Letitia Elizabeth Landon (L. E. L.) in Fisher's Drawing Room Scrap Book, 1833/Walter Scott

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1833-44-Sir Walter Scott Bart.png


1833-44-Scott Signature.png

Artist: T. Graham, Esq. - Engraved by: J. Thomson


Dead!—it was like a thunderbolt
    To hear that he was dead;
Though for long weeks the words of fear
    Came from his dying bed;
Yet hope denied, and would deny

We did not think that he could die.

tHE poet has a glorious hold
    Upon the human heart,
Yet glory is from sympathy
    A light alone—apart;
But there was something in thy name,
Which touched us with a dearer claim.

The earnest feeling borne to thee
    Was like a household tie,
A sunshine on our common life,
    And from our daily sky.
Thy works are those familiar things
From which so much of memory springs.

We talked of them beside the hearth,
    Till every story blends
With some remembered intercourse
    Of near and dearest friends,
Friends that in early youth were ours,
Connected with life’s happiest hours,

How well I can recall the time
    When first I turned thy page,
The green boughs closed above my head
    A natural hermitage;
And sang a little brook along,

As if it heard and caught thy song.

I peopled all the walks and shades
    With images of thine;
The lime-tree was a lady’s bower,
    The yew-tree was a shrine:
Almost I deemed each sunbeam shone
O’er banner, spear, and morion.

Now, not one single trace is left
    Of that sequestered nook;
The very course is turned aside
    Of that melodious brook:
Not so the memories can depart,
Then garner’d in my inmost heart.

The past was his—his generous song
    Went back to other days,
With filial feeling, which still sees
    Something to love and praise,
And closer drew the ties which bind
Man with his country and his kind.

It rang throughout his native land,
    A bold and stirring song,
As the merle’s hymn at matin sweet,
    And as the trumpet strong:
A touch there was of each degree,
Half minstrel and half knight was he.

How many a lonely mountain glade,
    Lives in his verse anew,
Linked with associate sympathy,
    The tender and the true;
For nature has fresh beauty brought,
When animate with life from thought.

’Tis not the valley nor the hill,
    Tho’ beautiful they be,
That can suffice the heart, till touched
    As they were touched by thee;
Thou who didst glorify the whole,

By pouring forth the poet’s soul.

Who now could stand upon the banks
    Of thine own "silver Tweed?"
Nor deem they heard thy "warrior's horn,"
    Or heard thy "shepherd’s reed?"
Immutable as Nature’s claim,
The ground is hallowed by thy name.

I cannot bear to see the shelf
    Where ranged thy volumes stand,
And think that mute is now thy lip,
    And cold is now thy hand;
That, hadst thou been more common clay,
So soon thou hadst not passed away.

For thou didst die before thy time,
    The tenement o’erwrought,
The heart consumed by its desire,
    The body worn by thought;
Thyself the victim of thy shrine,
A glorious sacrifice was thine.

Alas, it is too soon for this—
    The future for thy fame;
But now we mourn, as if we mourned
    A father’s cherished claim.
Ah! time may bid the laurel wave—

We can but weep above thy grave.