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best of his longer poems Gertrude of Wyoming, an idylı of Pennsylvania that redeems its inaccuracies by a romantic charm, a freshness of poetic imagery and feeling, and some exquisite pictures of nature and domestic love. To these must be added another poem that appeared in his volume of 1809, O'Connor's Child, the tenderest of elegiac love poems.
With these, Campbell, though only thirty-two, virtually completed his poetical career. It is true he published in the New Monthly Magazine, of which he was editor, a number of short poems, The Evening Star is not bad and The Last Man is decidedly good—and wrote in 1824 Theodric, a mournful tale of disappointed affection. Concerning this last work the author hopefully remarked : -“I know very well what will be its fate; there will be an outcry that there is nothing grand or romantic in the poem, and that it is too humble and too familiar. But I am prepared for this; and I know that, when it recovers from the first buzz of such criticism, it will attain a steady popularity.” It received the reception the poet was prepared for, but failed to fulfil his expectations. Campbell felt that he could no longer equal his earlier productions, while the public agreed with Byron that his hippocrene was somewhat drouthy. He did not cease from work, but it was chiefly lectures or compilations, lives of Petrarch and Mrs. Siddons, Specimens of the British Poets, etc. His last effort in poetry, The Pilgrim of Glencoe, 1842, found no readers.
Honours, however, did not fail. The Government in 1805 gave him first £200, then £400 a year, as a pension. In 1827, the students of Glasgow elected him Lord Rector of the University, an honour that became glory, when it was twice repeated. When he died, on the 18th of June, 1844, it was amidst a large concourse of sincere mourners that his remains were interred in the Poet's Corner of Westminster Abbey. No mourners were there more sincere than the Poles, who in Campbell's death had lost a steadfast friend. It was on their behalf that with the words “dust to dust,” Colonel Szyrma sprinkled into the grave a handful of earth from the tomb of Kosciusko.
Byron has left a description of Campbell as he was in 1813:–He “looks well, seems pleased, and dressed to spicery. A blue coat becomes him, so does his new wig. He really looks as if Apollo has sent him a birthday suit, or a wedding garment; and was witty and lively.” Longfellow, who met him the year before his death, noted a great change: “Campbell's outward man disappointed me. He is small and shrunken, frost-nipped by unkindly age, and wears a fancy wig. But I liked his inner man exceedingly. He is simple, frank, cordial, and withal very sociable.”
Campbell's popularity as a poet has forever passed. It depended in the main on a literary taste that is now extinct and on temporal causes that no longer exist. With the poets who felt the rising life of a new poetry, Campbell had little communion. "In avoiding tinsel,” he wrote, in 1805 of his Copenhagen lyric, "I do not mean intentionally to get foul of those lyrical balladists, those detestable heretics against orthodox taste, who, if they durst would turn the temple of Apollo into the temple of Cloacina." He mellowed a little, no doubt, as his later poems show, but never thoroughly abandoned his early principles. Unfortunately for Campbell, the heretics were right, and with the robust romanticism of Scott, the melancholy heroics of Byron, and the growing popularity of Wordsworth, the star of Campbell's glory rapidly waned. It did not and probably will not, go out utterly. He has achieved the immortality of quotation and of the school-reader. He had a genuine lyrical gift, the trumpettone that stirs the blood in every man that has a country to love and die for. For such lyrics as Ye Mariners and the Battle of the Baltic, we may, with Moore, think gratefully of Thomas Campbell, as
(S. Longfellow, Life of H. W. Longfellow (contains extracts from his Journal), Final Memorials of H. W. Longfellow; Underwood, H. W. Longfellow, 1882 ; Kennedy, H. W. Longfellow, 1882 ; Austin, Life, etc., 1883 ; Robertson, Life, etc., 1887 (G.W.S.). His works are published in eleven vols., Boston, 1886. The best one vol. ed. of his poems is the Cambridge ed., Boston, 1895.);
The literature of Puritan America is no cheerful field of reading. Its very subjects, - elegies, lessons, judgments, prospects of death, obituaries, days of doom, are depressing. Quotations from Holy Writ abound in the text and scriptural annotations cover the margins. Rarely does a smile creep over the face of this lanternvisaged Muse. The poverty of ber metrical art is bidden with the broad maptle of godliness, as when the compiler of the Bay Psalm Book remarks, “If the verses are not alwayes so smooth and elegant as some may desire and expect; let them consider that God's Altar needs not our pollishings." It is only toward the end of the eighteenth century that a mellowing influence appears, and we are conscious that it has ceased to be a crime to smile. Influenced no doubt by the new poetry of England, the working of a poetic spirit grows more manifest, but the Columbian muse has still more patriotism than poetry. With the new century, however, what names crowd upon us — Irving, Cooper, Halleck, Lydia Sigourney, Bryant, Emerson, Hawthorne, Willis, Longfellow, Whittier, Poe. Among these, as pre-eminently the poet of his time, stands Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.
Longfellow was born, of good Puritan stock, in Portland, Maine, on February 27th, 1807. His native town