Landon in The Literary Gazette 1822/Poetic Sketches - Sketch Fifth

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

Literary Gazette, 9th February, 1822, Page 89



Sketch Fifth.

"Glad greetings, tender partings, which upstay
The drooping mind of absence." [1]

“May never was the month of love,
    For May is full of flowers;
‘Tis rather April, wet by kind,
    For love is full of showers." [2]

The palms flung down their shadow, and the air
Was rich with breathings of the citron bloom;
All the so radiant children of the south,
The gold and silver jessamines, the rose
In crimson glory, there were gathered—sounds
Of music too from waterfalls, the hymn
By bees sung to the sweet flowers as they fed;
The earth seemed in its infancy, the sky,
The fair blue sky, was glowing as the hopes
Of childish happiness; it was a land
Of blossoming and sunshine.—One is here,
To whom the earth is colourless, the heaven
Clouded and cold: his heart is far away:
The palms have not to him the majesty
Of his own land's green oaks, the roses here
Are not so sweet as those wild ones that grow
In his own valley; he would rather have
One pale blue violet than all the buds
That Indian suns have kist: his heart is full
Of gentle recollections, and those thoughts
Which can but hold communion with themselves,
The heart's best dreaming. When the wanderer
Calls up those tender memories which are
So precious to absence, those dear links
That distance cannot sunder—come there not
Such visionings, young Evelin, o'er thy soul?

The dwelling of thy childhood, the dark hill
Above thy native valley, down whose side,
Like a swift arrow, shot the foaming stream,
The music of the lark, which every morn
Waked thy light slumber, and a fairy shape,
Whose starry eyes are far too bright for tears,
Tho' tears are in them, and whose coral lip
Wears still its spring-day smile? Altho' "Farewell,"
That saddest of sad sounds, is lingering there,
Are not these present to thee? . . . Evelin was
A soldier, and he left his home with all
The high romance of youth. Beloved, and well
His heart repaid that love; but there were clouds,
Low worldly clouds, upon affection's star:
He sought to clear them—what was toil, that led
To fame, to fortune, and Elizabeth! - - -
- - - There's music in that bower, where the wild rose
Has clung about the ash,—such plaining tones
As the winds waken: there a harp is breathing,
And o'er it leans its mistress, as she lived
Upon those melancholy sounds: her head
Is bent, as if in pain, upon those strings,
And the gold shadows of her long hair veil
The white hand which almost unconsciously
In melody is wandering: that fair hand
Is not more snowy than the cheek it presses;
That cheek does tell the history of the heart—
Tells, that across the bright May hours of youth
Bleak clouds have past, and left behind a trace
Bordering on sadness, but withal so sweet
You scarce might call it sorrow; and that smile
But speaks of patient mild endurance, soft
And kind and gentle thoughts, which well become
A breaking heart, whose throbs will soon be still
In the so lonely but so quiet grave.
Yes, she was dying! tho' so young, so fair,
Her days were number'd: and if e'er her cheek
Wore the rich colour it once had, 't was but
The sad and lovely herald of decay,
The death rose, that but blossoms on the tomb.
Her's was a heart which, when it once had loved,
Could but ill brook the many trembling fears
That absent love must know—her fate was like

A star, o'er which the clouds steal one by one,
Scarce seen, scarce noticed, till the sweet light's gone. - - - - -
- - - She is within his arms, and they have met,
Evelin and his Elizabeth! a flush
Of beautiful delight is on her face;
He clasped her silently, and his dark eye
Is filled with tears. Ah, tears like these are worth
A life of smiles,—at length he gently said,
"Elizabeth, my own love!"—it was heaven
To think that she again could hear him breathe
That dear dear name; she answered not, but lay
Upon his bosom motionless. He looked
On her sweet face—'twas fixed and pale in death!

L. E. L.

  1. Quote from Wordsworth
  2. Quote from Robert Southwell