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CAMPBELL

THE POET AND HIS POETRY.

[Thomas CAMPBELL, the Bard of Hope, was born at Glasgow, in 1777, at which City he received his education.

The writings of this poet have done mankind some service, and tended very materially to fix the poetic taste of the present generation. Campbell has shown that the pure and exalted feelings of our nature, afford legitimate subjects for poetry of the highest stamp, and that it is not necessary for the poet to identify himself with the gloomy, or the terrible, to claim the attention of the majority. The “ Pleasures of Hope," the master-piece of Campbell's genius, embodies some of the purest and most delicate conceptions in our language. And finding an echo in every human bosom, as universal in its application, it awakens the tenderest emotions of the soul, and fans into flame those aspirations which ever speak to man of his high destiny, and turning hope itself into faith, gives the “ evidence of things not seen."

The style and diction of Campbell resemble a beautiful Grecian temple of the Ionic order, whose delicate symmetry enchants the beholder. A temple in which vestal virgins might minister, and in which the religion of the heart might find a sanctuary. Its imagery is as the delicate filigree work of some beautiful casket, which contains a set of jewels for some virgin bride and indicates the purity of which she is the example; Campbell appears to unite with the sweetness and simplicity of Goldsmith, and the terseness of Pope, a higher vein of imagination and a more dignified expression, and although he may seldom startle the soul as he carries it forward in its contemplations, he has no less the power to entrance it and to subdue.

Campbell has written little, but what he has written will stand against the withering touch of time. He takes his place securely among the poets of his age, and although he may not be the first, he is among the first of the poetic brotherhood. His minor pieces are most of them elaborately finished. The “ Soldier's Dream," is finely and naturally described; "Lochiel's Warning," would not suffer even by a comparison with the “ Bard" of Gray. The lines written on visiting a scene in Bavaria have a dignity and force about them that rivet the attention, while the “Last Man,” exhibits touches which none but the Christian could feel, and none but the master hand of genius could give. His “Gertrude of Wyoming," a beautiful Indian tale, written in the Spenserian stanza, contains many chastely beautiful and elaborate passages. “ Theoderic,” almost the last of this author's performances, is a more sober production, and although it may not add to the poet's reputation, it in no way detracts from it; it has a deep and quiet pathos and intensity, and shows that a good man's heart never grows old.]

LOCHIEL'S WARNING.

WIZARD.] Lochiel! Lochiel ! beware of the day
When the Lowlands shall meet thee in battle array !
For a field of the dead rushes red on my sight,
And the clans of Culloden are scatter'd in fight :
They rally! they bleed! for their kingdom and crown;
Wo, wo to the riders that trample them down!
Proud Cumberland prances, insulting the slain,
And their hoof-beaten bosoms are trod to the plain.
But hark! through the fast-flashing lightning of war,
What steed to the desert flies frantic and far ?
'Tis thine, O Glenullin! whose bride shall await,
Like a love-lighted watch-fire, all night at the gate,

BO
A steed comes at morning, no rider is there;
But its bridle is red with the sign of despair.
Weep, Albin ! to death and captivity led !
Oh weep! but thy tears cannot number the dead
For a merciless sword o'er Culloden shall wave,
Culloden ! that reeks with the blood of the brave.
LOCHIEL.] Go, preach to the coward, thou death-telling seer !
Or, if gory Culloden so dreadful appear,
Draw, dotard, around thy old wavering sight !
This mantle, to cover the phantoms of fright.

WIZARD.) Ha ! laugh'st thou, Lochiel, my vision to scorn? · Proud bird of the mountain, thy plume shall be torn! Say, rush'd the bold eagle exultingly forth, From his home, in the dark-rolling clouds of the north? Lo! the death-shot of foemen outspeeding, he rode Companionless, bearing destruction abroad; But down let him stoop from his havoc on high! Ah! home let him speed—for the spoiler is nigh. Why flames the far summit? Why shoot to the blast Those embers, like stars from the firmament cast? 'Tis the fire-shower of ruin, all dreadfully driven From his eiry, that beacons the darkness of heaven. Oh, crested Lochiel ! the peerless in might, Whose banners arise on the battlement's height, Heaven's fire is around thee, to blast and to burn; Return to thy dwelling, all lonely! return! For the blackness of ashes shall mark where it stood, And a wild mother scream o'er her famishing brood. LOCHIEL.] False Wizard, avaunt ! I have marshall'd my clan; Their swords are a thousand, their bosoms are one!

