poet though a dreamer and an idealist at heart,
was forced by circumstances to consider the practical
side of life. There were four generations living
under his roof-tree, and he was faced with the
problem of their future. As there seemed to be
no visible prospect of his going to live in Great
Britain, and the death of his great friend and
chieftain had broken one of the strongest links
that connected him with the motherland, Wilfred
Campbell decided to buy a place in the country
in Canada where he might live and watch his grand-children
grow up. He selected an old stone farm house at
City View, about three miles outside the city
limits of Ottawa and called it Kilmorie. There
were five and a half acres of land around the
house that the poet attempted to garden. He entered
in to it all with a brave and light hearted spirit,
little dreaming that it would be too much for
him, trying to run a place in the country with
inadequate assistance, and very often walking
the three miles to the car line that took him
to his office where he did his other work as well.
Though Wilfred Campbell worked very hard at Kilmorie,
he was very happy there, and he and my mother
were as enthusiastic as a young married couple.
This was the first home that really belonged to
them, and they were full of plans for its development.
My father had always felt that he must settle
on a spot of his own where he would feel that
he really belonged. His ancestors had always had
their own roof-tree and adhered to it. During
our visits to the old country he was always searching
our the ghosts of our ancestral holdings, and
looking for a likely house to settle in, should
the occasion arise to necessitate our using it.
was in April 1915 that Wilfred Campbell took his
grandchildren and their great grand mother to
like at Kilmorie. Anything he undertook, he put
his whole heart into, and Kilmorie was to be the
home he had been dreaming of for years. But at
the same time his country and Great Britain had
entered into the greatest war that civilization
had ever known. He who all his life had been looking
for an opportunity to help his country, realized
that now she needed all the assistance she could
get. There were so many people dependent on him
and he was past the age of military service, so
he could not see his way clear to give up his
work here to go and fight for France. His only
son Basil was there. In those bitter early days
of the war people did not know to what lengths
it mightn’t develop, and anything or person out
of the ordinary was apt to be under suspicion.
Spies and plots might develop in this country,
and the need for home protection arise. Wilfred
Campbell searched all the country round about
Kilmorie for available recruits to form what he
called the Home Guard. In the evenings after his
work was done he would go to the different places
to drill with these men. He would lecture to them
and do everything in his power to persuade and
was continually writing during these months, poetry
that expressed his hopes and ideals for his country
under her stress of war, a war that all the world
was looking to, to culminate in an everlasting
peace so we should not have to pay again the price
of those who died. Wilfred Campbell did not like
the war, and dreaded it as he expressed it in
"Peace Chorus." But once it was inevitable
he wished the whole Empire to rise as one heart
and voice, and do her part. These ideas run through
"The Sea Queen[,]" "War[,]"
"We are Coming Mother Britain[,]" "Langemarck[,]"
"The Woods at Kilmorie[,]" [and] "The
Ridge of Flame." In "The Peace of God"
he expresses his hope in a great culminating world
1918 my father was commissioned to write the history
of the Imperial Munitions Board. He entered into
it with great interest, and hoped with naďve importance
that he was after all doing something towards
the war’s general fulfilment. All the pent up
energetic Imperial enthusiasm of years was at
last to find an outlet, and Wilfred Campbell was
to die in action, of the spirit at least, before
his work was finished. During his lifetime he
may have been disillusioned in some minor details,
but he had a great irrepressible hope in things,
a childish faith that was a bright and shining
star leading him ever on. During a very severe
winter the poet developed pneumonia, and before
his family or anybody could realize it passed
away on New Years morning 1918. Just before he
died he said to my mother "Mary I see the
Duke"—He was very ill at the time, and the
unbeliever might say he was delirious, but the
next minute he had passed on to the great beyond
where he friend the Duke had preceded him. The
Duke and the people my father loved formed such
a real part of his life that no Paradise were
a Paradise without him. Let the unbeliever prove
I say, that when the poet was just entering the
great future, that he had no sudden or illuminating
vision of what was awaiting him.
finishing I am going to include two poems written
in memory of Wilfred Campbell by his two friends
Mr. J.E. Caldwell, and Mr. F.A. Acland.
