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teenth-century school in the well-worn heroic couplet. His model was Pope, and there were echoes from Goldsmith, Thomson, Cowper, and others. If it had appeared with the introduction of the original MS. (reproduced for the curiosity of the critic at p. 41) it is safe to say the new poem would not have attracted the attention it did. There was, it is true, the graphic passage on the downfall of Poland, which was wonderfully effective when reached, and long continued to be a stock piece for the exercise of schoolboy eloquencedisplacing even Norval on the Grampian Hills. But the bright and happy simile of the rainbow won admirers at once, and the poem became suddenly popular for merits of genuine and eloquent passion and description with which it is enriched. The text of Part I remains the same as it was when the poem was first printed, but Part II, which consisted originally of 326 lines, was enlarged in the fifth edition to 474. A few single lines from The Pleasures of Hope have become as proverbial as anything from Pope. For example :
'Tis distance lends enchantment to the view. Like angel-visits, few and far between. It rolled not back when Canute gave command, &c. But it is not my intention to go through Campbell's works seriatim. Enough here to make a few remarks on my presentation and arrangement of the text. In the present edition I have divided the whole body of his verse, for conveniency of reference, under the following general heads : I. His longer poems, viz. The Pleasures of Hope, Gertrude of Wyoming, Theodric, and the Pilgrim of Glencoe ; II. Poems historical and legendary ; III. Songs of Battle ; IV. Miscellaneous poems; V. Songs chiefly amatory; VI. Translations chiefly from the Greek; and VII. Juvenilia. And I have arranged the pieces under each head, so far, in the order of their production, but with this deviation, that I have given, where necessary, precedence to the best known—which on the whole means the most deserving to be known.
I have not printed everything metrical that Campbell wrote, having a better regard for his reputation than to do that. But this edition will be found to contain considerably more than any previous edition contains, and at least nothing that deserved to be included has been omitted. It may even be charged against me that I should have debarred much that I have admitted--such pieces, for example, as the punning epistle from Algiers, and certain verses of the poet's boyhood. These were at last suffered a place as showing (to no great advantage, it is true) his versatility or the rate and measurement of his development or decay. I could not refuse admittance toThePilgrim of Glencoe, which opens so disastrously
The sunset sheds a horizontal smile
O’er Highland frith and Hebridean isle : its very length precluded the idea ; and, when all is said, it is not utterly destitute of passages that are worth preservation. It marks, however, with melancholy emphasis, the decay, unacknowledged by himself, of his poetical powers. I have not, however, admitted the long-drawn-out doggerel of The Friars of Dijon, which the curious in these matters—the shortcomings of a man of taste and genius—will find in the New Monthly Magazine for 1821, and much good may its perusal do them! A very few other pieces I have not collected for one good reason or anothereither they were written when the poet was off his guard, or when he attempted a style which nature denied him. At all events, whether written impromptu
or with deliberation, they are unworthy of his genius and his reputation, and I have left them in their oblivion. I have, however, put under Juvenilia some short pieces of his early work, but only to show the dawn of a sun that was soon to dazzle and delight his countrymen. To portions of the fragmentary Mobiade I have also with some reluctance permitted a place : they have a small biographical value, and they serve to show how unfitted he was for other than sublime and serious poetry.
I have been able to date the production of the great majority of Campbell's poems. Much the best of his work was done when he was young, and the worst when he was past middle age. But in youth, too, he wrote some indifferent verse. His precarious position and incessant pecuniary difficulties explain, and partly excuse, a good deal of hasty slipshod work from which his naturally fastidious taste would have saved him had he been of independent means.
The text of the present edition was, so far as known, the last to receive the author's revision, but I have not hesitated to restore a reading from an earlier text where I have thought it desirable to do so. The text is, therefore, of course, in all cases Campbell's. The author's alterations, when not accepted for the textand their rejection is rare—are placed at the foot of the page to which they belong, where also the reader will find all important variations. I have retained in Gertrude of Wyoming, which is cast in the Spenserian measure, certain spellings which appeared in the earlier editions, recommended partly by their archaic form, suitable to the measure, and partly as being the form in fashion when Campbell wrote. I have kept ‘ Michagan', 'mocazin' or ' mocasin', 'Allegany', and one or two other early forms; but I have not
retained 'gulphs', 'groupes', 'controul', and other similar spellings, just as I have not retained the long 8 which was still in use when Campbell began to write. The few notes which I have thought it necessary to add to Campbell's own by way of supplement are enclosed in square brackets.
An editorial difficulty in dealing with Campbell's text is the punctuation. His construction, in Gertrude of Wyoming especially, is frequently so involved or so loosely connected as to render his meaning obscure, and the art of punctuation is sometimes taxed to its utmost limits to make his text intelligible to the reader. There is, for example, a passage in Stanza XIV of Part II which no device of punctuation, perhaps, can altogether make clear. Campbell him. self never practised punctuation, or only in a perfunctory or misleading fashion,--with the result that his lines were sometimes senseless, or even contradictory of his meaning. For instance, in The Wounded Hussar the first two lines of the penultimate stanza were repeatedly printed
Thou shalt live,' she replied, 'Heaven's mercy relieving ; Each anguishing wound shall forbid me to mourn.' A similar mistake is to be found in most versions of Napoleon and the British Sailor, the fourth stanza being usually printed with the semicolon again in the wrong place,
His eye, methinks, pursued the flight
Of birds to Britain half-way over ;
Dear cliffs of Dover. But the art of punctuation, as Dr. Beattie remarks, 'was one of those mysteries which the Poet could never comprehend.'