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Sassoor, in the Deccan

THE plate represents a temple to Mahadeo, surrounded by inferior shrines. The Hindoos usually place some religious building at the confluence of two streams : and when the accompanying view was taken, there were some cultivated gardens, and groves of beautiful trees. Still, I believe, few Indian residents but will admit the truth of the feeling which the following lines endeavour to express.

It is Christmas, and the sunshine
Lies golden on the fields,
And flowers of white and purple,
Yonder fragment creeper yields.

Like the plumes of some bold warrior,
The cocoa tree on high,
Lifts aloft its feathery branches,
Amid the deep blue sky.

From yonder shadowy peepul,
The pale fair lilac dove,
Like music from a temple,
Sings a song of grief and love.

The earth is bright with blossoms,
And a thousand jewelled wings,
’Mid the green boughs of the tamarind
A sudden sunshine flings.

For the East is earth’s first-born,
And hath a glorious dower
As Nature there had lavished
Her beauty and her power.

And yet I pine for England,
For my own—my distant home ;
My heart is in that island,
Where’er my steps may roam.

It is merry there at Christmas—
We have no Christmas here ;
’Tis a weary thing, a summer
That lasts throughout the year.

I remember how the banners
Hung round our ancient hall,
Bound with wreaths of shining holly,
Brave winter’s coronal.

And above each rusty helmet
Waved a new and cheering plume,
A branch of crimson berries,
And the latest rose in bloom.

And the white and pearly misletoe
Hung half conceal'd o’er head,
I remember one sweet maiden,
Whose cheek it dyed with red.

The morning waked with carols,*
A young and joyous hand
Of small and rosy songsters,
Came tripping hand in hand.

And sang beneath our windows,
Just as the round red sun
Began to melt the hoar-frost,
And the clear cold day begun.

And at night the aged harper
Played his old tunes o’er and o’er ;
From sixteen up to sixty,
All were dancing on that floor.

Those were the days of childhood,
The buoyant and the bright ;
When hope was life’s sweet sovereign,
And the heart and step were light.

I shall come again—a stranger
To all that once I knew,
For the hurried steps of manhood
From life’s flowers have dash’d the dew.

I yet may ask their welcome,
And return from whence I came ;
But a change is wrought within me,
They will not seem the same.

For my spirits are grown weary,
And my days of youth are o’er,
And the mirth of that glad season
Is what I can feel no more.

* This is one of those pretty customs that yet remain at a due distance from London—London, that Thalaba of all observances. I remember once being awakened by a band of children coming up the old beech avenue, singing carols with all their heart. The tune was monotonous enough, and as to time, I will say nothing on the subject. Still the multitude of infant voices, and the open air, and the distance, gave a singularly wild and sweet effect to the chant of the childish company. The words, which I subjoin, had a practical tendency.

Ivy, holly, and misletoe,
Give me a penny, and let me go.
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Submitted by Madeleine Quinn on November 02, 2016

2:45 min read

Quick analysis:

Closest metre Iambic pentameter
Characters 3,058
Words 551
Stanzas 20
Stanza Lengths 1, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 1, 2

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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