They are true to the last of their blood and their breath,
And like reapers descend to the harvest of death.
Then welcome be Cumberland's steed to the shock!
Let him dash his proud foam like a wave on the rock!
But wo to his kindred, and wo to his cause,
When Albin her claymore indignantly draws;
When her bonneted chieftains to victory crowd,
Clanronald the dauntless, and Moray the proud ;
All plaided and plumed in their tartan array-

WIZARD.] Lochiel, Lochiel ! beware of the day!
For, dark and despairing, my sight I may seal,
But man cannot cover what God would reveal :
'Tis the sunset of life gives me mystical lore,
And coming events cast their shadows before.
I tell thee, Culloden's dread echoes shall ring
With the blood-hounds that bark for thy fugitive king.
Lo! anointed by Heaven with vials of wrath,
Behold, where he flies on his desolate path !
Now, in darkness and billows, he sweeps from my sight :
Rise ! rise! ye wild tempests, and cover his flight !
'Tis finish'd. Their thunders are hush'd on the moors;
Culloden is lost, and my country deplores :
But where is the iron-bound prisoner? Where?
For the red eye of battle is shut in despair.
Say, mounts he the ocean-wave, banish’d, forlorn,
Like a limb from his country, cast bleeding and torn ?
Ah, no! for a darker departure is near;
The war-drum is muffled, and black is the bier ;
His death-bell is tolling; oh! mercy, dispel
Yon sight, that it freezes my spirit to tell !
Life flutters, convulsed, in his quivering limbs,
And his blood-streaming nostril in agony swims.
Accursed be the faggots that blaze at his feet,
Where his heart shall be thrown, ere it ceases to beat,
With the smoke of its ashes to poison the gale-

LOCHIEL.] Down, soothless insulter! I trust not the tale :
For never shall Albin a destiny meet,
So black with dishonour, so foul with retreat.
Though my perishing ranks should be strew'd in their gore
Like ocean-weeds heap'd on the surf-beaten shore,
Lochiel, untainted by flight or by chains,
While the kindling of life in his bosom remains,
Shall victor exult, or in death be laid low,
With his back to the field, and his feet to the foe!
And, leaving in battle no blot on his name,
Look proudly to heaven from the death-bed of fame.

THE LAST MAN.

All worldly shapes shall melt in gloom,

The sun himself must die,
Before this mortal shall assume

Its immortality!
I saw a vision in my sleep,
That gave my spirit strength to sweep

Adown the gulf of Time !
I saw the last of human mould,
That shall Creation's death behold,

As Adam saw her prime.

The sun's eye had a sickly glare,

The earth with age was wan,
The skeletons of nations were

Around that lonely man!
Some had expired in fight—the brands
Still rusted in their bony hands;

In plague and famine some :
Earth's cities had no sound nor tread;
And ships were drifting with the dead,

To shores where all was dumb!

Yet, prophet-like, that lone one stood,

With dauntless words and high, That shook the sere leaves from the wood,

As if a storm passed by; Saying, “We are twins in death, proud Sun, Thy face is cold, thy race is run

'Tis mercy bids thee go ; For thou, ten thousand, thousand years, Hast seen the tide of human tears,

That shall no longer flow.

“What though beneath thee man put forth

His pomp, his pride, his skill ;
And arts that made fire, flood, and earth,

The vassals of his will;
Yet mourn I not thy parted sway,
Thou dim discrowned king of day :

For all those trophied arts
And triumphs, that beneath thee sprang,
Healed not a passion, or a pang,

Entail'd on human hearts.

"Go, let oblivion's curtain fall

Upon the stage of men,
Nor with thy rising beams recall,

Life's tragedy again;
Its piteous pageants bring not back,
Nor waken flesh upon the rack,

Of pain anew to writhe;
Stretch'd in diseases shapes abhorr'd
Or mown in battle by the sword,

Like grass beneath the scythe.

“Even I am weary in yon skies

To watch thy fading fire; Test of all sunless agonies,

Behold not me expire. My lips that speak thy dirge of deathTheir rounded gasp and gurgling breath

To see thou shalt not boast, The eclipse of nature spreads my pallThe majesty of darkness shall

Receive my parting ghost ! “ This spirit shall return to Him

That gave its heavenly spark ;
Yet think not, Sun, it shall be dim,

When thou thyself art dark ;
No! it shall live again, and shine
In bliss unknown to beams of thine,

By Him recall'd to breath,
Who captive led captivity,
Who robb’d the grave of victory,

And took the sting from death.

Go, Sun, while mercy holds me up,

On Nature's awful waste,
To drink this last and bitter cup

Of grief that man shall taste ;
Go, tell the night that hides thy face,
Thou saw'st the last of Adam's race

On earth's sepulchral clod, The darkening universe defy To quench his immortality,

Or shake his trust in God.”

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