"Where Wilt Thou Find Their Like Again?"
Context: In an introduction to each canto, that had nothing to do with the mood of the main poem, Scott addresses various friends and discusses his thoughts and activities. The introduction to the first canto bears the name of William Stewart Rose, Esq. Perhaps Scott's description of the chill and drear November sky and the signs of dead Nature reminds him of some of England's great men who have died recently, especially William Pitt the Younger (1759–1806) and Charles James Fox (1749–1806). Even though rivals, they fought against Europe to preserve Britain and were joined in reputation, as now in death.
. . .
Genius and taste and talent gone,
Forever tombed beneath the stone
Where–taming thought to human pride!–
The mighty chiefs sleep side by side. Drop upon Fox's grave the tear,
'T will trickle to his rival's bier.
O'er Pitt's the mournful requiem sound,
And Fox's shall the notes rebound.
The solemn echo seems to cry,–
"Here let their discord with them die.
Speak not for those a separate doom
Whom Fate made brothers in the tomb;
But search the land, of living men,
Where wilt thou find their like again?"