Page:Landon in Literary Gazette 1823.pdf/151

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Literary Gazette 20th December 1823, Page 811

Fourth Series.


Oh gloriously upon the deep
    The gallant vessel rides,
And she is mistress of the winds,
    And mistress of the tides.

And never but for her tall ships
    Had England been so proud;
Or before the might of the Island Queen
    The Kings of the earth had bowed.

But, alas! for the widow and orphan's tear,
    When the death flag sweeps the wave;
Alas, that the laurel of Victory
    Must grow but upon the grave!

An aged Widow with one only child,
And even he was far away at sea:
Narrow and mean the street wherein she dwelt,
And low and small the room; but still it had
A look of comfort; on the white-washed walls
Were ranged her many ocean treasures—shells,
Some like the snow, and some pink, with a blush
Caught from the sunset on the waters; plumes
From the bright pinions of the Indian birds;
Long dark sea-weeds, and black and crimson berries,
Were treasured with the treasuring of the heart.
Her Sailor brought them, when from his first voyage
He came so sunburnt and so tall, she scarce
Knew her fair stripling in that manly youth.
Like a memorial of far better days,
The large old Bible, with its silver clasps,
Lay on the table; and a fragrant air
Came from the window: there stood a rose tree—
Lonely, but of luxuriant growth, and rich
With thousand buds and beautifully blown flowers:

  1. This poem appears in The Improvisatrice and Other Poems (1824)