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Landon in The Literary Gazette 1822/Poetic Sketches - Sketch the First

For works with similar titles, see Poetic Sketches (L. E. L.).

Literary Gazette, 12th January, 1822, Page 27



(Sketch the First "A woman’s whole life is
a history of the affections. The heart is her
world. She sends forth her sympathies in
adventure; she embarks her whole soul in the
traffic of love, and, if shipwrecked, her case
is hopeless; it is bankruptcy of the heart.")[1]

"Who shall bring healing to thy heart’s despair,
Thy whole rich sum of happiness lies there."[2]

There are dark yew-trees gathered round, beneath
Are the white tombstones, and the green grass sods;
No other sounds are heard, save the low voice
Of a brook wandering by, or the wild song
Of the sweet red-breast plaining o'er the graves.
    There is one tomb, distinguished from the rest
By wild flowers braided round in curious wreathes
Of April beauty; the blue violet
Bending with dewdrops, like to maiden tears,
Falling for love betrayed; the primrose wan,
As sick with hope deceived; the wild briar-rose
And honeysuckles fancifully linked,
While watching them with fond and patient care,
A pale and wasted Girl leans by that grave.
She once was beautiful, but the hot sun
Has left too rude a kiss upon her cheek,
And she has lain on the damp grass, the sky
Her only canopy; while the dew hung
Amid her hair, and the hoarse night wind sung
Her lullaby; and the unwholesome moss
Has been her pillow; this has paled her brow,
And that worst sickness, sorrow—She has lain
Beside that grave, while some unholy star
Shed over her evil influence.
I marked her place the flowers round, then smile;
Oh, such a sweet sad smile!—she sang at times;
Her song had notes most musical, but strange,
That thrilled the heart and wet the eye with tears.

These are thy bridal flowers
   I am now wreathing;
This is thy marriage hymn
   I am now breathing.
Some one has been changing
   The fresh buds I gathered;
This is not my wreath,
    Look how 'tis withered!
And then she threw the flowers aside, and turned
An earnest gaze on heaven; then sang again.

I love thee, oh! thou bright star,
Now looking in light from afar.
Am I not thy own love? I see
Thy answer shine down upon me.
I love thee, thou glorious king,
Look on the fair offering I bring.
There the summer rose blooms in its pride;
Is it not a fit crown for thy bride?
Oh! when will that time of joy be
When my spirit shall mingle with Thee!
Some day I shall seek thy bright shrine,
And be to eternity thine.—

They told me of her history; her love
Was a neglected flame which had consumed
The vase wherein it kindled; Oh, how fraught
With bitterness is unrequited love!
To know that we have cast life's hope away
On a vain shadow. Her's was gentle passion,
Quiet and deep, as woman's love should be,
All tenderness and silence, only known
By the soft meaning of a downcast eye,
Which almost fears to look its timid thoughts:
A sigh scarce heard, a blush scarce visible,
Alone may give it utterance. Love is
A beautiful feeling in a woman's heart,
When felt as only woman love can feel;
Pure as the snowfall, when its latest shower
Sinks on spring flowers; deep as a cave-locked fountain,
And changeless as the cypress's green leaves,
For, like them sad, she nourished
Fond hopes and sweet anxieties, and fed
A passion unconfessed, till He she loved
Was wedded with another; then she grew
Moody and melancholy. One alone
Had power to soothe her in her wanderings,
Her gentle sister, but that sister died,
And the unhappy girl was left alone—
A Maniac. She would wander far, and shunn'd
Her own accustomed dwelling; and her haunt
Was that dead sister's grave, and that to her
Was as a home. L. E. L.

  1. Quote from Washington Irving
  2. Quote from Croly