Letitia Elizabeth Landon (L. E. L.) in Fisher's Drawing Room Scrap Book, 1837/Valetta
VALETTA, CAPITAL OF MALTA.
he vessel swept in with the light of the morn,
High on the red air its gonfalon borne;
The roofs of the dwellings, the sails of the mast
Mixed in the crimson the daybreak had cast.
On came the vessel:—the sword in his hand,
At once from the deck leapt a stranger to land.
A moment he stood, with the wind in his hair,
The sunshine less golden—the silk was less fair.
He looked o’er the waters—what looked he to see!
What alone in the depths of his own heart could be.
He saw an old castle arise from the main,
The oak on its hills, and the deer on its plain.
He saw it no longer; the vision is fled;
Paler the prest lip, and firmer the tread.
He takes from his neck a light scarf that he wore;
’Tis flung on the waters, that bear it from shore.
’Twas the gift of a false one;—and with it he flung
All the hopes and the fancies that round it had clung.
The shrine has his vow—the Cross has his brand;—
He weareth no gift of a woman’s white hand.
A seal on his lip, and an oath at his heart,
His future a warfare—he knoweth his part.
The visions that haunted his boyhood are o’er,
The young knight of Malta can dream them no more.