Thomas Campbell.

The poetical works of Thomas Campbell : with memoir, explanatory notes & c online

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Nor waken flesh, upon the rack



1 52 THE LAST MAN.

Of pain anew to writhe ;
Stretched in disease's shapes abhorred,
Or mown in battle by the sword,

Like grass beneath the scythe.

" E'en I am weary in yon skies

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

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

To see thou shalt not boast.
The eclipse of Nature spreads my pall,
The majesty of Darkness shall

Receive my parting ghost !

" This spirit shall return to Him

That gave its heavenly spark j
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 recalled to breath,
Who captive led captivity,
Who robbed the grave of Victory,

And took the sting from Death !

" Go, Sun, while Mercy holds me up
On Nature's awful waste



THE LAST MAN. 153

To drink this last and bitter cup

Of grief that man shall taste
Go, tell the night that hides thy face,
Thou saVst 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 1"



154



VALEDICTORY STANZAS

To J. P. KEMBLE, ESQ.

COMPOSED FOR A PUBLIC MEETING,

Held June, 1817.



of the British stage,
A long and last adieu !
Whose image brought the heroic age

Revived to Fancy's view.
Like fields refreshed with dewy light

When the sun smiles his last,
Thy parting presence makes more bright

Our memory of the past ;
And memory conjures feelings up

That wine or music need not swell,
As high we lift the festal cup

To Kemble fare thee well 1

His was the spell o'er hearts
Which only Acting lends,

The youngest of the sister Arts,
Where all their beauty blends :



VALEDICTORY STANZAS. 155

For ill can Poetry express

Full many a tone of thought sublime,
And Painting, mute and motionless,

Steals but a glance of time.
But by the mighty actor brought,

Illusion's perfect triumphs come,
Verse ceases to be airy thought,

And Sculpture to be dumb.



Time may again revive,

But ne'er eclipse the charm,
When Cato spoke in him alive,

Or Hotspur kindled warm.
What soul was not resigned entire

To the deep sorrows of the Moor,
What English heart was not on fire

With him at Agincourt ?
And yet a Majesty possessed

His transport's most impetuous tone,
And to each passion of his breast

The Graces gave their zone.

High were the task too high,
Ye conscious bosoms here !
In words to paint your memory

Of Kemble and of Lear ;
But who forgets that white discrowned head,

Those bursts of Reason's half-extinguished glare



156 VALEDICTORY STANZAS

Those tears upon Cordelia's bosom shed,
In doubt more touching than despair,
If 'twas reality he felt ?

Had Shakespeare's self amidst you been,
Friends, he had seen you melt,
And triumphed to have seen I

And there was many an hour

Of blended kindred fame,
When Siddons's auxiliar power

And sister magic came.
Together at the Muse's side

The tragic paragons had grown
They were the children of her pride,

The columns of her throne,
And undivided favour ran

From heart to heart in their applause,
Save for the gallantry of man,

In lovelier woman's cause.

Fair as some classic dome,

Robust and richly graced,
Your Kemble's spirit was the home

Of genius and of taste :
Taste like the silent dial's power,

That when supernal light is given,
Can measure inspiration's hour,

And tell its height in Heaven.



TO J. P. KEMBLE, ESQ. 157

At once ennobled and correct,

His mind surveyed the tragic page,
And what the actor could effect,

The scholar could presage.

These were his traits of worth :

And must we lose them now !
And shall the scene no more show forth

His sternly pleasing brow !
Alas, the moral brings a tear !

'Tis all a transient hour below ;
And we that would detain thee here,

Ourselves as fleetly go !
Yet shall our latest age

This parting scene review :
Pride of the British stage,

A long and last adieu 1



i 5 8



A DREAM.



"\1TELL may sleep present us fictions,
Since our waking moments teem
With such fanciful convictions

As make life itself a dream.
Half our daylight faith 's a fable;

Sleep disports with shadows too,
Seeming in their turn as stable

As the world we wake to view.
Ne'er by day did Reason's mint
Give my thoughts a clearer print
Of assured reality,
Than was left by Phantasy,
Stamped and coloured on my sprite,
In a dream of yesternight

In a bark, methought, lone steering,
I was cast on Ocean's strife ;

This, 'twas whispered in my hearing,
Meant the sea of life.

