1818 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Thomas Campbell

Philo, "Sonnet. To the Poet Campbell" Morning Chronicle (9 October 1818).



O why o'er the lyre, all pensive and drooping,
Idly loiters thy hand, sweetest Bard of the North?
O why from on high, on thy bright pinion stooping,
Does the light of thy genius so faintly shine forth?
Not thus in life's morning, with ecstasy bounding,
You warbled divinely the "Pleasures of Hope,"
Whilst Echo, delighted, thy raptures resounding,
Bore the strain up from earth to the star-spangled cope.
And trust me, fair Spirit! the hope of beholding
Thy life in its prime, keep the promise it gave,
Thy genius its glory and beauty unfolding,
Is a pleasure most dear to the fair and the brave.
O dreary the sadness from "hope that's deferr'd,"
And darksome the grave where our joys are interr'd.