Page images

We know that Mr Campbell himself, Collins, the other from Campbell him, should he perchance ever look into a self--and we know of no other third periodical publication such as ours, will name that could, without a feeling of think the above observations very ju- impropriety or incongruity, be linked dicious. He will agree with us too, in with those of the two illustrious bro. thinking, that there are good reasons

thers. why he never can again write so fine a Is not something very like this poem as his “ Pleasures.” He wrote visible in Gertrude of Wyoming ? the Pleasures, to use a Scottish phrase, That is a far better written poem than with all his birr-i. e. with all his the Pleasures of Hope. It is polished, genial and might and main. worked up, touched, and retouched, He had no fears of writing badly; for, into sweet artificial beauty. But the in the glow and animation of impas- beauty is cold and statue-like-passioned youth he was strong through sionless, formal even-simple, but inhis very ignorance. No doubt, he sipid-much moonlight glimmer thought many things exceedingly fine little sunlight glory. It scarcely susthen, which he now regards with pity tained the high character of Campbell, or disdain, in his great work; but the bard of Hope ; yet we do not think what, in mature life, can make fulland that he was pledged to greater things, complete amends for the loss of that or that the world was entitled to exaerial and mounting spirit, that, like pect greater from his hands. His ina spark, flies upwards, but, unlike a tellect was more ripened, and his taste spark, also flies downwards, in un- more judicious; but he was an older dimmed lustre, made brighter by mo- man by twelve or fourteen years, and tion? Wordsworth somewhere deplores his mind did not appear to have gained the decay and death of youthful en- as much as it had necessarily lost in thusiasm, but closes his lament with the change of time. He still “ looked the consolation drawn from " years on nature with a poet's eye,” but that that bring the philosophic mind.” eye, which had seen all that lay dazBut if years do not bring the philoso- zling on the surface, did not now seem phic mind-if, when the fervour, the imbued with a power to penetrate into ferment, the tumult, the excitation, the the life of things, into “ the beauty pride, the transport of novel existence, still more beauteous ;” and it rested be all dead and buried—the spirit with less fervent delight than long ago, feel much gone, and but little taking on the more obvious and prominent its place if the animal and constitu- charms of the creation. Gertrude of tional gladness, that brightened all the Wyoming was sweet, pretty, even visions

of boyhood into a close resem- beautiful; but she bore not the divine blance to the creations of genius, and cestus; and how far less captivating, gave to those creations themselves a with her copy of Shakespeare in her more vivid and vigorous character, die lap, than Wordsworth's Ruth, the away into the soberness and austerity true infant of the woods, and the child of manhood, while intellect, left un- of nature ! A few noble, even magaided and self-dependent, discovers nificent stanzas, occur in The Gerthat its reach is not great—and if that trude, but they are all laboriously love of fame, which the brilliant suc- written, and do not seem to us to cesses of youth had fostered and fed, form parts of a living whole. Indeed, begins to pine for triumphs, more in the entire composition is the effect of despair than hope, and gradually pre- study, not of inspiration ; beauty pare the spirit of him whom it pos- comes at last, slowly and almost resesses for fastidiousness or envy—then luctantly, at his bidding, but seldom the Man of Genius must look back

smooth-sliding without with a strange sorrow, and a depress- step,” as if impatient of a call; there ing regret, on himself, the Boy of is clearness of water, but no depth; Genius, and, listening to the echoes of the very flowers of the forest are too other years, almost hate the harp that pale and delicate; something of a has lost its strings, or his hand its cun- city character is in his sylvan solitudes, ning, “ while starting back, he knows and there is a suburban spirit, even in not why, even at the sounds himself the heart of the old woods. Than the had made” “ in life's morning march, story, nothing can be more unnatural, when his spirit was young.” Of these yet, at the same time, more common two last apt quotations, one is from place. Outalissi is like a well sup.

[ocr errors]

or never

[ocr errors]


ported Indian at a masquerade, but Herds tinkling roam'd the long-drawn not the real Logan; his talk is of to- vales between mahawks, but gives us no high idea of And hamlets glitter'd white, and gardens the oratory of savage life, which we

flourish'd green, know to be noble-he has no influence 'Twas transport to inhale the bright on the poem, and, but for his being a sweet air ! portrait, might have been away on a

The mountain-bee was revelling in its fishing or shooting excursion, without glare, detriment to plot or person. Yet still And roving with his minstrelsy across we love this poem-we suppose it is

The scented wild weeds, and enamellid very popular-suspect it would not be easy to write one so good, and have Earth’s features so harmoniously were

link'd, given it, and will give it again, this She seem'd one great glad form, with life very evening, the tribute of a tear. It

instinct, is a sweet poem.

