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The Carclaze Tin-mine, Cornwall

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



Those stately galleys cut the seas,
Their wings the mighty oars ;
And the sun set o'er their purple sails,
When touched those ships our shores.

They are from far Phoenicia,
Whose princely merchants sweep,
Like conquerors of the winds and waves,
Over the subject deep.

They have been east and west to seek
The wealth of the wide world ;
Mid Indian isles of gems and spice,
Those sails have been unfurled.

In Africa for ivory,
For the red gold in Spain;
Ours is a wild and barren isle,
Why do they cross the main ?

They come to find the precious ores,
That British mountains yield ;
To point to British enterprise,
Its future glorious field.

A savage race, yet from their trade
Rose England's commerce—now,
What land but knows her red-cross flag ?
What sea but knows her prow ?

Riches, and intellect, and peace,
Have marked the favoured strand:
God keep thee in prosperity,
My own sea-girdled land !

The produce of the Tin and Copper Mines early attracted the Phoenicians to our coast. Tin was then one of the precious metals, and used for personal adornment; and the barter must have been as profitable, as civilized people always made their dealings with savages. Knowledge usually turns ignorance to profit. The Carclaze Mine is reported to have been worked above four hundred yeas.
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Submitted by Madeleine Quinn on July 02, 2016

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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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