Letitia Elizabeth Landon (L. E. L.) in Fisher's Drawing Room Scrap Book, 1839/Fair Maid of Perth

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1839-42-The Fair Maid of Perth.png


Artist: A. Chisholm - Engraved by: P. Lightfoot


"When I behold," said the Monk, "this rich and varied land, (the Vale of Perth, from the hill of Kinnoul,) with its castles, churches, convents, stately palaces, and fertile fields, these extensive woods, and that noble river, I know not whether most to admire—the bounty of God, or the ingratitude of man. He hath given us the beauty and fertility of the earth, and we have made the scene of his bounty a charnel-house and a battle-field. He hath given us power over the elements, and to erect houses for comfort and defence, and we have converted them into dens for robbers."-Scott.

A fair, pale beauty—with a shadowy lustre
    Flung over neck and forehead by her hair,
Gathered behind into a golden cluster,
    As if the morning sunshine rested there.

Pensive she was, as if the spirit pondered
    On things that rarely make the thoughts of youth;
Upon an angel’s wings those white thoughts wandered,
    Asking of purer air, diviner truth.

Down to the earth her large blue eyes are bending,
    Turned on the inward world which gives their light,
Like the first star upon the eve attending,
    Too spiritual for day—too fair for night.

Pale is her cheek, and serious is her seeming,
    Unkindled by a blush, or by a smile—
So might a seraph look while mournful dreaming
    Over a world it does not share the while.

Oh! there are moments when the full heart, turning
    From this life, insufficient, vexed, and drear,
Looks to the skies with an impatient yearning,
    And asks the morning for another sphere.

She is full young for this—when hopes lie scattered
    Like bridal flowers, above young Pleasure’s tomb;
Then may the chain that binds to earth be shattered—
    But she knows not this weariness—this gloom.

But not the less the worldly chain is riven—
    The world’s joys, griefs, and cares behind her thrown.
Such are the spirits that aspire to heaven,
    And such the hearts that heaven stamps as its own.