A Remonstrance to the Poet Campbell, on Proposing to Take up His Permanent Residence in London

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Dear Poet of Hope! who hast charmed us so long
 With thy strains of home-music, sweet, solemn, and strong;
 Now, smooth as the stream when 'tis chained and at rest,
 And the hues of the sky lie like flowers on its breast,—
 Now sweeping in glory and might on its way,
 And now struggling from shadows and darkness to day.
 Oh, leave not the haunts most propitious to song,
 For the city's wild strife and the jar of the throng!—
Though the freshness of feeling that prompted in youth
Thy heart-stirring measures hath died; and the truth
That is shrined in the soul when life's voyage is begun,
May be something impaired ere the haven be won;
Though the visions have fled that gave light to thy spring,
And thy heart and thy harp each is wanting a string;
Like the leaves on the tree that no tempest may kill,
There are feelings unwithered that cling to thee still!
Alas, that a poet, so gifted, should leave
Life's green vale of repose, 'mid the many to weave
Lays that cannot but breathe of the source whence they spring;
How unlike the wild wood-notes he once used to sing!
What marvel his Muse's strong pinion should sink,
If so turbid the waters her spirit must drink;
Can we wonder her plumage should lose its proud dyes,
If she trails on the earth what was formed for the skies!
No; the Poet's a star that shines brightest apart;
Let him revel at will in the world of the heart,
But the moment he strives mid the crush of the throng,
Like a bird too much handled he loses his song;
And the fools who once worshipped his light from afar,
Are the first to proclaim him no longer a star!

© Alaric Alexander Watts