15+ Best Thomas Campbell Poems

Thomas Campbell was a Scottish poet. He was a founder and the first President of the Clarence Club and a co-founder of the Literary Association of the Friends of Poland; he was also one of the initiators of a plan to found what became University College London.

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Famous Thomas Campbell Poems

Last Man, The

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 rested 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, floods, and earth,
The vassals of his will;–
Yet mourn not I 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
Entailed 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;
Stretched in disease’s shapes abhorred,
Or mown in battle by the sword,
Like grass beneath the scythe.

“Ee’n 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;
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
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!”

The Dirge Of Wallace

When Scotland’s great Regent, our warrior most dear,
The debt of his nature did pay,
T’ was Edward, the cruel, had reason to fear,
And cause to be struck with dismay.

At the window of Edward the raven did croak,
Though Scotland a widow became;
Each tie of true honor to Wallace he broke-
The raven croaked “Sorrow and shame!”

At Eldersie Castle no raven was heard,
But soothings of honor and truth;
His spirit inspired the soul of the bard
To comfort the Love of his youth!

They lighted the tapers at dead of night,
And chanted their holiest hymn;
But her brow and her bosom were all damp with affright,
Her eye was all sleepless and dim!

And the lady of Eldersie wept for her lord,
With a death-watch beat in her lonely room,
When her curtain shook of its own accord,
And the raven flapped at her window board
To tell of her warrior’s doom.

Now sing ye the death-song, and loudly pray
For the soul of my knight so dear!
And call me a widow, this wretched day,
Since the warning of God is here.

For a nightmare rests on my strangled sleep;
The lord of my bosom is doomed to die!
His valorous heart they have wounded deep,
And the blood-red tears his country shall weep
For Wallace of Elderslie.

Yet knew not his country, that ominous hour,
Ere the loud matin-bell was rung,
That the trumpet of death on an English tower,
The dirge of her champion sung.

When his dungeon light looked dim and red
On the high-born blood of a martyr slain,
No anthem was sung at his lowly death-bed,-
No weeping was there when his bosom bled,
And his heart was rent in twain.

When he strode o’er the wreck of each well-fought field,
With the yellow-haired chiefs of his native land;
For his lace was not shivered on helmet or shield,
And the sword that was fit for archangel to wield
Was light in his terrible hand.

Yet, bleeding and bound, though the “Wallacewight”
For his long-loved country die,,
The bugle ne’er sung to a braver night
Than William of Elderslie.

But the day of his triumphs shall never depart;
His head, unemtombed, shall with glory be palmed:
From its blood streaming altar his spirit shall start;
Though the raven has fed on his mouldering heart,
A nobler was never embalmed!

Ode To Winter

hen first the fiery-mantled sun
His heavenly race begun 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 blue-haired sire, who bade her keep
For ever nearest to his smile,
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 gown,
A ripe sheaf bound her zone.
But howling Winter fled afar,
To hills that prop the polar star,
And lives on deer-borne car to ride
With barren darkness at his side,
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 the 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?
Then, sullen Winter, hear my prayer,
And gently rule the ruined year;
Nor chill the wanders 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.-
But chiefly spare, O king of clouds!
The sailor on his airy shrouds;
When wrecks and beacons strew the steep,
And specters 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! Even unhallowed breath
May spare the victim fallen low;
But man will ask no truce of death,-
No bounds to human woe.

Ye Mariners Of England

1 Ye Mariners of England
2 That guard our native seas,
3 Whose flag has braved, a thousand years,
4 The battle and the breeze–
5 Your glorious standard launch again
6 To match another foe!
7 And sweep through the deep,
8 While the stormy winds do blow,–
9 While the battle rages loud and long,
10 And the stormy winds do blow.

11 The spirits of your fathers
12 Shall start from every wave!
13 For the deck it was their field of fame,
14 And Ocean was their grave.
15 Where Blake and mighty Nelson fell
16 Your manly hearts shall glow,
17 As ye sweep through the deep,
18 While the stormy winds do blow,–
19 While the battle rages loud and long,
20 And the stormy winds do blow.

