The Higher Kinship

written by William Wilfred Campbell

The Higher Kinship

— William Wilfred Campbell

Life is too grim with anxious, eating care
To cherish what is best. Our souls are scarred
By daily agonies, and our conscience marred
By petty tyrannies that waste and wear.
Why is this human fate so hard to bear?
Could we but live with hill-lakes silver-starred,
Or where the eternal silence leaneth toward
The awful front of nature, waste and bare:

Then might we, brothers to the lofty thought
And inward self-communion of her dream,
Into that closer kin with love be brought,
Where mighty hills and woods and waters, wan,
Moon-paved at midnight or godlike at dawn,
Hold all earth's aspirations in their gleam.

About the poet


William Wilfred Campbell

William Wilfred Campbell was born 15 June 1860 in Newmarket, Upper Canada (present-day Ontario). There is some doubt as to the date and place of his birth. His father, Rev. Thomas Swainston Campbell, was an Anglican clergyman who had been assigned the task of setting up several frontier parishes in "Canada West", as Ontario was then called. Consequently, the family moved frequently. In 1871, the Campbells settled in Wiarton, Ontario, where Wilfred grew up, attending high school in nearby Owen Sound. The school later be renamed Owen Sound Collegiate and Vocational Institute). Campbell would look back on his childhood with fondness. Campbell taught in Wiarton before enrolling in the University of Toronto's University College in 1880, Wycliffe College in 1882, and at the Episcopal Theological...

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