lighten with it their toils ;
And sister-lands have learn'd to love the tongue

In which such songs are sung.


For doth not song

To the whole world belong ?
Is it not given wherever tears can fall,
Wherever hearts can melt, or blushes glow,
Or mirth and sadness mingle as they flow,

A heritage to all ?

©It the BtM ot 58iu*n0.

William Roscoe.

Rear high thy bleak majestic hills,

Thy sheltered valleys proudly spread,
And, Scotia, pour thy thousand rills,

And wave thy heaths with blossoms red.
But ah ! what poet now shall tread

Thy airy heights, thy woodland reign,
Since he, the sweetest bard, is dead,
Since he, the sweetest bard, is dead,

That ever breath'd the soothing strain !

As green thy towering pines may grow,

As clear thy streams may speed along,
As bright thy summer suns may glow.

As gaily charm thy feathery throng ;
But now, unheeded is the song.

And dull and lifeless all around,
For his wild harp lies all unstrung,

And cold the hand that waked its sound.

What the' thy vigorous oflfspring rise
In arts, in arms, thy sons excel ;

Tho' beauty in thy daughters' eyes.
And health in every feature dwell ;


Yet who shall now their praises tell,
In strains impassion'd, fond and free,

Since he no more the song shall swell
To love, and liberty, and thee.

With step-dame eye and frown severe

His hapless youth why didst thou view ?
For all thy joys to him were dear,

And all his vort's to thee were due ;
Nor greater bliss his bosom knew,

In opening youth's delightful prime,
Than when thy favouring ear he drew

To listen to his chanted rhyme.

Thy lonely wastes and frowning skies

To him where all with rapture fraught ;
He heard with joy the tempest rise

That waked him to sublimer thought ;
And oft thy winding dells he sought,

Where wild flow'rs pour'd their rich perfume,
And with sincere devotion brought

To thee the summer's earliest bloom.

But ah ! no fond maternal smile

His unprotected youth enjoy'd.
His limbs inur'd to early toil.

His days with early hardships tried
And more to mark the gloomy void,

And bid him feel his misery.
Before his infant eyes would glide

Day dreams of immortality.


Yet, not by cold neglect depress'd,

With sinewy arm he turn'd the soil.
Sunk with the evening sun to rest,

And met at morn his earliest smile.
Waked by his rustic pipe, meanwhile

The powers of fancy came along,
And sooth'd his lengthen'd hours of toil,

With native wit and sprightly song.

— ^Ah ! days of bliss, too swiftly fled.

When vigorous health from labour springs,
And bland contentment smoothes the bed,

And sleep his ready opiate brings ;
And hovering round on airy wings

Float the light forms of young desire,
That of unutterable things

The soft and shadowy hope inspire.

Now spells of mightier power prepare.

Bid brighter phantoms round him dance ;
Let Flattery spread her viewless snare.

And Fame attract his vagrant glance ;
Let sprightly Pleasure too advance,

Unveil'd her eyes, unclasp'd her zone,
Till, lost in love's delirious trance,

He scorns the joys his youth has known.

Let Friendship pour her brightest blaze.
Expanding all the bloom of soul ;

And Mirth concentre all her rays.

Ami i)oint them from the sparkling bowl ;


And let the careless moments roll
In social pleasure unconfined,

And confidence that spurns control
Unlock the inmost springs of mind :

And lead his steps those bowers among,

Where elegance with splendour vies,
Or Science bids her favour'd throng,

To more refined sensations rise :
Beyond the peasant's humbler joys,

And freed from each laborious strife,
There let him learn the bliss to prize

That waits the sons of polish'd life.

Then whilst his throbbing veins beat high

With every impulse of delight,
Dash from his lips the cup of joy.

And shroud the scene in shades of night ;
And let Despair, with wizard light.

Disclose the yawning gulf below,
And pour incessant on his sight

Her spectred ills and shapes of woe :

And show beneath a cheerless shed.

With sorrowing heart and streaming eyes,
In silent grief where droops her head,

The partner of his early joys ;
And let his infants' tender cries

His fond parental succour claim,
And bid him hear in agonies

A husband's and a father's name.


'Tis done, the powerful charm succeeds ;

His high reluctant spirit bends ;
In bitterness of soul he bleeds,

Nor longer with his fate contends.
An idiot laugh the welkin rends

As genius thus degraded lies ;
Till pitying Heaven the veil extends

That shrouds the Poet's ardent eyes.

— Rear high thy bleak majestic hills.

Thy sheltered valleys proudly spread.
And Scotia, pour thy thousand rills,

And wave thy heaths with blossoms red :
But never more shall poet tread

Thy airy height, thy woodland reign.
Since he, the sweetest bard, is dead,

That ever breath'd the soothing strain.


Eobcrt i^xxvws.


Henry W. Longfellow.

I SEE amid the fields of Ayr

A ploughman, who, in foul and fair,

Sings at his task
So clear, we know not if it is
The laverock's song we hear, or his,

Nor care to ask.

For him the ploughing of those fields
A more ethereal harvest yields

Than sheaves of grain ;
Songs flush with purple bloom the rye,
The plover's call, the curlew's cry

Sing in his brain.

Touched by his hand, the wayside weed
Becomes a flower ; the lowliest reed

Beside the stream
Is clothed in beauty ; gorse and grass
And heather, where his footsteps pass,

The brighter seem.


He sings of love, whose flame illumes
The darkness of lone cottage rooms ;

He feels the lorce,
The treacherous undertow and stress
Of wayward passions, and no less

The keen remorse.

