Landon in The New Monthly 1825/The Charmed Fountain




O'er the stream a willow tree
Leant, as if foredoom'd to be
Sign of sorrow, meant to wave
O'er some love-lorn maiden's grave.
Yet bowed branch, and pallid leaf,
Here are not the sign of grief.
Underneath, the bank is set
With the azure violet,
Each one bending like a bride,
Sweet and secret sigh to hide.
In a chestnut tree's green rest
Has the nightingale a nest,
Whence his richest tones come sweeping,
Like a lute's delicious weeping,
What time the pale moon discloses
His seraglio of wild roses,
While the falling dewdrops gem
Each sultana's diadem.
But 'tis not for its fair flowers,
Though they breathe of June's first hours,
Not for its blue violet wreath,
For its gale's Arabian breath,
For its sunshine, for its shade,
Not for the sweet music made
By the song its tenants sing,
Would you seek that grove-hid spring.

    But a curious sprite, whose dwelling
Is in the rich numbers swelling
From the bosom of some shell
Treasured in an ocean cell;
Or in the rich breathing sent
On the sunny element,
From the rose, as to complain
Of the April's sudden rain;
Or in the red lights that streak
Maiden's lip or burning cheek:—
Some such sprite has laid a spell
On the waters of this well.
Lover, if thy heart has known
One pure faith, and one alone,
Part the boughs aside, nor fear
That thy step should enter here;
For the fond and for the true
Spreads the fount its mirror blue.
But if thy false heart has changed,
Or thy fickle eye has ranged,
Take thy falsehood hence and flee,
It will yield no wave for thee. L. E. L.