1821 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Thomas Campbell

Alaric Alexander Watts, "Lines addressed to Thomas Campbell, on his purposing to take up his permanent Residence in London" 1821; Beattie, Life and Letters of Thomas Campbell (1849) 2:395-96n.



Dear Poet of Hope! who hast charmed us so long
With a gush of home-music, sweet, solemn, and strong;
Now, smooth as the wave, when 'tis chained and at rest,
And hues of the sky lie like flowers on its breast,—
Now sweeping in glory and might on its way,
And now struggling from silence and darkness to day;
Oh, leave not the haunts so propitious to song,
For the city's wild strife and the jar of the throng!...
Though the visions have fled that gave light to thy spring,
And thy heart and thy harp both are wanting a string;
Like the leaves on the tree, that no tempest may kill,
There are feelings unwithered that cling to thee still!....
The Poet's a star that shine brightest apart;
Let him revel at will in the world of the heart;
But the moment he strives 'mid the crush of the throng,
Like a bird, too much handled, he loses his song;
And the fools who once worshipped his light from afar,
Are the first to proclaim him no longer a star!
ALARIC A. WATTS.