George Frederick Cameron
Biography of George Frederick Cameron
George Frederick Cameron ( 24 Sept. 1854 – 17 Sept. 1885) was a Canadian poet, lawyer, and journalist, best known for the libretto for the operetta Leo, the Royal Cadet. He was born 24 Sept. 1854 in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia. His parents were James Grant Cameron and Jessie Sutherland. He was educated in New Glasgow.
He moved to Boston in April 1869. He graduated from the Boston University School of Law in 1877. He worked for the law firm Dean, Butler and Abbot of Boston from 1877-1882. He contributed poetry to Boston periodicals, including the Courier and the Transcript. In fall 1882 he enrolled in Queen’s College in Kingston, Ontario where he won a poetry prize in 1883 for “Adelphi.” He was a member of the Confederation Poets who had a distinctive Canadian poetic style. He married Ella Amey on 22 Aug. 1883. He was the editor of the Daily News in Kingston, Ontario from March 1883 until his death of heart failure on 17 September 1885 at Millhaven, Ontario. The couple had had one daughter, Jessie Cameron Alison.
George Frederick Cameron was a war poet since he was a poet writing in time of and on the subject of the Anglo-Zulu War. He wrote Leo, the Royal Cadet. The latter achieved over 1,700 performances between its premiere in 1889 and 1925 and has recently been revived in a revised version. In 1887 his brother, Charles L. Cameron, edited and published a selection of Cameron's poems under the title Lyrics on freedom, love and death (Kingston, 1887).
George Frederick Cameron's Works:
George Frederick Cameron (Libretto) and Oscar Ferdinand Telgmann 'An entirely new and original military opera in four acts, entitled: Leo, the Royal Cadet Kingston, 1889,
Ho! Ho! My Airy Fairy Maid, Ho! Ho! My Pretty Maid, I met him in the far away from Opera and Operetta Excerpts Composer: Oscar Ferdinand Telgmann
Words: George Frederick Cameron
Farewell, O Fragrant Pumpkin Pie from Leo, the Royal Cadet Composer: Oscar Ferdinand Telgmann Words: George Frederick Cameron
Our Premier [music] / words by George Frederick Cameron ; music by Oscar Telgmann Kingston, Ont. : C.J. Cameron, c 1885 in honour of John A. Macdonald
George Frederick Cameron Lyrics on freedom, love and death, ed. C. J. Cameron (Kingston, Ont., and Boston, 1887; repr. Toronto and Buffalo, N.Y., 1973), and in Later Canadian poems, ed. J. E. Wetherell (Toronto, 1893)
George Frederick Cameron; in Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908). A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895. 1895.
George Frederick Cameron (1854–1885) by John Garvin, (1872–1934) Garvin, John William, ed. Canadian Poets. Toronto, Canada: McClelland, Goodchild & Stewart, Publishers, 1916. pp. 101–108.
George Frederick Cameron Library and Archives Canada; Canada Poetry Archive "My Fate"; "Remember Thee!"
Bentley, D.M.R. “Charles J. Cameron’s Emendations and Annotations to Lyrics on Freedom, Love and Death by George Frederick Cameron.” Studies in Canadian Literature 13 (1988): 244-9.
Burpee, Lawrence Johnstone (ed) (1910) A Century of Canadian Sonnets, The Musson Book Company, Limited, Toronto 'George Frederick Cameron (1854–1885)' 'June' 'Wisdom' 'Anticipation'
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George Frederick Cameron Poems
What Matters It?
WHAT reck we of the creeds of men?– We see them–we shall see again. What reck we of the tempest's shock?
Ah, love is deathless! we do cheat Ourselves who say that we forget Old fancies: last love may be sweet, First love is sweeter yet.
I Am Young
I AM young, and men Who long ago have passed their prime Would fain have what I have again,– Youth, and it may be–time.
Standing On Tiptoe
STANDING on tiptoe ever since my youth Striving to grasp the future just above, I hold at length the only future–Truth, And Truth is Love.
'CAN it be good to die?' you question, friend; 'Can it be good to die, and move along Still circling round and round, unknowing end,
The Way Of The World
WE sneer and we laugh with the lip–the most of us do it, Whenever a brother goes down like a weed with the tide;
Wisdom immortal from immortal Jove Shadows more beauty with her virgin brows Than is between the virgin breasts of Love
To The West Wind
WEST wind, come from the west land Fair and far! Come from the fields of the best land Upon our star!
O crimson-hearted, flower-producing June- Dear month of love, and laughter, and light song! Wherein our mother brings her choral throng
In After Days
I WILL accomplish that and this, And make myself a thorn to Things– Lords, councillors and tyrant kings– Who sit upon their thrones and kiss
Anticipation is the oil that feeds The flame of life. It is the Siren fair That sings at twilight in the hollow reeds,
AND now I go with the departing sun: My day is dead and all my work is done. No more for me the pleasant moon shall rise
Anticipation is the oil that feeds
The flame of life. It is the Siren fair
That sings at twilight in the hollow reeds,
And drowns the moaning discord of despair.
Nay, now in darkest night it comes to me,-
It dulls the edge of every present care:
Blots from the tablets of the memory
What hath been ill, or is, inscribing there
In golden letters that which yet may be