by Letitia Elizabeth Landon
Lay by the harp, sing not that song,
Although so very sweet;
It is the song of other years,
For thee and me unmeet.
Thy head is pillowed on my arm,
Thy heart beats close to mine;
Methinks it were unjust to heaven,
If we should now repine.
I must not weep, you must not sing
That thrilling song again, --
I dare not think upon the time
When last I heard that strain.
It was a silent summer eve:
We stood by the hill-side,
And we could see my ship afar
Breasting the ocean tide.
Around us grew the graceful larch,
A calm blue sky above,
Beneath were little cottages,
The homes of peace and love.
Thy harp was by thee then, as now,
One hand in mine was laid;
The other, wandering 'mid the chords,
A soothing music made:
Just two or three sweet chords, that seemed
An echo of thy tone, --
The cushat's song was on the wind,
And mingled with thine own.
I looked upon the vale beneath.
I looked on thy sweet face;
I thought how dear, this voyage o'er,
Would be my resting place.
We parted; but I kept thy kiss, --
Thy last one, -- and its sigh,
As safely as the stars are kept
In yonder azure sky.
Again I stood by that hill-side,
And scarce I knew the place,
For fire, and blood, and death, had left
On everything their trace.
The lake was covered o'er with weeds,
Choked was our little rill,
There was no sign of corn or grass,
The cushat's song was still:
Burnt to the dust, an ashy heap
Was every cottage round; --
I listened but I could not hear
One single human sound:
I spoke, and only my own words
Were echoed from the hill;
I sat me down to weep, and curse
The hand that wrought this ill.
We met again by miracle:
Thou wert another one
Saved from this work of sin and death, --
I was not quite alone.
And then I heard the evil tale
Of guilt and suffering,
Till I prayed the curse of God might fall
On the false-hearted king.
I will not think on this, -- for thou
Art saved, and saved for me!
And gallantly my little bark
Cuts through the moonlight sea.
There's not a shadow in the sky,
The waves are bright below;
I must not, on so sweet a night,
Think upon dark Glencoe.
If thought were vengeance, then its thought
A ceaseless fire should be,
Burning by day, burning by night,
Kept like a thought of thee.
But I am powerless and must flee; --
That e'er a time should come,
When we should shun our own sweet land,
And seek another home!
This must not be, -- yon soft moonlight
Falls on my heart like balm;
The waves are still, the air is hushed,
And I too will be calm.
Away! we seek another land
Of hope, stars, flowers, sunshine;
I shall forget the dark green hills
Of that which once was mine!
Source:The Poetical Works Of Miss Landon
Phillips, Sampson, And Co.
110 Washington Street