Landon in The Literary Gazette 1823/Stothard’s Erato

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Literary Gazette, 9th August 1823, Page 507


Gentlest one, I bow to thee,
Rose-lipp'd queen of poesy,
Sweet Erato, thou whose chords
Waken but for love-touched words!
Never other crown be mine
Than a flower-linked wreath of thine:
Green leaves of the laurel tree
Are for Bards of high degree;
Better rose or violet suit
With thy votary's softer lute.
Not thine those proud lines that tell
How kings ruled, or heroes fell;
But that low and honey tone
So peculiarly Love's own;
Music such as the night breeze
Wakens from the willow trees;
Such as murmurs from the shell,
Wave-kissed in some ocean cell;
Tales sweet as the breath of flowers,
Such as in the twilight hours
The young Bard breathes; and also thine
Those old memories divine,
Fables Grecian poets sung
When on Beauty's lips they hung,
Till the essenced song became
Like that kiss, half dew, half flame.
Thine each frail and lovely thing,
The first blossoms of the spring:
Violets, ere the sun ray
Drinks their fragrant life away;
Roses, ere their crimson breast
Throws aside its green moss vest;
Young hearts, or ere toil, or care,
Or gold, has left a sully there.

Thine, too, other gifts above,
Every sign and shape of love,
Its first smile, and its first sigh,
Its hope, its despondency,
Its joy, its sorrow, all belong
To thy so delicious song.
Fair Erato, vowed to thee,
If a lute like mine may be
Offered at thy myrtle shrine,
Lute and heart and song are thine.
Broken be my treasured lute,
Be its every number mute,
Ere a single chord should waken,
By thee or by Love forsaken.
Gentlest one, I bow to thee,
Rose-lipp'd queen of poesy!L.E.L.