Landon in The Literary Gazette 1823/Fragment 3

For works with similar titles, see Fragment (Letitia Elizabeth Landon).
Poems  (1823)  by Letitia Elizabeth Landon
Fragment - Oh it is veriest vanity to love!

Literary Gazette, 16th August 1823, Page 524


Oh it is veriest vanity to love!—
Lovers are misers, who hoard up a store
Of wealth that cannot profit them, but turns
To weariness or waste. And what is love,
So sought with deep anxiety till won?
Beautiful disappointment when once gained.
    We are now seated by a green turf grave:
The white rose, which hangs o'er it droopingly,
Parched by the summer, for which yet it pined
Throughout the winter, is the history
Of its cold tenant. She was a fair girl,
The very flower of Andalusian maids;
No one so often heard the light guitar
Steal on her midnight; and tho' rarely gold
Or pearls bound her dark tresses, there were few
Of nobler birth, or of more Indian wealth.
So very young, so beautiful, 'twas like
The sudden fading of a bud in spring—
On which there is no mark of blight or worm,
When her place was found vacant in the dance,
And her soft voice was missed; when it was said
That in a convent's solitude she hid
The light and bloom of her sweet April time.
They did not know how youth's best pleasures pall
When the heart is not in them, or how much
Of happiness is in those secret thoughts
Which each hides from the other. Isabel
Lived but in one deep feeling, for she loved—
Loved with that wild and intense love which dwells
In silence, secrecy, and hopelessness,
And deemed a cloister was the fittest shade
For unrequited tenderness; and love,
Nourished by blushes and by passionate tears,
Grew like a fairy flower, until it filled
The solitary heart with fancied beauty.—

    They say there is a destiny in love:
'Twas so with Isabel. Some one had breathed
The secret cause that turned her from the world;
She had been loved although she knew it not,
And vow and veil of the dark convent cell
Were changed for bridal ones.
Alas, the vanity of these warm feelings!
A little while, and hers was happiness;
But this low grave, where rests the broken heart,
May tell how short it was. The heart which made
A world itself of visionary hopes,
Might never bear the chill realities,
All that affection has to learn and brook
When its first colouring is departed. Love,
I can but liken thee to the red bloom
Upon the apple,—making the outside bright,
But reaching not the core! L. E. L.