Thomas Campbell

Thomas Campbell Poems

A chieftain, to the Highlands bound,
Cries, ``Boatman, do not tarry!
And I'll give thee a silver pound
To row us o'er the ferry! ''-
...

How delicious is the winning
Of a kiss at love's beginning,
When two mutual hearts are sighing
For the knot there's no untying!
...

On Linden, when the sun was low,
All bloodless lay the untrodden snow,
And dark as winter was the flow
Of Iser, rolling rapidly.
...

The more we live, more brief appear
Our life's succeeding stages;
A day to childhood seems a year,
And years like passing ages.
...

Hark ! from the battlements of yonder tower
The solemn bell has tolled the midnight hour !
Roused from drear visions of distempered sleep,
Poor Broderick wakes—in solitude to weep !
...

6.

At summer eve, when heaven's aerial bow
Spans with bright arch the glittering hills below,
Why to yon mountain turns the musing eye,
...

The ordeal's fatal trumpet sounded,
And sad pale Adelgitha came,
When forth a valiant champion bounded,
And slew the slanderer of her fame.
...

The more we live, more brief appear
Our life's succeeding stages;
A day to childhood seems a year,
And years like passing ages.
...

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,
...

All worldly shapes shall melt in gloom,
The Sun himself must die,
Before this mortal shall assume
Its Immortality!
...

When first the fiery-mantled sun
His heavenly race begun to run;
Round the earth and ocean blue,
His children four the Seasons flew.
...

PART I

On Susquehanna's side, fair Wyoming!
Although the wild-flower on thy ruin'd wall,
...

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.
...

Ye Mariners of England
That guard our native seas,
Whose flag has braved, a thousand years,
The battle and the breeze--
...

PART I (excerpt)
...
Where barbarous hordes on Scythian mountains roam,
Truth, Mercy, Freedom, yet shall find a home;
...

All worldly shapes shall melt in gloom,
The Sun himself must die,
Before this mortal shall assume
Its Immortality!
...

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;
...

Of Nelson and the North
Sing the glorious day's renown,
When to battle fierce came forth
All the might of Denmark's crown,
...

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!
...

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!
...

Thomas Campbell Biography

Born in Glasgow, Thomas Campbell was the youngest son of Alexander Campbell, of the Campbells of Kirnan, Argyll. His father belonged to a Glasgow firm trading in Virginia, and lost his money in consequence of the American Revolutionary War. Campbell, who was educated at the Glasgow High School and University of Glasgow, won prizes for classics and for verse-writing. He spent the holidays as a tutor in the western Highlands. His poem Glenara and the ballad of Lord Ullin's Daughter owe their origin to a visit to Mull. In May 1797 he went to Edinburgh to attend lectures on law. He supported himself by private teaching and by writing, towards which he was helped by Dr Robert Anderson, the editor of the British Poets. Among his contemporaries in Edinburgh were Sir Walter Scott, Henry Brougham, Francis Jeffrey, Dr Thomas Brown, John Leyden and James Grahame. These early days in Edinburgh influenced such works as The Wounded Hussar, The Dirge of Wallace and the Epistle to Three Ladies. In 1799, six months after the publication of the Lyrical Ballads of Wordsworth and Coleridge, The Pleasures of Hope was published. It is a rhetorical and didactic poem in the taste of his time, and owed much to the fact that it dealt with topics near to men's hearts, with the French Revolution, the partition of Poland and with negro slavery. Its success was instantaneous, but Campbell was deficient in energy and perseverance and did not follow it up. He went abroad in June 1800 without any very definite aim, visited Gottlieb Friedrich Klopstock at Hamburg, and made his way to Regensburg, which was taken by the French three days after his arrival. He found refuge in a Scottish monastery. Some of his best lyrics, Hohenlinden, Ye Mariners of England and The Soldier's Dream, belong to his German tour. He spent the winter in Altona, where he met an Irish exile, Anthony McCann, whose history suggested The Exile of Erin. He had at that time the intention of writing an epic on Edinburgh to be entitled The Queen of the North. On the outbreak of war between Denmark and England he hurried home, the Battle of the Baltic being drafted soon after. At Edinburgh he was introduced to the first Lord Minto, who took him in the next year to London as occasional secretary. In June 1803 appeared a new edition of the Pleasures of Hope, to which some lyrics were added. In 1812 he delivered a series of lectures on poetry in London at the Royal Institution; and he was urged by Sir Walter Scott to become a candidate for the chair of literature at Edinburgh University. In 1814 he went to Paris, making there the acquaintance of the elder Schlegel, of Baron Cuvier and others. His pecuniary anxieties were relieved in 1815 by a legacy of £4000. He continued to occupy himself with his Specimens of the British Poets, the design of which had been projected years before. The work was published in 1819. It contains on the whole an admirable selection with short lives of the poets, and prefixed to it an essay on poetry containing much valuable criticism. In 1820 he accepted the editorship of the New Monthly Magazine, and in the same year made another tour in Germany. Four years later appeared his Theodric, a not very successful poem of domestic life. He took an active share in the foundation of the University of London, visiting Berlin to inquire into the German system of education, and making recommendations which were adopted by Lord Brougham. He was elected Lord Rector of Glasgow University (1826-1829) in competition against Sir Walter Scott. Campbell retired from the editorship of the New Monthly Magazine in 1830, and a year later made an unsuccessful venture with The Metropolitan Magazine. He had championed the cause of the Poles in The Pleasures of Hope, and the news of the capture of Warsaw by the Russians in 1831 affected him as if it had been the deepest of personal calamities. "Poland preys on my heart night and day," he wrote in one of his letters, and his sympathy found a practical expression in the foundation in London of the Literary Association of the Friends of Poland. In 1834 he travelled to Paris and Algiers, where he wrote his Letters from the South (printed 1837). The small production of Campbell may be partly explained by his domestic calamities. His wife died in 1828. Of his two sons, one died in infancy and the other became insane. His own health suffered, and he gradually withdrew from public life. He died at Boulogne in 1844 and was buried in Westminster Abbey.)