Sad regrets from past existence

Came, like gales of chilling breath ;



A DREAM. 159



Shadowed in the forward distance

Lay the land of Death.
Now seeming more, now less remote,
On that dim-seen shore, methought,
I beheld two hands a space
Slow unshroud a spectre's face ;
And my flesh's hair upstood,
'Twas mine own similitude.

But my soul revived at seeing

Ocean like an emerald spark,
Kindle, while an air-dropt being

Smiling steered my bark.
Heaven-like yet he looked as human

As supernal beauty can,
More compassionate than woman,

Lordly more than man.
And as some sweet clarion's breath
Stirs the soldier's scorn of death
So his accents bade me brook
The spectre's eyes of icy look,
Till it shut them turned its head,
Like a beaten foe, and fled.

" Types not this," I said, " fair spirit !
That my death-hour is not come ?
Say, what days shall I inherit 1
Tell my soul their sum."



160 A DREAM.

" No," he said, "yon phantom's aspect,
Trust me, would appal thee worse,
Held in clearly measured prospect :

Ask not for a curse !
Make not, for I overhear
Thine unspoken thoughts as clear
As thy mortal ear could catch
The close-brought tickings of a watch-^
Make not the untold request
That 's now revolving in thy breast

" 'Tis to live again, remeasuring

Youth's years, like a scene rehearsed,
In thy second life-time treasuring

Knowledge from the first.
Hast thou felt, poor self-deceiver !

Life's career so void of pain,
As to wish its fitful fever

New begun again ?
Could experience, ten times thine,
Pain from Being disentwine
Threads by Fate together spun ?
Could thy flight Heaven's lightning shun ?
No, nor could thy foresight's glance
'Scape the myriad shafts of Chance.

" Would'st thou bear again Love's trouble
Friendship's death-dissevered ties ;



A DREAM. 161

Toil to grasp or miss the bubble

Of Ambition's prize ?
Say thy life's new guided action

Flowed from Virtue's fairest springs
Still would Envy and Detraction

Double not their stings 1
Worth itself is but a charter
To be mankind's distinguished martyr."
I caught the moral, and cried, " Hail 1
Spirit ! let us onward sail,
Envying, fearing, hating none t
Guardian Spirit, steer me on 1"



M



1 62



LINES

WRITTEN AT THE REQUEST OF THE HIGHLAND SOCIETY IN
LONDON, WHEN MET TO COMMEMORATE THE 2 1ST OF
MARCH, THE DAY OF VICTORY IN EGYPT.



T) LEDGE to the much-loved land that gave us birth !

Invincible romantic Scotia's shore !
Pledge to the memory of her parted worth !
And first, amidst the brave, remember Moore !

And be it deemed not wrong that name to give,
In festive hours, which prompts the patriot's sigh !

Who would not envy such as Moore to live ?
And died he not as heroes wish to die ?

Yes, though too soon attaining glory's goal,
To us his bright career too short was given ;

Yet in a mighty cause his phoenix soul
Rose on the flames of victory to Heaven !

How oft (if beats in subjugated Spain
One patriot heart) in secret shall it mourn

For him ! How oft on far Corunna's plain
Shall British exiles weep upon his urn !



LLVES FOR THE HIGHLAND SOCIETY. 163

Peace to the mighty dead ! our bosom thanks
In sprightlier strains the living may inspire !

Joy to the chiefs that lead old Scotia's ranks,
Of Roman garb and more than Roman fire !

Triumphant be the thistle still unfurled,

Dear symbol wild ! on Freedom's hills it grows,

Where Fingal stemmed the tyrants of the world,
And Roman eagles found unconquered foes.

Joy to the band 1 this day on Egypt's coast,
Whose valour tamed proud France's tricolor,

And wrenched the banner from her bravest host,
Baptised Invincible in Austria's gore !

