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THE LAST MA N.

EY THOMAS CAMPBELL.

All worldly shapes shall melt in gloom,

The Sun himself must die,
Before this mortal shall assume

Its Immortality!
I saw a vision in my sleep,
That gave my spirit strength to sweep

Adown the gulf of Time !
I saw the last of human mould,
That shall Creation's death behold,

As Adam saw her prime !
The Sun's eye had a sickly glare,

The Earth with age was wan,
The skeletons of nations were

Around that lonely man!
Some had expired in fight,-the rands
Still rusted in their bony hands ;

In plague and famine some !
Earth's cities had no sound nor tread,
And ships were drifting with the dead

To shores where all was dumb !
Yet, prophet like, that lone one stood,

With dauntless words and high,
That shook the sere leaves from the wood

As if a storm passed by, Saying, We are twins in death, proud Sun, Thy face is cold, thy race is run,

'Tis Mercy bids thee go. For these ten thousand thousand years Hast seen the tide of human tears,

That shall no longer flow. What though beneath thee man put forth

His pomp, his pride, his skill;
And arts that made fire, foods, and earth,

The vassals of his will;
Yet mourn not I thy parted sway,
Thou dim discrowned king of day ;

For all those trophied arts
And triumphs that beneath thee sprang,
Healed not a passion or a pang

Entailed on human hearts.

Go, let oblivion's curtain fall

Upon the stage of men,
Nor with thy rising beams recall

Life's tragedy again.
Its piteous pageants bring not back,
Nor waken flesh upon the rack

Of pain anew to writhe;
Stretched in disease's shapes abhorred,
Or mown in battle by the sword,

Like grass beneath the scythe. Ev'n I am weary in yon skies

To watch thy fading fire ; Test of all sumless agonies,

Behold not me expire, My lips that speak thy dirge of deathTheir rounded

gasp and girgling breath To see thou shalt not boast. The eclipse of Nature spreads my pall, The majesty of Darkness shall

Receive my parting ghost ! This spirit shall return to Him

That gave its heavenly spark;
Yet think not, Sun, it shall be di m

When thou thyself art dark !
No! it shall live again, and shine
In bliss unknown to beams of thine,

By him recalled to breath.
Who captive led captivity,
Who robbed the grave of Victory,-

And took the sting from death!
Go, Sun, while Mercy holds me up

On Nature's awful waste
To drink this last and bitter cup

Of grief that man shall taste
Go, tell that night that hides thy face,
Thou saw'st the last of Adam's race,

On Earth's sepulchral clod,
The dark’ning universe defy
To quench his Immortality,

Or shake his trust in God !

THE

ECLECTIC MUSEUM

OF

FOREIGN LITERATURE, SCIENCE, AND ART.

D E C E M B E R, 18 4 3 .

From the Edinburgh Review.

sketch of this royal foundation, which, ROYAL SOCIETY OF LITERATURE. though singular, as having emanated spon

taneously from the Sovereign, yet presents

in its formation, all the features of analagous 1. Biographia Britannica Literaria; or, the associations, whether springing from pri

Biography of Literary Characters of Great vate individuals or learned bodies pursuing Britain and Ireland, arranged in Chrono- similar objects. The original steps taken, logical Order. Anglo-Saxon Period. By

the difficulties encountered, the gradual Thomas Wright, M. A. Published under progress, and finally, the maturity of plans the Superintendence of the Royal Society of resulting in operations and effects which

Literature.. 8vo. London : 1842. endure for many generations, and have an II. Transactions of the Royal Society of influence on them all, present details of

Literature. Second Series. Vol. I. 8vo. curious interest, well deserving of literary London : 1843.

record.

The “Royal Society of Literature" So wide is the realm, and so densely peo- originated in an accidental conversation pled with a noisy multitude is the Republic between the late learned and worthy Bishop of Letters, that we dare say there are many of St. David's (Dr. Burgess, afterwards of our readers who know very little about Bishop of Salisbury,) and an eminent perthe Society whose publications invite this son of the royal household, in October, notice. Yet it has been a number of years in 1820, respecting the various institutions existence, and was right royally founded which adorn the British name and nation. and munificently endowed by George the It was agreed that there seemed to be one Fourth. Among the literary institutions wanting for the encouragement and promoof the present century it holds a prominenttion of General Literature ; and that if a place; and among its members and sup- society, somewhat resembling the French porters are many individuals of the highest Academy of Belles Lettres, could be estabrank in society, and the highest fame in lished, it might be productive of great adliterature and science. Thus, standing vantage to the cause of knowledge. This apart from the numerous private associa- suggestion was communicated to Sir Bentions formed for the cultivation and promo. jamin Bloomfield, and by him mentioned tion of particular classes of learning, a brief to the King; and his Majesty having eraccount of its origin and progress may not pressed his approbation, a general qutline be unacceptable. Having all the necessary of the institution was, by command, subinformation at our command, we shall mitted to the royal perusal. From seed therefore commence with a historical thus fortuitously scattered, sometimes arise

