We are still on sabbatical here, but to include a post for October I am continuing to Part Two  of James Beattie’s The Minstrel– see post in September for the first part. And  I start with the latter end of the poem, this most unusual ending of a long poem, an elegy. The rest of the section will be added later, to provide a copiable internet copy of Part Two, which I have not been able to find.

KPAI will resume in January and poems may now be sent to  this email, titling your emails KPAI or Keep Poems Alive. It is not too early to start sending. sally evans 35 at gmail dot com.

Do not forget to enter our Robert Tannahill Poetry Prize competition, which is the reason we held over Keep Poems Alive, to give time for reading the entries without confusing them with KPA submissions. This is an international competition that can be entered from anywhere via the internet — substantial prizes for poems in the English or Scots languages, the languages Tannahill used.  Robert Tannahill Poetry Prize

James Beattie The Minstel Part Two


Of late, with cumbersome though pompous show,
Edwin would oft his flowery rhyme deface,
Through ardour to adorn, but nature now
To his experienced eye a modest grace
Present, where Ornament the second place
Holds, to intrinsic worth and just design
Subservient still. Simplicity apace
Tempers his rage: he owns her charm divine,
And clears th’ambigous phrase, and lops th’unwieldy line.

Fain would Ising (much yet unsung remains)
What sweet delirium oer his bosom stole,
When the great shepherd of the Mantuan plains
Fain would I sing, what transport stormed his soul,
How the red current throbbed his veins along
When like Pelides, bold beyond control,
Without art graceful, without effort strong,
Homer r aised high to heaven the loud, th’impetuous song.

Adieu, ye lays, that fancy’s flowers adorn,
The soft amusement of the vacant mind!
He sleeps in dust, and all the Muses mourn,
He, whom each virtue fired, each grace refined,
Friend, teacher, pattern, darlingof Mankind!*
Her sleeps indust. Ah, how shall I pursue
My theme! To heart-consuming grief resigned,
Here on his recent grave I fix my view,
And po ur my butter tears. Ye flowery lays, adieu.

And thou my Gregory, forever fled!
And I am left to unavailing woe!
When fortune’s storms assail this weary head,
Where cares long since have shed untimely snow,
Ah, now for comfort whither shall I go?
No more thy soothing voice my anguish cheers:
Thy placid eyes with smiles no longer glow,
My hopes to cherish and allay my fears.
Tis meet that I should mourn: flow forth afresh my tears.