Landon in The New Monthly 1835/Stanzas Mrs Hemans

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4

The New Monthly Magazine, Volume 44, Pages 286 to 288



(286)


STANZAS ON THE DEATH OF MRS. HEMANS.

"The rose—the glorious rose is gone."—Lays of Many Lands.

Bring flowers to crown the cup and lute,—
    Bring flowers,—the bride is near;
Bring flowers to soothe the captive's cell,
    Bring flowers to strew the bier!
Bring flowers! thus said the lovely song;
    And shall they not be brought
To her who linked the offering
    With feeling and with thought?

Bring flowers,—the perfumed and the pure,—
    Those with the morning dew,
A sigh in every fragrant leaf,
    A tear on every hue.
So pure, so sweet thy life has been,
    So filling earth and air
With odours and with loveliness,
    Till common scenes grew fair.

Thy song around our daily path
    Flung beauty born of dreams,
And scattered o'er the actual world
    The spirit's sunny gleams.
Mysterious influence, that to earth
    Brings down the heaven above,
And fills the universal heart
    With universal love.

Such gifts were thine,—as from the block,
    The unformed and the cold,
The sculptor calls to breathing life
    Some shape of perfect mould,
So thou from common thoughts and things
    Didst call a charmed song,
Which on a sweet and swelling tide
    Bore the full soul along.

And thou from far and foreign lands
    Didst bring back many a tone,
And giving such new music still,
    A music of thine own.

A lofty strain of generous thoughts,
    And yet subdued and sweet,—
An angel's song, who sings of earth,
    Whose cares are at his feet.

And yet thy song is sorrowful,
    Its beauty is not bloom;
The hopes of which it breathes, are hopes
    That look beyond the tomb.
Thy song is sorrowful as winds
    That wander o'er the plain,
And ask for summer's vanish'd flowers,
    And ask for them in vain.

Ah! dearly purchased is the gift,
    The gift of song like thine;
A fated doom is hers who stands
    The priestess of the shrine.
The crowd—they only see the crown,
    They only hear the hymn;—
They mark not that the cheek is pale,
    And that the eye is dim.

Wound to a pitch too exquisite,
    The soul's fine chords are wrung;
With misery and melody
    They are too highly strung.
The heart is made too sensitive
    Life's daily pain to bear;
It beats in music, but it beats
    Beneath a deep despair.

It never meets the love it paints,
    The love for which it pines;
Too much of Heaven is in the faith
    That such a heart enshrines.
The meteor-wreath the poet wears
    Must make a lonely lot;
It dazzles, only to divide
    From those who wear it not.

Didst thou not tremble at thy fame,
    And loathe its bitter prize,
While what to others triumph seemed,
    To thee was sacrifice?

Oh, Flower brought from Paradise
    To this cold world of ours,
Shadows of beauty such as thine
    Recall thy native bowers.

Let others thank thee—'twas for them
    Thy soft leaves thou didst wreathe;
The red rose wastes itself in sighs
    Whose sweetness others breathe!
And they have thanked thee—many a lip
    Has asked of thine for words,
When thoughts, life's finer thoughts, have touched
    The spirit's inmost chords.

How many loved and honoured thee
    Who only knew thy name;
Which o'er the weary working world
    Like starry music came!
With what still hours of calm delight
    Thy songs and image blend;
I cannot choose but think thou wert
    An old familiar friend.

The charm that dwelt in songs of thine
    My inmost spirit moved;
And yet I feel as thou hadst been
    Not half enough beloved.
They say that thou wert faint, and worn
    With suffering and with care;
What music must have filled the soul
    That had so much to spare!

Oh, weary One! since thou art laid
    Within thy mother's breast—
The green, the quiet mother-earth—
    Thrice blessed be thy rest!
Thy heart is left within our hearts,
    Although life's pang is o'er;
But the quick tears are in my eyes,
    And I can write no more.
L. E. L.