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Futtypore Sicri - The Favourite Residence of the Emperor Ackbar

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

THE summer palace of the king,
Whose lightest word was enough to bring
Every gem and every flower,
To light his hall—and to wreath his bower.
Can you not fancy the summer-time,
Such as it is in a southern clime ?
Can you not fancy the glorious home,
To which the conq’ring monarch would come,
When the sabre was sheath’d, and the struggle was done,
And the red banner waved for the victory won,
And the rudest of sights or of sounds on the gale,
Was the fall of a footstep—the wave of a veil ?
I cannot; I think of the victor’s red hand,
Which swept its own kindred in blood from the land,
Which sundered the ties that in youth are entwined,
When the heart is most warm, and the temper most kind.
The grave has its vengeance—the dead have their power
In the terrible silence of midnight’s dark hour,
When each shade is a spectre—and winds have a tone,
To the ear of the innocent sleeper unknown ;
When the visions ascend from the depths of the tomb,
And strange shadows flit thro’ the spectral room.
Spread ye the purple, and pour ye the wine,
Let the incense arise till the room be a shrine;
Wreathe the bright tresses—let sweet voices sing.
They chase not the past from thy spirit, O king ;
From the dead and their shadows thou never may’st flee,
And the blood thou hast shed is for ever with thee.
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Submitted by Madeleine Quinn on August 17, 2016

1:12 min read
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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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