Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, CI-DEVANT!, by LETITIA ELIZABETH LANDON



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CI-DEVANT!, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: I cannot, if I would, call back again
Last Line: Of happiness in love no more.
Alternate Author Name(s): L. E. L.; Maclean, Letitia


I cannot, if I would, call back again
The carly feelings of my love for thee,
I love thee ever, but it is in vain
To dream Love can be what it was to me.
Some of its flowers have fallen from the chain,
And showed that iron under them could be --
And it has entered in my soul: no more
Can that soul revel in its dreams of yore.

O NO, my heart can never be
Again in lighted hopes the same --
The love that lingers there for thee
Has more of ashes than of flame.

Still deem not but that I am yet
As much as ever all thine own;
Though now the seal of love be set
On a heart chilled almost to stone.

And can you marvel? only look
On all that heart has had to bear --
On all that it has yet to brook,
And wonder then at its despair.

Oh, Love is destiny, and mine
Has long been struggled with in vain --
Victim or votary, at thy shrine
There I am vow'd -- there must remain.

My first -- my last -- my only love.
O blame me not for that I dwell
On all that I have had to prove
Of Love's despair, of Hope's farewell.

I think upon mine early dreams,
When Youth, Hope, Joy, together sprung;
The gushing forth of mountain-streams,
On which no shadow had been flung.

When Love seemed only meant to make
A sunshine on life's silver seas --
Alas, that we should ever wake,
And wake to weep o'er dreams like these!

I loved, and Love was like to me
The spirit of a faery tale,
When we have but to wish, and be
Whatever wild wish may prevail.

I deemed that Love had power to part
The chains and blossoms of life's thrall,
Make an Elysium of the heart,
And shed its influence over all.

I linked it with all lovely things,
Beautiful pictures, tones of song,
All those pure, high imaginings
That but in thought to earth belong.

And all that was unreal became
Reality when blent with thee --
It was but colouring that flame,
More than a lava flood to me.

I was not happy -- Love forbade
Peace by its feverish restlessness;
But this was sweet, and then I had
Hope, which relies on happiness.

I need not say how, one by one,
Love's flowers have dropp'd from off Love's chain;
Enough to say that they are gone,
And that they cannot bloom again.

I know not what the pangs may be
That hearts betray'd or slighted prove --
I speak but of the misery
That waits on fond and mutual love.

The torture of an absent hour,
When doubts mock Reason's faint control: --
'Tis fearful thinking of the power
Another holds upon our soul!

To think another has in thrall
All of life's best and dearest part --
Our hopes, affections, trusted all
To that frail bark -- the human heart.

To yield thus to another's reign; --
To live but in another's breath --
To double all life's powers of pain --
To die twice in another's death;

While these things present to me seem,
And what can now the past restore,
Love as I may, yet I can dream
Of happiness in Love no more.





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