Wednesday, April 7, 2010

On the Departure of Sir Walter Scott from Abbotsford, for Naples

The poem named in the title bar (displayed below) was written by Scott's contemporary William Wordsworth.  Wordsworth was born on April 7, 1770, (a year before Scott) at Cockermouth, in the Cumberland Lake District.  With Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Wordsworth jointly published "Lyrical Ballads", demarking the beginning of the Romantic Age in English literature.

Wordsworth and Scott met and became friends, around 1803.  That Wordsworth made an impression on Scott is evident from the more that 30 entries in his journal, either referencing his work or a social gathering.  Clearly, the feeling was mutual:

On the Departure of Sir Walter Scott from Abbotsford, for Naples

A trouble, not of clouds, or weeping rain,
Nor of the setting sun's pathetic light
Engendered, hangs o'er Eildon's triple height:
Spirits of Power, assembled there, complain
For kindred Power departing from their sight;
While Tweed, best pleased in chanting a blithe strain,
Saddens his voice again, and yet again.
Lift up your hearts, ye Mourners! for the might
Of the whole world's good wishes with him goes;
Blessings and prayers in nobler retinue
Than sceptred king or laurelled conqueror knows,
Follow this wondrous Potentate. Be true,
Ye winds of ocean, and the midland sea,
Wafting your Charge to soft Parthenope!

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