21 Britannia needs no bulwarks,
22 No towers along the steep;
23 Her march is o’er the mountain waves,
24 Her home is on the deep.
25 With thunders from her native oak
26 She quells the floods below,
27 As they roar on the shore
28 When the stormy winds do blow,–
29 When the battle rages loud and long
30 And the stormy winds do blow.

31 The meteor flag of England
32 Shall yet terrific burn,
33 Till danger’s troubled night depart
34 And the star of peace return.
35 Then, then, ye ocean warriors!
36 Our song and feast shall flow
37 To the fame of your name,
38 When the storm has ceased to blow,–
39 When the fiery fight is heard no more,
40 And the storm has ceased to blow

The Pleasures Of Hope (Excerpt)

PART I (excerpt)

Where barbarous hordes on Scythian mountains roam,
Truth, Mercy, Freedom, yet shall find a home;
Where’er degraded Nature bleeds and pines,
From Guinea’s coast to Sibir’s dreary mines,
Truth shall pervade the unfathomed darkness there,
And light the dreadful features of despair.
Hark! the stern captive spurns his heavy load,
And asks the image back that Heaven bestowed.
Fierce in his eye the fire of valour burns,
And, as the slave departs, the man returns.

Oh! sacred Truth! thy triumph ceased awhile,
And Hope, thy sister, ceased with thee to smile,
When leagued Oppression poured to Northern wars
Her whiskered pandoors and her fierce hussars,
Waved her dread standard to the breeze of morn,
Pealed her loud drum, and twanged her trumpet horn;
Tumultuous horror brooded o’er her van,
Presaging wrath to Poland–and to man!

Warsaw’s last champion from her height surveyed
Wide o’er the fields, a waste of ruin laid;
“Oh! Heaven!” he cried, “my bleeding country save!
Is there no hand on high to shield the brave?
Yet, though destruction sweep these lovely plains,
Rise, fellow men! our country yet remains!
By that dread name we wave the sword on high,
And swear for her to live!–with her to die!”

He said, and on the rampart-heights arrayed
His trusty warriors, few but undismayed;
Firm-paced and slow, a horrid front they form,
Still as the breeze, but dreadful as the storm;
Low murmuring sounds along their banners fly,
Revenge, or death,–the watch-word and reply;
Then pealed the notes, omnipotent to charm,
And the loud tocsin tolled their last alarm!

In vain, alas! in vain, ye gallant few!
From rank to rank your volleyed thunder flew;
Oh, bloodiest picture in the book of Time,
Sarmatia fell, unwept, without a crime;
Found not a generous friend, a pitying foe,
Strength in her arms, nor mercy in her woe!
Dropped from her nerveless grasp the shattered spear,
Closed her bright eye, and curbed her high career,–
Hope, for a season, bade the world farewell,
And Freedom shrieked–as Kosciusko fell!

The sun went down, nor ceased the carnage there.
Tumultuous murder shook the midnight air;
On Prague’s proud arch the fires of ruin glow,
His blood-dyed waters murmuring far below;
The storm prevails, the rampart yields a way;
Bursts the wide cry of horror and dismay!
Hark! as the smouldering piles with thunder fall,
A thousand shrieks for hopeless mercy call!
Earth shook; red meteors flashed along the sky,
And conscious Nature shuddered at the cry!

Oh! righteous Heaven! ere Freedom found a grave,
Why slept the sword omnipotent to save?
Where was thine arm, O Vengeance! where thy rod,
That smote the foes of Zion and of God,
That crushed proud Ammon, when his iron car
Was yoked in wrath, and thundered from afar?
Where was the storm that slumbered till the host
Of blood-stained Pharaoh left their trembling coast,
Then bade the deep in wild commotion flow,
And heaved an ocean on their march below?

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 rested 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, floods, and earth,
The vassals of his will;–
Yet mourn not I 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
Entailed 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;
Stretched in disease’s shapes abhorred,
Or mown in battle by the sword,
Like grass beneath the scythe.

“Ee’n 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;
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
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!”

Glenara

O, heard ye yon pibroch sound sad in the gale,
Where a band cometh slowly with weeping and wail?
‘Tis the chief of Glenara laments for his dear;
And her sire and her people are called to her bier.

