Page:Landon in Literary Gazette 1823.pdf/121

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Literary Gazette 18th October 1823, Page 667


----------A solitude
Of green and silent beauty, just a home
Where I could wish to weep my life away
In utter loneliness, and never more
Hear human voice, or look on human face.
It is a secret place among the hills:
Little and dark the valley lies below,
And not a taint of earth is on the air,
Which the lip drinks pure as the stream whose source
Is hidden here,—large rocks have girthed it in;
All palaces for the eagle are their sides,
Safe or far safer than a sanctuary,—
For even that, though shielded by God's name,
Man holds not sacred. Here at least his power
Is neither felt nor feared. The chamois rests
When harassed, as the powerless ever are;
It flies before the hunter. Small as still,
A skilful archer's bow would send the shaft
Across its utmost boundary, and half
Is covered with dark pines, which in the spring
Send forth sweet odours, even as they felt
As parents do, rejoicing o'er their children
In the green promise of their youthful shoots,
The spreading of their fresh and fragrant leaves.
The other part is thinly scattered o'er
With dwarf oaks, stinted both in leaves and growth.
And in the midst there are two stately firs,
The one dark in its hoary foliage, like
A warrior armed for battle; but the next
Has lost its leafy panoply, the bark
Stripped from the trunk, the boughs left black and bare
By some fierce storm to which it would not bend,—
Like a high spirit, proud, though desolate.