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Letitia Elizabeth Landon (Летиция Элизабет Лэндон)

Sketch of Scenery

It was a little glen, which, like a thing
Cherish'd in secret, as a treasure hid
From all the world, lay bosom'd in those heights;
'Twas such a spot, as in all ages men
Have sacred held: the Greek had said, it was
Some fabled wood-nymph's favourite dwelling place;
And former minstrels of our isle had deem'd,
The fairies chose it for their moonlight haunt:
Fed by a mountain rill, which softly fell—
Quiet, like patient tears, a fountain rose.
In spring, the violet and primrose breathed
Their sighs upon the banks; for tho' the flowers
Had pass'd away, the green leaves spread around,
'Mid the soft turf;—but tho' the scented race
Of April blooms were gone, yet there were still
Bright odourous blossoms: there the pale pink heath
Grew in its delicate beauty; and the blue
Of the fair harebell seem'd as it had caught
Its azure from the wave. You might not gaze
At distance round, for lofty trees uprose,
And rocky summits clos'd it in. The noon
Had here no power; it was most sweet to lean,
In the hot summer hours, upon that bank,
And watch the sun beams o'er the waters play,
Just where they left the hill side and came down,
In a light diamond shower, silently,
Yourself in shade the while; for o'er that rill
An ancient beech spread its deep canopy:
Some one had planted there a pale white rose;
And the wild ones sweetly blush'd beside, and twin'd
Around the lovely stranger, as they would
Give it kind welcome. Never more my steps
Will wander in thy solitude, lone glen!
I shall not list again the serenade
The wood lark pours unto the eve; or wish,
When that I saw a green leaf float along
Upon the sunny waters of thy stream,
That such might be the fate of those I lov'd—
A bright untroubled course; and when the gale,
Too rudely breathing, whirl'd the leaf away,
Bethink me of how very vain my wish.
It is not grief, to say farewell to thee,
Valley of beauty! even in thy shades
I felt as exiles feel, when far from those
With whom their heart's love dwells : I have oft look'd
Upon the clouds, and envied them the wind
That bore them on. All lovely as thou art,
'Tis joy to think, that when to-morrow's sun
Shall sink amid those woods, my anxious eye
Will gaze on scenes most precious to my soul,
That have so long been memory's resting place,
Where every hope of happiness is shrin'd.

Letitia Elizabeth Landon's other poems:
  1. To Sir John Doyle, Bart
  2. Portrait
  3. Age and Youth
  4. Song (I wrote my name upon the sand)
  5. Ideal Likenesses. Ariadne

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