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The Palace Called Beautiful

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

"He lifted up his eyes, and behold there was a very stately palace before him, the name of which was 'Beautiful'. Looking very narrowly before him as he went, he espied two lions in the way."—Pilgrim's Progress.

He wandered on a weary way,
A weary way he wandered on;
Till eagerness and fortitude—
Till all but hope were gone.

The night fell dark around his steps,
And terrible is falling night,
For cheerful thoughts of enterprise
Attend on morning’s light.

And there were Lions in the way—
The lion mighty in his wrath—
No marvel that the traveller shrank
From such a dreary path.

Then spake the Porter of the house,
The house that was so fair,
The house whose name was Beautiful,
And bade him not despair.

Chained were the Lions on his way,
And he could safely pass along,
If that he had a steadfast hope,
And if his faith were strong.

He entered in the lovely place;
Four maidens at the door,
With wine, and bread, and pleasant words,
His fainting soul restore.

Next morn they furnished him with arms,
That in the sunshine glowed.
Who were the maidens setting forth
The Christian on his road?

Prudence and Piety, intent
On every work of Love,
And Charity, whose youthful heart
Is tender as the dove.
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Submitted by Madeleine Quinn on February 03, 2020

1:06 min read

Quick analysis:

Closest metre Iambic tetrameter
Characters 1,274
Words 221
Stanzas 9
Stanza Lengths 1, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4

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

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1 Comment
  • Peter Bolton
    Peter Bolton
    It should be remarked that only a genius would begin a poem with such a bold dramatic symmetry. In the past, lines like these have been regarded as slipshod but far from it; they are purposeful and strong. This is weariness par excellence. 
    LikeReply3 years ago


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"The Palace Called Beautiful" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 21 Mar. 2023. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/52345/the-palace-called-beautiful>.

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