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of idleness, and to indolent readers it will be a sealed book. Every stanza bears evidence of the anxiety and agony of thought with which it has been conceived and constructed; and both the faults and the perfections of the whole are proofs of the intense, though we presume frequently interrupted, labour, with which it has been carried on to a late but splendid conclusion. To conceal the labour already thus expended upon it, as much more would perhaps be required. Mr. Campbell's thoughts are genuine diamonds; 'he digs deep for them, and they demand his utmost skill and patience to cut and polish and set them, according to their inestimable value.
The scene of this poem is laid at Wyoming, an infant colony' in Pennsylvania, which was laid waste by a band of Indians, during the American war. On this flourishing and ill fated spot, Albert, an emigrant from Scotland, had been settled for many years, and by his virtues and wisdom had become the patriarchal judge of the place. At the opening of the piece we find him a widower, with an only daughter, Gertrude. The description of this dear and lovely pledge of connubial bliss dissolved by death, we shall quote at length. • I boast no song in magic wonders rife, But yet familiar, is there nought to prize, Oh Nature! in thy bosom-scenes of life? And dwells in day-light truth's salubrious skies No form with which the soul may sympathize? Young, innocent, on whose sweet forehead mild The parted ringlet shone in simplest guise, An inmate in the house of Albert smil'd,
Or bless'd his noon-day-walk-she was his only child.'
After mentioning the premature death of Gertrude's mother, the poet says,
A loved bequest! and I may half impart
Dear as she was, from cherub-infancy,
From hours when she would round his garden play,
To time when as the ripening years went by,
Her lovely mind could culture well repay,
And more engaging grew from pleasing day to day.
I may not paint those thousand infant-charms,
For God to bless her Sire and all mankind;
All uncompanion'd else her years had gone,
Till now in Gertrude's eyes their ninth blue summer shone.'
pp. 10-13. At this time Outalissi, an Oneyda Indian, arrives at Albert's Pennsylvanian cottage, with a white boy, of the same age as Gertrude, who proves to be the son of a British commander of a distant fort, lately surprised and stormed by a party of Hurons, by whom he was murdered, and his wife and child were seized and tied to a tree. In this situation they were found and rescued by the Oneydans, who were friendly to the English; the mother, however, overwhelmed by misfortune, died in a few days, requesting with her last breath, that her infant might be taken to an early friend of her husband's, who would remember
the ring which Waldegrave's Julia wore."
This friend was Albert, who gladly takes the little orphan under his protection. The transports of sorrow and tenderness expressed by Albert on this affecting occasion are strikingly contrasted with the severity of composure displayed by the Indian: the latter we copy.
He said, and strain'd unto his heart the boy
A stoic of the woods, a man without a tear." p. 20.
The second Canto opens with a superb description of the situation of Albert's cottage, and the surrounding country. We select two stanzas, which pourtray a scene of transatlantic magnificence, unparalleled in our humble corner of the world.
• Yet wanted not the eye far Scope to muse,
And past those settlers' haunts the eye might roam,
* The pipe, which the Indians smoke in token of amity.
+ The Indian mothers suspend their children in their cradles from the boughs of trees, and let them be rocked by the wind.
• But silent not that adverse eastern path,
That lent the windward air an exquisite perfume.' pp. 28, 29.
The first of these very beautiful stanzas is above all praise that we can bestow upon it. The following is scarcely inferior. ، But high, in amphitheatre sublime, His arms the everlasting Aloes threw : Breath'd but an air of heaven, and all the As if with instinct living spirit grew, Rolling its verdant gulphs of every hue; And now suspended was the pleasing din, Now from a murmur faint it swell'd anew, Like the first note of organ heard within
Cathedral aisles,-ere yet the symphony begin.' p. 33.
