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Unavailing Regret

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



Farewell! and when the charm of change
  Has sunk, as all must sink, in shade;
When joy, a wearied bird, begins
  The wing to droop, the plume to fade;

When thou thyself, at length, hast felt
  What thou hast made another feel—
The hope that sickens to despair,
  The wound that time may sear, not heal;

When thou shalt pine for some fond heart
  To beat in answering thine again;—
Then, false one, think once more on me.
  And sigh to think it is in vain.
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Submitted by Madeleine Quinn on December 09, 2016

Modified by Madeleine Quinn

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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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