Glengariffe

OH LOVELY Picture, thou art one to haunt
The mind in feverish moods of discontent,
When noise and multitudes afflict the heart
With bitter sense of personal nothingness.
How beautiful the summer solitude
Of that lone water, which the mountain heights
Girdle as if from love ! How sweet it were
To spend an August day in that small wood,
And listen to the sea! A glorious noon,
The earth, the heaven, the year, all in their prime,
When not a leaf has fallen from the trees,
And the rich green is deepest: scarce the sun,
Though shining as he shines on harvest’s month,
Can penetrate the shadowy boughs, and give
Colour to small bright myriads of wild flowers,
That fill the grass. And when a shower falls
Amid the upper boughs, like music playing,
You hear, but feel it not. The sunny spots
Are where some tree, or time or thunder stricken,
Clad in gray moss, not foliage, leaves a place
Filled by the sunshine. Strange to think that death
Thus lets in light and life. Thou lovely bay,
I dream of beauty which I have not seen,
And yet I know: thanks to the art divine
Which haunts the eye with summer; fills the mind
With natural love, and sweet and gentle thoughts,
Morning, and flowers; green grass, and aged trees—
All that can soothe, and calm, and purify,
E’en ’mid a busy wilderness of streets.
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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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"Glengariffe" Poetry.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2019. Web. 20 Sep. 2019. <https://www.poetry.net/poem/45088/glengariffe>.

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