Sunday, March 31, 2013
Sunday Poetry - Letitia Elizabeth Landon
This poem, Fountains Abbey (picture from here), is typical of the gently melancholic Romantic tradition the L.E.L was writing in. It harks back to medieval times when the Abbey was not a picturesque ruin but a part of the religious life of England.
Never more, when the day is o'er,
Will the lonely vespers sound;
No bells are ringing—no monks are singing,
When the moonlight falls around.
A few pale flowers, which in other hours
May have cheered the dreary mood;
When the votary turned to the world he had spurned,
And repined at the solitude.
Still do they blow 'mid the ruins below,
For fallen are fane and shrine,
And the moss has grown o'er the sculptured stone
Of an altar no more divine.
Still on the walls where the sunshine falls,
The ancient fruit-tree grows;
And o'er tablet and tomb, extends the bloom
Of many a wilding rose.
Fair though they be, yet they seemed to me
To mock the wreck below;
For mighty the tower, where the fragile flower
May now as in triumph blow.
Oh, foolish the thought, that my fancy brought;
More true and more wise to say,
That still thus doth spring, some gentle thing,
With its beauty to cheer decay.