Letitia Elizabeth Landon (L. E. L.) in Fisher's Drawing Room Scrap Book, 1835/Olinthus Gregory

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Letitia Elizabeth Landon (L. E. L.) in Fisher's Drawing Room Scrap Book, 1835  (1834)  by Letitia Elizabeth Landon
Olinthus Gregory, L.L.D., F.R.A.S., &c.


1835-27-Olinthus Gregory.png


1835-27-Gregory Signature.png

Artist: R. Evans - Engraved by: H. Robinson


"The following lines allude to Dr. Gregory's late domestic calamity. Mr. Boswell Gregory, his eldest son, was drowned by the boat's upsetting as he was returning home by water to his father's house at Woolwich."

Is there a spot where Pity's foot,
    Although unsandalled, fears to tread,
A silence where her voice is mute,
    Where tears, and only tears, are shed?
It is the desolated home,
    Where Hope was yet a recent guest,
Where Hope again may never come,
    Or come, and only speak of rest.

They gave my hand the pictured scroll,
    And bade me only fancy there
A parent's agony of soul,
    A parent's long and last despair;
The sunshine on the sudden wave,
    Which closed above the youthful head,
Mocking the green and quiet grave,
    Which waits the time-appointed dead.

I thought upon the lone fire-side,
    Begirt with all familiar thought,
The future, where a father's pride
    So much from present promise wrought;
The sweet anxiety of fears,
    Anxious from love's excess alone,
The fond reliance upon years
    More precious to us than our own:

All past—then weeping words there came
    From out a still and darkened room,
They could not bear to name a name
    Written so newly on the tomb.
They said he was so good and kind,
    The voices sank, the eyes grew dim;
So much of love he left behind,
    So much of life had died with him.

Ah, pity for the long beloved,
    Ah, pity for the early dead;
The young, the promising, removed
    Ere life a light or leaf had shed.
Nay, rather pity those whose doom
    It is to wait and weep behind,
The father, who within the tomb
    Sees all life held most dear enshrined.