Joy for the day on red Vimeira's strand,

When, bayonet to bayonet opposed,
First of Britannia's host her Highland band

Gave but the death-shot once, and foremost closed !

Is there a son of generous England here

Or fervid Erin 1 he with us shall join,
To pray that in eternal union dear,

The rose, the shamrock, and the thistle twine !

Types of a race who shall the invader scorn,
As rocks resist the billows round their shore ;

Types of a race who shall to time unborn
Their country leave unconquered as of yore !

1 The 42nd Regiment.



164



STANZAS



TO THE MEMORY OF THE SPANISH PATRIOTS LATEST KILLED IN
RESISTING THE REGENCY AND THE DUKE OF ANGOULEME.



"D RAVE men who at the Trocadero fell

Beside your cannons conquered not, though slain,
There is a victory in dying well
For Freedom, and ye have not died in vain ;
For come what may, there shall be hearts in Spain
To honour, ay embrace your martyred lot,
Cursing the Bigot's and the Bourbon's chain,
And looking on your graves, though trophied not,
As holier, hallowed ground than priests could make the spot

What though your cause be baffled freemen cast

In dungeons dragged to death, or forced to flee ;

Hope is not withered in affliction's blast

The patriot's blood 's the seed of Freedom's tree ;

And short your orgies of revenge shall be,

Cowled Demons of the Inquisitorial cell !

Earth shudders at your victory, for ye

Are worse than common fiends from Heaven that fell,

The baser, ranker sprung, Autochthones of Hell !



STANZAS TO THE SPANISH PATRIOTS. i6s

Go to your bloody rites again bring back

The hall of horrors and the assessor's pen,

Recording answers shrieked upon the rack ;

Smile o'er the gaspings of spine-broken men ;

Preach, perpetrate damnation in your den ;

Then let your altars, ye blasphemers ! peal

With thanks to Heaven, that let you loose again,

To practise deeds with torturing fire and steel

No eye may search no tongue may challenge or reveal !

Yet laugh not in your carnival of crime

Too proudly, ye oppressors ! Spain was free,

Her soil has felt the foot-prints, and her clime

Been winnowed by the wings of Liberty ;

And these even parting scatter as they flee

Thoughts influences, to live in hearts unborn,

Opinions that shall wrench the prison-key

From Persecution show her mask off-torn,

And tramp her bloated head beneath the foot of Scorn.

Glory to them that die in this great cause !
Kings, Bigots, can inflict no brand of shame,
Or shape of death, to shroud them from applause :
No ! manglers of the martyr's earthly frame !
Your hangmen fingers cannot touch his fame.
Still in your prostrate land there shall be some
Proud hearts, the shrines of Freedom's vestal flame.
Long trains of ill may pass unheeded, dumb,
But vengeance is behind., and justice is to come.



i66



SONG OF THE GREEKS.



A GAIN to the battle, Achaians !

Our hearts bid the tyrants defiance ;
Our land, the first garden of Liberty's tree
It has been, and shall yet be the land of the free :
For the cross of our faith is replanted,
The pale dying crescent is daunted,
And we march that the foot-prints of Mahomet's slaves
May be washed out in blood from our forefathers' gra\ i
Their spirits are hovering o'er us,
And the sword shall to glory restore us.

Ah ! what though no succour advances,

Nor Christendom's chivalrous lances

Are stretched in our aid be the combat our own !

And we'll perish or conquer more proudly alone;

For we've sworn by our Country's assaulters,

By the virgins they've dragged from our altars,

By our massacred patriots, our children in chains,

By our heroes of old and their blood in our veins,

That living, we shall be victorious,

Or that dying, our deaths shall be glorious.



SONG OF THE GREEKS. 167

A breath of submission we breathe not ;

The sword that we've drawn we will sheathe not !

Its scabbard is left where our martyrs are laid,

And the vengeance of ages has whetted its blade.

Earth may hide waves engulph fire consume us,

But they shall not to slavery doom us :

If they rule, it shall be o'er our ashes and graves ;

But we've smote them already with fire on the waves,

And new triumphs on land are before us,

To the charge ! Heaven's banner is o'er us.

