1812 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. James Grahame

Thomas Campbell to an unnamed correspondent, 1812; Beattie, Life and Letters of Thomas Campbell (1849) 2:220.



I propose to send to one of the periodical works a biographical notice of the life and writings of my poor friend Grahame. But so small a part of James's value lay in his poetry, that I feel it difficult to express my real sentiments about it. There are anecdotes, too, which would interest such a reader as you; but the great rookery of the reading and talking world have only things in their left sides called hearts — mere pulsations, as they are happily called in "Self Control." One of the most endearing circumstances which I remember of Grahame was his singing. I shall never forget one summer evening that we agreed to sit up all night, and go together to Arthur's Seat, to see the sun rise. We sat, accordingly, all night in his delightful parlour — the seat of so many happy remembrances! We then went and saw a beautiful sunrise. I returned home with him, for I was living in his house at the time. He was unreserved in all his devoutest feelings before me; and from the beauty of the morning scenery, and the recent death of his sister, our conversation took a serious turn, on the proofs of infinite benevolence in the creation, and the goodness of God. As I retired to my own bed, I overheard his devotions — not his prayer, but a hymn which he sung, and with a power and inspiration beyond himself, and beyond anything else. At that time he was a strong-voiced and commanding-looking man. The remembrance of his large, expressive features when he climbed the hill, and of his organ-like voice in praising God, is yet fresh, and ever pleasing, in my mind. But it is rendered a sad recollection from contrasting his then energy with the faltering and fallen man which he after wards became.

T. C.