Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, PETRARCH'S DREAM, by LETITIA ELIZABETH LANDON



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PETRARCH'S DREAM, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Rosy as a waking bride
Last Line: Kindled from the tomb.
Alternate Author Name(s): L. E. L.; Maclean, Letitia
Subject(s): Petrarch (1304-1374); Francesco Petrarca


ROSY as a waking bride
By her royal lover's side,
Flows the Sorgia's haunted tide
Through the laurel grove, --
Through the grove which Petrarch gave,
All that can escape the grave --
Fame, and song, and love.

He had left a feverish bed
For the wild flowers at his head,
And the dews the green leaves shed
O'er his charmed sleep:
From his hand had dropp'd the scroll
To which Virgil left his soul
Through long years to keep.

Passion on that cheek had wrought,
Its own paleness had it brought;
Passion marks the lines of thought:
We must feel to think.
Care and toil had flung their shade
Over that bright head, now laid
By the river's brink.

Youth that, like a fever, burns;
Struggle, scorning what it earns;
Knowledge, loathing as it learns;
Worn and wasted heart!
And a song whose secrets are
In its innermost despair; --
Such the poet's part!

But what rises to efface
Time's dark shadows from that face?
Doth the heart its image trace
In the morning dream?
Yes; it is its light that shines
Far amid the dusky pines,
By the Sorgia's stream.

Flowers up-springing, bright and sweet,
At the pressure of their feet,
As the summer came to greet
Each white waving hand.
Round them kindles the dark air;
Golden with their golden hair,
Glide a lovely band.

Spirits, starry Spirits, they,
That attend the radiant day,
When the freed soul burst the clay
Of its prison wall:
Distant visions they appear;
For we only dream of, here,
Things etherial.

But one glideth gently nigh,
Human love within her eye, --
Love that is too true to die, --
That is heaven's own.
Let the angel's first look dwell
Where the mortal loved so well,
Ere yet life was flown.

To that angel-look was given
All that ever yet from heaven
Purified the earthly leaven
Of a beating heart.
She hath breathed of hope and love,
As they warm the world above; --
She must now depart.

Aye, I say that love hath power
On the spirit's dying hour,
Sharing its immortal dower,
Mastering its doom:
For that fair and mystic dream
By the Sorgia's hallowed stream,
Kindled from the tomb.





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