SPOKEN AT EDINBURGH
In days of classic fame, when Persia's lord1
Opposed his millions to the Grecian sword,
Flourished the state of Athens; small her store,
Rugged her soil, and rocky was her shore,
Like Caledonia's: yet she gained a name 5 That stands unrivalled in the rolls of fame.
Such proud pre-eminence not valor gave,
(For who than Sparta's dauntless sons more brave?)
But learning, and the love of every art,
That Virgin Pallas and the Muse impart. 10
Above the rest the Tragic Muse admired
Each Attic breast, with noblest passions fired.
In peace their poets with their heroes shared
Glory, the hero's and the bard's reward.
The Tragic Muse each glorious record kept, 15 And, o'er the kings she conquered, Athens wept.2
Here let me cease, impatient for the scene;
To you I need not praise the Tragic Queen:
Oft has this audience soft compassion shown
To woes of heroes, heroes not their own. 20 This night our scenes no common tear demand: He comes, the hero of your native land!
Douglas, a name through all the world renowned,
A name that rouses like the trumpet's sound!
Oft have your fathers, prodigal of life, 25 A Douglas followed through the bloody strife; Hosts have been known at that dread time to yield
And, Douglas dead, his name hath won the field.
Listen attentive to the various tale,
Mark if the author's kindred feelings fail; 30 Swayed by alternate hopes, alternate fears, He waits the test of your congenial tears.
If they shall flow, back to the Muse he flies,
And bids your heroes in succession rise;
Collects the wand'ring warriors as they roam, 35 Douglas assures them of a welcome-home.