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

Letitia Elizabeth Landon 1802 (Chelsea) – 1838 (Cape Coast)

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.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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Letitia Elizabeth Landon

Letitia Elizabeth Landon was an English poet. Born 14th August 1802 at 25 Hans Place, Chelsea, she lived through the most productive period of her life nearby, at No.22. A precocious child with a natural gift for poetry, she was driven by the financial needs of her family to become a professional writer and thus a target for malicious gossip (although her three children by William Jerdan were successfully hidden from the public). In 1838, she married George Maclean, governor of Cape Coast Castle on the Gold Coast, whence she travelled, only to die a few months later (15th October) of a fatal heart condition. Behind her post-Romantic style of sentimentality lie preoccupations with art, decay and loss that give her poetry its characteristic intensity and in this vein she attempted to reinterpret some of the great male texts from a woman’s perspective. Her originality rapidly led to her being one of the most read authors of her day and her influence, commencing with Tennyson in England and Poe in America, was long-lasting. However, Victorian attitudes led to her poetry being misrepresented and she became excluded from the canon of English literature, where she belongs. more…

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    "Love Nursed By Solitude. By W. I. Thomson, Edinburgh" Poetry.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 24 Sep. 2020. <https://www.poetry.net/poem/25694/love-nursed-by-solitude.-by-w.-i.-thomson,-edinburgh>.

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