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"Good night"

Letitia Elizabeth Landon 1802 (Chelsea) – 1838 (Cape Coast)



Good night!—what a sudden shadow
Has fallen upon the air,
I look not around the chamber,
I know he is not there.
Sweetness has left the music,
And gladness left the light;
My cheek has lost its colour,
How could he say, Good night!
And why should he take with him
The happiness he brought?
Alas! such fleeting pleasure
Is all too dearly bought:
If thus, my heart stop beating,
My spirits lose their tone,
And a gloom, like night, surround me,
The moment he is gone.
Like the false fruit of the lotos,
Love alters every taste:—
We loathe the life we're leading,
The spot where we are plac'd.
We live upon to-morrow,
Or, we dream the past again;
But what avails that knowledge?
It ever comes in vain.⁠

About this poem

This is one of Landon's quiet poems fro The New Monthly, 1831

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Written on 1831

Submitted by Madeleine Quinn on December 05, 2022

47 sec read
6

Quick analysis:

Scheme ABCBDEBEFGCHIJKLMNINAOPQ
Closest metre Iambic trimeter
Characters 727
Words 156
Stanzas 1
Stanza Lengths 24

Letitia Elizabeth Landon

Letitia Elizabeth Landon was an English poet. Born 14th August 1802 at 25 Hans Place, Chelsea, she lived through the most productive period of her life nearby, at No.22. A precocious child with a natural gift for poetry, she was driven by the financial needs of her family to become a professional writer and thus a target for malicious gossip (although her three children by William Jerdan were successfully hidden from the public). In 1838, she married George Maclean, governor of Cape Coast Castle on the Gold Coast, whence she travelled, only to die a few months later (15th October) of a fatal heart condition. Behind her post-Romantic style of sentimentality lie preoccupations with art, decay and loss that give her poetry its characteristic intensity and in this vein she attempted to reinterpret some of the great male texts from a woman’s perspective. Her originality rapidly led to her being one of the most read authors of her day and her influence, commencing with Tennyson in England and Poe in America, was long-lasting. However, Victorian attitudes led to her poetry being misrepresented and she became excluded from the canon of English literature, where she belongs. more…

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