It Was Erected At The Cost Of The French
Government By The Baron De Bougainville, In 1825, And Serves Not
as a reminder of a fine character and a full, rich and manly life, but
of a series of
Historical events that are of capital consequence in the
exploration and occupation of Australia.
It will be appropriate to conclude this brief biography with a tribute
to the French navigator from the pen of an English poet. Thomas
Campbell is best remembered by such vigorous poems as "Ye Mariners of
England," and "The Battle of the Baltic," which express a tense and
elevated British patriotism. All the more impressive for that very
reason is his elegy in honour of a sailor of another nation, whose
merits as a man and whose charm as a writer Campbell had recognised
from his boyhood. The following are his.
LINES WRITTEN IN A BLANK LEAF OF LAPEROUSE'S "VOYAGES"
Loved Voyager! whose pages had a zest
More sweet than fiction to my wondering breast,
When, rapt in fancy, many a boyish day
I tracked his wanderings o'er the watery way,
Roamed round the Aleutian isles in waking dreams,
Or plucked the fleur-de-lys by Jesso's streams,
Or gladly leaped on that far Tartar strand,
Where Europe's anchor ne'er had bit the sand,
Where scarce a roving wild tribe crossed the plain,
Or human voice broke nature's silent reign, -
But vast and grassy deserts feed the bear,
And sweeping deer-herds dread no hunter's snare.
Such young delight his real records brought,
His truth so touched romantic springs of thought,
That, all my after life, his fate and fame
Entwined romance with Laperouse's name.
Fair were his ships, expert his gallant crews,
And glorious was the emprise of Laperouse -
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