The Song Is Hushed
"The song is hushed—the singer strangely
Shrinks not at blame, nor heeds the voice
Winter and care and time have had their
And haunting horror of these dreadful days.
"Lover of beauty, lover of righteousness
Lover of childhood and the childish heart
Lover of Britain in her sore distress
Eager to do and more than do his part.
"Singer of gladness in the far gone
The quest eternal towards the hills of dream
The magic cloud, the iridescent haze
The mirrored lake, the sunset’s dying gleam.
"A vast enchanted palace seemed this
And he a child to seek its wonder out
With more of dread and awe than joyous mirth
Smitten at times with chill and tragic doubt.
"But through it all the true and trusting
Scorning no task to help the common weal
Drilling our Home Guard at the long day’s
Firing us all with patriotic zeal.
"To him as unto Abraham came the call
Take now the son—he made the sacrifice
Undreaming that upon himself should fall
The stroke deferred—the bitter bitter price.
"Sweet singers we have had since time
Waking new harmonies in sound and soul
Singer and prophet, patriot and man
Such will be Campbell as the long years
"Our eyes were holden that we knew
So simple and so human every breath
Immortal pathos marks his earthly lot
Seen through the cold and crystal lens of
City View, January 26/18
"The soul had left its tenement of
But hovered still amid the friends who came
To say how they had loved him, and to pay
All those sad tributes that the dead can
"And then, his friends with lowered
Something of what his poet’s work had meant;
Those charts of larger life he had unrolled
In living words of strength and music blent.
"This yearning after nature, wild and
Mountain and lake, the earth, the sky, the
His dreamed-of golden age-past and to be
With God incarnate in the human mind.
"His note of Empire, passionate and
Commanding and compelling, fiery clear;
A call to live—and in these days to die—
True heirs to greatness God has given us
"So talked his friends in those few
Before the earth had closed upon its own
While he lay calm, enthroned in winter flowers
The eager heart at rest, care no more known.
"The tomb is filled: the mourning friends
The glowing soul ascends; the world speeds
In realms for noble spirits set apart,
He lives, but dearth is here since Campbell[’]s
City View, January 3rd. 1918
on the Life of Wilfred Campbell
Campbell and his wife (nee Mary L. Dibble) had
Berridge, born in West Claremont, Sept. 15, 1886.
George Archibald Grey.
Mrs. W.L. Fleming of Toronto.
children are by her first marriage; it
is said that her son may become Earl Grey:
this is not for publication.)
born in St. Stephen
Mrs. E.S. Malloch of Ottawa.
born in St. Stephen
of the firm of Campbell and Shepherd,
during the war; rose to rank of Major.
born in Ottawa
Mrs. Brennison of Buffalo.
was honoured in many ways; some of them are as
Elected a fellow of the Royal
Society of Canada in 1893.
various offices in the society from time to time.
Represented the Royal Society of Canada at
the Aberdeen University Quarter-Centenary.
Received the degree of Doctor of Laws from
Aberdeen University on Sept. 26, 1906. On
this occasion he was also presented to King
Edward and Queen Alexandria, a distinct honour.
Poems of 1905. Andrew Carnegie had a special
edition of 500 volumes of this book published
to present to his libraries in Canada and
the United States.
visits to England in 1905 and 1911 he was
entertained by many people of note, among
them the Duke of Argyll, the Bishop of Ripon,
the Duchess of Sutherland, Lord Pentland,
Sir William Osler, Andrew Carnegie, Rudyard
Kipling, Lord Strathcona, and many others.
Campbell died in the early morning of January
1, 1918. Death was due to pneumonia. The latter
part of his life was filled with anxiety regarding
the Great war and with noble efforts on his
part to "do his bit."