That felt Heav'n's ardent breath, and . With all these genial but some

smiled below what subdued feelings of admiration Its Alush_of love, with consentaneous and love of Mr Campbell's poetical

glow.” character, we came to the perusal of Theodric, a Domestic Tale; and, on Is that a very beautiful descriptive the whole, we have not been so great passage, or only a good one? We canly disappointed as all the rest of the not say. Would such a passage stamp reading world. Theodric is a still a new writer, a man of poetical genifainter, dimmer, more attenuated poem

us? We cannot say. What is a Phæthan Gertrude; but still it is very,

nix like? We cannot say. Does the very pretty, very pathetic even ; there mountain-bee “ revel in the glare is much that is Campbellish about of the bright sweet air” after sunset? it, and it cannot be said, fairly and We cannot say. Are the four last lines candidly, that it does him absolute good or bad, natural or artificial, strong discredit. Yet, we did expect a bet- or inflated? We cannot say. Gentle ter poem, and if Mr Campbell were reader, judge for yourself-we are not an only son, we should have attri- somewhat sceptical. " She seemed buted Theodric to his younger bro- one great glad form, with life instinct,” ther. We should have said, “ Mr is, we fear, indifferent poetry.—But let Henry Campbell, who, we under- us proceed. stand, is many years younger than his “ A Gothic church was near; the spot celebrated brother, has written a, &c. around &c.," and we should have concluded a Was beautiful, even though sepulchral kind of complimentary article, with ground; roundly rating him for divers faults For there nor yew nor cypress spread and sundry mannerisms. But when their gloom, we view Theodric as a work by an But roses blossom'd by each rustic tomb. elderly gentleman, we cannot help Amidst them one of spotless marble looking rather grave, and, therefore, shoneshall proceed to analysis and extract. A maiden's grave--and 'twas inscribed “ 'Twas sunset, and the Ranz des thereon, Vaches were sung,

That young and loved she died whose And lights were o'er th' Helvetian moun. dust was there." tains flung,

But we now feel that it would be That gave the glacier tops their richest foolish regularly to analyze a small

glow, And tinged the lakes like molten gold poem like this—of which the story is

really good for nothing, and we supbelow. Warmth flush'd the wonted regions of pose well known. So let us give a few the storm,

of the best passages. Theodric, an Where, Phoenix-like, you saw the eagle's Austrian Colonel, visits London, and form,

during an illumination sees and falls That high in Heav'n's vermilion wheeld in love with a beautiful English girl, and soar'd.

named Constance-whom, in due time, Woods nearer frown'd, and cataracts he woes, wins, and weds.

dash'd and roar'd, From heights brouzed by the bounding

“ 'Twas a glorious sight. bouquetin ;

At eve stupendous London, clad in light,


your best

your breast. "

Pour'd out triumphant multitudes to dently, considerately, wisely, and mogaze ;

destly, says to her, at the close of a Youth, age, wealth, penury, smiling in painful eclaircisseinent,

the blaze; Th'illumined atmosphere was warm and

“ Swear that, when I am gone, you'll do bland, And Beauty's groups, the fairest of the To chase this dream of fondness from

land, Conspicuous, as in some wide festive

It is hard to tell what is natural room,

and what is unnatural, what is deli. In open chariots pass'd with pearl and

cate and what is indelicate, what is plume.

pathetic and what is ridiculous, in the Amidst them he remark'd a lovelier mien Than e'er his thoughts had shaped, or

delineation of so very complex, shifteyes had seen :

ing, various, and anomalous a passion The throng detain’d her till he rein'd his speak authoritatively-to lay down the

as Love. Therefore we pretend not to steed, And, ere the beauty pass'd, had time to

law-or to decide in that great Court read

of Chancery. Young girls form wild The motto and the arms her carriage and in good earnest die, and are bu

and romantic attachments-pineaway, bore. Led by that clew, he left not England's ried, for apparently very insufficient shore

reasons, and on the most unsatisfactory Till he had known ber: and to know her grounds. This being admitted, Mr well

Campbell is perhaps entitled to avail Prolong'd, exalted, bound, enchantment's himself of any such historical fact, and spell;

make the most of it. But the situaFor with affections warm, intense, ré

tion he has chosen to place poor Julia fined,

in, is, to say the least of it, extremely She mix'd such calm and holy strength painful, nay, it is degrading to the