VOL. III. No. IV. 28

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trees that furnish fruit and shelter to man- | productions were referred to a sub-comkind.

mittee of seven, and at a meeting in the In November, the Bishop of St. David's British Museum, the prize was adjudged nas summoned to Carlton House, for the to the motto, “Come, bright Improvement;" purpose of devising the best mode of giv- and the poem, of which two hundred copies ing effect to the undertaking; and was en were afterwards printed at the expense of trusted with a full commission to arrange the society, was found to be written by the plan of the society. He accordingly Mrs. Felicia Hemans. The other premi

.

. invited a few of his personal friends to as. ums were renewed, the third being increassist him; and for some time they held freed to fifty guineas, and another, of the like quent (almost weekly) conferences on the sum, was proposed for the best poem on subject. Their first meeting took place on "The Fall of Constantinople in the XVth the 30th of that month ; and the parties century.” By March 1822, six Essays present were, besides the Bishop, the Chan. were received for the Homeric premium, cellor of the Exchequer, (Mr. Vansittart, and ten Poems on the Fall of Constantinonow Lord Bexley,) the Right Hon. J. C. ple; but only one on the Greek language ! Villiers, (the last Lord Clarendon) and Meanwhile, the Society continued to gatbPrince Hoare, Foreign Secretary of the er strength, enrolling among its first memRoyal Academy, a gentleman distinguished bers the King, who again by letter spoke of for his love of learning. Letters were his anxiety for the success of the infant read expressing his Majesty's " eagerness undertaking,” the royal Dukes of York and to promote the object” in hand, and appoint. Cambridge, (each subscribing 100 guineas,) ing an audience for its further considera. the Bishops of Durham, Carlisle, Chester, tion. A statement was printed by Mr. and Gloucester, Sir M. Tierney, ArcbJohn Mortlock, an early friend and mem- deacon Nares, Dr. Gray, (afterwards Bishop ber of this initiative committee, and five of Bristol,) Sir Alexander Johnston, and hundred copies distributed. The title was others ;-several of whom immediately be“Royal Society of Literature for the En- gan to take a more or less active part in couragement of Indigent Merit,* and the the proceedings of the committee. Among Promotion of General Literature;" but the these, the earliest to be found on the list of views and means it recommended were attendances, were the Rev. Archdeacon soon greatly modified and altered, 10 adapt Prosser, the Rev. H. H. Baber, the Rev. them to the ultimate constitution approved Lewis Way, Mr. William Jerdan, the Bishof and munificently endowed by the King. op of Bangor, and Mr. R. Westley Hall A single part of the plan was, however, Dare. Towards the close of the London immediately acted upon, to give signs of spring season of 1821, it was deemed es. public life in the society-namely, the offer pedient to appoint a provisional council, of prizes for the following subjects:- authorized to act till the Society should

1. For the King's Premiuin, One Hundred consist of two hundred members; and, on Guineas—“On the Age, Writings, and the 17th of May, the following were apGenius of Homer; and on the state of Re- pointed, with three to constitute a quorum. ligion, Society, Learning, and the Arts dur- The Bishop of St. David's, president, the ing that Period: collected from the writ. Chancellor of the Exchequer, Vansittart, the ings of Homer."

Bishops of Bangor, Lincoln, Chester, Salis II. For the Society's Premium, Fifty bury, Gloucester, Mr. J. C. Villiers, Sir A. Guineas—“ Dartmoor; a Poem."

Johnston, Sir M.Tierney, Archdeacon Pros. III. For the Society's Premium, Twenty. ser, Dr. Gray, Archdeacon Nares, Messrs. five Guireas—“ On the History of the H. H. Baber, George Croly, Taylor Combe, Greek Language, and the Present Language Westley Hall Dare, w. Jerdan, and Prince of Greece, especially in the Ionian Isles; Hoare. The sittings continued till the 26th and on the difference between the Ancient of July, there being generally from three to and Modern Greek.”

seven or eight members present. To afford Anticipating somewhat the future result, an ideaof the trouble of working out such we may here state, that five candidates ap- a design, we may intimate the number of peared within the specified time for the what may be reckoned little less than presecond premium. Two others (as is not liminary conferences and meetings. The unusual with poets) were too late. Their earliest conferences previous to the 30th

November, 1820, were followed by fifteen * At the first subsequent meeting of the commit

ittee meetings between that date and cancelled ; and the title then stood simply, “ For the 17th of May ensuing, when the provithe Encouragement of General Literature.” sional council was appointed ; and during

co tee, these objectionable words were ordered to be

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