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The Hall of Glennaquoich

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

No more the voice of feasting is heard amid those halls,
The grass grows o’er the hearthstone, the fern o’ertops the walls;
And yet those scenes are present, as they were of our age—
Such is the mighty mastery of one enchanted page.

The name of Scott awakens a world within the heart;
The scenes are not more real wherein ourselves have part.
Beneath the tree in sunshine—beside the hearth in snow,
What hours of deep enjoyment to him and his we owe!

And yet recall the giver—recall him as those saw
Before his glorious being obeyed our nature’s law;
His strength has soon departed—his cheek in sunk and wan—
He is, before his season, a worn and weary man.

The fine creative spirit that lit his path of yore,
Its light remains for others—it warms himself no more.
The long and toilsome midnight, the fever and the haste,
The trouble and the trial, have done their work of waste.

And such is still the recompense appointed for the mind,
That seeketh, with its eyes afar, the glory of its kind.
The poet yields the beautiful that in his being lives:
Unthankful, cold, and careless, are they to whom he gives.

They dwell amid his visions—for new delights they cry;
But he who formed the lovely may lay him down and die.
Then comes the carved marble—then late remorse is shown,
And the poet’s search for sympathy ends in a funeral stone.
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Submitted by Madeleine Quinn on March 12, 2020

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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