, of mind,

dignity of the sex. Had a woman writThat, like Heav'n's image in the smiling ten so, we could have sympathised brook,

with the victim, and would have beCelestial peace was pictured in her look. lieved anything she happened to say Hers was the brow, in trials unperplex'd, on the subject. But a man That cheer'd the sad, and tranquillized sad want of gallantry in telling the the vex'd :

whole reading-public, that he knew She studied not the meanest to eclipse,

a Colonel in the Austrian service, with And yet the wisest listen'd to her lips;

whom a beautiful Swiss maiden fell She sang not, knew not Music's magic skill,

desperately in love—that the Colonel But yet her voice had tones that sway'd kindest consideration-read her a most

took the poor creature's passion into the the will. He sought-be won her--and resolved to

affectionate and yet firm lecture, on the make

imprudence and impropriety of giving His future home in England for her

way to such emotions in favour of his sake."

too-killing person-and, finally, reBefore marrying Constance, how quested her brother to row him across ever, Theodric returns to “ Cæsar's

a lake, that he might be off to Vienna. Court," on matters of concern;" Several pages of the poem are here and, on his way thither, he visits quite despicable,—that is the factUdolph, a young Swiss Cornet, who, and far inferior in sentiment and exunder him, had ® borne an Austrian pression to the general run of verses banner on the Rhine.” Udolph's sis in the Lady's Magazine, or La Belle ter, who does not know that Theodric Assemblè. “is engaged,” falls in love with him, or

Theodric returns to London, mar. rather has a romantic affection, which ries Constance, and is happy. she had received for her brother's de- “ To paint that being to a grovelling liverer from the sight of a miniature- mind picture of that handsome hero, fannid Were like pourtraying pictures to the into the flame of passion by his living blind. breath. Theodric sees with grief the 'Twas needful ev'n infectiously to feel deep impression he has made on her Her temper's fond and firm and gladsome too susceptible heart—and very pru

Zeal, VOL. XVII.


hews a


To share existence with her, and to gain “That winter's eve bow darkly Na-
Sparks from her'love's electrifying chain, ture's brow
Of that pure pride, which less'ning to her ScowPd on the scenes it lights so lovely

now! Life's ills, gave all its joys a treble zest, The tempest, raging o'er the realms of Before tle mind completely understood ice, That mighty truth-how happy are the Shook fragments from the rifted precipice; good !"

And whilst their falling echoed to the

wind, Rather heavy-comewhat dull, my The wolf's long howl in dismal discord dear Campbell, is the above ; but it join'd, cannot be helped now-so let it pass. While white yon water's foam was raised Theodric and Constance are so hap

in clouds py in their wedded being, that Mr That whirl'd like spirits wailing in their Campbell, whose intention it is to shrouds : make out“ a tale of tears, a mournful Without was Nature's elemental dinstory,” finds considerable difficulty in And beauty died, and friendship wept, destroying their connubial bliss; and, in

within ! lack of expedients, falls upon one of the

“ Sweet Julia, though her fate was

finish'd half, most prosaic curses that ever afflicted a new-married pair, in a house of their Still knew him-smiled on him with own, with a door to the street, and a

feeble laughbrass knocker. The mother and sis

And blest him, till she drew her latest ters of Constance (all save one conge


But lo! while UDOLPH's bursts of agony, nial sister) are a set of vixens, full of

And age's tremulous wailings, round him strife and gall-arrant mischief-makers—greedy gossips-plain-featured,

What accents pierced him deeper yet hard-favoured, mean, and malignant.

than those ! In short, Theodric has married into

'Twas tidings, by his English messenger, a most disgusting family. These vul

Of CONSTANCE-brief and terrible they gar she-devils almost succeed in making the young people quarrel, and She still was living when the page set out much base and low scheming goes on, From home, but whether now, was left the details of which sorely puzzled our in doubt. organ of causality. Meantime Theo- Poor JULIA! saw he then thy death's dric is about to be called out once relielmore on active service ; and, on being Stunn'd into stupor more than wrung credibly told so by Mr Campbell

with grief? himself, we could not but pity Con- It was not strange; for in the buman stance, destined to widowhood “ for breast one campaign,” and a widowhood like. Two master-passions cannot co-exist, ly to be worried by weasels. Udolph, And that alarm which now usurp'd bis the standard-bearer, arrives at this

