Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, POLITICAL PORTRAITS: 5, by LETITIA ELIZABETH LANDON



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POLITICAL PORTRAITS: 5, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Thy beauty! Not a fault is there
Last Line: It could not dwell with thee.
Alternate Author Name(s): L. E. L.; Maclean, Letitia


THY beauty! not a fault is there;
No queen of Grecian line
E'er braided more luxuriant hair
O'er forehead more divine.

The light of midnight's starry heaven
Is in those radiant eyes;
The rose's crimson life has given
That cheek its morning dyes.

Thy voice is sweet, as if it took
Its music from thy face;
And word and mien, and step and look,
Are perfect in their grace.

And yet I love thee not: thy brow
Is but the sculptor's mould:
It wants a shade, it wants a glow, --
It is less fair than cold.

Where are thy blushes, where thy tears?
Thy cheek has but one rose:
No eloquence of hopes and fears
Disturbs its bright repose.

Thy large dark eyes grow not more dark
With tears that swell unshed:
Alas! thy heart is as the ark
That floated o'er the dead.

Hope, feeling, fancy, fear, and love
Are in one ruin hurl'd;
Fate's dreary waters roll above
Thy young and other world.

And thou hast lived o'er scenes like these,
The terrible, the past,
Where hearts must either break or freeze, --
And thine has done the last.

Thou mov'st amid the heartless throng
With school'd and alter'd brow:
Thy face has worn its mask so long,
It is its likeness now.

Where is the colour that once flush'd
With every eager word?
Where the sweet joyous laugh, that gush'd
Like spring songs from the bird?

Where are the tears a word once brought, --
The heart's sweet social rain?
Where are the smiles that only sought
To see themselves again?

I knew thee in thine earlier hours,
A very summer queen
For some young poet's dream: -- those flow'rs
Are just what thou hast been, --

Wild flow'rs, all touch'd with rainbow hues,
Born in a morning sky,
Lighted with sunshine, fill'd with dews,
Made for a smile and sigh.

But now I look upon thy face,
A very pictured show,
Betraying not the slightest trace
Of what may work below.

Farewell, affection! -- selfish, changed,
Thine it no more may be;
From love thou hast thyself estranged, --
It could not dwell with thee.





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