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Picture of Domestic Love.
CAMPBELL. THOMAS CAMPBELL, born at Glasgow, 1777, a successful clerical scholar, and the author of many poems, which have rendered his name a "household word" in the literature of England. His "Gertrude of Wyoming" is unsurpassed, and has been pointed out by Sheridan Knowles as one of the books which young women should read; no small compliment to the graceful taste and high moral feeling which could have given birth to lines like the following.
Thy pencil traces on the lover's thought
Some cottage-home, from towns and toil remote,
Where lore and love may claim alternate hours,
With peace embosomed in Idalian bowers!
Remote from busy life's bewildered way,
O'er all his heart shall Taste and Beauty sway,
Free on the sunny slope or winding shore
With hermit steps to wander and adore!
There shall he love, when genial morn appears,
Like pensive Beauty smiling in her tears,
To watch the brightening roses of the sky,
And muse on Nature with a poet's eye!
And when the sun's last splendor lights the deep,
The woods and waves and murmuring winds asleep,
When fairy harps the Hesperian planet hail,
And the lone cuckoo sighs along the vale,
His path shall be where streamy mountains swell
Their shadowy grandeur o'er the narrow dell;
Where mouldering piles and forests intervene,
Mingling with darker tints the living green;
No circling hills his ravished eye to bound,
Heaven, and earth and ocean, blazing all around!
The moon is up-the watch-tower dimly burns-
And down the vale his sober step returns;
But pauses oft as winding rocks convey
The still sweet fall of music far away;
And oft he lingers from his home a while,
To watch the dying notes, and start, and smile!
Let winter come! let polar spirits sweep
The darkening world, and tempest-troubled deep;
Though boundless snows the withered heath deform,
And the dim sun scarce wanders through the storm,
Yet shall the smile of social love repay,
With mental light, the melancholy day!
And when its short and sullen noon is o'er,
The ice-chained waters slumbering on the shore,
How bright the fagots in his little hall
Blaze on the hearth and warm the pictured wall!
How blest he names, in love's familiar tone,
The kind fair friend by nature marked his own;
And, in the waveless mirror of his mind,
Views the fleet years of pleasure left behind,
Since when her empire o'er his heart began-
Since first he called her his before the holy man!
Trim the gay taper in his rustic dome,
And light the wintry paradise of home;
And let the half-uncurtained window hail
Some way-worn man benighted in the vale!
Now, while the moaning night-wind rages high,
As sweep the shot-stars down the troubled sky;
While fiery hosts in heaven's wide circle play,
And bathe in lurid light the milky way;
Safe from the storm, the meteor, and the shower,
Some pleasing page shall charm the solemn hour;
With pathos shall command, with wit beguile
A generous tear of anguish, or a smile!
Most potent, grave, and reverend Signiors,
My very noble and approved good masters,
That I have ta'en away this old man's daughter,
It is most true; true, I have married her:
The very head and front of my offending
Hath this extent; no more. Rude am I in speech,
And little bless'd with the set phrase of peace;
For since these arms of mine had seven years' pith,
Till now some nine moons wasted, they have used
Their dearest action in the tented field;
And little of this great world can I speak,
More than pertains to feats of broils and battles;
And therefore little shall I grace my cause,
In speaking of myself. Yet, by your patience,
I will a round unvarnish'd tale deliver
Of my whole course of love; what drugs, what charms,
What conjuration, and what mighty magic,
(For such proceedings I am charged withal,)
I won his daughter with.
Her father loved me; oft invited me;
Still question'd me the story of my life,
From year to year; the battles, sieges, fortunes,
That I have pass'd.
I ran it through, ev'n from my boyish days,
To the very moment that he bade me tell it.
Wherein I spoke of most disastrous chances,
Of moving accidents by flood and field;
Of hair-breadth 'scapes, in the imminent deadly breach;
Of being taken by the insolent foe,
And sold to slav'ry; of my redemption thence,
And with it all my travel's history:
Wherein of antres* vast, and deserts wild,
Rough quarries, rocks, and hills whose heads touch heav'n,
It was my bent to speak. All these to hear
Would Desdemona seriously incline.
But still the house affairs would draw her thence,
Which ever as she could with haste despatch,
She'd come again, and with a greedy ear
Devour up my discourse: which I observing,
Took once a pliant hour, and found good means
To draw from her a pray'r of earnest heart,
That I would all my pilgrimage dilate;
Whereof by parcels she had something heard,
But not distinctively. I did consent,
And often did beguile her of her tears,
When I did speak of some distressful stroke
That my youth suffer'd. My story being done,
She gave me for my pains a world of sighs.
-yet she wish'd
She swore, in faith, 'twas strange, 'twas passing strange;
'Twas pitiful, 'twas wondrous pitiful-
She wish'd she had not heard it-
That Heav'n had made her such a man:-she thank'd me,
And bade me, if I had a friend that loved her,
I should but teach him how to tell my story,
And that would woo her. On this hint I spake;
She loved me for the dangers I had pass'd,
And I loved her, that she did pity them.
This only is the witchcraft I have used.
The Fair and Happy Milkmaid.
SIR THOMAS OVERBURY.
THIS accomplished gentleman and writer fell a victim to "secret poisoning," at the hands of the beautiful but wicked Countess of Essex, in the year 1618. The following extract from his quaint and witty "characters," is a happy specimen of his descriptive powers.
THE FAIR AND HAPPY MILKMAID
Is a country wench, that is so far from making herself beautiful by art, that one look of hers is able to put all face-physic out of countenance. She knows a fair look is but a dumb orator to commend virtue, therefore minds it not. All her excellences stand in her so silently, as if they had stolen upon her without her knowledge. The lining of her apparel, which is herself, is far better than outsides of tissue; for, though she be not arrayed in the