This day shall ye blush for its story,

Or brighten your lives with its glory.

Our women, oh, say, shall they shriek in despair,

Or embrace us from conquest with wreaths in their hair ?

Accursed may his memory blacken,

If a coward there be that would slacken

Till we've trampled the turban and shown ourselves worth

Being sprung from and named for the godlike of earth.

Strike home, and the world shall revere us

As heroes descended from heroes.

Old Greece lightens up with emotion

Her inlands, her isles of the Ocean ;

Fanes rebuilt and fair towns shall with jubilee ring,

And the Nine shall new-hallow their Helicon's spring :

Our hearths shall be kindled in gladness,

That were cold and extinguished in sadness ;



1 68 TRAFALGAR.

Whilst our maidens shall dance with their white-waving

arms,

Singing joy to the brave that delivered their charms,
When the blood of yon Mussulman cravens
Shall have purpled the beaks of our ravens.



TRAFALGAR.



T \ 7"HEN Frenchmen saw, with coward art,

The assassin shot of war
That pierced Britannia's noblest heart,
And quenched her brightest star,

Their shout was heard they triumphed now

Amid'st the battle's roar,
And thought the British oak would bow

Since Nelson was no more.

But fiercer flamed Old England's pride,
And mark the vengeance due

" Down, down, insulting ship," she cried ;
" To death with all thy crew !

" So perish ye for Nelson's blood

If deaths like thine can pay
For blood so brave, or ocean wave

Can wash that crime away 1"



169



ODE TO WINTER.



TIT" HEN first the fiery-mantled sun

His heavenly race began to run ;
Round the earth and ocean blue,
His children four the Seasons flew.
First, in green apparel dancing,

The young Spring smiled with angel grace ;
Rosy Summer next advancing,

Rushed into her sire's embrace :
Her bright-haired sire, who bade her keep

For ever nearest to his smiles,
On Calpe's olive-shaded steep,

On India's citron-covered isles :
More remote and buxom-brown,

The Queen of vintage bowed before his throne ;
A rich pomegranate gemmed her crown,

A ripe sheaf bound her zone.

But howling Winter fled afar,
To hills that prop the polar star,
And loves on deer-borne car to ride,
With barren darkness by his side,



1 70 ODE TO WINTER.

Round the shore where loud Lofoden

Whirls to death the roaring whale,
Round the hall where Runic Odin

Howls his war-song to the gale ;
Save when adown the ravaged globe
He travels on his native storm,
Deflowering Nature's grassy robe,

And trampling on her faded form :
Till light's returning lord assume

The shaft that drives him to his polar field,
Of power to pierce his raven plume

And crystal-covered shield.

Oh, sire of storms ! whose savage ear
The Lapland drum delights to hear,
When frenzy with her blood-shot eye
Implores thy dreadful deity,
- Archangel ! power of desolation !

Fast descending as thou art,
Say, hath mortal invocation

Spells to touch thy -stony heart 1
Then, sullen Winter, hear my prayer,
And gently rule the ruined year ;
Nor chill the wanderer's bosom bare,
Nor freeze the wretch's falling tear ;
To shuddering Want's unmantled bed
Thy horror-breathing agues cease to lead,
And gently on the orphan head
Of innocence descend



ODE TO WINTER. 171

But chiefly spare, O, king of clouds !
The sailor on his airy shrouds ;
When wrecks and beacons strew the steep,
And spectres walk along the deep.
Milder yet thy snowy breezes

Pour on yonder tented shores,
Where the Rhine's broad billow freezes,

Or the dark-brown Danube roars.
Oh, winds of Winter ! list ye there

To many a deep and dying groan ;
Or start, ye demons of the midnight air,

At shrieks and thunders louder than your own.
Alas ! e'en your unhallowed breath

May spare the victim fallen low ;
But man will ask no truce to death,

No bounds to human woe. 1



1 This ode was written in Germany. * *tie close of 1800, before the con-
elision of hostilities.



172



LINES

SPOKEN BY MR. * * * , AT DRURY-LANE THEATRE,

ON THE FIRST OPENING OF THE HOUSE

AFTER THE DEATH OF THE PRINCESS CHARLOTTE,

1817.



