Poems of Letitia Elizabeth Landon (L. E. L.) in Friendship’s Offering, 1825/Ballad - Over the land, and over the sea
Over the land, and over the sea,
Youth of my heart! will I follow thee.
See, I have doff'd my silken train,
My lace 'kerchief, and golden chain;
For cap and plume I've chang’d my veil,
And my pearl-wreath'd braid of the lily pale;
And for satin slippers, a buskin tied,
Made of the red deer's stiffen'd hide;
And my heavy length of yellow hair,—
Look on the river— 'tis floating there.
Last night, I stood in my father's hall,
With broider'd robe, and Indian shawl:
Lovers caught each breath of my sigh,
And vassals watch'd the turn of mine eye;
A sandal-wood lute was in my hand,
And my step was the first in the saraband.
Tonight I stand in the hunter's dress,
Belying my weak loneliness.
Instead of music, and dance, and song,
And serviteurs, and a courtly throng,
Is the quiet shade of the greenwood tree;
And for many false hearts, a true one in thee.
And I am happy. Oh! love should live
But for the sweet life itself can give.
Where are gems like the lily, wet
With tears it has kiss'd from the violet?
Where is the lamp in a lady's bower,
Like the first pale star of the twilight hour?
What hand ever waked from the lute a tone
Like the nightingale's voice, when she sings alone?
Not to the dark city, not to the false court,
Will health, and truth, and love, resort:
Their dwelling is made with the leaf and the flower,
Amid summer sunshine and April shower;
They live by the brook and the forest tree,
In a wild sweet home, such as ours will be.