Landon in The Literary Gazette 1824/Troubadour

For works with similar titles, see The Troubadour.
Poems  (1824)  by Letitia Elizabeth Landon
Metrical Tales. IV. - The Troubadour.

Literary Gazette, 20th March, 1824, Pages 186-187


Oh, sleep in silence, or but wake
    The songs of sorrow, my loved lute!
Thou wert but waked by one sweet spell—
    That spell is over, now be mute.

Yet, wake again, I pray thee, wake;
    My soul yet lives upon the chords—
My heart must breathe its wrongs, or break:
    Yet can it find relief in words!

My glorious laurel! pine and fade—
    Oh, round some happier bard go twine—
Those bright green leaves were never made
    To crown a brow so lorn as mine.

Break, break, my lute! fade, fade, my wreath!
    Laurel and lute are dead for me;
Laurel and lute are vowed to Love;
    And, Love, I dare not think on Thee.

It was a deep blue summer night,
    A night with star gemmed coronal;
And music murmured thro' the dell,
    A song sent from the waterfall.

And there was fragrance on the air;
    For roses, like sweet lamps, so bright,
So red, so fresh, were shining there;
    And jasmines with their silver light.

It was a night, soft as the hope,
    Calm as the faith with which I said
Farewell to thee, my lovely one—
    My Provence rose, my fair haired Zaide.

She tied her white scarf on my breast,
    She gave a bright curl from her brow,
Her rose-bud mouth to mine was prest—
    Scarf, curl, and kiss, are with me now.

That kiss has been kept like the leaves
    Of the young rose, or ere the sun,
Like love, has opened the sweet flower,
    It fades while it is shining on.

That curl has waved amid the light
    Of flashing steel and flying spear—
That scarf has been blood-dyed—I fought
    In honour of my maiden dear!

And never did I wake my harp
    To any name but hers—that one
I taught the gales of Palestine,
    I taught the groves of Lebanon.

Again I sought her bower, and brought
    A laurelled lute, a laurelled blade;
It was the same sweet summer night,
    Of fragrant gales and moonlight shade.

The moon in the same beauty sailed,
    The brook in liquid music ranged ;
There stood the old accustomed oak,
    But every other thing was changed.

The roses drooped, neglected; dead
    Upon the ground the jasmines lay;
And little (my foreboding said,)
    Has she thought on me while away;

Or she had sacred kept the bower,
    The temple of our parting kiss,
For well love cherishes each thing
    That has a memory of its bliss.

I stood beneath the old oak tree,
    My harp was on my shoulder slung,
When suddenly a plaining breeze,
    Like to a dirge, across it rung.

And almost, as in mockery,
    Answered a light and cheerful sound—
Young voices singing to the flute,
    And distant bells that pealed around.

I saw bright torches, and I went
    To gaze upon the gay parade—
It was a bridal pageantry,
    And the bride was my faithless Zaide!

Oh, worse than death! I had not thought
    That such a thing could be; too well
My heart had loved, to deem that aught
    Like falsehood could be possible.

Farewell then, Zaide, with that farewell
    To all that bears a woman's name:
Heart, harp, and sword, were vowed to thee,
    They'll never know another's claim.

I take thy white scarf from my heart,
    And fling its fragments on the air;
Thy bright curl—no, I cannot part
    With this one pledge—thy silken hair.

My heart is seared—I have lost all
    My dreams of bliss, my golden store;
For, what is life when love is gone?
    And what is love when hope is o'er?L. E. L.