Welcome to Poetry.com

Poetry.com is a huge collection of poems from famous and amateur poets from around the world — collaboratively published by a community of authors and contributing editors.

Navigate through our poetry database by subjects, alphabetically or simply search by keywords. You can submit a new poem, discuss and rate existing work, listen to poems using voice pronunciation and even translate pieces to many common and not-so-common languages.

Hindoo Temples at Benares

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

AND day by day, and hour by hour,
The sacred stream floats past,
And rises higher o’er the shrines,
Doomed to its depths at last.

And soon above those stately domes
The fatal tide will flow,
And carved spire and sculptured tower
Sleep in the depths below

The temples have no worshippers,
The altar be unknown,
And weed and ooze in darkness rest
Upon the polished stone.

Oh, likeness of humanity,
’Tis thus that life flows on,
Till every fabric which we built
In early youth is gone.

The sacred and the beautiful,
The mighty and sublime ;
Alas, in vain, the heart would save
One single wreck from time.

The Temples to which the above lines allude, are already half immersed in water; a few more years, and the stream which was once their mirror, will be their shroud.
It is curious to observe how general is the tradition of man’s deterioration: the Bramins say, that the Ganges first rose at Benares—a more sinful generation saw it recede to Hurdwar—a third had to follow it to Burahat—and the fourth age finds it still further off, as it has now its source amid the heights of Gungoutri.
Rate this poem:(0.00 / 0 votes)
Font size:
Collection  Edit     
 

Submitted by Madeleine Quinn on July 30, 2016

58 sec read
96 Views

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

FAVORITE (2 fans)

Discuss this Letitia Elizabeth Landon poem with the community:

0 Comments

    Translation

    Find a translation for this poem in other languages:

    Select another language:

    • - Select -
    • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
    • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
    • Español (Spanish)
    • Esperanto (Esperanto)
    • 日本語 (Japanese)
    • Português (Portuguese)
    • Deutsch (German)
    • العربية (Arabic)
    • Français (French)
    • Русский (Russian)
    • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
    • 한국어 (Korean)
    • עברית (Hebrew)
    • Gaeilge (Irish)
    • Українська (Ukrainian)
    • اردو (Urdu)
    • Magyar (Hungarian)
    • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
    • Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Italiano (Italian)
    • தமிழ் (Tamil)
    • Türkçe (Turkish)
    • తెలుగు (Telugu)
    • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
    • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
    • Čeština (Czech)
    • Polski (Polish)
    • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Românește (Romanian)
    • Nederlands (Dutch)
    • Ελληνικά (Greek)
    • Latinum (Latin)
    • Svenska (Swedish)
    • Dansk (Danish)
    • Suomi (Finnish)
    • فارسی (Persian)
    • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
    • հայերեն (Armenian)
    • Norsk (Norwegian)
    • English (English)

    Citation

    Use the citation below to add this poem to your bibliography:

    Style:MLAChicagoAPA

    "Hindoo Temples at Benares" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 7 May 2021. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/45074/hindoo-temples-at-benares>.

    We need you!

    Help us build the largest poetry community and poems collection on the web!

    Browse Poetry.com

    Quiz

    Are you a poetry master?

    »
    Who was the first woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for poetry?
    • A. Sara Teasdale
    • B. Edith Wharton
    • C. Edna St. Vincent Millay
    • D. Mona Van Duyn

    Our favorite collection of

    Famous Poets

    »