Landon in The Literary Gazette 1822/Poetic Sketches - Sketch the Second

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

Literary Gazette, 19th January, 1822, Pages 44-45



Sketch Second.

"Oh, Power of love! so fearful, yet so fair!
Life of our life on earth, yet kin to care!"[1]

It lay mid trees, a little quiet nest
Like to the stock dove's, and the honeysuckle
Spread o'er the cottage roof, while the red rose
Grew round the casement, where the thick-leaved vine
Wove a luxuriant curtain, with a wreath,
A bridal wreath of silver jessamine;—
A soft turf lay before the door, o'erhung
With a huge walnut-tree's green canopy,
Encircled round with flowers; and, like a queen
Of the young roses, stood a bright-cheeked Girl,
With smile of Summer and with lips of Spring,
A shape of air, and footsteps of the wind.
She looked all hope and gladness; but her eyes,
Her deep blue eyes, which seemed as they did owe
Their tints to the first vi’let April brings,
Had yet sad meanings in them ; 'twas not grief,
But as a presage of some ill to come.—
She stood upon the turf, while round her flew

Her bright-hued pigeons, feeding from her hand;
And still she threw fresh flowers upon the cage,
Where two white doves were cooing; and then ran
Light as the rose leaves falling, to her Sire,
To greet him, and to give a kind Good morrow.—
A blossom full of promise is Life's Joy,
That never comes to fruit; hope for a time
Suns the young floweret in its gladsome light,
And it looks flourishing—a little while,
‘Tis past, we knew not whither, but 'tis gone—
Some canker has consumed it, or some blight
Has nipt it unawares, some worm has preyed
Upon its life, or else some unkind blast
Has torn it from the stem; and those who loved,
Who fondly cultured it, are left to weep
Over the ruins of their cherished flower.—
I passed by that sweet cottage; it was changed;
The rose trees were all dead, the unpruned vine
Was trailing on the ground, the thick-grown weeds
Gave signs of desolation; one poor dove
Sat by a broken casement, while her wail
Was echo'd mournfully from the lone roof—
Love, Oh fond Love! betraying, beautiful,
How can we trust the hope of life to thee?
Is it not building on the sands? Fair girl,—
It was the darkness of thy destiny!
She loved one all unworthy of her love.
Alas, that still devoted confidence
Should lead but unto ruin! He beguil'd
Her steps from home and happiness; and when
She trusted but to him, his heart no more
Answered the beat of her's—then he could leave
The fond deceiv'd one lone and desolate!
She turned her to her Father, whom she left,
And knelt, and pray'd forgiveness: he might not
Look on her pale cheek, thin and wasted form,
And not weep o'er her kind and pardoning tears.
Her heart was broken—and familiar scenes
Of happier days and childhood brought no charm
To one whose hope was past away—She died.

Nov.[2]L. E. L.

  1. Quote from Barry Cornwall
  2. This insertion is presumably unintentional.