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Poem by Allan Cunningham


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My task is ended  farewell, Robin!
My prentice muse stands sad and sobbin
To think thy country kept thee scrubbin
            Her barmy barrels,
Of strains immortal mankind robbin,
            And thee of laurels.

Let learnings Greekish grubs cry humph!
Hot zealots groan, cold critics grumph,
And ilka starrd and garterd sumph
            Yawn, hum and ha;
In glorys pack thou art a trumph,
            And sweeps them a.

Round thee flockd scholars mony a cluster,
And dominies came in a fluster,
In words three span laag gan they bluster
            Of classic models, 
Of Tulles light and Virgils lustre,
            And shook their noddles.

Ye laughd, and muttering, Learning! D  n her! 
Stood bauldly up, but start or stammer 
Wi Natures fire for lore and grammar,
            And classic rules, 
Crushd them as Thors triumphant hammer
            Smashd paddock stools.

And thou wert right and they were wrang  
The sculptors toil, the poets sang, 
In Greece and Rome free nature sprang,
            And bauld and free, 
In sentiment and language strang
            They spake like thee.

Thy muse came like a giggling taupie 
Dancing her lane; her sangs sae sappy 
Cheerd men like drinks inspiring drappie 
            Then, grave and stern, 
High moral truths sublime and happy
            She made them learn.

Auld grey-beard Lear, wi college lantern, 
Oer rules of Horace stoitering, venturin' 
At song, glides to oblivion saunterin
            And starless night; 
Whilst thou, up cleft Parnassus canterin,
            Lives on in light.

In light thou livst. While birds loe simmer, 
Wild bees the blossom, buds the timmer, 
And man loes woman  rosie limmer!
            Ill prophecie 
Thy glorious halo nought the dimmer
            Will ever be.

For me  though both sprung from ae mother 
Im but a weakly young half brother, 
Sae O! forgive my musing swither,
            Mid toils benighted, 
Twas lang a wish that nought could smother
            To see thee righted.

Frae Kyle, wi music in her bowers;           
Frae fairy glens, where wild Doon pours; 
Frae hills, bedroppd wi sunny showers,
            On Solway strand, 
Ive gathered, Burns, thy scattered flowers
            Wi filial hand.

And O! bright and immortal Spirit, 
If ought that lessens thy rare merit 
Ive utterd  like a god thoult bear it,
            Thou canst but know 
Thy stature few or none can peer it
            Now born below.



Allan Cunningham


Allan Cunningham's other poems:
  1. The Sun Rises Bright In France
  2. Hame, Hame, Hame
  3. Last Words
  4. Sea Song
  5. The Pirates Song


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