T) RITONS ! although our task is but to show

The scenes and passions of fictitious woe,
Think not we come this night without a part
In that deep sorrow of the public heart,
Which like a shade hath darkened every place,
And moistened with a tear the manliest face !
The bell is scarcely hushed in Windsor's piles,
That tolled a requiem from the solemn aisles,
For her, the royal flower, low laid in dust,
That was your fairest hope, your fondest trust.
Unconscious of the doom, we dreamt, alas !
That e'en these walls, ere many months should pass,
Which but return sad accents for her now,
Perhaps had witnessed her benignant brow,
Cheered by the voice you would have raised on high,
In bursts of British love and loyalty.



LINES SPOKEN AT DRURY LANE. 173

But, Britain ! now thy chief, thy people mourn,
And Claremont's home of love is left forlorn :
There, where the happiest of the happy dwelt,
The 'scutcheon glooms, and royalty hath felt
A wound that every bosom feels its own,
The blessing of a father's heart o'erthrown
TRe most beloved and most devoted bride
Torn from an agonized husband's side,
Who " long as Memory holds her seat " shall view
That speechless, more than spoken last adieu,
When the fixed eye long looked connubial faith,
And beamed affection in the trance of death.
Sad was the pomp that yesternight beheld,
As with the mourner's heart the anthem swell e 1 ;
While torch succeeding torch illumed each high
And bannered arch of England's chivalry.
The rich plumed canopy, the gorgeous pall,
The sacred march, and sable-vested wall,
These were not rites of inexpressive show,
But hallowed as the types of real woe !
Daughter of England ! for a nation's sighs,
A nation's heart went with thine obsequies !
And oft shall time revert a look of grief
On thine existence, beautiful and brief.
Fair spirit ! send thy blessing from above
On realms where thou art canonised by love !
Give to a father's, husband's bleeding mind,
The peace that angels lend to human kind ;
To us who in thy loved remembrance feel



174 LINES SPOKEN AT DRURY LANE.

A sorrowing, but a soul-ennobling zeal
A loyalty that touches all the best
And loftiest principles of England's breast !
Still may thy name speak concord from the tomb-
Still in the Muse's breath thy memory bloom !
They shall describe thy life thy form portray ;
But all the love that mourns thee swept away,
'Tis not in language or expressive arts
To paint yet feel it, Britons, in your hearts 1



LINES

ON THE

GRAVE OF A SUICIDE,



T) Y strangers left upon a lonely shore,

Unknown, unhonoured, was the friendless dead,
For child to weep, or widow to deplore,

There never came to his unburied head :

All from his dreary habitation fled.
Nor will the lanterned fisherman at eve

Launch on that water by the witches' tower,
Where hellebore and hemlock seem to weave

Round its dark vaults a melancholy bower,

For spirits of the dead at night's enchanted hour.
They dread to meet thee. poor unfortunate !

Whose crime it was, on life's unfinished road
To feel the stepdame buffetings of fate,

And render back thy being's heavy load.

Ah ! once, perhaps, the social passions glowed
In thy devoted bosom and the hand

That smote its kindred heart, might yet be prone
To deeds of mercy. Who may understand

Thy many woes, poor suicide, unknown?

He who thy being gave shall judge of thee alone.



THE TURKISH LADY.



"TTWAS the hour when rites unholy

Called each Paynim voice to prayer,
And the star that faded slowly
Left to dews the freshened air.

Day her sultry fires had wasted,

Calm and sweet the moonlight rose j

E'en a captive spirit tasted
Half oblivion of his woes.

Then 'twas from an Emir's palace
Came an Eastern lady bright :

She, in spite of tyrants jealous,
Saw and loved an English knight

" Tell me, captive, why in anguish

Foes have dragged thee here to dwell,
Where poor Christians as they languish
Hear no sound of Sabbath bell 2 "

" 'Twas on Transylvania's Bannat,
When the Crescent shone afar,
Like a pale disastrous planet
O'er the purple tide of war



THE TURKISH LADY. 177

" In that day of desolation,

Lady, I was captive made ;
Bleeding for my Christian nation
By the walls of high Belgrade."

