Page:Landon in Literary Gazette 1823.pdf/90

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Literary Gazette, 26th July 1823, Page 474-475

Half passionate emotion, half disease—
And the damp lay on his white brow, and hung
On his thick curls of auburn hair; his eyes,
Blue as his native sky when it shines forth
Amid the pauses of an April shower,
Seem'd as they drank the Moon's light, with such bright
And such wild glance they turned towards her ray.
    He was a stranger in fair Italy:
He sought her kingdom, for it was a home
For genius and for beauty; it had been
His land of promise through the sunny dreams
Of his impassioned boyhood; he had come
With a rich store of burning thoughts, of hopes
Like sunrise, vivid fancies, feelings wild,
High energies, all that young talent has;
And he had nourished them amid those shades
Hallowed by memories of old, and still
Kept sacred by their own green pleasantness,—
Amid the glorious works of glorious men:
Pictures alive with light, and stately domes
Built for eternity,—music like hope,
So very sweet,—and poetry, whose songs
Are Love's own words, until he dreamed that fame
Was a reality that he might win.
He dream'd but to awake with withered heart
And wasted health, and hopes like fallen stars,
Crushed and stained with the earth to which they fell.
    Oh Genius! fling aside thy starry crown,
Close up thy rainbow wings, and on thy head
Lay dust and ashes—for, this cold drear world
Is but thy prison-house. Alas for him
Who has thy dangerous gifts, for they are like
The fatal ones that evil spirits give,—
Bright and bewildering, leading unto death.
Oh, not amid the chill and earthly cares
That waste our life, may those fine feelings live
That are the Painter's or the Poet's light.
    Amid the many graves which in the shade
Of Rome's dark cypresses are graved with names
Of foreign sound to Italy's sweet tongue,
Was one,—an English name was on the stone,—
There that young Painter slept:—around the sod
Were planted flowers and one or two green shrubs.
’Twas said that they were placed in fondness there
By an Italian Girl, whom he had loved!—L. E. L.