Landon in The Literary Gazette 1820/Fragment—Is not this grove

For works with similar titles, see Fragment (Letitia Elizabeth Landon).

William Jerdan called this the germ of the future L. E. L., a highly artificial construct that represents one of the earliest examples of Post-Romantic poetry.

Literary Gazette, 26th August, 1820, Pages 556-557

[by Correspondents.]


Is not this grove
A scene of pensive loveliness—the gleam
Of Dian's gentle ray falls on the trees,
And piercing thro’ the gloom, seems like the smile
That pity gives to cheer the brow of grief:
The turf has caught a silvery hue of light
Broken by shadows, where'er the branching oak
Rears its dark shade, or where the aspen waves
Its trembling leaves. The breeze is murmuring by
Fraught with sweet sighs of flowers and the song
Of sorrow, that the nightingale pours forth,
Like the soft dirge of love.
There is oft told
A melancholy record of this grove—
It was time once the haunt of young affection—
And now seems hallowed by the tender vows
That erst were breathed here.
Sad is the tale
That tells of blighted feelings, hopes destroyed;
But love is like the rose, so many ills
Assail it in the bud—the cankering blast,
The frost of winter and the summer storm,
All bow it down; rarely the blossom comes
To full maturity; but there is nought
Sinks with so chill a breath as Faithlessness,—
As she could tell whose loveliness yet lives
In village legends. Often, at this hour
Of lonely beauty, would she list the tale
Of tenderness, and hearken to the vows
Of one more dear than life unto her soul:
He twined him round a heart which beat with all
The deep devotedness of early love—
Then left her, careless of the passion which
He had awakened into wretchedness:
The blight which withered all the blossoms love
Had fondly cherish'd, wither'd to the heart
Which gave them birth. Her sorrow had no voice,
Save in her faded beauty; for she looked
A melancholy broken-hearted girl.
She was so changed, the soft carnation cloud
Once mantling o'er her cheek like that which eve
Hangs o'er the sky, glowing with roseate hue
Had faded into paleness, broken by
Bright burning blushes, torches of the tomb.
There was such sadness, even in her smiles,
And such a look of utter hopelessness
Dwelt in her soft blue eye—a form so frail,
So delicate, scarce like a thing of earth—
‘Twas sad to gaze upon a brow so fair,
And see it traced with such a tale of woe—
To think that one so young and beautiful
Was wasting to the grave.
Within yon bower,
Of honey suckle and the snowy wealth
The mountain ash puts forth to welcome spring,
Her form was found reclined upon a bank,
Where nature's sweet unnurtur'd children bloom.
One white arm lay beneath her drooping head,
While her bright tresses twin‘d their sunny wreath
Around the polish’d ivory; there was not
A tinge of colour mantling o’er her lovely face;
’Twas like to marble, where the sculptor's skill
Has traced each charm of beauty but the blush.
Serenity so sweet sat on her brow;
So soft a smile yet hover'd on her lips,
At first they thought 'twas sleep—and sleep it was—
The cold long rest of death.

  1. This poem also appears in The Fate of Adelaide, a Swiss Romantic Tale; and Other Poems (1821)