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Letitia Elizabeth Landon

(1802-1838 / England)

The Pilgrim


Vain folly of another age,
This wandering over earth,
To find the peace by some dark sin
Banish'd our household hearth.

On Lebanon the dark green pines
Wave over sacred ground,
And Carmel's consecrated rose
Springs from a hallow'd mound.

Glorious the truth they testify,
And blessed is their name;
But even in such a sacred spot,
Are sin and woe the same.

O pilgrim! with each toilsome step,
Vain every weary day;
There is no charm in soil or shrine,
To wash thy guilt away.

Return, with prayer and tear, return
To those who weep at home;
To dry their tears will more avail,
Than o'er a world to roam.

There's hope for one who leaves with shame,
The guilt that lured before;
Remember, He who said, 'Repent,'
Said also, 'Sin no more.'

Return, and in thy daily round
Of duty and of love,
Thou best wilt find that patient faith
Which lifts the soul above.

In ev'ry innocent prayer, each child
Lisps at his father's knee: -
If thine has been to teach that prayer,
There will be hope for thee.

There is a small white church, that stands
Beside thy father's grave,
There kneel and pour those earnest prayers,
That sanctify and save.

Around thee draw thine own home-ties,
And, with a chasten'd mind,
In meek well-doing seek that peace,
No wandering will find.

In charity and penitence,
Thy sin will be forgiven: -
Pilgrim, the heart is the true shrine,
Whence prayers ascend to Heaven.

Submitted: Monday, April 12, 2010

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