William Wilfred Campbell

Rating: 4.33
Rating: 4.33

William Wilfred Campbell Poems

Along the line of smoky hills
The crimson forest stands,
And all the day the blue-jay calls
Throughout the autumn lands.

The woods are haggard and lonely,
The skies are hooded for snow,
The moon is cold in Heaven,
And the grasses are sere below.

For weeks and weeks the autumn world stood still,
Clothed in the shadow of a smoky haze;
The fields were dead, the wind had lost its will,
And all the lands were hushed by wood and hill,

Not unto endless dark do we go down,
Though all the wisdom of wide earth said yea,
Yet my fond heart would throb eternal nay.

SEASON of life's renewal, love's rebirth,
And all hope's young espousals; in your dream,
I feel once more the ancient stirrings of Earth.

When we come to the end of the furrow,
When our last day's work is done,
We will drink of the long red shaft of light
That slants from the westering sun.

He wandered into the market
With pipes and goatish hoof;
He wandered in a grotesque shape,
And no one stood aloof.

We are what nature made us; soon or late,
Life's art that fadeth passeth slow away,
With iron eatings of our sordid day,

Out in a world of death far to the northward lying,
Under the sun and the moon, under the dusk and the day;
Under the glimmer of stars and the purple of sunsets dying,
Wan and waste and white, stretch the great lakes away.

She lay, face downward, on her beaded arm,
In this her new, sweet dream of human bliss,
Her heart within her fearful, fluttering, warm,
Her lips yet pained with love's first timorous kiss.


There dwells a spirit in the budding year-
As motherhood doth beautify the face-
That even lends these barren glebes a grace,

ENGLAND, England, England,
Girdled by ocean and skies,
And the power of a world, and the heart of a race,
And a hope that never dies.

Carven in leathern mask or brazen face,
Were I time's sculptor, I would set this man.
Retreating from the truth, his hawk-eyes scan
The platforms of all public thought for place.

Soft fall the February snows, and soft
Falls on my heart the snow of wintry pain;
For never more, by wood or field or croft,
Will he we knew walk with his loved again;


Home of the pure in heart and tranquil mind,
Temple of love's white silence, holy Night;
Greater than splendid thought or iron might,

The doors are shut, the windows fast;
Outside the gust is driving past,
Outside the shivering ivy clings,
While on the hob the kettle sings.


Down out of heaven,
And wind driven,
Flake upon flake,

Out over my study,
All ashen and ruddy,
Sinks the December sun;
And high up over

Life is too grim with anxious, eating care
To cherish what is best. Our souls are scarred
By daily agonies, and our conscience marred
By petty tyrannies that waste and wear.

Strange wanderer out of the deeps,
Whence, journeying, come you?
From what far, unsunned sleeps
Did fate foredoom you,

William Wilfred Campbell Biography

William Wilfred Campbell was born 15 June 1860 in Newmarket, Upper Canada (present-day Ontario). There is some doubt as to the date and place of his birth. His father, Rev. Thomas Swainston Campbell, was an Anglican clergyman who had been assigned the task of setting up several frontier parishes in "Canada West", as Ontario was then called. Consequently, the family moved frequently. In 1871, the Campbells settled in Wiarton, Ontario, where Wilfred grew up, attending high school in nearby Owen Sound. The school later be renamed Owen Sound Collegiate and Vocational Institute). Campbell would look back on his childhood with fondness. Campbell taught in Wiarton before enrolling in the University of Toronto's University College in 1880, Wycliffe College in 1882, and at the Episcopal Theological School in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 1883. In 1884, Campbell married Mary DeBelle (née Dibble). They had four children, Margery, Faith, Basil, and Dorothy. In 1885, Campbell was ordained to the Episcopal priesthood, and was soon appointed to a New England parish. In 1888, he returned to Canada and became rector of St. Stephen, New Brunswick. In 1891, after suffering a crisis of faith, Campbell resigned from the ministry and took a civil service position in Ottawa. He received a permanent position in the Department of Militia and Defence two years later. Living in Ottawa, Campbell became acquainted with Archibald Lampman—his next door neighbor at one time—and through him with Duncan Campbell Scott. In February 1892, Campbell, Lampman, and Scott began writing a column of literary essays and criticism called "At the Mermaid Inn" for the Toronto Globe. As Lampman wrote to a friend:“Campbell is deplorably poor.... Partly in order to help his pockets a little Mr. Scott and I decided to see if we could get the Toronto Globe to give us space for a couple of columns of paragraphs & short articles, at whatever pay we could get for them. They agreed to it; and Campbell, Scott and I have been carrying on the thing for several weeks now.” The column ran only until July 1893. Lampman and Scott found it difficult to "keep a rein on Campbell's frank expression of his heterodox opinions." Readers of the Toronto Globe reacted negatively when Campbell presented the history of the cross as a mythic symbol. His apology for "overestimating their intellectual capacities" did little to resolve the controversy. In the 20th century, Campbell became a strong advocate of British imperialism, for example telling Toronto's Empire Club in 1904 that Canada's only choice lay "between two different imperialisms, that of Britain and that of the Imperial Commonwealth to the south." It was the principles of Imperialist that guided his work in Poems of loyalty by British and Canadian authors (London, 1913) and for The Oxford book of Canadian Verse (Toronto, 1913). As editor of The Oxford book of Canadian Verse, Campbell devoted more pages to his own poetry than that to anyone else. But by choosing mostly from his longer work—including an excerpt from Mordred (one of his verse dramas)—he did not choose his best work. In contrast, the poems he selected from his fellow Confederation Poets reflected some of their best work. In 1909, Campbell was transferred to the Dominion Archives. In 1915, Campbell moved with his family to an old stone farmhouse on the outskirts of Ottawa, which he named "Kilmorie". He died of pneumonia on New Year's morning, 1918. He was buried in Ottawa's Beechwood Cemetery.)

The Best Poem Of William Wilfred Campbell

Indian Summer

Along the line of smoky hills
The crimson forest stands,
And all the day the blue-jay calls
Throughout the autumn lands.

Now by the brook the maple leans
With all his glory spread,
And all the sumachs on the hills
Have turned their green to red.

Now by great marshes wrapt in mist,
Or past some river's mouth,
Throughout the long, still autumn day
Wild birds are flying south.

William Wilfred Campbell Comments

William Wilfred Campbell Popularity

William Wilfred Campbell Popularity

Error Success