Page:Landon in Literary Gazette 1823.pdf/49

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Literary Gazette, 12th April 1823, Page 235-236

With its gay maskers, with its courtly feasts,
Its spices from the east, its Indian gold,
Are nothing worth the pageantry of summer!
There are no pearls like lilies.
    Guido. Ah, my life.
Flowers are all the jewels I can give thee;
I have no castle, in whose stately halls
Vassals or kinsmen wait to welcome thee.
    lanthe. Oh, Love asks nothing but the heart.
          Enter Count Manfred unperceived;
My daughter! ah, and listening to some lover!
    Guido. My history is slight: I am the child
Of sorrow and of shame. I can recall
Only a humble home, and but one parent—
My solitary mother, and she watched me,
And wore herself to sickness for my sake.
She was so very pale, this little hand
Wears not more perfect ivory than her cheek;
The veins ran colourless as those in marble;
Yet I have heard my nurse say, in her youth
The first rose summer offers to the sun
Had not a fresher luxury of health.
There was a languor in her large dark eyes.
Born of long suffering; yet at times a smile
Lighted them when she looked on me. Your voice,
And 'twas your voice that made me love you first,
Has the same tone as hers had—soft and low,—
So very musical, that were the sense
Inaudible, the ear would yet have dwelt
Only upon the sounds.
    lanthe. Oh, how I should
Have loved your mother!
    Guido. The first grief I felt
Was when her voice grew feeble, and her cheek
Burnt with a feverish hectic, and her hand,
Though fire, trembled in mine as if with cold.
Then first I heard of wrongs, of love betrayed,
(How can love be forgotten!) of the vows
That win, then break a woman's heart! She wept
In telling of the weakness which had given
Her fair fame and her happiness away
To one who could desert her. Then she left
(Her sole companion her old nurse)—the halls
Of her proud father. In the peasant's dress,
And peasant's home, none knew the high-born Blanche: