Farewell to the Muse
Sir Walter Scott
Where the forester, ‘lated, with wonder espied me
Explore the wild scenes he was quitting for home.
Farewell and take with thee thy numbers wild speaking
The language alternate of rapture and woe:
Oh! none but some lover, whose heartstrings are breaking
The pang that I feel at our parting can know.
Each joy thou couldst double, and when there came sorrow,
Or pale disappointment to darken my way,
What voice was like thine, that could sing of tomorrow,
Till forgot in the strain was the grief of today!
But when friends drop around us in life’s weary waning,
The grief, Queen of Numbers, thou canst not assuage;
Nor the gradual estrangement of those yet remaining,
The languor of pain, and the chillness of age.
‘Twas thou that once taught me, accents bewailing,
To sing how a warrior I lay stretch’d on the plain,
And a maiden hung o’er him with aid unavailing,
And held to his lips the cold goblet in vain ;
As vain thy enchantments, O Queen of wild Numbers
To a bard when the reign of his fancy is o’er,
And the quick pulse of feeling in apathy slumbers—
Farewell, then, Enchantress I’ll meet thee no more!