Requiem

Oh! cold are thy slumbers, and low is thy grave,
Above it one cypress shall mournfully wave;
No flowers shall flourish around thy death shrine,—
Their bloom would but mock such a dark sleep as thine.
The pale stone overhead, the sod of dank green,
Will be sad as the path of thy life-time has been.

Thy wild harp shall hang on a willow beside,
O'er its chords like a spirit the night wind shall glide
And pour forth thy dirge; that harp wont to be
The charm of the wilderness thrilling for thee:
It will soothe thee mid sadness and coldness no more,
Its strings will grow damp, and its music be o'er.

As a vase of sweet flowers with summer dews bright,
Thy heart was all tenderness, beauty, and light,
But the sweet vase was broken, the flowers decay'd,
And, like them, thy feelings were crush'd and betray'd;
And the glimpses of song, that had flashed o'er thy lyre,
But prey'd on the heart that had cherish'd their fire.

Thy day-star was even in dawning o'ercast,
Thy song in the moment of breathing was past,
There is but one heart to lament o'er thy doom,
There is but one check will for thee lose its bloom:
That cheek will grow pale as thy funeral stone,
That heart will soon break, it was truly thine own.
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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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"Requiem" Poetry.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 2 Apr. 2020. <https://www.poetry.net/poem/52476/requiem>.

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