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Fairies On The Sea Shore. By Howard

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



FIRST FAIRY.

MY home and haunt are in every leaf,
Whose life is a summer day, bright and brief,--
I live in the depths of the tulip's bower,
I wear a wreath of the cistus flower,
I drink the dew of the blue harebell,
I know the breath of the violet well,--
The white and the azure violet;
But I know not which is the sweetest yet,--
I have kiss'd the cheek of the rose;
I have watch'd the lily unclose,
My silver mine is the almond tree,
Who will come dwell with flower and me?

CHORUS OF FAIRIES.

Dance we our round, 'tis a summer night,
And our steps are led by the glow-worms' light.

SECOND FAIRY.

My dwelling is in the serpentine
Of the rainbow's colour'd line,--
See how its rose and amber clings
To the many hues of my radiant wings;
Mine is the step that bids the earth
Give to the iris flower its birth,
And mine the golden cup to hide,
Where the last faint hue of the rainbow died.
Search the depths of an Indian mine,
Where are the colours to match with mine?

CHORUS.

Dance we round, for the gale is bringing
Songs the summer rose is singing.

THIRD FAIRY.

I float on the breath of a minstrel's lute,
Or the wandering sounds of a distant flute,
Linger I over the tones that swell
From the pink-vein'd chords of an ocean-shell;
I love the sky-lark's morning hymn,
Or the nightingale heard at the twilight dim,
The echo, the fountain's melody,--
These, oh! these are the spells for me!

CHORUS.

Hail to the summer night of June;
See! yonder has risen our ladye moon.

FOURTH SPIRIT.

My palace is in the coral cave
Set with spars by the ocean wave;
Would ye have gems, then seek them there,--
There found I the pearls that bind my hair.
I and the wind together can roam
Over the green waves and their white foam,--
See, I have got this silver shell,
Mark how my breath will its smallness swell,
For the Nautilus is my boat
In which I over the waters float,--
The moon is shining over the sea,
Who is there will come sail with me?

CHORUS OF FAIRIES.

Our noontide sleep is on leaf and flower,
Our revels are held in a moonlit hour,--
What is there sweet, what is there fair,
And we are not the dwellers there?
Dance we round, for the morning light,
Will put us and our glow-worm lamps to flight!

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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…

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    "Fairies On The Sea Shore. By Howard" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 27 Oct. 2021. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/25685/fairies-on-the-sea-shore.-by-howard>.

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