Nox Oculis – actero nomia poetika viii – OURANOBLEPOON



Home of the pure in heart and tranquil mind,
Temple of love’s white silence, holy Night ;
Greater than splendid thought or iron might,
Thy lofty peace unswept by any wind
Of human sorrow, leaves all care behind.
Uplifted to the zenith of thy height,
My world-worn spirit drinks thy calm delight,
And, chrysalis-like, lets slip its earthly rind.
The blinded feuds, base passions, and fierce guilt,
Vain pride and falseness that enslaved the day,
Here dwindle and fade with all that mocks and mars ;
Where wisdom, awed, walks hushed with lips that pray.
‘Neath this high minster, dim, invisible, built,
Vast, walled with deeps of space and roofed with stars.

Wilfred Campbell

The Sky Watcher

Black rolls the phantom chimney-smoke
Beneath the wintry moon ;
For miles on miles, by sound unbroke,
The world lies wrapt in its ermine cloak,
And the night’s icy swoon
Sways earthward in great brimming wells
Of luminous, frosty particles.

Far up the roadway, drifted deep,
Where frost-etched fences gleam ;
Beneath the sky’s wan, shimmering sleep
My solitary way I keep
Across the world’s white dream ;
The only living moving thing
In all this mighty slumbering.

Up in the eastern range of hill,
The thin wood spectrally
Stirs in its sleep and then is still
(Like querulous age) at the wind’s will.
My shadow doggedly
Follows my footsteps where I go,
A grotesque giant on the snow.

Out where the river’s arms are wound,
And icy sedges cling,
There comes to me as in a swound
A far-off clear, thin, vibrant sound, —
The distant hammering
Of frost-elves as they come and go,
Forging, in silver chains, his woe.

I stand upon the hill’s bleak crest
And note the far night world :
The mighty lake whose passionate breast,
Manacled into arctic rest,
In shrouded sleep is furled :
The steely heavens whose wondrous host
Wheel white from flaming coast to coast.

Then down the night’s dim luminous ways,
Meseems they come once more,
Those great star-watchers of old days
The lonely, calm-ones, whose still gaze,
On old-time, orient shore,
Dreamed in the wheeling sons of light,
The awful secrets of earth’s night.

They come, those lofty ones of old,
And take me by the hand,
And call me brother ; ages rolled
Are but a smoke-mist; kindred-souled,
They lift me to their band ;
Like lights that from pale starbeams shine,
Their clear eyes look with peace on mine.

In language of no common kind
These watchers speak to me ;
Their thoughts the depths of heaven find
Like plummets true. It were a kind
Of immortality
To spend with them one holy hour,
And know their love and grasp their power.

And wrapt around with glad content,
I learn with soul serene,
Caught from the beauty that is blent
In earth, the heaven’s luminous tent,
The frost-lit dreams between,
And something holier out of sight,
Glad visions of the infinite.

Then backward past the sere hill’s breast,
The spectral moaning wood,
With great peace brooding in my breast,
I turn me toward the common rest
Of earth’s worn brotherhood ;
But as I pass, a sacred sign,
Each lays his holy lips on mine : —

Gives me the golden chrism of song,
Tips my hushed heart with fire ;
Till high in heaven I hear that throng
Who march in mystic paths along,
Great Pleiades, The Lyre,
The Te-Deum of the ages swell,
To earth-tuned ear inaudible.

Wilfred Campbell, 1890-91


Wilfred Campbell (1858-1918)

Poète canadien. Né le 1er juin 1858 à Kitchener (Berlin, à cette époque), en Ontario, Campbell a grandi à Wiarton, fréquenta le University College en 1881-82, le Wycliffe University (Toronto) en 1882-83. Après avoir étudié au Episcopal Theological School à Cambridge (Massachusetts), il fut ordonné ministre du culte par l’Église d’Angleterre en 1885. Il épousa Mary Dibble, en 1884, et travailla comme recteur des congrégations de West Claremont (New Hampshire), et de Saint-Stephen (Nouveau Brunswick), jusqu’à ce qu’il abandonne le ministère en 1892. Ses deux premiers recueils de vers furent Sunshine and Snowflakes (1888) and Lake Lyrics (1889). Sa foi religieuse l’ayant abandonné, il quitta le sacerdoce en 1892 ; l’année précédente, il avait reçu une position au Bureau du Secrétaire d’État à Ottawa, et en 1909, il occupa une fonction aux Dominion Archives. Il écrivit pour le Toronto Globe dans les années 1890, ainsi que pour le Atlantic Monthly, le Century et Harper’s. Il fut élu à la Société Royale du Canada en 1892. Il publia régulièrement des recueils de poésies ainsi que des drames pièces en vers et des romans historiques.

Wilfred Campbell est mort à Ottawa en 1918, et est enterré dans le cimetière de Beechwood.


Bibliographie :

  • Carl F. Klinck, Wilfred Campbell : A Study in Late Provincial Victorianism (1942)
  • Terry Whalen, “Wilfred Campbell : The Poetry of Celebration and Harmony,” dans Journal of Canadian Poetry, 1, no.2 (1978) : 27-41
  • George Wicken, “William Wilfred Campbell (1858-1918),” dans Canadian Writers and Their Works (1982)

Oeuvres poétiques :

  • Snowflakes and Sunbeams (1888)
  • Lake Lyrics and Other Poems (1889)
  • The Dread Voyage (1893)
  • Beyond the Hills of Dream (1899)
  • The Poems of the Race, the Empire and the Divinity of Men (1914)
  • The Poetical Works of Wilfred Campbell (1923)






About sooteris kyritsis

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