Letitia Elizabeth Landon


The Gray Cross

by Letitia Elizabeth Landon

A gray cross stands beneath yon old beech tree;
It marks a soldier's and a maiden's grave:
Around it is a grove of orange trees,
With silver blossoms and with golden fruit.
It was a Spaniard, whom he saved from death,
Raised that cross o'er the gallant Englishman.

He left home a young soldier, full of hope
And enterprise! -- he fell in his first field!
There came a lovely pilgrim to his tomb,
The blue-eyed girl, his own betrothed bride, --
Pale, delicate, -- one looking as the gale
That bowed the rose could sweep her from the earth.
Yet she had left her home, where every look
Had been watched, O, so tenderly! -- and miles,
Long weary miles had wandered. When she came
To the dim shadow of the aged beech,
She was worn to a shadow; colorless
The cheek once dyed by her own mountain rose.
She reached the grave and died upon the sod!
They laid her by her lover: -- and her tale
Is often on the songs that the guitar
Echoes in the lime valleys of Castile!


The Poetical Works Of Miss Landon
Copyright 1853
Phillips, Sampson, And Co.
110 Washington Street