Page:Landon in Literary Gazette 1823.pdf/130

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Literary Gazette 15th November 1823, Page 730-731

Were passionately eloquent, all filled
With earth's most glorious feelings. And his father,
A warrior and a hunter, one whose grasp
Was ever on the bridle or the brand,
Had no pride in a boy whose joy it was
To sit for hours by a fountain's side
Listening its low and melancholy song;
Or wander through the gardens silently,
As if with leaves and flowers alone he held
Aught of companionship. In his first years
They sent him to a convent, for they said
Its solitude would suit with Guido's mood.
And there he dwelt, while treasuring those rich thoughts
That are the food on which young genius lives.
He rose to watch the sunlight over Rome
Break from its purple shadows, making glad
Even that desolate city, whose dim towers,
Ruins, and palaces, seem as they looked
Back on departed time; then in the gloom
Of his own convent's silent burying ground,
Where, o'er the quiet dead, the cypresses mourned,
He pass'd the noon, dreaming those dear day dreams,
Not so much hopes as fancies; then at eve,
When through the painted windows the red sun
Rainbowed the marble floor with radiant hues,
Where spread the ancient church's stately arch,
He stayed, till the deep music of the hymn,
Chanted to the rich organ's rolling notes,
Bade farewell to the day; then to his cell
He went, and through the casement's iron bars
The moon looked on him, beautiful[1] as love,
Lighting his slumber. On the church's wall
There hung one lovely portrait, and for hours
Would Guido, in the fulness of his heart,
Kneel, watching, till he wept. The subject was
A dying Magdalene: her long black hair
Spread round her like a shroud, one pale thin hand
Pillowed a cheek as thin and pale, and scarce
The blue light of the eyes was visible
For the death dampness on the darkened lids,
As one more effort to look on the cross,
Which seemed just falling from the fainting arm,
And they would close for ever. In that look
There was a painter's immortality,

  1. 'tenderly' in The Vow of the Peacock