Letitia Elizabeth Landon

(1802-1838 / England)

Love Nursed By Solitude. By W. I. Thomson, Edinburgh

AY, surely it is here that Love should come,
And find, (if he may find on earth), a home;
Here cast off all the sorrow and the shame
That cling like shadows to his very name.

Young Love, thou art belied: they speak of thee,
And couple with thy mention misery;
Talk of the broken heart, the wasted bloom,
The spirit blighted, and the early tomb;
As if these waited on thy golden lot,--
They blame thee for the faults which thou hast not.
Art thou to blame for that they bring on thee
The soil and weight of their mortality?
How can they hope that ever links will hold
Form'd, as they form them now, of the harsh gold?
Or worse than even this, how can they think
That vanity will bind the failing link?
How can they dream that thy sweet life will bear
Crowds', palaces', and cities' heartless air?
Where the lip smiles while the heart's desolate,
And courtesy lends its deep mask to hate;
Where looks and thoughts alike must feel the chain,
And nought of life is real but its pain;
Where the young spirit's high imaginings
Are scorn'd and cast away as idle things;
Where, think or feel, you are foredoom'd to be
A marvel and a sign for mockery;
Where none must wander from the beaten road,--
All alike champ the bit, and feel the goad.
It is not made for thee, young Love! away
To where the green earth laughs to the clear day,
To the deep valley, where a thousand trees
Keep a green court for fairy revelries,--
To some small island on a lonely lake,
Where only swans the diamond waters break,
Where the pines hang in silence oe'r the tide
And the stream gushes from the mountain side;
These, Love, are haunts for thee; where canst thou brood
With thy sweet wings furl'd but in Solitude.

Submitted: Monday, April 12, 2010

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