1821 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Thomas Campbell

Anonymous, "Stanzas, written in Campbell's Gertrude of Wyoming" The Literary Gazette, and Journal of the Belles Lettres (21 April 1821) 252.



Soft voice of Albyn! round whose spellful lyre,
Convened hope's visionary forms erewhile,
And owned "the master's hand, the prophet's fire,"
And blest the song, and saw the future smile;
Soft voice of Albyn! now thy harp's sweet wile
To trans-atlantic lay, adjusts the string,
And pity's tenderest tear can well beguile,
As o'er the ruin'd walls of Wyoming,
And gentle Gertrude's fate, its plaintive accents ring.

The theme how wildly sad! how meet the lays!
Love here, — for solitude is heaven to love—
Might well the mutual soul to transport raise,
And bliss confer, all mortal bliss above—
But the shrill war-trump shook their tranquil grove—
They seek the fort, an ambushed foe appears—
O heaven! thro' Gertrude's heart the death-ball drove,
Even while a bleeding father claims her fears!
Alas! the bridal smile is drowned in blood and tears!

And see the lovely martyr where she lies!
Clasped in her dying arms her dying sire:
And, half to pity moved his struggling eyes,
Stern Outalissi chaunts his vengeful ire,
While widowed Waldegrave, stung with anguish dire,
And kneeling near the dead, without control
Resigns his heart to grief's consuming fire,
As o'er their recent grave the bugle's toll,
Waked a wild parting thought, that wrings the very soul.

Sweet Wyoming! though desolate to-day,
Thy wild-flower shake its chalice to the wind,
Yet shall thy ruin live in Campbell's lay,
Long as pure love and pity sway mankind.
And should, long hence, some Caledonian hind,
Seek better home by Susquehanna's wave,
"Here," will he proudly deem, with patriot mind,
"Sang Albyn's harp, the lovely, good, and brave"—
Then wind him o'er the hills, to find poor Gertrude's grave.