Page:Landon in Literary Gazette 1823.pdf/132

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Literary Gazette 15th November 1823, Page 730-731

A longer memory to one whose life
Was but a thread. Her history may be told
In one word—love. And what has love e'er been
But misery to woman? Still she wished—
It was a dying fancy which betrayed
How much, though known how false its god had been,
Her soul clung to its old idolatry,—
To send her pictured semblance to the false one.
She hoped—how love will hope!—it might recall
The young and lovely girl his cruelty
Had worn to this dim shadow; it might wake
Those thousand fond and kind remembrances
Which he had utterly abandoned, while
The true heart he had treasured next his own
A little time, had never ceased to beat
For only him, until it broke. She leant
Beside a casement when first Guido looked
Upon her wasted beauty. 'T was the brow,
The Grecian outline in its perfect grace,
That he had learnt to worship in his youth,
By gazing on that Magdalene, whose face
Was yet a treasure in his memory;
But sunken were the temples,—they had lost
Their ivory roundness, yet still clear as day
The veins shone through them, shaded by the braids,
Just simply parted back, of the dark hair,
Where grief's white traces mocked at youth. A flush,
As shame, deep shame, had once burnt on her cheek,
Then lingered there for ever, looked like health
Offering hope, vain hope, to the pale lip,
Like the rich crimson of the evening sky,
Brightest when night is coming. Guido took
Just one slight sketch; next morning she was dead!