We are willing to allow that a poet is the best judge of his own plan of narrative, which he naturally adapts, not only to his peculiar taste, but to his peculiar powers; and we believe that in few cases such a poet as Mr. Campbell would be much profited, by any suggestions of an inferior, or dissimilar mind. We, therefore, hesitate to say that he ought to have given some view, however brief and evanescent, of the childhood sports and loves of Gertrude and Waldegrave, which would have afforded subject of enchanting beauty and interest for a few stanzas of that species of felicitous description, in which his Muse has scarcely a rival. As it is, something seems to be wanting between the close of the first, and the middle of the second canto; something which no reader's imagination can satisfactorily supply. The account which is given, in this interval, of Gertrude's youth, till
Had bound her lovely waist with woman's zone,' is very delicate and pleasing throughout: but we could not help regretting that, after exhibiting her in loneliness and silence, poring over the volume (Shakespeare) which every human heart endears,' indulging the unconscious laugh, and giving free course to her f sweetest tears, the poet did not represent her reading occasionally in another book, which unquestionably was one of Gertrude's favourites, since Albert was a * Christian father. One stanza on this book, from the sublime and exquisite pen of Mr. C. might have as far exceeded all the rest in his poem, as the star of Bethlehem, appearing in the east, outshone all the constellations of heaven.
One day, while Gertrude is reading in her chosen retirement, a stranger, in the Spanish garb, surprizes her, and inquires the way to Albert's home. She points to it in the distance; he goes thither; she follows him. It is Waldegrave come of Waldegrave's self to tell." Here we learn for the first time, that, after he had been three years under the protection of Albert, he was claimed by his relatives in England, and carried thither. He had subsequently been a very enterprizing traveller; and after visiting the, principal provinces of Europe, he had recrossed the Atlantic, traversed Spanish America, and returned to Pennsylvania to seek Albert and Gertrude, the guardian and the playmate of his early years. The discovery is managed with considerable skill; but the reader, who has been wondering, ever since the conclusion of the first canto, what had become of the white boy brought by the Oneydan Indian to Albert's cottage, is more astonished than delighted on his abrupt re-appearance, so changed, and ripened into manhood. Gertrude, however, remembers him, and their union concludes this Canto. We cannot say, because the author has not put us to the proof, that we should have been better pleased, had he given us a previous hint concerning the early attachment and separation of these two romantic lovers; but we certainly should have been better prepared for the surprize of meeting Waldegrave, disguised as a Spaniard, and especially for his instantaneous declaration of love, than we are now, when, for aught we knew, he was still an inmate of the cottage. It is true, we wondered why Gertrude, with such a companion at home, should so often chuse to wander and meditate alone. But as it is much easier for a reader to start objections like these than it is for a writer to obviate them, we leave this point undetermined.
The second canto finishes, and the third commences, with the hymeneal happiness of Gertrude and Waldegrave. But this was of short duration.
Sad was the year, by proud oppression driv❜n,
Not in the sun-shine and the smile of heav'n,
Her birth-star was the light of burning plains;
And famine tracks her steps, and pestilential pains.' p. 50.
Albert and Waldegrave, of course, must join the rebels, as they were called on this side of the Atlantic. The preparations, and afterwards the ravages of civil war, throughout the hitherto
* Alluding to the miseries that attended the American civil war.
peaceful, but now devoted vicinity of Wyoming, are admira bly delineated. The following incident, ushering in the tra gic catastrophe of the story, is the finest in the book; indeed, it would be vain to search, in the compass of contemporary poetry, for any thing at once so graud, terrific, and affecting.
Night came; and in their lighted bower full late,
And long his filmed eye is red and dim;
At length the pity-proffer'd cup his thirst
Had half assuaged, and nerved his shuddering limb,
When Albert's hand he grasp'd—but Albert knew not him.
It was not long, with eyes and heart of flame,
Bless thee, my guide!'-but, backward, as he came,
And grasp'd his arm, and look'd him through and through.
At last delight o'er all his features stole,
It is my own,' he cried, and clasp'd him to his soul.'
PP. 53-55. We shall no further anticipate the heart-rending interest which every reader must feel in the close of this melancholy tale, than to say, that as obscurity is the original sin of the poem, so it peculiarly affects the passage which describes the fate of the Heroine, while she clasps her father mortally wounded in her arms. Without quoting, and in fact without