Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, STANZAS, by LETITIA ELIZABETH LANDON

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STANZAS, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: I know it is not made to last
Last Line: To know that once it loved.
Alternate Author Name(s): L. E. L.; Maclean, Letitia

I KNOW it is not made to last,
The dream which haunts my soul;
The shadow even now is cast
Which soon will wrap the whole.

Ah! waking dreams that mock the day
Have other end than those,
Which come beneath the moonlight ray,
And charm the eyes they close.

The vision colouring the night
'Mid bloom and brightness wakes,
Banished by morning's cheerful light
Which gladdens while it breaks.

But dreams which fix the waking eye
With deeper spells than sleep,
When hours unnoted pass us by,
From such we wake and weep.

We wake, -- but not to sleep again;
The heart has lost its youth, --
The morning light which wakes us then,
Calm, cold, and stern, is Truth.

I know all this, and yet I yield
My spirit to the snare,
And gather flowers upon the field,
Though Woe and Fate are there.

The maid divine, who bound her wreath
On Etna's fatal plain,
Knew not the foe that lurked beneath
The summer-clad domain.

But I -- I read my doom aright,
I snatched a few glad hours,
Then where will be the past delight --
And where my gathered flowers?

Gone -- gone for ever! let them go!
The present is my meed --
Aye, let me worship, ere I know
The falsehood of my creed.

The time may come -- they say it must --
When thou, my idol now,
Like all we treasure and we trust,
Will mock the votive vow.

And when the temple's on the ground --
The altar overthrown --
Too late the bitter moral's found, --
The folly was our own.

It matters not, my heart is full
With present hopes and fears,
The future cannot quite annul --
Let them be bought by tears.

Though sorrow, disbelief, and blame
May load the fallen shrine;
To think that once it bore thy name
Will make it still divine.

And such it was -- for it was love's;
And love its heaven brings,
And from life's daily path removes
All other meaner things;

And calls from out the common heart
Its music, and its fire;
Like that the early hours impart
To Memnon's sculptured lyre.

A touch of light -- a tone of song --
The sweet enchantment's o'er;
The thrilling heart and lute ere long
Confess the spell no more.

The music from the heart is gone;
The light has left the sky;
And time again flows calmly on,
The haunted hour past by.

And thus with love the charmed carth
Grows actual, cold, and drear;
But that sweet phantasy was worth
All else most precious here.

'Mid the dark web that life must weave,
'Twill linger in the mind
As angels spread their wings, yet leave
The trace of heaven behind.

Ah! let the heart that worships thee
By every change be proved:
Its dearest memory will be
To know that once it loved.

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