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Again it weeps,

And God doth take it from the mother's arms,
From present pain, and future unknown harms,
And baby sleeps.



TRIUMPHAL arch,1 that fill'st the sky
When storms prepare to part,2

I ask not proud Philosophy

To teach me what thou art ;

Still seem, as to my childhood's sight,
A midway station given
For happy spirits to alight,

Betwixt the earth and heaven.

Can all that optics teach, unfold
Thy form to please me so,
As when I dreamt of gems and gold
Hid in thy radiant bow?

When Science from Creation's face
Enchantment's veil withdraws,
What lovely visions yield their place
To cold material laws !3

And yet, fair bow, no fabling dreams,
But words of the Most High,

Have told why first thy robe of beams
Was woven in the sky.

1 Triumphal arch-There is something very fine in the conception of the rainbow's being a triumphal arch, raised to celebrate the peace which follows the war of the elements. One copy of this poem in a popular collection reads "triumphant arch," to the utter confusion of the sense.

2 Part-i.e. to depart. Gray in his "Elegy" writes:

"The curfew tolls the knell of parting (i.e. departing or dying) day."

3 Akenside has expressed a very different opinion on this point. See Appendix, Note C.

And yet, &c.—i.e. though fiction may be sometimes more agreeable than fact, yet here the fact itself is especially interesting.

When o'er the green undeluged1 earth,
Heaven's covenant2 thou didst shine,
How came the world's grey fathers3 forth,
To watch thy sacred sign!

And when its yellow lustre smiled
O'er mountains yet untrod,
Each mother held aloft her child
To bless the bow of God.

Methinks, thy jubilee to keep,
The first-made anthem rang
On earth, delivered from the deep,
And the first poet sang.

Nor ever shall the Muse's eye,
Unraptured greet thy beam:
Theme of primeval prophecy,
Be still the poet's theme.5

The earth to thee her incense yields,
The lark thy welcome sings,
When glittering in the freshened fields,
The snowy mushroom springs.

How glorious is thy girdle, cast
O'er mountain, tower, and town!
Or mirrored in the ocean vast,
A thousand fathoms down.

As fresh in yon horizon dark,

As young thy beauties seem,

1 Undeluged no longer overwhelmed by the deluge. The prefix un in this word does not fully convey the meaning of the writer; un is simply not without that reference to a previous state, which is implied by the prefix dis.

2 Heaven's covenant-strictly speaking, the rainbow is not the covenant, but the sign or token of it. See Gen. ix, 13.

3 The world's grey fathers-this beautiful expression is borrowed from an old poet. See Appendix, Note D.

4 Anthem-literally anti-hymn-a piece of music arranged to be sung in parts, answering to each other-music for a cathedral choir.

5 In the usual copies we have "poet's theme," as above; the reading, however in the standard edition of Campbell's poems is, "prophet's theme," a less appropriate expression, though not inconsistent with the first named; inasmuch as the ancient idea of a poet included that of a prophet, or one who was, as it were, inspired to sing of things permanently true-of things past, present, and future.

As when the eagle from the ark,
First sported in thy beam.
For, faithful to its sacred page,
Heaven still rebuilds thy span;

Nor lets the type grow pale with age,
That first spoke peace to man.



My eye descending from the Hill,2 surveys
Where Thames among the wanton vallies strays :
Thames! the most loved of all the ocean's sons
By his old sire, to his embraces runs,
Hasting to pay his tribute to the sea,
Like mortal life to meet eternity;3

Though with those streams he no resemblance hold,
Whose foam is amber, and their gravel gold :+
His genuine and less guilty wealth to explore,
Search not his bottom, but survey his shore;
O'er which he kindly spreads his spacious wing,
And hatches plenty for the ensuing spring;
Nor then destroys it with too fond a stay,
Like mothers which their infants overlay,
Nor with a sudden and impetuous wave,
Like profuse kings, resumes the wealth he gave.5
No unexpected inundations spoil

The mower's hopes, nor mock the ploughman's toil;
But godlike his unwearied bounty flows,

First loves to do, then loves the good he does.
Nor are his blessings to his banks confined,
But free and common as the sea or wind;

1 The Poem entitled "Cooper's Hill," from which this extract is made, was written in 1643. The date may account in part for the quaintness of the style. * The hill-Cooper's hill, near Windsor.

