Landon in The Literary Gazette 1836/Lines
Literary Gazette, 11th November, 1836, Page 730
Suggested by a Drawing of W. Daniel's, Esq. A. R. A.,
representing the Hindoo Girls floating their Tributary
offerings down the Ganges.
They bend above the moonlit stream,
With gathered fruit and flowers;
The last on which the sun has left
The earlier rosy hours.
One sends a vow to him afar—
Ah! never can the heart
Know half the love it cherishes
Until it comes to part.
A thousand things are then recalled,
Though scarcely marked at first;
But lingering thoughts in after hours
Betray how they were nurst.
Another sends a little boat
Upon its happier way;
She knows to-morrow will restore
The eyes she loved to-day.
They bend with all the eager hope,
The confidence of youth,
Which makes the future it believes,
And trusts itself with truth.
And never Grecian chisel formed
Shapes of more perfect grace,
Than by the moonlit Ganges bend,
Each o'er her mirrored face.
Ah! love takes many shapes; at first
It comes as flashes fly,
That bear the lightning on their wings,
And then in darkness die.
But after comes a steadier light,
A long and lasting dream;
Like the full heaven which the sun
Flings down on life's dark stream.
One lingers—for she dares not trust
Her lamp upon the wave;
She knows the omen ere it come—
Her heart is its own grave.
There is a love that in the soul
Burns silent and alone;
Tho' all of early happiness
Has long, too long been flown.
But, like the lotus, whose soft depths
Receive the morning sun;
The true fond flower still looks to heaven,
Though light and day are done.
But she, amid her gladder friends,
Leans pensive on the strand;
She keeps her fairy bark unlaunched,
Beside her trembling hand.
Why should she send her fairy freight
To question future pain;
She knows her utter misery—
She loves, and loves in vain.
I pray his pardon, he who traced
The graceful forms I see;
Oh, magic painter! to thy skill
The spirit yields its key.
The treasures of these distant lands
Are given to thy will;
But thou hast yet a dearer charm—
The heart obeys thy skill.
L. E. L.
[Von Tietz, in his late amusing travels, mentions a custom somewhat similar in the north. After the feast of Whitsuntide, the young Russian maidens seek the banks of Neva, and fling on its waters wreaths of flowers. These are tokens of affection to absent friends, and to those "than any friend more dear."]
[It is curious to note how the oriental superstitions originated the classical ones. The lotus is like the simile so exquisitely used by Moore:—
"As the sunflower turns on her God, when he sets,
The same look which she turned when he rose."
I have only ventured on its introduction as illustrative of my Hindoo scene.