Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE GREY CROSS, by LETITIA ELIZABETH LANDON



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THE GREY CROSS, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: A grey cross stands beneath yon old beech-tree
Last Line: Echoes in the lime valleys of castile!
Alternate Author Name(s): L. E. L.; Maclean, Letitia


A GREY cross stands beneath yon old beech-tree;
It marks a soldier's and a maiden's grave:
Around it is a grove of orange-trees,
With silver blossoms and with golden fruit.
It was a Spaniard, whom he saved from death,
Raised that cross o'er the gallant Englishman.

He left home a young soldier, full of hope
And enterprise! -- he fell in his first field!
There came a lovely pilgrim to his tomb,
The blue-eyed girl, his own betrothed bride, --
Pale, delicate, -- one looking as the gale
That bow'd the rose could sweep her from the earth
Yet she had left her home, where every look
Had been watch'd, oh, so tenderly! -- and miles,
Long weary miles, had wander'd. When she came
To the dim shadow of the aged beech,
She was worn to a shadow; colourless
The cheek once dyed by her own mountain-rose.
She reach'd the grave, and died upon the sod!
They laid her by her lover: -- and her tale
Is often on the songs that the guitar
Echoes in the lime valleys of Castile!





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