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Ah! who could deem that foot of Indian crew
And Albert -Albert falls ! the dear old father bleeds ! “And tranc'd in giddy horror Gertrude swoon'd!
Yet, while she clasps him lifeless to her zone,
God shall assuage thy pangs — when I am laid in dust! “Go, Henry, go not back, when I depart !
The scene thy bursting tears too deep will move,
dear father took thee to his heart,
No! I shall love thee still, when death itself is past. "• Half could I bear, methinks, to leave this earth
And thee, more lov'd than aught beneath the sun!
And beautiful expression seem'd to melt
presses to the heart no more that felt. Ah heart! where once each fond affection dwelt, And features yet that spoke a soul more fair !"- p. 64–68.
- THE DEATH SONG.
The funeral is hurried over with pathetic brevity; and the desolated and all-enduring Indian brought in again with peculiar beauty.
“ Touch'd by the music, and the melting scene,
" Then mournfully the parting bugle bid
Its farewell o'er the grave of worth and truth.
After some time spent in this mute and awful pause, this stern and heart-struck comforter breaks out into the following touching and energetic address, with which the poem closes, with great spirit and abruptness :
*** And I could weep;' — th' Oneyda chief
His descant wildly thus began;
yon heaven with storms of death)
"• But thee, my flow'r! whose breath was giv'n
By milder genii o'er the deep,
" " To-morrow let us do or die !
But when the bolt of death is hurl'd,
". But hark, the trump!- to-morrow thou
In glory's fires shalt dry thy tears :
- p. 70—73. It is needless, after these extracts, to enlarge upon the beauties of this poem. They consist chiefly in the feeling and tenderness of the whole delineation, and the taste and delicacy with which all the subordinate parts are made to contribute to the general effect. Before dismissing it, however, we must say a little of its faults, which are sufficiently obvious and undeniable. In the first place, the narrative is extremely obscure and imperfect; and has greater blanks in it than could be tolerated even in lyric poetry. We hear absolutely nothing of Henry, from the day the Indian first brings him from the back country, till he returns from Europe fifteen years thereafter. It is likewise a great oversight in Mr. Campbell to separate his lovers, when only twelve years of age — a period at which it is utterly inconceivable that any permanent attachment could have been formed. The greatest fault, however, of the work, is the occasional constraint and obscurity of the diction, proceeding apparently from too laborious an effort at emphasis or condensation. The metal seems in several places to have been so much overworked, as to have lost
not only its ductility, but its lustre ; and, while there are passages which can scarcely be at all understood after the most careful consideration, there are others which have an air so elaborate and artificial, as to destroy all appearance of nature in the sentiment. Our readers may have remarked something of this sort, in the first extracts with which we have presented them ; but there are specimens still more exceptionable. In order to inform us that Albert had lost his wife, Mr. Campbell is pleased to say, that
Fate had reft his mutual heart;" and in order to tell us something else — though what, , we are utterly unable to conjecture - he concludes a stanza on the delights of mutual love, with these three lines :
" Roll on, ye days of raptur'd influence, shine!
Shall love behold the spark of earth-born time expire !'” The whole twenty-second stanza of the first part is extremely incorrect; and the three concluding lines are almost unintelligible.
“. But where was I when Waldegrave was no more?
In woes, that ev'n the tribe of deserts was thy friend !' If Mr. Campbell had duly considered the primary necessity of perspicuity — especially
especially in compositions which aim only at pleasing - we are persuaded that he would never have left these and some other passages in so very questionable a state. There is still a good deal for him to do, indeed, in a new edition: and working must work — in the true spirit and pattern of what is before him, we hope he will yet be induced to make considerable additions to a work, which will please those most who are most worthy to be pleased; and always seem most beautiful to those who give it the greatest share of their attention.
Of the smaller pieces which fill up the volume, we have scarce left ourselves room to say any thing. The greater part of them have been printed before ; and
there are probably few readers of English poetry who are not already familiar with the Lochiel and the Hohinlinden — the one by far the most spirited and poetical denunciation of coming woe, since the days of Cassandra ; the other the only representation of a modern battle, which possesses either interest or sublimity. The song to “ the Mariners of England,” is also very generally known. It is a splendid instance of the most magnificent diction adapted to a familiar and even trivial metre. Nothing can be finer than the first and the last stanzas,
“ Ye mariners of England !
That guard our native seas ;
Shall yet terrific burn;
and feast shall flow
And the storm has ceas'd to blow."—p. 103, 104. “ The Battle of the Baltic,” though we think it has been printed before, is much less known. Though written in a strange, and we think an unfortunate metre, it has great force and grandeur, both of conception and expression—that sort of force and grandeur which results from the simple and concise expression of great events and natural emotions, altogether unassisted by any splendour or amplification of expression. The characteristic merit, indeed, both of this piece and of Hohinlinden, is, that, by the forcible delineation of one or two great circumstances, they give a clear and most energetic representation of events as complicated as they are impressive — and thus impress the mind of the reader with all the terror and sublimity of the subject, while they rescue him from the fatigue and perplexity of its