Glenara came first, with the mourners and shroud;
Her kinsmen they followed, but mourned not aloud;
Their plaids all their bosoms were folded around;
They marched all in silence, – they looked on the ground.

In silence they reached, over mountain and moor,
To a heath where the oak-tree grew lonely and hoar;
‘Now here let us place the gray stone of her cairn; –
Why speak ye no word?’ said Glenara the stern.

‘And tell me, I charge ye, ye clan of my spouse,
Why fold ye your mantles, why cloud ye your brows?’
So spake the rude chieftain; no answer is made.
But each mantle, unfolding, a dagger displayed.

‘I dreamt of my lady, I dreamt of her shroud.’
Cried a voice from the kinsmen, all wrathful and loud;
‘And empty that shroud and that coffin did seem;
Glenara! Glenara! now read me my dream!’

O, pale grew the cheek of that chieftain, I ween,
When the shroud was unclosed and no lady was seen;
When a voice from the kinsmen spoke louder in scorn, –
‘Twas the youth who had loved the fair Ellen of Lorn,

‘I dreamt of my lady, I dreamt of her grief,
I dreamt that her lord was a barbarous chief;
On a rock of the ocean fair Ellen did seem;
Glenara! Glenara! now read me my dream!’

In dust low the traitor has knelt to the ground,
And the desert revealed where his lady was found;
From a rock of the ocean that beauty is borne;
Now joy to the house of fair Ellen of Lorn.

Hope Triumphant In Death

Unfading Hope! when life’s last embers burn –
When soul to soul, and dust to dust return,
Heaven to thy charge resigns the awful hour!
Oh! then thy kingdom comes, Immortal Power!
What though each spark of earth-born rapture fly
The quivering lip, pale cheek, and closing eye!
Bright to the soul thy seraph hands convey
The morning dream of life’s eternal day –
Then, then, the triumph and the trance begin,
And all the phoenix-spirit burns within!

Oh, deep enchanting prelude to repose,
The dawn of bliss, the twilight of our woes!
Yet half I hear the parting spirit sigh,
It is a dread and awful thing to die!
Mysterious worlds, untravell’d by the sun!
Where Time’s far-wandering tide has never run,
From your unfathom’d shades, and viewless spheres,
A warning comes, unheard by other ears.
‘Tis Heaven’s commanding trumpet, long and loud,
Like Sinai’s thunder, pealing from the cloud!
While Nature hears, with terror-mingled thrust,
The shock that hurls her fabric to the dust;
With mortal terrors clouds immortal bliss,
And shrieks and hovers o’er the dark abyss!

Daughter of Faith, awake, arise, illume
The dread unknown, the chaos of the tomb!
Melt and dispel, ye spectre-doubts, that roll
Cimmerian darkness on the parting soul!
Fly, like the moon-eyed herald of dismay,
Chased, on his night-steed, by the star of day!
The strife is o’er – the pangs of Nature close,
And life’s last rapture triumphs o’er her woes.
Hark! as the spirit eyes, with eagle gaze,
The noon of heaven, undazzled by the blaze,
On heavenly winds, that waft her to the sky,
Float the sweet tones of star-born melody;
Wild as that hallow’d anthem, sent to hail
Bethlehem’s shepherds in the lonely vale,
When Jordan hush’d his waves, and midnight still
Watch’d on the holy towers of Zion hill!

Soul of the just! companion of the dead!
Where is thy home, and whither art thou fled?
Back to its heavenly source thy being goes,
Swift as the comet wheels to whence he rose;
Doom’d on his airy path awhile to burn,
And doom’d, like thee, to travel and return.
Hark! from the world’s exploding centre driven,
With sounds, that shook the firmament of heaven,
Careers the fiery giant, fast and far,
On bickering wheels, and adamantine car:
From planet whirl’d to planet more remote,
He visits realms beyond the reach of thought:
But, wheeling homeward, when his course is run,
Curbs the red yoke, and mingles with the sun!
So hath the traveller of earth unfurl’d
Her trembling wings, emerging from the world;
And, o’er the path by mortal never trod,
Sprung to her source, the bosom of her God!

