Poems of Letitia Elizabeth Landon (L. E. L.) from Flowers of Loveliness, 1838/The Canterbury Bell
From Tait’s Edinburgh Magazine, December 1837, page 796
THE CANTERBURY BELL.
" 'I see it grow beneath my hand,
I see it day by day,
I measure on its purple wand
How long he is away.
" 'The seed was sleeping in the earth,
The snow was on the ground,
And Christmas gathered in its mirth
The friends now scattered round.
" 'It was the time of thy farewell,
Cold, wintry, dead—and now
The violets are in the dell,
The May upon the bough.
" 'We sowed its seed when winds were chill,
The plant now grown so fair;
We placed it on the window-sill,
To catch the sun and air!
" 'You said you would return again
Before it was in bloom—
Alas! it sheds its light in vain
Around our altered room.
" 'My heart is sick with hope deferred,
Days, weeks pass slowly o’er—
Alas! one voice is still unheard,
One step returns no more!
" 'I'm weary of these watching hours,
That fret my life away;
I do not love my favourite flowers;
I loathe the sunny day.
" 'Is not the heart a sacred thing?
Is it not Love that gives
The shadow of an angel's wing,
Where'er its presence lives?
" 'I gave my heart, I thought, for thine—
Mine was the gift alone;
Why have the false no outward sign
By which they may be known?
" 'Fair flower, that I have wept to see
Day after day arise;
I little thought that thou wouldst be
Welcomed with tearful eyes!
" 'Why should there be divided truth?
Ah! why should one love on?
I'm weary—weary of my youth,
Whose happiness is gone!'
" A light step makes her start the while,
She sees her sister stand
Beside the gate, with eager smile,
A letter in her hand.
" Poor girl! she might have spared the blush
That with the letter came;
She took the scroll—pale grew the flush,—
It did not bear his name!"