Sunday, April 3, 2016

The Good Grey Poet

Dundee Evening Telegraph - 08 November 1893 p.4

The Good Grey Poet
(Humbly Inscribed to William Robertson, Broughty Ferry, author of "Echoes of the Mountain Muse")

Old, grey poet of the hills!
I have thy verse by heart;
And give to thee the poet's name
As one who sings and doth not shame
The glorious, noble art.

With thee in fancy 'mong the heights,
I stood and watch'd the storm,
And heard the mighty thunders crash,
And saw the vivid lightnings flash
And Nature all transform.

My eye went sweeping down the vales,
And drank their beauty deep;
The streams, the rivers and the bens,
The fields, the forests and the glens,
The scaur, and rocky steep.

With thee I sigh'd for clansmen gone
And lands laid bare and lone,
And marvell'd how it all could be
'Mid freedom and democracy
And hearts not made of stone.

With thee I conjur'd up the past,
The grand historic page,
And heard again the clash of arms,
Beheld the battlefield's alarms
And sturdy warriors rage.

Old poet of the hills and streams,
I love thy manliness,
Thy want of cant, thy words sincere,
Thy pleading for the workers here,
Thy feeling for distress.

The flattering look, the toady smile,
The fawning beck and bow,
They are not thine; thou stand'st erect;
And for thy manhood hath respect,
And for thine aged brow.

The lords and kings, the crowns and thrones,
Whose glories some rehearse,
Are small unto a free-born soul
That soars and grasps the mighty whole
That makes the Universe.

The people for the most are gull'd
By lies and things unreal;
The poet's task's to preach aloud
And send his songs among the crowd,
And make them think and feel.

No sentimental strain we want
To be forgot and die,
But verse of energy and power
That last will longer than an hour
And rouse and edify.

Old poet of the hills and streams,
Thy head is grey with time;
Thine age hath been a blossoming;
A time of youth, a time of spring;
Of thought and song sublime.

Oh! When thou goest to the land
Where sleep so many brave,
May Fame no lasting wreath refuse;
For ever may the mountain muse
Sigh softly round thy grave.

Wormit, Fife        W.D.B

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