To The Evening Star

Star that bringest home the bee,
And sett’st the weary labourer free!
If any star shed peace, ‘tis thou,
That send ‘st it from above,
Appearing when Heaven’s breath and brow
Are sweet as hers we love.

Come to the luxuriant skies,
Whilst the landscape’s odours rise,
Whilst far-off lowing herds are heard,
And songs when toil is done,
From cottages whose smoke unstirr’d
Curls yellow in the sun.

Star of love’s soft interviews.
Parted lovers on thee muse;
Their remembrancer in heaven
Of thrilling vows thou art,
Too delicious to be riven
By absence from the heart.

Battle Of The Baltic, The

Of Nelson and the North
Sing the glorious day’s renown,
When to battle fierce came forth
All the might of Denmark’s crown,
And her arms along the deep proudly shone;
By each gun the lighted brand
In a bold determined hand,
And the Prince of all the land
Led them on.

Like leviathans afloat
Lay their bulwarks on the brine,
While the sign of battle flew
On the lofty British line:
It was ten of April morn by the chime:
As they drifted on their path
There was silence deep as death,
And the boldest held his breath
For a time.

But the might of England flush’d
To anticipate the scene;
And her van the fleeter rush’d
O’er the deadly space between:
‘Hearts of oak!’ our captains cried, when each gun
From its adamantine lips
Spread a death-shade round the ships,
Like the hurricane eclipse
Of the sun.

Again! again! again!
And the havoc did not slack,
Till a feeble cheer the Dane
To our cheering sent us back;—
Their shots along the deep slowly boom:—
Then ceased—and all is wail,
As they strike the shatter’d sail,
Or in conflagration pale
Light the gloom.

Out spoke the victor then
As he hail’d them o’er the wave:
‘Ye are brothers! ye are men!
And we conquer but to save:—
So peace instead of death let us bring:
But yield, proud foe, thy fleet,
With the crews, at England’s feet,
And make submission meet
To our King.’…

Now joy, old England, raise!
For the tidings of thy might,
By the festal cities’ blaze,
Whilst the wine-cup shines in light!
And yet amidst that joy and uproar,
Let us think of them that sleep
Full many a fathom deep,
By thy wild and stormy steep,
Elsinore!

Benlomond

Hadst thou a genius on thy peak,
What tales, white-headed Ben,
Could’st thou of ancient ages speak,
That mock th’ historian’s pen!

Thy long duration makes our livea
Seem but so many hours;
And likens, to the bees’ frail hives,
Our most stupendous towers.

Temples and towers thou seest begun,
New creeds, new conquerers sway;
And, like their shadows in the sun,
Hast seen them swept away.

Thy steadfast summit, heaven-allied
(Unlike life’s little span),
Looks down a mentor on the pride
Of perishable man.

The Battle Of The Baltic

Of Nelson and the North
Sing the glorious day’s renown,
When to battle fierce came forth
All the might of Denmark’s crown,
And her arms along the deep proudly shone;
By each gun the lighted brand
In a bold determined hand,
And the Prince of all the land
Led them on.

Like leviathans afloat
Lay their bulwarks on the brine,
While the sign of battle flew
On the lofty British line:
It was ten of April morn by the chime:
As they drifted on their path
There was silence deep as death,
And the boldest held his breath
For a time.

But the might of England flush’d
To anticipate the scene;
And her van the fleeter rush’d
O’er the deadly space between:
‘Hearts of oak!’ our captains cried, when each gun
From its adamantine lips
Spread a death-shade round the ships,
Like the hurricane eclipse
Of the sun.

Again! again! again!
And the havoc did not slack,
Till a feeble cheer the Dane
To our cheering sent us back;—
Their shots along the deep slowly boom:—
Then ceased—and all is wail,
As they strike the shatter’d sail,
Or in conflagration pale
Light the gloom.

