Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE IMPROVISATRICE: SONG, by LETITIA ELIZABETH LANDON

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THE IMPROVISATRICE: SONG, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Farewell - we shall not meet again
Last Line: Came sweet upon the midnight wind.
Alternate Author Name(s): L. E. L.; Maclean, Letitia

FAREWELL! -- we shall not meet again
As we are parting now!
I must my beating heart restrain --
Must veil my burning brow!
Oh, I must coldly learn to hide
One thought, all else above --
Must call upon my woman's pride
To hide my woman's love!
Check dreams I never may avow;
Be free, be careless, cold as thou!
Oh! those are tears of bitterness,
Wrung from the breaking heart,
When two blest in their tenderness
Must learn to live -- apart!
But what are they to that long sigh,
That cold and fixed despair,
That weight of wasting agony
It must be mine to bear!
Methinks I should not thus repine,
If I had but one vow of thine.
I could forgive inconstancy
To be one moment loved by thee!
With me the hope of life is gone
The sun of joy is set;
One wish my soul still dwells upon --
The wish it could forget.
I would forget that look, that tone,
My heart hath all too dearly known.
But who could ever yet efface
From memory love's enduring trace?
All may revolt, all may complain --
But who is there may break the chain?
Farewell! -- I shall not be to thee
More than a passing thought;
But every time and place will be
With thy remembrance fraught!
Farewell! we have not often met --
We may not meet again;
But on my heart the seal is set
Love never sets in vain!
Fruitless as constancy may be,
No chance, no change, may turn from thee
One who has loved thee wildly, well --
But whose first love-vow breathed -- farewell?

AND lays which only told of love
In all its varied sorrowing,
The echoes of the broken heart,
Were all the songs I now could sing.
Legends of olden times in Greece,
When not a flower but had its tale;
When spirits haunted each green oak;
When voices spoke in every gale;
When not a star shone in the sky
Without its own love history.
Amid its many songs was one
That suited well with my sick mind.
I sang it when the breath of flowers
Came sweet upon the midnight wind.

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