Landon in The Literary Gazette 1822/Mine

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For works with similar titles, see Poetic Sketches (L. E. L.).

42

Literary Gazette, 7th September, 1822, Page 569


ORIGINAL POETRY.

POETICAL SKETCHES.


Third Series — Sketch the First.

THE MINE.


Alas, the strange varieties or life!
We live 'mid perils and pleasures, like
Characters 'graven on the sand, or hues
Colouring the rainbow. Wild as a sick fancy
And changeful as a maiden, is this dream,
This brief dream on earth - - - -
Their doom was misery.


They were two lovers.—Oh how much is said
In that brief phrase; how much of happiness,
Of all that makes life precious, is summed up
In telling they were lovers! In this world,
In all its many pleasures, all its dreams
Of riches, fame, ambition, there is nought
That sheds the light of young and passionate love.
Ah, its first sigh is worth all else on earth:
That sigh may be most fugitive, may leave
A burning, broken, or a withered heart;
It may know many sorrows, may be crost
With many cares, and all its joys may be
But rainbow glimpses seen in clouds; yet still
That sigh breathes paradise—Iove! thou hast been
Our ruin and our heaven! Well, they loved—
Olave and his Elore; from infancy
They had been playmates, and they ever were
Each other's shadow; but when woman's blush
Came o'er the cheek, and woman's tenderness
Shaded Elore's blue eyes, then Olave's heart
Caught deeper feeling. It was just the time
When soft vows have been breathed, and answered
By blushes, gentle sighs, the eloquent signs
Of maiden bashfulness and maiden love,
And Olave knew he was beloved, that when
The fresh spring leaves were on the firs, Elore
Would be his own indeed. 'Tis a sweet time,
This season of young passion's happiness!
The spirit revels in delicious dreams;
The future is so beautiful, for hope
Is then all powerful. They would often sit
For hours by their bright hearth, and tell old tales
Of love, true as their own—or talk of days
Of quiet joy to come. And when the Spring
Smiled in green beauty, they would sweetly roam

By the pale Moon, and in her tender light
Read the love written in each other's eyes,
And call her for a witness. Oh 'tis bliss
To wander thus, arm linked in arm!—a look,
A sigh, a blush, the only answers given
To the so witching tales fond lips are telling.—
One eve they parted even more tenderly
Than they were wont to do; but one day more
And their fate would be linked in a true bond
Of deep affection; henceforth but one life!—
But the next morn he came not, and ELORE
Watched down the vale in vain! The evening closed,
And by her fireside there was solitude;
Morn blushed again, and found her still alone,
That promised morning, whose light should have shed
Gladness o'er the sweet bride, but shone on tears,
On loneliness and terror! Days pass'd by,
But OLAVE came not; none knew of his fate;
It was all mystery and fear. They searched
The valleys and the mountains, but no trace
Was left to tell of either life or death:
He had departed like a shadow. Strange
And drear were now the many tales they told
In his own village: some said the snow-pit
Had been his grave, and some that still he lived;
And wild old histories were now recalled
Of mortals loved by powerful beings, who
Bore them from earth—and Olave was so young,
So beautiful, he might well be beloved
By mountain-spirits. But alas for her,
His widowed Bride! how soon she changed from all
The beauty of her youth—her long gold hair
Lost its bright colour, and her fair blue eyes
Forgot the sunshine of their smile, for never
Her countenance was brightened up again
By the heart's gladsome feelings. So she lived
A solitary thing, to whom the world
Was nothing; and she shunned all intercourse,
Shrunk even from the voice of soothing; all
Her earthly ties were broken, and she could
But brood o'er her great misery. - - -

'Twas in Fahlun's deep mines a corse was found,
As the dark miners urged their toilsome way,
Preserv'd from all decay; the golden locks
Curl'd down in rich luxuriance o'er a face
Pale as a statue's—cold and colourless,
But perfect every feature.—No one knew
What youth it was. The dress was not the same
As worn by miners, but of antique shape,
Such as their fathers', and they deemed it was
Some stranger who had curiously explored
The depths of Fahlun, and the falling rock
Had closed him from the face of day for ever.
Thrice fearful grave! They took the body up
And bore it to the open air, and crowds
Soon gathered round to look on the fair face
And graceful form, yet still not one could tell
Aught of its history. But at length there came
An aged woman; - - - down beside the youth
Trembling she knelt, and with her withered hands
Parted from off his face the thick bright hair—
She sank upon his bosom, one wild shriek
Rang with his name,—My love, my lost Olave!

L. E. L.


Note: From The New Monthly, 1824 Volume II (Vol.11) page 55, a note to the poem ‘The Swedish Miner’, unsigned

• The body of a young Swedish miner was lately discovered in one of the mines of Dalecarlia, fresh and in a state of perfect preservation, from the action of the mineral waters in which it had been immersed. No one could recognize the body save an old woman, who knew it to be that of her lover:—he had perished fifty years before!