Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, CALYPSO WATCHING THE OCEAN, by LETITIA ELIZABETH LANDON



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CALYPSO WATCHING THE OCEAN, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Years, years have pass'd away
Last Line: Mid the far-off southern seas.
Alternate Author Name(s): L. E. L.; Maclean, Letitia
Subject(s): Calypso (Mythology)


YEARS, years, have pass'd away,
Since to younder fated bay
Did the Hero come.
Years, years, have pass'd the while
Since he left the lovely isle
For his Grecian home.
He is with the dead -- but She
Weepeth on eternally
In the lone and lovely island
'Mid the far-off southern seas.

Downwards floateth her bright hair,
Fair -- how exquisitely fair!
But it is unbound.
Never since that parting hour
Golden band or rosy flower
In it has been wound!
There it droopeth sadly bright,
In the morning's sunny light,
On the lone and lovely island
In the far-off southern seas.

Like a marble statue placed,
Looking o'er the watery waste,
With its white fixed gaze;
There the Goddess sits, her eye
Raised to the unpitying sky:
So uncounted days
Has she asked of yonder main,
Him it will not bring again
To the lone and lovely island
In the far-off southern seas.

To that stately brow is given,
Loveliness that sprung from heaven --
Is, like heaven, bright:
Never there may time prevail,
But her perfect face is pale;
And a troubled light
Tells of one who may not die,
Vex'd with immortality
In the lone and lovely island
'Mid the far-off southern seas.

Desolate beside that strand,
Bow'd upon her cold, white hand,
Is her radiant head;
Silently she sitteth there,
While her large eyes on the air
Traced the much-loved dead:
Eyes that know not tears nor sleep,
Would she not be glad to weep,
In the lone and lovely island
'Mid the far-off southern seas.

Far behind the fragrant pile,
Sends its odours through the isle;
And the winds that stir
In the poplars are imbued
With the cedar's precious wood,
With incense and with myrrh,
Till the azure waves beneath
Bear away the scented breath
Of the lone and lovely island
In the far-off southern seas.

But no more does that perfume
Hang around the purple loom
Where Calypso wove
Threads of gold with curious skill,
Singing at her own sweet will
Ancient songs of love;
Weary on the sea-wash'd shore,
She will sing those songs no more
In the lone and lovely island
'Mid the far-off southern seas.

From the large green leaves escape
Clusters of the blooming grape;
Round the shining throne
Still the silver fountains play,
Singing on through night and day,
But they sing alone:
Lovely in their early death,
No one binds a violet wreath,
In the lone and lovely island
'Mid the far-off southern seas.

Love and Fate -- oh, fearful pair!
Terrible in strength ye are;
Until ye had been,
Happy as a summer night,
Conscious of its own sweet light,
Was that Island-queen.
Would she could forget to grieve,
Or that she could die and leave
The lone and lovely island
'Mid the far-off southern seas.

She is but the type of all,
Mortal or celestial,
Who allow the heart,
In its passion and its power,
On some dark and fated hour,
To assert its part.
Fate attends the steps of Love, --
Both brought misery from above
To the lone and lovely island
'Mid the far-off southern seas.





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