Poems of Letitia Elizabeth Landon (L. E. L.) in The Amulet, 1836/The Mother’s Warning

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THE MOTHER'S WARNING

Painted by F. StoneEngraved by W. Greatbach





THE MOTHER'S WARNING.


BY L. E. L.


Pray thee, dear one, heed him not,
Love has an unquiet lot;
Why for words of fear and fate,
Shouldst thou change thy sweet estate?
Linger yet upon the hour
Of the green leaf and the flower.
Art thou happy? For thy sake
Do the birds their music make—
Birds with golden plumes that bring
Sunshine from a distant spring.
For thine eyes the roses grow
Red as sunset, white as snow.
And the bees are gathering gold
Ere the winter hours come cold.
Flowers are colouring the wild wood,
Art thou weary of thy childhood?
Break not its enchanted reign,
Such life never knows again.

Wilt thou love? Oh, listen all
I can tell thee of such thrall.
Though my heart be changed and chill,
Yet that heart remembers still,
All the sorrow that it proved,
All I suffered while I loved.

'Tis to waste the feverish day,
In impatient hopes away.
Watching with a weary eye
For a step that comes not nigh;
'Tis to pass the night in weeping,
Vigils the heart's penance keeping;
Shedding tears, that while they fall,
Are ashamed to weep at all.

There are darker hours in store,
Loving—yet beloved no more.
When the lover's heart is changed,
And the lover's eye has ranged.
Sit thou down as by a grave,
Weep o'er all thy young faith gave;
Weep and weep in vain, for never
Could endurance or endeavour,
Love in every action shown,
Keep the false heart for your own.
It is won at little cost,
But still easier is it lost.

I shall see that sunny hair
Braided with less anxious care;

I shall see that cheek grow pale,
As the lily in the vale.
I shall hear those steps whose flight
Is so musical and light,
Dragging onwards languid slow,
Caring nothing where they go.

Woe! for all I see will come!
Woe for our deserted home!
If to love thy choice shall be,
Farewell, my sweet child, to thee!