And though 'twere certain, yet were ought but bread;
Letting—for so they say, it seems, I said,
And I am all too weak to disobey!
Therefore for me sweet Nature's scenes reveal not
Their charm; sweet Music greets me and I feel not;
Sweet eyes pass off me uninspired; yea, more,
The golden tide of opportunity
Flows wafting-in friendships and better, —I
Unseeing, listless, pace along the shore.
Born in Scotland, Major Calder Campbell served in India and was decorated
for his service in the Burmese war (1826–7). He had retired when the
sculptor Alexander Munro introduced him to Dante Gabriel and William
Michael Rossetti, with whom he became good friends. He published
sketches and poetry in various periodicals and assisted with the publication
of the Germ in 1850.
When midst the summer-roses the warm bees
Are swarming in the sun, and thou—so full
Of innocent glee—dost with thy white hands pull
Pink scented apples from the garden trees
To fling at me, I catch them, on my knees,
Like those who gathered manna; and I cull
Some hasty buds to pelt thee—white as wool
Lilies, or yellow jonquils, or heartsease;—
Then I can speak my love, even though thy smiles
Gush out among thy blushes, like a flock
Of bright birds from rose-bowers; but when thou'rt gone
I have no speech, —no magic that beguiles,
The stream of utterance from the hardened rock:—
The dial cannot speak without the sun!
William Bell Scott was a poet, artist, and critic who was part of the Pre-
Raphaelite circle. His first published poem was a tribute to Percy Bysshe
Shelley. He contributed to the short-lived periodical the Germ, edited by
William Michael Rossetti, and published poetry throughout his life. He
achieved success as an engraver but gave up illustrating to become a painter.