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WHY doth the maiden turn away From voice so sweet, and words so dear? Why doth the maiden turn away When love and flattery woo her ear? And rarely that enchanted twain Whisper in woman's ear in vain. Why doth the maiden leave the hall? No face is fair as hers is fair, No step has such a fairy fall, No azure eyes like hers are there. The maiden seeks her lonely bower, Although her father's guests are met; She knows it is the midnight hour, She knows the first pale star is set, And now the silver moon-beams wake The spirits of the haunted Lake. The waves take rainbow hues, and now The shining train are gliding by, Their chieftain lifts his glorious brow, The maiden meets his lingering eye. The glittering shapes melt into night; Another look, their chief is gone, And chill and gray comes morning's light, And clear and cold the Lake flows on; Close, close the casement, not for sleep, Over such visions eyes but weep. How many share such destiny, How many, lured by fancy's beam, Ask the impossible to be, And pine, the victims of a dream.
Letitia Elizabeth Landon's other poems:
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