Landon in The Literary Gazette 1822/Rosalie

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

Literary Gazette, 18th May, 1822, Page 314


ORIGINAL POETRY

POETIC SKETCHES.


Second Series— Sketch the Third.

ROSALIE.


The green grass, with a cypress tree above,
Is now her dwelling, and the worm hath fed
Upon the lip I loved so - - -


We met in secret: mystery is to love
Like perfume to the flower; the maiden's blush
Looks loveliest when her cheek is pale with fear.
By moonlight still I sought my lady's bower,
And there, 'mid blossoms fragrant as her sigh,
I met the beauty that my soul adored,
And listened for the light feet, which like wind
Pass'd o'er the dewy turf. Oh never can
That dear step be forgotten—it is still
Familiar as a sound of yesterday.—
Our shrine of meeting was a cypress, which
Hung o'er the rose, like Sorrow shading Love:
This was the temple where we called the Night
To witness gentle vows, and when each lip
Paused in the fulness of impassioned thoughts;—
Hearkened those moonlight melodies, which came
So soothingly upon that silent time;
The light cascade, descending, shedding round
Its silver drops upon the orange blooms,
That leant to kiss their own fair images,
Each sparkling wave a mirror, and sighed forth
Their soul of odour as they caught the dew;
The melancholy music of that bird
Who sings but to the stars, and tells her tale
Of love when, bosomed by the snowy clouds,
The Queen of Beauty lights her radiant lamp,
Her own soft planet.—And at times there came
Like a low echo, a faint murmur, when
A gale just laden with the rose's sigh
Swept the Eolian lyre, and wakened sounds

Of such wild sweetness that it almost seemed
The breath of flowers made audible.—They told,
In long departed days, when every grove
Was filled with beautiful imaginings
And visioned creations, that a Nymph
Once pined with unrequited love, and sighed
Away her sad existence. I could think
She left her last tone softly giving soul
To the sad of that lonely lyre;
Or else, perchance, the spirit of some Bard,
Whose life in life was music, wander'd o'er
The chords which once with him held sympathy,
Like him neglected, but sweet breathing still! - -
- - Why dwell I on these memories? Alas,
The heart loves lingering o'er the shadows left
By joys departed.—'Twas one summer night,
And our brief hour had pass'd; I know not why,
But my soul felt disquieted within me,
And the next evening, when I sought the grove,
I had a strange foreboding sadness—none
Were there to welcome me, no silvery trace
Of fairy footsteps was upon the grass:
I waited long and anxiously—none came—
I wandered on; it was not in the hope
To meet my Rosalie; but it was sweet
To look upon the stars, and think that they
Had witnessed our love. At once a sound
Of music slowly rose, a sad low chant
Of maiden voices, and a faint light streamed
From out the windows of a chapel near;
I knew it well—'twas the shrine sacred to
Her patron saint, and Rosalie had said,
If ever I might claim her as my bride
Before the face of heaven, that altar should
Be where our vows were given. I entered in,
And heard a sound of weeping, and saw shapes
Bent down in anguish: in the midst a bier
Was covered o'er with flowers—sad offerings made
The dead, in vain — and one lay sleeping there,
Whose face was veiled;—I could not speak nor ask,
My heart was wild with fear,—I lifted up
The long white veil,—I looked on the pale check
Of my so worshipped Rosalie!L. E. L.