1800 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Thomas Campbell

John Jeffreys, "Addressed to Thomas Campbell, Author of the Pleasures of Hope, about to leave his native Country" Pleasures of Retirement (1800) 69-71.



Ascend, my friend, ascend (since cruel Fate denies
Thy presence here) ascend the waiting bark.
In conscious worth and honor bold, go, brave
The warring elements or wrath of man,
Of man, so prone fair Virtue's fruit to crush,
Or nip the rose of Genius in its bud.
Be good, be wise, nor let the slavish forms
Of foreign nations taint thy youthful mind;
Be brave amidst the dastard croud, be thou
A glorious freeman 'midst a host of slaves,
Fear not, the force of Ocean's troubled flood.
What though the tempest thunders through the air!
Thy verse, more sweet than Orpheus' lyre shall soothe
The jarring winds sedate and hush'd, to hear
Thy much-lov'd verse; dolphins shall sport around
Thy bark with inoffensive joy, huge sharks
Unwieldy sea-calves, deeply-listening whales,
And all the scaly monsters of the main.
Pleas'd with the sound, the waves shall hush in peace,
And sweet-breath'd Zephyrs gently play around.
But for the fear of stopping thee, the stars
Would start immediate from their shining spheres,
And universal Nature flock to hear
Thy voice. What though the iron hand of pow'r,
Or tyrant's arm, should aim the death-fraught dart
Against thy life! think you that he who rules
The sky, the ocean, and this earthly globe
Th' Almighty would allow a crime so great?
Forbid it Nature, and forbid it man!
In worth shalt thou conspicuous shine, and be
A glorious sun amidst the lesser stars.
The bark's unmoor'd. Think, when through distant climes
You pass, on one who lov'd thee much, O think
On me. Farewell, my friend, a long farewell.