An Elegy on the Death of the Rev. Evan Evans

Robert Williams

ON Snowdon’s haughty brow I stood,

And viewed afar old Menai’s flood;

Carnarvon Castle, eagle-crowned,

And all the beauteous prospect round;

But soon each gay idea fled,

For Snowdon’s favorite bard was dead.

Poor bard, accept one genuine tear,

And read thy true eulogium here;

Here in my heart, that rues the day

Which stole Eryri’s pride away.

But, lo, where seen by Fancy’s eye

His visionary form glides by;

Pale, ghastly pale, that hollow cheek;

That frantic look does more than speak,

And tells a tale so full of woe,

My bosom swells, my eyes o’erflow.

On Snowdon’s rocks, unhomed, unfed,

The tempest howling round his head,

Far from the haunts of men, alone,

Unheard, unpitied, and unknown,

To want and to despair a prey,

He pined and sighed his soul away.

Ungrateful countrymen, your pride,

Your glory, wanted bread, and died!

Whilst ignorance and vice are fed,

Shall wit and genius droop their head?

Shall fawning sycophants be paid

For flattering fools, while thou art laid

On thy sick-bed, the mountain heath,

Waiting the slow approach of death,

Beneath inhospitable skies,

Without a friend to close thine eyes?

Thus shall the chief of bards expire,

The master of the British lyre,

And shall thy hapless relics rot,

Unwept, unhallowed, and forgot?

No! while one grateful Muse remains,

And Pity dwells on Cambria’s plains,

Thy mournful story shall be told,

And wept, till time itself grows old.


  Mr. Evans died suddenly in the month of May, 1789: some say that he perished on a mountain; others say that he died at or near his native home; but none deny that poverty and sorrow hastened the death of our talented but unfortunate author.