1823
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Solitude.

New Monthly Magazine NS 8 ( November 1823) 408.

M.


Two Spenserians signed "M." The evocative and neatly compressed stanzas contrast day and night in the Arabian desert.

Robert Shelton Mackenzie: "Campbell, the poet, edited Colburn's New Monthly Magazine, from 1821 to 1831, at £500 per annum, with separate payment, as a contributor, for all articles by himself. This immense payment, in fact, was for his name. The Magazine was actually edited by Cyrus Redding (whose later Recollections of Campbell and Beckford are full of interest and truth), and the dramatic criticism was supplied, for many years, by T. N. Talfourd (afterwards one of the Judges of the Court of Common Pleas in England), so well known, subsequently, as the author of 'Ion'" Noctes Ambrosianae, ed. Mackenzie (1854) 1:130n.



Seek not for loneliness, 'midst leaves and flowers,
But on the sands that void and voiceless lie,
Where not a shade reveals the passing hours,
And Time seems lost into Eternity!
And where — like wrecks upon a sullen sea,
Making the solitude more sad — we tread
O'er cities long lost from the things that be,
Where, towering like the tall phantoms of the dead,
Haunting their desert tomb dim columns rear their head.

But when the stars look down through night's dun veil,
And o'er the Arab's slumber shed their beams—
As soft as Beauty's eye at Sorrow's tale,
Then is the desert peopled with his dreams—
With fairy scenes creative fancy teems;
He sees the blue-robed daughters of the skies
Wave on his spirit — where the crystal streams
Stray through cool shades, and every air that sighs
Wafts o'er immortal bowers the songs of Paradise!

[p. 408]