At moments, wrestling with his fate,
His voice is harsh, but not with hate ;

The brushwood, hung
Above the tavern door, lets fall
Its bitter leaf, its drop of gall

Upon his tongue.

But still the music of his song
Rises o'er all elate and stron" ;

Its master-chords
Are Manhood, Freedom, Brotherhood j
Its discords but an interlude

Between the words.

And then to die so young and leave
Unfinished what he might achieve !

Yet better sure
Is this, than wandering up and down
An old man in a country town,

Infirm and poor.

For now he haunts his native land
As an immortal youth ; his hand
Guides every plough ;


He sits beside each ingle-nook,
His voice is in each rushing brook,
Each rusthng bough.

His presence haunts this room to-night,
A form of mingled mist and light

From that far coast.
Welcome beneath this roof of mine !
Welcome ! this vacant chair is thine.

Dear guest and ghost !


(DDc to the JHcmort) of ^Gmus.

Thomas Campbell,

Soul of the Poet ! wheresoe'er
Reclaim'd from earth, thy genius plume
Her wings of immortality !
Suspend thy harp in happier sphere,
And w'hh thy influence illume
The gladness of our jubilee.

And fly like fiends from secret spell,
Discord and strife, at BuRNS's name,
Exorcised by his memory ?
For he was chief of bards that swell
The heart with songs of social flame,
And high delicious revelry.

And Love's own strain to him was given.

To warble all its ecstasies

With Pythian words unsought, unwill'd, —

Love, the surviving gift of Heaven,

The choicest sweet of Paradise,

In life's else bitter cup distill'd.


Who that has melted o'er his lay
To Mary's soul, in Heaven above.
But pictured sees, in fancy strong,
The landscape and the livelong day
That smiled upon t4ieir mutual love ?
Who that has felt forgets the song ?

Nor skill'd one flame alone to fan ;
His country's high soul'd peasantry
What patriot pride he taught ! — how much
To weigh the inborn worth of man !
And rustic life and poverty
Grow beautiful beneath his touch.

Him, in his clay-built cot, the Muse
Entranced, and showed him all the forms
Of fairy-light and wizard gloom,
(That only gifted poet views)
The Genii of the floods and storms,
And martial shades from Glory's tomb.

On Bannock-field, what thoughts arouse

The swain whom Burns's song inspires ;

Beat not his Caledonian veins.

As o'er the heroic turf he ploughs,

With all the spirit of his sires.

And all their scorn of death and chains ?

And see the Scottish exile, tann'd
By many a far and foreign clime,


Bend o'er his home-born verse, and weep
In memory of his native land,
^Yith love that scorns the lapse of time.
And ties that stretch beyond the deep.

Encamp'd by Indian rivers wild.

The soldier resting on his arms,

In BuRNS's carol sweet recals

The scenes that bless'd liim when a child,

And glows and gladdens at the charms

Of Scotia's woods and waterfalls.

O deem not, 'midst the worldly strife.
An idle art the Poet brings :
Let high Philosophy control.
And sages calm, the stream of life,
'Tis he refines its fountain-springs, —
The nobler passions of the soul.

It is the Muse that consecrates
The native banner of the brave,
Unfurling, at the trumpet's breath.
Rose, thistle, harp ; 'tis she elates
To sweep the field or ride the wave, —
A sunburst in the storm of death.

And thou, young hero, when thy pall

Is cross'd with mournful sword and plume,

When public grief begins to fade.

And only tears of kindred fall.

Who but the bard shall dress thy tomb,

And greet with fame thy gallant shade ?


Such was the soldier — Burns, forgive
That sorrows of mine own intrude
In strains to thy great memory due.
In verse Hke thine, oh ! could he live,
The friend I mourn'd — the brave — the good-
Edward that died at Waterloo ! *

Farewell, high chief of Scottish song !
That couldst alternately impart
Wisdom and rapture in thy page.
And brand each vice with satire strong ;
Whose lines are mottoes of the heart —
Whose truths electrify the sage.

Farewell ! and ne'er may Envy dare
To wring one baleful poison drop
From the crush'd laurels of thy bust :
But while the lark sings sweet in air,
Still may the grateful pilgrim stop,
To bless the spot that holds thy dust.

■* Major Edward Hodge, of the yth Hussars, who fell at the head of
his squadron in the attack of the Polish Lancers.


^he ^ift of $3111110.

Robert Buchanan.

Addressed to the Boston Caledonian Club on the one hundrea
and twenty-sixth anniversary of the Birth of the
National Poet.

That speech the English Pilgrims spoke

Fills the great plains afar,
And branches of the British \^&le, 0'^^

Wave 'neith the Western star ;
Be free ! " men cried, in Shakespeare's tongue,

When striking for the slave —
Thus Hampden's cry for Freedom rung

As far as Lincoln's grave !


But when new vales of England rise.
The thistle freeiier blows ;

Across the seas 'neath alien skies
Another Scotland grows ;

Here Independence, mountain maid,
Reaps her full birthright now,


And BuRNs's shade, in trews and plaid,
Still whistles at the plough.


Scots, gather'd now in phalanx bright.

Here in this distant land.
To greet you, this immortal night,

I reach the loving hand ;
My soul is with you, one and all.

Who pledge our poet's fame,
And echoing your toast, I call

A blessing on his name !


The heritage he left behind

Has spread from sea to sea —
The liberal heart, the fearless mind,

The undaunted soul and free ;
The radiant humour that redeem'd

A world of commonplace ;
The wit that like a sword-flash gleam'd

In Fashion's painted face ;

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Online LibraryJohn Dawson RossRound Burns' grave: the paeans and dirges of many bards → online text (page 1 of 7)