Landon in The Literary Gazette 1822 Supplement/Music
This poem is unsigned but Letitia Landon’s authorship is confirmed by its inclusion
‘The Poetical Album and Register of Modern Fugitive Poetry’,
edited by Alaric A. Watts, 1828.
The Literary Gazette, 20th July 1822, Page 457
"For Music keeps the key of memory.—Croly.
Oh yes, the sounds were sweet as those
That die away at Evening's close,
And gentle as the tones that fall
From waters wildly musical.
But Music is not dear to me,
It wakes too much of memory;
There is a spell in Music's sigh
That breathes too much of days gone by.
The silver tone, the sweet voiced shell,
To me are sad as the farewell
Of parting lovers: Music wakes
The wildest throbs, and Music takes
Each shape of fancy; but it brings
To me the shades of lovely things
Past, and for ever,–hopes deferred,
Or, like the song of the spring bird,
Dying when sweetest. Music's sigh
First taught me love's idolatry,
Waked my young heart to find (too late)
It might be left all desolate;
To curse the dream-like life before,
To love the once loved song no more;
To know, hope, genius, spirit fled,
Soul-sickness, feeling withered!–
Rather be mine the heartless smile,
A flower on the lava; while
Beneath is flame and barrenness
The colours do not glow the less.
I bade my heart once be my world,
And dreamed it could; but I was hurled
From my enchanted pinnacle
Of hope, of joy, of trust, to dwell
Mid those stern truths which chilled that heart,
And bade youth's fairy lights depart.
And Music has to me a tone
Sacred to thoughts, to feelings gone,
When love was faith, or ere I knew
Its altar frail, its sigh untrue—
That it was like the hues that spring
Upon the rainbow's wandering.
But now those feelings cannot be,
Their echo is too sad for me;
For what can Music breathe me now?–
The blighted hope, the broken vow!