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Short poem

Letitia Elizabeth Landon (1802-1838)


              1Ay, gaze upon her rose-wreath'd hair,
              2  And gaze upon her smile;
              3Seem as you drank the very air
              4  Her breath perfumed the while;

              5And wake for her the gifted line,
              6  That wild and witching lay,
              7And swear your heart is as a shrine,
              8  That only holds her sway.

              9'Tis well: I am revenged at last;--
            10  Mark you that scornful cheek,--
            11The eye averted as you pass'd,
            12  Spoke more than words could speak.

            13Ay, now by all the bitter tears
            14  That I have shed for thee,--
            15The racking doubts, the burning fears,--
            16  Avenged they well may be--

            17By the nights pass'd in sleepless care,
            18  The days of endless woe;
            19All that you taught my heart to bear,
            20  All that yourself will know.

            21I would not wish to see you laid
            22  Within an early tomb;
            23I should forget how you betray'd,
            24  And only weep your doom:

            25But this is fitting punishment,
            26  To live and love in vain,--
            27O my wrung heart, be thou content,
            28  And feed upon his pain.

            29Go thou and watch her lightest sigh,--
            30  Thine own it will not be;
            31And bask beneath her sunny eye,--
            32  It will not turn on thee.

            33'Tis well: the rack, the chain, the wheel,
            34  Far better hadst thou proved;
            35Ev'n I could almost pity feel,
            36  For thou art nor beloved.

Online text copyright © 2003, Ian Lancashire for the Department of English, University of Toronto.
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services, University of Toronto Libraries.

Original text: The Poetical Works of Letitia Elizabeth Landon, ed. William B. Scott (London: George Routledge and Sons, 1873), p. 326 (facs. edn.: Delmar, N.Y.: Scholars' Facsimiles, 1990). PR 4865 L5A17 1990 c.1 ROBA.
RPO poem editor: Ian Lancashire
RP edition: RPO 1998.
Recent editing: 2:2001/12/12

Rhyme: abab

Other poems by Letitia Elizabeth Landon