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But, as she, who once hath been
WHAT reason first imposed thee, gentle name,
We were two pretty babes, the youngest she,
That I may seek thee the wide world around?
Thomas CAMPBell was born on the twentyseventh of September, 1777, in Glasgow, where his father was a retired merchant. When twelve years old he entered the university of his native city, and in the following year gained a prize for a translation from ARistoph ANEs, after a hard contest, over a competitor of nearly twice his age. He was here seven years, in all which time he had scarcely a rival in classical learning ; and the Greek professor, when bestowing on him a medal for one of his versions, announced that it was the best ever produced in the university. He made equal proficiency in other branches of education, and, on completing his academical course, studied medicine and law.
He quitted Glasgow to remove into Argyleshire, whence he went to Edinburgh, where he was for several years a private tutor. At the early age of twenty-one he finished The Pleasures of Hope, which placed him in the front rank of contemporary poets. In the spring of 1800, he left Scotland for the Continent. While at Hamburgh he wrote the Exile of Erin, from an impression made upon his mind by the condition of some Irish exiles in the vicinity of that city; and, with the Danish war in prospect, his famous naval lyric, Ye Mariners of England. He travelled over the most interesting portions of Germany and Prussia, visited their universities, and formed friendships with the Schlegels, Klopstock, and other scholars and men of genius. From the walls of a convent he saw the charge of KLENAu upon the French at Hohenlinden, which he has so vividly described in his celebrated ode upon that battle. Soon after his return to Scotland, in 1801, he received a token of the royal admiration of his Pleasures of Hope, in a pension of two hundred pounds; and, after a short residence at Edinburgh, married Miss Matilda SINcLAIR, and settled at Sydenham, near London, where he remained many years, and wrote Gertrude of Wyoming, Lord Ullin's Daughter, and several of his minor poems. In 1820 he became editor of the New Monthly Magazine, which he conducted with a spirit and
ability worthy of his reputation, for ten years, at the end of which time the death of his wife induced its abandonment. In this period he took an active interest in the causes of Greece and Poland; was three times elected Lord Rector of the University of Glasgow; discharged the duties of Professor of Poetry in the Royal Institution; and laid the foundation of the London University.
For several years before his death, Mr. CAMPBell, produced nothing of much excellence. The Pilgrim of Glencoe and other Poems, which appeared in 1842, owed all their little reputation to his name. He died at Boulougne, on the fifteenth of June, 1844, and his remains were interred in the Poet's Corner of Westminster Abbey on the third of the following month.
CAMPBell's poetry has little need of critical illustration. His chief merit is rhetorical. There is no vagueness or mysticism in his verse. The scenes and feelings he delineates are common to human beings in general, and the impressive style with which these are unfolded, owes its charm to vigour of language and forcible clearness of epithet. Many of his lines ring with a harmonious energy, and seem the offspring of the noblest enthusiasm. This is especially true of his martial lyrics, which in their way are unsurpassed. The Pleasures of Hope, his earliest work, is one of the few standard heroic poems in our language. Poetic taste has undergone many remarkable changes since it appeared, but its ardent numbers are constantly resorted to by those who love the fire of the muse as well as her more delicate tracery. Though more generally read, it is by no means equal to Gertrude of Wyoming, a Pennsylvania Tale, written in the full maturity of his powers, and characterized by remarkable taste, feeling and tenderness. Nearly all CAMPBELL’s earlier writings are popular, and although a more transcendental school of poetry is at present in vogue, admirers of felicity of expression can never fail to recognise the stamp of true genius in one who has sung in such thrilling numbers of patriotism and affection.
Besides his poems, Mr. CAMPBELL wrote A History of Great Britain from the Accession of George III. to the Peace of Amiens; Lectures on Greek Poetry; Letters from the South during a Journey to Algiers; Lives of Petrarch, Shakspeare, and Mrs. Siddons; several articles on poetry and belles lettres, in the Edinburgh Encyclopedia, and other prose writings, none of which deserved much consideration. His name appears also on the title-pages
LO CHIEL’S WARNING.
W7zard. Lochtel ! 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 country 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. 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 deathtelling 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 the bold eagle exultingly forth From his homein the darkrolling clouds of the north! Lo! the deathshot 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 eyrie, that beacons the darkness of heaven. Oh, crested Lochiel ! the peerless in might, Whose banners arise on the battlements' 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.
of a Life of Frederick the Great of Prussia, but I believe he had little to do with the work. His Specimens of the British Poets, with Biographical and Critical Notices, and an Essay on English Poetry, was published in seven volumes in 1819, and has recently been reproduced by Mr. Murray. It is a work of great value, containing much admirable criticism, and a judicious account of the poetry in the English language down to the time of Cowper.
Then welcome be Cumberland's steed to the shock!