Monday, 25 February 2019

Poetry Revisited: The Snowdrop by Letitia Elizabeth Landon

The Snowdrop

(from Fisher's Drawing Room Scrap Book 1936: 1935)

Thou beautiful new comer,
     With white and maiden brow;
Thou fairy gift from summer,
     Why art thou blooming now?
This dim and sheltered alley
     Is dark with winter green;
Not such as in the valley
     At sweet spring time is seen.

The lime tree’s tender yellow,
     The aspen’s silvery sheen,
With mingling colours mellow
     The universal green.
Now solemn yews are bending
     ‘Mid gloomy fires around;
And in long dark wreaths descending,
     The ivy sweeps the ground.

No sweet companion pledges
     Thy health as dewdrops pass;
No rose is on the hedges,
     No violet in the grass.
Thou art watching, and thou only
     Above the earth’s snow tomb,
Thus lovely, and thus lonely,
     I bless thee for thy bloom.

Though the singing rill be frozen,
     While the wind forsakes the west,
Though the singing birds have chosen
     Some lone and silent rest;
Like thee, one sweet thought lingers
     In a heart else cold and dead,
Though the summer’s flowers, and singers,
     And sunshine, long hath fled:

‘Tis the love for long years cherished,
     Yet lingering, lorn, and lone;
Though its lovelier lights have perished,
     And its earlier hopes are flown.
Though a weary world hath bound it,
     With many a heavy thrall,
And the cold and changed surround it,
     It blossometh o’er all.

Letitia Elizabeth Landon (1802-1838), aka L.E.L.
English poet and novelist

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