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

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

Literary Gazette, 26th January, 1822, Page 59



Sketch Third.

"You must make
Your heart a grave, and in it bury deep
Its young and beautiful feelings." [1]

’Tis hidden from the sun by the tall elms,
The noon has here no power, and the soft grass
Springs fresh and green, even in the summer's heat.
There is deep stillness round, save when the gale
Talks to the willows that hang gracefully
Over the brook, whose broken murmurs are
An answer to the wind which brings then breaks
The bubbles on its surface; here the dove
Coos in the noon day, and at evening tide
The woodlark sings his vesper symphony.—
This lime grove was the cherished haunt of one
Who loved it for its solitude; to him
Silence was holiest language, and the leaves,
The birds, the clouds, were his familiar friends.
His soul was given to poesy, and crowds
And peopled cities were as chains to him,
Where all was cold and strange, where none could feel
As he did; and he loved to shrink away,
The deep woods his companions, and to live
Mid visions and wild songs. Oh, blessedness!
To see the fair creations of the thought
Assume a visible form; sweet Poesy!
How witching is thy power upon the heart;
Enchantment that does bind our senses up
In one unutterable influence;
A charmed spell set over every thought,
Till life's whole hope is cast upon the lyre.
Loved with a love intense and passionate,
A strange, a jealous, but devoted love.
It is not happiness, tho' in the wreath
That binds the poet's brow, there's many a hue
Of pleasure and of beauty; yet those flowers,
Like other blooms, are guarded round with thorns,
And subject to the blight and canker-worm.

Planet of bright but wayward destinies,
Thy votaries are thy victims; he who seeks
The laurel must essay a weary path;
Neglect will chill his best affections, or
Cold mockery will greet them. There are given
Rich gifts unto the bard; but, not content
With silent rapture, he must sun his wealth,
Show his hid treasures to the world, and then
The canker will consume them, and the fame
He fondly sought be bitterness of heart.
'Twas thus with the young Minstrel of this grove:
He sought to grasp an iris, beautiful
And of bright colours, but all formed of tears.
His memory lingers in this glen, for here
He caught the inspiration of the gale,
Singing its evening hymn, and worshipped
Like an idolater the morning star
He pass'd in early youth; his heart was as
A delicate flower, too soft to blossom long.
He sleeps where yon pale willow leans, and weeps
The morning dew above his quiet grave. L. E. L.

  1. Quote from Barry Cornwall