" Captive ! could the brightest jewel

From my turban set thee free?"
" Lady, no ! the gift were cruel,

Ransomed, yet if reft of thee.

" Say, fair princess ! would it grieve thee

Christian climes should we behold 1"
" Nay, bold knight ! I would not leave thee

Were thy ransom paid in gold 1"

Now in heaven's blue expansion

Rose the midnight star to view,
When to quit her father's mansion

Thrice she wept, and bade adieu !

" Fly we then, while none discover !
Tyrant barks, in vain ye ride !"
Soon at Rhodes the British lover
Clasped his blooming Eastern bride.



'78



THE WOUNDED HUSSAR.



A LONE to the banks of the dark-rolling Danube

Fair Adelaide hied when the battle was o'er :
" Oh, whither," she cried, " hast thou wandered, my lover ?
Or here dost thou welter and bleed on the shore ?



" What voice did I hear ] 'twas my Henry that sighed !"
All mournful she hastened, nor wandered she far,

When bleeding, and low, on the heath she descried,
By the light of the moon, her poor wounded Hussar 1

From his bosom that heaved, the last torrent was streaming,
And pale was his visage, deep marked with a scar !

And dim was that eye, once expressively beaming,
That melted in love, and that kindled in war !

How smit was poor Adelaide's heart at the sight !

How bitter she wept o'er the victim of war !
" Hast thou come, my fond Love, this last sorrowful night,

To cheer the lone heart of your wounded Hussar T'

" Thou shall live," she replied, " Heaven's mercy relieving
Each anguishing wound, shall forbid me to mourn !"



THE WOUNDED HUSSAR. 179

" Ah, no ! the last pang of my bosom is heaving !
No light of the morn shall to Henry return !

" Thou charmer of life, ever tender and true !

Ye babes of my love, that await me afar !"
His faltering tongue scarce could murmur adieu,

When he sunk in her arms the poor wounded Hussar !



i8o



LINES

INSCRIBED ON THE MONUMENT

LATELY FINISHED BY MR. CHANTREY, WHICH HAS BEEN ERECTED
BY THE WIDOW OP

ADMIRAL SIR G. CAMPBELL, K.C.B.,

TO THE MEMORY OF HER HUSBAND.



nrO him, whose loyal, brave, and gentle heart,

Fulfilled the hero's and the patriot's part,
Whose charity, like that which Paul enjoined,
Was warm, beneficent, and unconfined,
This stone is reared : to public duty true,
The seaman's friend, the father of his crew
Mild in reproof, sagacious in command,
He spread fraternal zeal throughout his band,
And led each arm to act, each heart to feel,
What British valour owes to Britain's weal.
These were his public virtues : but to trace
His private life's fair purity and grace,
To paint the traits that drew affection strong
From friends, an ample and an ardent throng,



LINES INSCRIBED ON A MONUMENT. 181

And, more, to speak his memory's grateful claim
On her who mourns him most, and bears his name
O'ercomes the trembling hand of widowed grief,
O'ercomes the heart, unconscious of relief,
Save in religion's high and holy trust,
Whilst placing their memorial o'er his dust.



182



THE BRAVE ROLAND. 1



HPHE brave Roland ! the brave Roland !
False tidings reached the Rhenish strand

That he had fallen in fight;
And thy faithful, bosom swooned with pain,
O loveliest maiden of Alle'mayne !

For the loss of thine own true knight.

But why so rash has she ta'en the veil,
In yon Nonnenwerder's cloisters pale 7

For her vow had scarce been sworn,
And the fatal mantle o'er her flung,
When the Drachenfells to a trumpet rung

'Twas her own dear warrior's horn !

Woe ! woe ! each heart shall bleed shall break !
She would have hung upon his neck,
Had he come but yester-even ;

1 The tradition which forms the substance of these stanzas is still preserved


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