brain crisis, telling Theodric that poor Julia

Shut out not only peace, but other pain. is dying, broken-hearted, and the vic

'Twas fancying CONSTANCE underneath tim of her miserable passion; and that

the shroud her beseeching prayer is to see Theo

That cover'd JULIA, made him first weep dric, but for an hour, at her death

loud, bed. Theodric breaks the matter to

And tear himself away from them that Constance, who, with many tears and


Fast hurrying homeward, night nor day be forebodings, gives him permission to see her innocent, distant, and dying. Till, launch'd at sea, he dreamt that his

slept, rival. The scene now changes to Swit

soul's saint zerland; and here Mr Campbell is Clung to him on a bridge of ice, pale, himself again, or nearly so. The fol

faint, lowing passage is far from being fault

O'er cataracts of blood. Awake, he less, indeed is very faulty, and through- bless'd out wants ease and flow; but it is very The shore ; nor hope left utterly his good, although our kindness for the breast, distinguished writer makes us like it, Till reuching home, terrific omen! there perhaps, better than it deserves. The straw-laid street preluded his de



[ocr errors]

The servant's look the table that re- No! imaged in the sanctuary of your veal'd

breast, His letter sent to CONSTANCE last, still There let me smile, amidst high thoughts seal’d,

at rest Though speech and hearing left him, told And let contentment on your spirit too clear

shire, That he had now to suffer not to fear. As if its peace were still a part of mine : He felt as if he ne'er should cease to feel For if you war not proudly with your A wretch live broken on misfortune's pain, wheel :

For you I shall have worse than lived in Her death's cause he might make his vain. peace with Heaven,

But I conjure your manliness to bear Absolved from guilt, but never self-for. My loss with noble spirit-not despair : given.”

I ask you by our love to promise this,

And kiss these words, where I have left Constance, it appears, agitated by a kiss, some undefined jealousy, and teazed The latest from my living lips for yours." and tormented by her mother and sisters, had sunk into a gallopping con

We have said, we believe, somesumption. Would to Heaven Mr where in this hasty, but hearty artiCampbell had thought of some other cle, that we are critics ; but we really cause of her malady! Her farewell is have no wish to prefer any especial very much in the spirit of Gertrude's claim to that character. Critics, howfarewell to her husband ; not inferior,

ever, or no critics, we may be permitand beautifully pathetic.

ted to say a very few words on the me

rits of Theodric, a Domestic Tale. “ THEODRIC, this is destiny above

We cannot help expressing our exOur power to baffle ; bear it then, my

treme surprise, that a man so highly love!

gifted as Mr Campbell, could have Rave not to learn the usage I have borne,

contemplated pure affection breathFor one true sister left me not forlorn; ing household laws;" that is to say, And though you're absent in another could have surveyed domestic life, its · land,

relations and events, and, after all, Sent from me by my own well-meant shewn himself unable to invent any command,

more interesting and impressive exYour soul, I know, as firm is knit to emplification of them, than what is mine

exhibited in this pretty but insignifiAs these clasp'd bands in blessing you cant poem. There actually seems somenow join :

thing here too like a barrenness, not of Shape not imagined horrors in my fate

invention only, but absolutely of feelEv'n now my sufferings are not very


his mind takes no hold either of great ;

the more stirring, or the more still And when your grief's first transports

humanities; and if human life can shall subside,

present to the imagination and heart I call upon your strength of soul and

of a true poet nothing better than this, pride

the sooner we complete our journey To pay my memory, if 'tis worth the between Dan and Beersheba the betdebt,

ter ; nor does the invention of printing Love's glorying tribute—not forlorn re

seem one likely to be turned to much gret: I charge my name with power to conjure has evidently been pathos, but all the

more account. Mr Campbell's object up Reflection's balmy, not its bitter cup.

suffering is provoking rather than afMy pard’ning angel, at the gates of Hea- fecting; sorrow assails man and woman

from mere misunderstanding, and an ven, Shall look not more regard than you have unlucky game of cross purposes ; nogiven

body is to blame, and everybody is To me; and our life's union has been punished ; most excellent people are clad

brought together by mere accident, and In smiles of bliss as sweet as life e'er had. immediately set about marring each Shall gloom be from such bright remem- other's happiness; the tide never brance cast ?

suits; the time is either half an hour Shall bitterness' outflow from sweetness too soon or too late ; a sort of small fapast?

tality attends each petty movement of


« PreviousContinue »