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Letitia Elizabeth Landon (Летиция Элизабет Лэндон)

Ideal Likenesses. Ariadne

A sweet but happy looking face, the mouth
Seem'd a rose opening to the pleasant south,
Giving sweets, stealing sunshine; it was gay
As it could smile e'en sorrow's self away;
The curls were all thrown back as not allow'd
To shed o'er that young brow, the slightest cloud;
From the fair forehead's height, they downward roll'd
A sunny stream, floating with waves of gold;
A wreath of vine-leaves bound it, but the wind
Kiss'd the stray ringlets it had not confined.
Too beautiful for earth, the sky had given
Her eye and cheek the colouring of heaven,
Blue, the clear blue upon an April sky,
Red, the first red the morning blushes dye:
Her downcast look at times wore pensiveness,
But tender more than sorrowful, as less
She had known than dreamed woe, as her chief grief
Had been a fading flower, a falling leaf.
Her song was as the red wine sparkling up,
Gaily o'erflowing from a festal cup.
Her step was light as wont to move along
To the gay cymbal and the choral song;
Her laugh was glad as one who rather chose
To dwell upon life's pleasures, than life's woes.
And this was she whom Theseus left to pine,
And mingle with her salt tears the salt brine;
Her face was all too bright for tears, she gave
Sighs to the wind, and weeping to the wave,
And left a lesson unto after-times,
Too little dwelt upon in minstrel rhymes,
A lesson how inconstancy should be
Repaid again by like inconstancy.

Letitia Elizabeth Landon's other poems:
  1. To Sir John Doyle, Bart
  2. Portrait
  3. Age and Youth
  4. The Tournament
  5. The Nameless Grave

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