Literary Gazette, 22nd February 1823, Page 124
LEANDER AND HERO.
It is a tale that many songs have told,
And old, if tale of love can e'er be old;
Yet dear to me this lingering o'er the fate
Of two so young, so true, so passionate!
And thou, the idol of my harp, the Soul
Of poetry, to me my hope, my whole
Happiness of existence, there will be
Some gentlest tones that I have caught from thee!
Will not each heart-pulse vibrate, as I tell
Of faith even unto death unchangeable!
Leander and his Hero! they should be,
When youthful lovers talk of constancy,
Invoked. Oh, for one breath of softest song,
Such as on summer evenings floats along,
To murmur low their history! every word
That whispers of them, should be like those heard
At moonlight casements, when th' awakened maid
Sighs her soft answer to the serenade. - - -
She stood beside the altar, like the Queen,
The bright-eyed Queen that she was worshipping.
Her hair was bound with roses, which did fling
A perfume round, for she that morn had been
To gather roses, that were clustering now
Amid the shadowy curls upon her brow.
One of the loveliest daughters of that land,
Divinest Greece! that taught the painter's hand
To give eternity to loveliness;
One of those dark-eyed maids, to whom belong
The glory and the beauty of each Song
Thy poets breathed, for it was theirs to bless
With life the pencil and the lyre's dreams,
Giving reality to visioned gleams
Of bright divinities. Amid the crowd
That in the presence of young Hero bowed,
Was one who knelt with fond idolatry,
As if in homage to some deity,
Gazing upon her as each gaze he took
Must be the very last—that intense look
That none but lovers give, when they would trace
On their heart's tablets some adored face.
The radiant Priestess from the temple past:
Yet there Leander staid, to catch the last
Wave of her fragrant hair, the last low fall
Of her white feet, so light and musical;
- ↑ Appears in the Vow of the Peacock and Other Poems (1835)