Landon in The Literary Gazette 1827/Ballad

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Landon in The Literary Gazette 1827  (1827)  by Letitia Elizabeth Landon
Ballad - O go not forth to night, my child

21

The Literary Gazette, 22nd September 1827, page 621


ORIGINAL POETRY.

BALLAD.

"O go not forth to night, my child,
    O go not forth to night;
The rain beats down, the wind is wild,
    And not a star has light."

"The rain it will but wash my plume,
    The wind but wave it dry;
And for such quest as mine, mirk gloom
    Is welcome in the sky.

And little will the warder know
    What step is gliding near;
One only eye will watch below,
    One only ear will hear.

A hundred men keep watch and ward,
    But what is that to me?
And when hath ever love been barred
    From where he wills to be?

Go, mother, with thy maiden band,
    And make the chamber bright;
The loveliest lady in the land
    Will be thy guest to-night."

He flung him on his raven steed—
    He spurr'd it o'er the plain;
The bird, the arrow, have such speed:—
    His mother called in vain.

"His sword is sharp, his steed is fleet,—
    St. Marie, be his guide;
And I'll go make a welcome meet
    For his young stranger-bride."

And soon the waxen tapers threw
    Their fragrance on the air,
And flowers of every morning hue
    Yielded their sweet lives there.


Around the walls an eastern loom
    Had hung its purple fold—
A hundred lamps lit up the room,
    And every lamp was gold.

A horn is heard, the drawbridge falls—
    "Oh, welcome! 'tis my son!"
A cry of joy rung through the halls—
    "And his fair bride is won."

But that fair face is very pale,
    Too pale to suit a bride:
Ah, blood is on her silvery veil—
    That blood flows from her side.

Upon the silken couch he laid
    The maiden's drooping head;
The flowers, before the bride to fade,
    Were scattered o'er the dead.

He knelt by her the livelong night,
    And only once spoke he—
"Oh, when the shaft was on its flight,
    Why did it not pierce me?”

He built a chapel where she slept,
    For prayer and holy strain:
One midnight by the grave he wept,
    He never saw again.

Without a name, without a crest,
    He sought the Holy Land:
St. Marie, give his soul good rest—
    He died there sword in hand.
L. E. L.