Letitia Elizabeth Landon


The River Wear

by Letitia Elizabeth Landon

Come back, come back, my childhood,
To the old familiar spot,
Whose wild flowers, and whose wild wood
Have never been forgot.
It is the shining river,
With the bulrush by its tide,
Where I filled my green rush quiver
With arrows at its side;

And deemed that knightly glories
Were honored as of old;
My head was filled with stories
My aged nurse had told.
The Douglas and the Percy
Alike were forced to yield;
I had but little mercy
Upon the battle-field.

Ah! folly of the fancies,
That haunt our childhood's hour,
And yet those old romances
On after life have power;
When the weight appears too weary
With which we daily strive,
'Mid the actual and the dreary,
How much they keep alive!

How often, amid hours
By life severely tried,
Have I thought on those wild flowers
On the sweet Wear's silver tide.
Each ancient recollection
Brought something to subdue;
I lived in old affection,
And felt the heart was true.

I am come again with summer,
It is lovely to behold,
Will it welcome the new comer,
As it seemed to do of old?
Within those dark green covers,
Whose shade is downward cast,
How many a memory hovers
Whose light is from the past!

I see the bright trout springing,
Where the wave is dark yet clear,
And a myriad flies are winging,
As if to tempt him near.
With the lucid waters blending,
The-willow shade yet floats,
From beneath whose quiet bending
I used to launch my boats.

Over the sunny meadows,
I watch them as of old,
Flit soft and sudden shadows
That leave a greener gold;
And a faint south wind is blowing
Amid the cowslip beds,
A deeper glow bestowing
To the light around their heads.

Farewell, sweet river! ever
Wilt thou be dear to me;
I can repay thee never
One half I owe to thee.
Around thy banks are lying
Nature's diviner part,
And thou dost keep undying
My childhood at my heart.


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