1823
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

The Female Head on the left of "The Hours."

Literary Gazette (3 May 1823) 287.

Letitia Elizabeth Landon


One Spenserian stanza signed "L. E. L." This brief ecphrastic poem appears to be the only work of Letitia Elizabeth Landon in the Spenserian measure. It is part of the busy series of Spenserian poems concerned with artists and the arts appearing in the 1820s.

Robert Shelton Mackenzie: "Letitia Elizabeth Landon (Maclean by marriage,) born in 1802, died in Africa in 1838. She published a volume of poems in 1821, called The Fate of Adelaide, and from that time until her death was known by her numerous and usually beautiful poems in the Literary Gazette and various magazines, as well as in nearly all the annuals, and by several separate works in prose and verse. Unhappy love formed the staple of her effusions for several years, but she had learned to think, and had studied to express her feelings with the requisite concentration, when she died" Noctes Ambrosianae, ed. Mackenzie (1854) 2:103n.



A dream of saddest beauty: one pale smile
Its light upon the blue-veined forehead shed,
As Love had lingered there one little while,
Robbed the cheek of its colour, and then fled;
Yet leaving a sweet twilight shade, which said
There had been sunshine once. Alas! the bloom,
The light, the hope, at Love's shrine offered!
Yet all in vain, — that altar is a tomb
Of broken hearts, its oracle but words of doom!

[p. 287]