Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE IONIAN CAPTIVE, by LETITIA ELIZABETH LANDON



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THE IONIAN CAPTIVE, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Sadly the captive o'er the flowers is bending
Last Line: And see her household and her hills again!
Alternate Author Name(s): L. E. L.; Maclean, Letitia


SADLY the captive o'er the flowers is bending,
While her soft eye with sudden sorrow fills;
They are not those that grew beneath her tending
In the green valley of her native hills.

There is the violet -- not from the meadow
Where wandered carelessly her childish feet;
There is the rose -- it grew not in the shadow
Of her old home -- it cannot be so sweet.

And yet she loves them -- for those flowers are bringing
Dreams of the home that she will see no more;
The languid perfumes are around her, flinging
What almost for the moment they restore.

She hears her mother's wheel that slowly turning
Murmur'd unceasingly the summer day;
And the same murmur when the pine-boughs burning
Told that the summer-hours had passed away.

She hears her young companions sadly singing
A song they loved -- an old complaining tune;
Then comes a gayer sound -- the laugh is ringing
Of the young children -- hurrying in at noon.

By the dim myrtles, wandering with her sister,
They tell old stories, broken by the mirth
Of her young brother: alas! have they missed her
She who was borne a captive from their hearth?

She starts -- too present grows the actual sorrow,
By her own heart she knows what they have borne;
Young as she is, she shudders at to-morrow,
It can but find her prisoner and forlorn.

What are the glittering trifles that surround her --
What the rich shawl -- and what the golden chain --
Would she could break the fetters that have bound her,
And see her household and her hills again!





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