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Letitia Elizabeth Landon (Летиция Элизабет Лэндон)

To Sir John Doyle, Bart

My heart has beat high at the heroes of old,
    As they live in those annals of fame,
Where the deeds of their glory are glowingly told,
    When history has hallow'd their name.
It was pride, as I thought on those sunbeams of yore,
    Like vessels of light on oblivion's dark seas,
To pass o'er those ages, and think my own shore
    Had many, whose names would shine brightly as these.
Who has not proudly dwelt on those memories of light,
    And felt them, like something that glorified earth?
Who has not exclaim'd, with a burst of delight—
    ‘Tis my own native land which has given them birth!
Yes, warrior! 'tis only high spirits like thine,
    That teach man the generous path he may tread;
The steps of the mighty are nature's best shrine,
    Where the hopes of the young and aspiring are fed.
Yes, warrior! when young hearts shall pant for the praise,
    Such praise as the praise of the valiant will be,
He will think of the splendour that brighten'd thy days;—
    He will think of that splendour, and imitate thee.
Hail, honour and pride of the Emerald Isle!
    How envied the mead that will ever be thine!
The laurel of fame, and humanity's smile,
    To grace thee, shall always together combine.
The soldier, worn down by war's strife and turmoil,
    No longer's left cheerless and friendless to roam;
For the rest of his age may be grateful to Doyle,
    For the sweets of his hearth, and the peace of his home.

Letitia Elizabeth Landon's other poems:
  1. Portrait
  2. Age and Youth
  3. Ideal Likenesses. Ariadne
  4. A Name
  5. The Tournament

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