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Letitia Elizabeth Landon (Летиция Элизабет Лэндон)

Fragment (Is not this grove)

                                   Is not this grove
A scene of pensive loveliness? The gleam
Of Dian's gentle ray falls o'er the trees,
And piercing thro' the gloom, seems like the smile
That pity gives to cheer the brow of grief.
The turf has caught a silvery hue of light,
Broken by shadows, where the branching oak
Rears its dark shade, or where the aspen waves
Its trembling leaves; the breeze is murmuring by,
Fraught with sweet sighs of flowers, and the song

Of sorrow, that the nightingale pours forth,
Like the soft dirge of love.——
                              There is oft told
A melancholy record of this grove—
It was time once the haunt of young affection;
And now seems hallow'd by the tender vows
That erst were breathed here. Sad is the tale
That tells of blighted feelings—hopes destroyed;
But love is like the rose, so many ills
Assail it in the bud—the canker worm,
The frost of winter, and the summer storm,
All blow it down; rarely the blossom comes
To full maturity. But there is nought
Sinks with so chill a breath as faithlessness—
As she could tell, whose loveliness yet lives
In village legends. Often at this hour
Of lonely beauty, would she list the tale
Of tenderness, and hearken to the vows
Of one, more dear than life unto her soul.

He twin'd him round a heart, which beat with all
The deep devotedness of early love;
Then left her, careless of the passion which
He had awakened into wretchedness.
The blight, which wither'd all the blossoms love
Had fondly cherish'd, wither'd too the heart
Which gave them birth; her sorrow had no voice,
Save in her faded beauty, for she look'd
A melancholy broken-hearted girl:
She was so chang'd, the soft carnation cloud,
Once mantling o'er her cheek, like those which eve
Hangs o'er the twilight of a summer sky,
Was faded into paleness, broken by
Bright burning blushes—torches of the tomb.
There was such sadness even in her smiles,
And such a look of utter hopelessness
Dwelt in her soft blue eyes, a form so frail,
So delicate, scarce like a thing of earth:—
'Twas sad to gaze upon a brow so fair,

And see it trac'd with such a tale of woe:
To think that one so young and beautiful,
Was wasting to the grave!
                               Within yon bower
Of honey-suckle, and the snowy wealth
The mountain ash puts forth to welcome spring,
Her form was found, reclin'd upon a bank;
Where nature's sweet unnurtur'd children bloom'd:
One white arm lay beneath her drooping head,
While her bright tresses twin'd their sunny wreath
Around the polish'd ivory; there was not
A tinge of colour mantling o'er her face;
'Twas like to marble, where the sculptor's skill
Has trac'd each charm of beauty, save the blush.
Serenity so sweet sat on her brow;
So soft a smile yet hover'd on her lips;
At first they thought 'twas sleep—and sleep it was,
The cold long rest of death.——
There is one grave, o'er which the cypress bends,

Like a devoted mourner; there are laid
The lost remains of one, once beautiful
Belov'd, and young. Upon her marble urn
Some hand affectionate has simply carv'd
A touching emblem of her early fate—
A lilly, sever'd from its stem, and wither'd,
Yet lovely in decay.

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

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