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

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

Literary Gazette, 2nd February, 1822, Page 71



Sketch Fourth.

I do love
These old remembrances—they are to me
The heart’s best intercourse; I love to feel
The griefs, the happiness, the wayward fates
Of those that have been, for these memories
Hallow the spot whereon they linger, and
Waken our kindliest sympathies.

The shore was reefed with rocks, whose rugged sides
Were venturous footing for the fowler's step:
They were shaped out in wild and curious forms,
Above all jagged and broken, but below
The waves had worn the shaggy points away;
For there they rave incessantly. When last
I past along the beach, it was at eve,
A summer's eve, stormy, but beautiful;
I could but look upon the western sky,
The rest was hidden from my view; but there
The day had spent its glory. One rich light
Broke thro' the shadow of the tempest's wing,
While the black clouds, with gold and purple edged,
Caught every moment warmer hues, until
'Twas all one sparkling arch, and, like a king
In triumph o'er his foes, the Sun-god sought
The blue depths of the sea;—the waters yet
Were ruffled with the storm, and the white foam
Yet floated on the billows, while the wind
Murmured at times like to an angry child,
Who sobs even in his slumber. Mid the rocks
That rose stern barriers to the rebel waves,
There was one spot less rugged than the rest:
Some firs had taken root there, and waved o'er
The entrance of a cave, where Grecian bards
Had said some Sea-maid dwelt, and decked the place

With ocean treasures, for the walls were bright
With crystal spar: In sooth, it seemed just formed
For some fair daughter of the main; at noon
Here she might bind her hair with shells, and wake
Her golden harp. But now a legend's told
Of human love and sorrow—it is called
The Cavern of the Pirate's Love:—her fate
Is soon and sadly told: she followed one,
A lawless wanderer of the deep, for whom
She left her father's halls. A little while
She might know happiness—it is the heart
That gives the colour to our destiny.
But lovely things are fleeting—blushes, sighs,
The hours of youth, smiles, hopes, and minstrel dreams,
Spring days and blossoms, music's tones, are all
Most fugitive; and swifter still than these
Will love dissolve into forgetfulness.
She was deserted. For awhile this cave
Was her sad refuge; for awhile the rocks
Echoed her wild complainings. I can deem
How she would gaze upon the sea, and think
Each passing cloud her lover's bark, 'till, hope
Sickened of its own vanity, and life
Sickened with hope, she passed and left a tale,
A melancholy tale, just fit to tell
On such an eve as this, when sky and sea
Are sleeping in the mute and mournful calm
Of passion sunk to rest. L. E. L.