3 This idea is beautifully amplified by Cowper in the lines beginning,

"The lapse of time and rivers is the same."

4 The rivers Pactolus and Hermus, in Asia Minor, were said by the ancient poets to roll down sand mingled with gold.

5 Resumes, &c.-i.e. does not first by his overflow create abundance, and then by a second inundation destroy his own creation. The figures in the last few lines display more ingenuity than taste. They are incongruous and unnecessarily multiplied.

6 Loves to do-i.e. loves to do good. The allusion here seems to be to Gen. i, 31.

When1 he, to boast or to disperse his stores,
Full of the tributes of his grateful shores,
Visits the world, and in his flying towers
Brings home to us, and makes both Indies ours;
Finds wealth where 'tis, bestows it where it wants,
Cities in deserts, woods in cities plants;

So that to us no thing, no place, is strange,
While his fair bosom is the world's exchange.
Oh could I flow like thee! and make thy stream
My great example, as it is my theme;

Though deep yet clear, though gentle yet not dull,
Strong without rage, without o'erflowing full.2



ONCE in the flight of ages past

There lived a man-and who was he?
Mortal! howe'er thy lot be cast,

That man resembled thee!

Unknown the region of his birth,

The land in which he lived unknown;
His name hath perished from the earth;
This truth survives alone ;-

That joy and grief,+ and hope and fear,
Alternate triumphed in his breast;

His bliss and woe, a smile, a tear!

Oblivion hides the rest.

1 When-seems here to mean inasmuch, seeing that-and the sense of the passage to be, that the blessings of the Thames are unlimited, inasmuch as, through the agency of the ships-"his flying towers"-that he sends forth laden with English produce and manufacture, he visits the world, and brings home both Indies to us, by making their produce and wealth ours.

The last two lines have been much admired for the exquisite taste displayed in the choice of words. They embody, with happy brevity, the main characteristics of a finished style, which should be, "though deep yet clear, &c."

"Strong without rage," means, strong without the ostentatious display of strength.

3 The lot or condition which is common to all mankind-with its hopes and fears, its pleasures and pains.

Joy, delight, and bliss may be thus distinguished:

Joy-is vivid


and therefore transient, pleasure.

Bliss-complete and abiding happiness.

The bounding pulse, the languid limb,
The changing spirits' rise and fall,
We know that these were felt by him,
For these are felt by all.

He suffered-but his pangs are o'er;
Enjoyed-but his delights are fled;
Had friends-his friends are now no more;
And foes-his foes are dead.

He loved-but whom he loved the grave
Hath lost in its unconscious womb;
Oh! she was fair, but nought could save
Her beauty from the tomb.

The rolling seasons, day and night,

Sun, moon, and stars, the earth and main,
Erewhile1 his portion, life and light,
To him2 exist in vain.

He saw whatever thou hast seen;
Encountered all that troubles thee;
He was whatever thou hast been;
He is what thou shalt be!

The clouds and sunbeams o'er his eye
That once their shade and glory threw,
Have left, in yonder silent sky,

No vestiges where they flew!

The annals of the human race,
Their ruins since the world began,
Of him afford no other trace


A similar distinction holds between grief and woe:

Grief-is intense and overwhelming-but brief-sorrow.
Woe-complete, absorbing, and abiding misery.


Hence we may speak of "transports of joy or grief," "ecstacies of delight," "perfect bliss," "speechless woe." In the above poem, "joy" and "grief” are correctly said to "triumph," &c. " delights" to be "fled," but " bliss," and "woe," are less correctly employed, inasmuch as bliss properly belongs only to heaven and woe "lies too deep for tears."

1 Erewhile-a while before-sometime ago.

To him-for him, as far as he is concerned.

3 Vestige-from the Latin vestigium, a footmark-hence track, trace.

Annals, &c.-neither the written history of mankind nor the ruins they have left behind them, afford any other trace, &c.

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