Imágenes de página

Here is a fine apostrophe to Domestic Love :-

Who hath not paused while Beauty's pensive eye
Asked from his heart the homage of a sigh?

[blocks in formation]

And say, without our hopes, without our fears,
Without the home that plighted love endears,
Without the smile from partial beauty won,
Oh, what were man?—a world without a sun.
Till Hymen brought his love-delighted hour,
There dwelt no joy in Eden's rosy bower !
In vain the viewless seraph, lingering there,
At starry midnight charmed the silent air ;
In vain the wild bird carolled on the steep,
To hail the sun, slow wheeling from the deep ;
In vain, to soothe the solitary shade,
Aërial notes in mingling measure played ;
The summer wind that shook the spangled tree,
The whispering wave, the murmur of the bee ;-
Still slowly passed the melancholy day,
And still the stranger wist not where to stray.
The world was sad! the garden was a wild !

man, the hermit, sighed—till woman smiled!


[blocks in formation]

Eternal Hope! when yonder spheres sublime
Pealed their first notes to sound the march of Time,
Thy joyous youth began—but not to fade.
When all the sister planets have decayed ;
When, rapt in fire, the realms of ether glow,
And Heaven's last thunder shakes the world below;
Thou, undismayed, shalt o'er the ruins smile,
And light thy torch at Nature's funeral pile !

[blocks in formation]
[ocr errors]

Moir says,

to any

any didactic

[ocr errors]

" I do not think I overrate the merits of the Pleasures of Hope, whether taking it in its parts or as a whole, in preferring it

poem of equal length in the English language. It is like a long fit of inspiration.” Campbell wrote it at Edinburgh when he was but twenty-one; and so prolonged was its popularity, that it ultimately brought to its author the sum of four thousand five hundred pounds. His patriotic Odes are so heroic and stirring, and his more serious poems are so inspiring and impressive, that it is no wonder they should have become to us as " household words.” What fire and energy characterize those grand naval Odes, The Battle of the Baltic, and Ye Mariners of England; and how sublimely roll out the stanzas of his Last Man, What's Hallowed Ground? and The Rainbow !

Irving thought Campbell's Hohenlinden contained more grandeur and moral sublimity than is to be found anywhere else in the same compass of English poetry. This, like most of his descriptive poems, Campbell seems to have written under the very inspiration of the scene.

Campbell's lyrics have an exquisite grace and delicacy of touch about them; for example, the following :

Withdraw not yet those lips and fingers,

Whose touch to mine is rapture's spell ;
Life's joy for us a moment lingers,

And death seems in that word-farewell!
The hour that bids us part and go,
It sounds not yet—oh no, no, no!
Time, whilst I gaze upon thy sweetness,

Flies, like a courser nigh the goal :
To-morrow where shall be his Aeetness,

When thou art parted from my soul?
Our hearts shall beat, our tears shall Aow,
But not together-oh no, no!

How delicious is the winning
Of a kiss at Love's beginning,
When two mutual hearts are sighing
For the knot there's no untying!
Yet remember, midst your wooing,
Love has bliss, but love has ruing;
Other smiles may make you fickle,–
Tears for other charms may trickle.
Love he comes, and Love he tarries,
Just as fate or fancy carries ;
Longest stays when sorest chidden,
Laughs and Aies—when pressed and bidden

[blocks in formation]

my heart,

'Tis not the loss of love's assurance,

It is not doubting what thou art,
But 'tis the too, too long endurance
Of absence that afflicts

The fondest thoughts two hearts can cherish,

When each is lonely doomed to weep,
Are fruits on desert isles that perish,

Or riches buried in the deep.
What though, untouched by jealous madness,

Our bosom's peace may fall to wreck,
Th’ undoubting heart, that breaks with sadness,

Is but more slowly doomed to break.
Absence! is not the soul torn by it,

From more than light, or life, or breath ?
'Tis Lethe's gloom, but not its quiet,-
The pain, without the peace of death!

Campbell has given the following little incident with wonderful felicity and effect; it could scarcely be better told :-

The ordeal's fatal trumpet sounded, and sad, pale Adelgitha

came, When forth a valiant champion bounded, and slew the slanderer of

her fame. She wept, delivered from her danger ; but when he knelt to claim


her glove,

“Seek not,” she cried, “oh, gallant stranger, for hapless Adelgitha's

love; For he is in a foreign far land whose arm should now have set me

free, And I must wear the willow garland for him that's dead or false to


“ Nay! say not that his faith is tainted !” He raised his visor ; at

the sight She fell into his arms and fainted: it was, indeed, her own true


Campbell's biographer, Dr. Beattie, writes :-“Coming home to my house in Park Square, where, as usual, the poet had dropped in to spend a quiet hour, I told him that I had been agreeably detained listening to some street music near Portman Square. “Vocal or instrumental ?' he inquired. Vocal : the song was an old favourite, remarkably good, and of at least forty years standing.' 'Ha!' said he, ‘I congratulate the author, whoever he is.' "And so do I-it was your own song, The Soldier's Dream ; and when I came away the crowd was still increasing.' 'Well,' he added, musing, 'this is something like popularity.'

Yet the poet had, as far as a poet can, become for years indifferent to posthumous fame. In 1838, five years before his decease, he had been speaking to some friends in Edinburgh on the subject, thus :

“When I think of the existence which shall commence when

the stone is laid over my head, how can literary fame appear to me, to any one, but as nothing? I believe, when I am gone, justice will be done to me in this way—that I was a pure writer. .

It is an inexpressible comfort, at my time of life, to be able to look back and feel that I have not written one line against religion or virtue.” Is not this claim, which has been in his case well attested by the public censorship, the highest meed of praise that can be awarded to genius?

Campbell's funeral was a grand spectacle. As the solemn procession moved towards the open grave in Poet's Corner, Westminster Abbey, every voice was hushed, except that of the clergyman echoing along the vaulted aisles of the venerable pile—“I am the resurrection and the life.” As the sad groups gathered around the grave, the solemn stillness was broken by a sweet strain of rich melody, alternating with grand bursts of chorus from the organ: it was the Dead March in Saul.

A touching incident occurred just as the corpse was about being sprinkled with its native earth ;-a Polish officer came forward with a handful of dust, brought for the occasion from the tomb of Kosciuzko, and scattered it upon the coffin. It was a worthy tribute of affectionate regard to the memory of him who had done so much to immortalize the man and the cause.

This sweet lyric we derive from our American poetess, Mrs. OSGOOD:

She comes, in light, aërial grace ; o'er Memory's glass the vision


Her girlish form, her glowing face, her soft, black hair, her beaming

eyes. I think of all her generous love ; her trustful heart, so pure and

meek; Her tears—an April shower—that strove with sunshine on her

changing cheek.

« AnteriorContinuar »