The Best Poem Of Thomas Campbell

Lord Ullin's Daughter

A chieftain, to the Highlands bound,
Cries, ``Boatman, do not tarry!
And I'll give thee a silver pound
To row us o'er the ferry! ''-

``Now, who be ye, would cross Lochgyle,
This dark and stormy weather? ''
``O, I'm the chief of Ulva's isle,
And this, Lord Ullin's daughter.-

``And fast before her father's men
Three days we've fled together,
For should he find us in the glen,
My blood would stain the heather.

``His horsemen hard behind us ride;
Should they our steps discover,
Then who will cheer my bonny bride
When they have slain her lover? ''-

Out spoke the hardy Highland wight,-
``I'll go, my chief- I'm ready:-
It is not for your silver bright;
But for your winsome lady:

``And by my word! the bonny bird
In danger shall not tarry;
So, though the waves are raging white,
I'll row you o'er the ferry.''-

By this the storm grew loud apace,
The water-wraith was shrieking;
And in the scowl of heaven each face
Grew dark as they were speaking.

But still as wilder blew the wind,
And as the night grew drearer,
Adown the glen rode armèd men,
Their trampling sounded nearer.-

``O haste thee, haste! '' the lady cries,
``Though tempests round us gather;
I'll meet the raging of the skies,
But not an angry father.''-

The boat has left a stormy land,
A stormy sea before her,-
When, O! too strong for human hand,
The tempest gather'd o'er her.

And still they row'd amidst the roar
Of waters fast prevailing:
Lord Ullin reach'd that fatal shore,-
His wrath was changed to wailing.

For, sore dismay'd through storm and shade,
His child he did discover:-
One lovely hand she stretch'd for aid,
And one was round her lover.

``Come back! come back! '' he cried in grief
``Across this stormy water:
And I'll forgive your Highland chief,
My daughter! - O my daughter! ''

'Twas vain: the loud waves lash'd the shore,
Return or aid preventing:
The waters wild went o'er his child,
And he was left lamenting.

Thomas Campbell Comments

Mine Yours 16 November 2008

He was a very good poet.

33 18 Reply
Marty Thompson 20 January 2012

evoking as it were-his leavng all behind-but now we read-his every known line- evoking as it were-his every known line-as i read it now-looking for a sign-

30 17 Reply
Peter Cole 16 March 2014

When I first read his poem A Soldiers Dream I thought it was about WW1, but then realised the book it was in was published in 1834. But it could be ANY war.

14 20 Reply
Maleah Smith 27 November 2017

Thomas, I do believe you have great potential! The way you set a picture in the audience's mind; it is absolutely exquisite.

1 0 Reply
Prabir Gayen 14 December 2018

Extraordinary talent and deep understanding of life and death...

1 0 Reply
Simona Atkinson 20 December 2020

Thomas Mann was a fan - he mentions his poem " Hohenlinden" in his own work " Bashan and I" .

0 0 Reply

Very nice

0 0 Reply
DueCXD 18 September 2019

DIE DIe die die die die die die die

0 0 Reply
Jody Mello 02 April 2019

We have on of his earlier works entitled simply Campbell..1883 worth anything?

0 3 Reply
Thomas Kirk Campbell 17 February 2019

We share the exact same name. The date of his death Jume 15 1844, is exactly 122 days to the day of my birth June 15 1966. I found him when I googled my name one day. I am also a poet.

1 1 Reply

Thomas Campbell Quotes

The popularity of that baby-faced boy, who possessed not even the elements of a good actor, was a hallucination in the public mind, and a disgrace to our theatrical history.

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