The Golden Grave

He sleeps within his lonely grave
  Upon the lonely hill,
There sweeps the wind—there swells the wave—
  All other sounds are still.
And strange and mournfully sound they;
  Each seems a funeral cry,
O'er life that long has past away,
  O'er ages long gone by.

One winged minstrel's left to sing
  O'er him who lies beneath—
The humming bee, that seeks in spring
  Its honey from the heath.
It is the sole familiar sound
  That ever rises there;
For silent is the haunted ground,
  And silent is the air.

There never comes the merry bird—
  There never bounds the deer;
But during night strange sounds are heard,
  The day may never hear:
For there the shrouded Banshee stands,
  Scarce seen amid the gloom,
And wrings her dim and shadowy hands,
  And chants her song of doom.

Seven pillars, grey with time and moss,
  On dark Sleive Monard meet;
They stand to tell a nation's loss—
  A king is at their feet.
A lofty moat denotes the place
  Where sleeps in slumber cold
The mighty of a mighty race—
  The giant kings of old.

There Gollah sleeps—the golden band
  About his head is bound;
His javelin in his red right hand,
  His feet upon his hound.
And twice three golden rings are placed
  Upon that hand of fear;
The smallest would go round the waist
  Of any maiden here.

And plates of gold are on his breast,
  And gold doth bind him round;
A king, he taketh kingly rest
  Beneath that royal mound.
But wealth no more the mountain fills,
  As in the days of yore:
Gone are those days; the wave distils
  Its liquid gold no more.

The days of yore—still let my harp
  Their memories repeat—
The days when every sword was sharp,
  And every song was sweet.
The warrior slumbers on the hill,
  The stranger rules the plain:
Glory and gold are gone; but still
  They live in song again.
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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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"The Golden Grave" Poetry.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 25 May 2020. <https://www.poetry.net/poem/52414/the-golden-grave>.

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