Alfred Austin

(30 May 1835 – 2 June 1913 / Headingley)

Burns’s Statue At Irvine - Poem by Alfred Austin

Yes! let His place be there!
Where the lone moorland gazes on the sea,
Not in the squalid street nor pompous square:
So that he again may be
From contamination free,
His pedestal the plain, his canopy the air!

There leave him all alone!
Too much, too long, he herded with his kind,
Lured by the frolic phantoms that dethrone
Honest heart and homely mind,
Phantoms that besot and blind,
Then leave the troubled soul to suffer and atone.

From city stain and broil
Hither his rustic memory reclaim,
Leading him back, strayed suckling of the soil,
Homeward, that forgiving Fame
May around his shriven name
A halo wind, shall Time nor Truth itself despoil.

Quickly the Poet learns
The little that the alien world can teach.
Then he, if wise, to solitude returns,
Communing on brae and beach
With old Ocean's rhythmic speech,
Message of wandering winds, or lore of mountain burns.

'Tis there that Nature fills
His brooding heart with all he needs to know,
Moan of the main, and rapture of the rills;
So that, whether joy or woe
Fire his verse, it still may glow
Clear as her heaven-fed streams, and soaring as her hills.


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Poem Submitted: Thursday, April 8, 2010



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