Walter Savage Landor

W
Walter Savage Landor
Acon and Rhodope; or, Inconstancy
The Year’s twelve daughters had in turn gone by,
Of measured pace tho’ varying mien all twelve,
Some froward, some sedater, some adorn’d
For festival, some reckless of attire.
The snow had left the mountain-top; fresh flowers
Had withered in the meadow; fig and prune
Hung wrinkling; the last apple glow’d amid
Its freckled leaves; and weary oxen blinkt
Between the trodden corn and twisted vine,
Under whose bunches stood the empty crate,
To creak ere long beneath them carried home.
This was the season when twelve months before,
O gentle Hamadryad, true to love!
Thy mansion, thy dim mansion in the wood
Was blasted and laid desolate: but none
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Fæsulan Idyl
Here, where precipitate Spring with one light bound
Into hot Summer’s lusty arms expires;
And where go forth at morn, at eve, at night,
Soft airs, that want the lute to play with them,
And softer sighs, that know not what they want;
Under a wall, beneath an orange-tree
Whose tallest flowers could tell the lowlier ones
Of sights in Fiesole right up above,
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Child of a Day
Child of a day, thou knowest not
The tears that overflow thy urn,
The gushing eyes that read thy lot,
Nor, if thou knewest, couldst return!

And why the wish! the pure and blest
Watch like thy mother o'er thy sleep.
O peaceful night! O envied rest!
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Dirce
Stand close around, ye Stygian set,
With Dirce in one boat conveyed!
Or Charon, seeing, may forget
That he is old and she a shade.

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Do you Remember me? or are you Proud?
“Do you remember me? or are you proud?”
Lightly advancing thro’ her star-trimm’d crowd,
Ianthe said, and lookt into my eyes,
“A yes, a yes, to both: for Memory
Where you but once have been must ever be,
And at your voice Pride from his throne must rise.”
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Dying Speech of an Old Philosopher
I strove with none, for none was worth my strife:
Nature I loved, and, next to Nature, Art:
I warm’d both hands before the fire of Life;
It sinks; and I am ready to depart.
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Ianthe! You are Call’d to Cross the Sea
Ianthe! you are call’d to cross the sea!
A path forbidden me!
Remember, while the Sun his blessing sheds
Upon the mountain-heads,
How often we have watcht him laying down
His brow, and dropt our own
Against each other’s, and how faint and short
And sliding the support!
What will succeed it now? Mine is unblest,
Ianthe! nor will rest
But on the very thought that swells with pain.
O bid me hope again!
O give me back what Earth, what (without you)
Not Heaven itself can do—
One of the golden days that we have past,
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The Maid’s Lament
I loved him not; and yet, now he is gone,
I feel I am alone.
I check’d him while he spoke; yet, could he speak,
Alas! I would not check.
For reasons not to love him once I sought,
And wearied all my thought
To vex myself and him: I now would give
My love could he but live
Who lately lived for me, and, when he found
’Twas vain, in holy ground
He hid his face amid the shades of death.
I waste for him my breath
Who wasted his for me! but mine returns,
And this lorn bosom burns
With stifling heat, heaving it up in sleep,
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Mild is the Parting Year
Mild is the parting year, and sweet
The odour of the falling spray;
Life passes on more rudely fleet,
And balmless is its closing day.

I wait its close, I court its gloom,
But mourn that never must there fall
Or on my breast or on my tomb
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Mother, I cannot Mind my Wheel
Mother, I cannot mind my wheel;
My fingers ache, my lips are dry:
Oh! if you felt the pain I feel!
But Oh, who ever felt as I!

No longer could I doubt him true;
All other men may use deceit:
He always said my eyes were blue,
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Rose Aylmer
Ah what avails the sceptred race,
Ah what the form divine!
What every virtue, every grace!
Rose Aylmer, all were thine.
Rose Aylmer, whom these wakeful eyes
May weep, but never see,
A night of memories and of sighs
I consecrate to thee.
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Soon, O Ianthe! Life is O'er
Soon, O Ianthe! life is o’er,
And sooner beauty’s heavenly smile:
Grant only (and I ask no more),
Let love remain that little while.
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To Robert Browning
There is delight in singing, tho’ none hear
Beside the singer; and there is delight
In praising, tho’ the praiser sit alone
And see the prais’d far off him, far above.
Shakspeare is not our poet, but the world’s,
Therefore on him no speech! and brief for thee,
Browning! Since Chaucer was alive and hale,
No man hath walkt along our roads with step
So active, so inquiring eye, or tongue
So varied in discourse. But warmer climes
Give brighter plumage, stronger wing: the breeze
Of Alpine highths thou playest with, borne on
Beyond Sorrento and Amalfi, where
The Siren waits thee, singing song for song.
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You Smiled, You Spoke, and I Believed
You smiled, you spoke, and I believed,
By every word and smile deceived.
Another man would hope no more;
Nor hope I what I hoped before:
But let not this last wish be vain;
Deceive, deceive me once again!

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