Out spoke the victor then
As he hail’d them o’er the wave:
‘Ye are brothers! ye are men!
And we conquer but to save:—
So peace instead of death let us bring:
But yield, proud foe, thy fleet,
With the crews, at England’s feet,
And make submission meet
To our King.’…

Now joy, old England, raise!
For the tidings of thy might,
By the festal cities’ blaze,
Whilst the wine-cup shines in light!
And yet amidst that joy and uproar,
Let us think of them that sleep
Full many a fathom deep,
By thy wild and stormy steep,
Elsinore!

To The Rainbow

Triumphal arch, that fill’st the sky
When storms prepare to part,
I ask not proud Philosophy
To teach me what thou art; –

Still seem; as to my childhood’s sight,
A midway station given
For happy spirits to alight
Betwixt the earth and heaven.

Can all that Optics teach unfold
Thy form to please me so,
As when I dreamt of gems and gold
Hid in thy radiant bow?

When Science from Creation’s face
Enchantment’s veil withdraws,
What lovely visions yield their place
To cold material laws!

And yet, fair bow, no fabling dreams,
But words of the Most High,
Have told why first thy robe of beams
Was woven in the sky.

When o’er the green, undeluged earth
Heaven’s covenant thou didst shine,
How came the world’s gray fathers forth
To watch thy sacred sign!

And when its yellow luster smiled
O’er mountains yet untrod,
Each mother held aloft her child
To bless the bow of God.

Methinks, thy jubilee to keep,
The first-made anthem rang
On earth, delivered from the deep,
And the first poet sang.

Nor ever shall the Muse’s eye
Unraptured greet thy beam;
Theme of primeval prophecy,
Be still the prophet’s theme!

The earth to thee her incense yields,
The lark thy welcome sings,
When, glittering in the freshened fields,
The snowy mushroom springs.

How glorious is thy girdle, cast
O’er mountain, tower, and town,
Or mirrored in the ocean vast,
A thousand fathoms down!

As fresh in yon horizon dark,
As young thy beauties seem,
As when the eagle from the ark
First sported in thy beam:

For, faithful to its sacred page,
Heaven still rebuilds thy span;
Nor lets the type grow pale with age,
That first spoke peace to man.

The Exile Of Erin

There came to the beach a poor Exile of Erin,
The dew on his thin robe was heavy and chill:
For his country he sign’d, when at twilight repairing
To wander alone by the wind-beaten hill.
But the day-star attracted his eye’s sad devotion,
For it rose o’er his own native isle fo the ocean,
Where once, in the fire of his youthful emotion.
He sang the bold anthem of Erin Go Bragh!

‘Sad is my fate!’- said the heart-broken stranger –
‘The wild deer and wolf to the covert can flee;
But I have no refuge from famine and danger:
A home and a country remain not to me!
Never again, in my green, sunny bowers,
Where my forefathers lived, shall I spend the sweet hours;
Or cover my harp with the wild-woven flowers,
And strike to the numbers of Erin Go Bragh!

‘Erin, my country! though sad and forsaken,
In dreams I revisit thy sea-beaten shore!
But, alas! in a far – foreign land I awaken,
And sigh for the friends who can meet me no more!
Oh! cruel fate, wilt thou never replace me
In a mansion of peace, where no perils can chase me?
Never again shall my brothers embrace me!-
They died to defend me!- or live to deplore!

‘Where is my cabin-door, fast by the wild wood?
Sisters and sire, did ye weep for its fall?
Where is the mother that looked on my childhood?
And where is the bosom-friend, dearer than all?
Ah! my sad soul, long abandoned by pleasure!
Why did it dote on a fast-fading treasure?
Tears, like the rain-drops, may fall without measure;
But rapture and beauty they cannot recall!

‘Yet – all its fond recollections suppressing –
One dying wish my lone bosom shall draw:
Erin!- an exile bequeaths thee his blessing!
Land of my forefathers!- Erin go bragh!
Buried and cold, when my heart stills her motion,
Green be thy fields, sweetest isle of the ocean!
And thy harp-striking bards sind aloud with devotion,-
ERIN MAVOURNEEN! ERIN GO BRAGH!’

