Scenes In London III - The Savoyard In Grosvenor Square

HE stands within the silent square,
That square of state, of gloom;
A heavy weight is on the air,
Which hangs as o'er a tomb.

It is a tomb which wealth and rank
Have built themselves around—
The general sympathies have shrank
Like flowers on high dry ground.

None heed the wandering boy who sings,
An orphan though so young;
None think how far the singer brings
The songs which he has sung.

None cheer him with a kindly look,
None with a kindly word;
The singer's little pride must brook
To be unpraised, unheard.

At home their sweet bird he was styled,
And oft, when days were long,
His mother called her favourite child
To sing her favourite song.

He wanders now through weary streets,
Till cheek and eye are dim;
How little sympathy he meets,

Sudden his dark brown cheek grows bright
His dark eyes fill with glee,
Covered with blossoms snowy-white,
He sees an orange tree.

No more the toil-worn face is pale,
Nor faltering step is sad;
He sees his distant native vale,
He sees it, and is glad.

He sees the squirrel climb the pine,
The doves fly through the dell,
The purple clusters of the vine;
He hears the vesper-bell.

His heart is full of hope and home,
Toil, travel, are no more;
And he has happy hours to come
Beside his father's door.

Oh, charm of natural influence!
But for thy lovely ties,
Never might the world-wearied sense
Above the present rise.

Blessed be thy magic every where,
Oh Nature, gentle mother;
How kindlier is for us thy care,
Than ours is for each other.

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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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"Scenes In London III - The Savoyard In Grosvenor Square" Poetry.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2019. Web. 20 Sep. 2019. <https://www.poetry.net/poem/25701/scenes-in-london-iii---the-savoyard-in-grosvenor-square>.

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