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A Child Screening A Dove From A Hawk. By Stewardson

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



AY, screen thy favourite dove, fair child,
Ay, screen it if you may,--
Yet I misdoubt thy trembling hand
Will scare the hawk away.

That dove will die, that child will weep,--
Is this their destinie?
Ever amid the sweets of life
Some evil thing must be.

Ay, moralize,--is it not thus
We've mourn'd our hope and love?
Alas! there's tears for every eye,
A hawk for every dove!

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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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…

All Letitia Elizabeth Landon poems | Letitia Elizabeth Landon Books

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1 Comment

  • This ekphrasis is unusually short and succinct. One can envisage the raptor hovering menacingly.
    LikeReplyReport2 years ago

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"A Child Screening A Dove From A Hawk. By Stewardson" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2022. Web. 13 Aug. 2022. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/25677/a-child-screening-a-dove-from-a-hawk.-by-stewardson>.

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