Maternal Hope

Lo! at the couch where infant beauty sleeps,
Her silent watch the mournful mother keeps:
She, while the lovely babe unconscious lies,
Smiles on her slumb’ring child with pensive eyes,
And weaves a song of melancholy joy:-
‘Sleep, image of thy father! – sleep, my boy!
No ling’ring hour of sorrow shall be thine,
No sigh that rends thy father’s heart and mine.
Bright, as his manly sire, the son shall be,
In form and soul; but, ah! more blest than he!
Thy fame, thy worth, thy filial love, at last,
Shall soothe his aching heart for all the past;
With many a smile my solitude repay,
And chase the world’s ungenerous scorn away.

‘And say, when summon’d from the world and thee
I lay my head beneath the willow-tree,
And soothe may parted spirit ling’ring near?
Oh! wilt thou come at evening hour, to shed
The tears of mem’ry o’er my narrow bed;
With aching temples on thy hand reclined,
Muse on the last ‘farewell!’ I leave behind,
Breathe a deep sigh to winds that murmur low,
And think on all my love, and all my woe?’

So speaks affection, ere the infant eye
Can look regard, or brighten in reply;
But, when the cherub lip hath learn’d to claim
A mother’s ear by that endearing name, –
Soon as the playful innocent can prove
A tear of pity, or a smile of love,
Or cons his murmuring task beneath her care,
Or lisps with holy look his evening prayer,
Or gazing, mutely pensive, sits to hear
The mournful ballad warbled in his ear, –
How fondly looks admiring hope the while,
At every artless tear, and every smile!
How glows the joyous parent to descry
A guileless bosom, true to sympathy!

The Child And The Hind

Come, maids and matrons, to caress
Wiesbaden’s gentle hind;
And, smiling, deck its glossy neck
With forest flowers entwined.

‘Twas after church – on Ascension day –
When organs ceased to sound,
Wiesbaden’s people crowded gay
The deer park’s pleasant ground.

Here came a twelve years’ married pair –
And with them wander’d free
Seven sons and daughters, blooming fair,
A gladsome sight to see!

Their Wilhelm, little innocent,
The youngest of the seven,
Was beautiful as painters’ paint –
The cherubim of heaven.

By turns he gave his hand, so dear,
To parent, sister, brother,
And each, that he was safe and near,
Confided in the other.

But Wilhelm loved the field-flowers bright,
With love beyond all measure;
And cull’d them with as keen delight
As misers gather treasure.

Unnoticed, he contrived to glide
Adown a greenwood alley,
By lilies lured – that grew beside
A streamlet in the valley;

And there, where under beech and birch
The rivulet meander’d,
He stray’d, till neither shout nor search,
Could track where he had wander’d.

Still louder, with increasing dread,
They call’d his darling name:
But ’twas like speaking to the dead –
An echo only came.

Hours pass’d till evening’s beetle roams,
And blackbird’s songs begin;
Then all went back to happy homes,
Save Wilhelm’s kith and kin.

The night came on – all others slept
Their cares away till morn;
But sleepless, all night watch’d and wept
That family forlorn.

Betimes the town-crier had been sent
With loud bell up and down;
And told th’ afflicting accident
Throughout Wiesbaden’s town.

The news reach’d Nassau’s Duke – ere earth
Was gladden’d by the lark,
He sent a hundred solders forth
To ransack all his park.

But though they roused up beast and bird
From many a nest and den,
No signal of success was heard
From all the hundred men.

A second morning’s light expands,
Unfound the infant fair;
And Wilhelm’s household wring their hands,
Abandon’d to despair.

But, haply, a poor artizan
Search’d ceaselessly, till he
Found safe asleep the little one,
Beneath a birchen tree.

His hand still grasp’d a bunch of flowers;
And – true, though wondrous – near,
To sentry his reposing hours,
There stood a female deer,

Who dipp’d her horns at all that pass’d
The spot where Wilhelm lay;
Till force was had to hold her fast,
And bear the boy away.

Hail! sacred love of childhood – hail!
How sweet it is to trace
Thine instinct in Creation’s scale,
Even ‘neath the human race.

To this poor wanderer of the wild
Speech, reason were unknown –
And yet she watch’d a sleeping child,
As if it were her own!

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