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TO AN OLD OAK.

Round thee, alas! no shadows move,

From thee no sacred murmurs breathe ! Yet within thee, thyself a grove, Once did the eagle scream above,

And the wolf howl beneath !

There once the steel-clad knight reclined,

His sable plumage tempest-toss'd; And, as the death-bell smote the wind, From towers long fled by human kind,

His brow the hero cross'd !

Then culture came, and days serene,

And village-sports, and garlands gay: Full many a pathway cross'd the green,And maids and shepherd-youths were seen

To celebrate the May !

Father of many a forest deep,

Whence many a navy thunder fraught ! Erst in thy acorn-cells asleep, Soon destined o'er the world to sweep,

Opening new spheres of thought !

Wont in the night of woods to dwell,

The holy Druid saw thee rise;
And, planting there the guardian-spell,
Sung forth, the dreadful pomp to swell

Of human sacrifice !

Thy singed top and branches bare

Now straggle in the evening sky; And the wan moon wheels round to glare On the long corse that shivers there

Of him who came to die !

A a

LÆTITIA ELIZABETH LANDON, was born in Hans Place, London. She is of the old Herefordshire family, of Tedstone-Delamere. Her father was, originally, intended for the navy; and sailed his first voyage as a midshipman, with his relative, Admiral Bowyer : he afterwards became a partner with Mr. Adair, the well known army agent, but died while his daughter was very young. Her uncle, the Rev. Dr. Landon, is Head of Worcester College, and Dean of Exeter. As we have heard her say, she cannot remember the time when composition-in some shape or other was not a habit. She used in her earliest childhood to invent long stories, and repeat them to her brother; these soon took a metrical form, and she frequently walked about the grounds of Trevor Park, and lay awake half the night, reciting her verses aloud. The realities of life began with her at a very early period. Her father's altered circumstances induced her to direct her mind to publication ; and some of her poems were transmitted to the Editor of "the Literary Gazette,"—the first and the most constant of all her literary friends. He could scarcely believe they were written by the child who was introduced to him. The Improvvisatrice” soon afterwards appeared, and obtained for her that reputation, to which every succeeding year has largely contributed.

In person Miss Landon is small, and delicately framed; her form is exquisitely moulded ; and her countenance is so full of expression, that, although her features are by no means regular, she must be considered handsome. Her conversation is brilliant, and abounds in wit. Like most persons of genius, her spirits are either too high or too low ; and those who have seen her only during her moments of joyousness, imagine that the sadness which too generally pervades her writings, is all unreal:

« Blame not her mirth who was sad yesterday,

And may be sad to-morrow."

One of her prose tales records the history of her childhood. It is but a gloomy oneand she treats it as the shadow of her after life. In a communication before us, she says, " I write poetry with far more ease than I do prose, and with far greater rapidity. In prose, I often stop and hesitate for a word,-in poetry, never. Poetry always carries me out of myself; I forget every thing in the world but the subject which has interested my imagination. It is the most subtle and insinuating of pleasures,—but, like all pleasures, it is dearly bought. It is always succeeded by extreme depression of spirits, and an overpowering sense of bodily fatigue. Mine has been a successful career; and I hope I am earnestly grateful for the encouragement I have received, and the friends I have made,—but my life has convinced me that a public career must be a painful one to a woman. The envy and the notoriety carry with them a bitterness which predominates over the praise.” It has perhaps been her lot to encounter those best of friends-enemies--on her path through an eventful life ; but she has the affection, as well as the admiration, of many; and her own generous and ardent zeal in forwarding the interests of those she regards, has not always been met with indifference or ingratitude.

Miss Landon has been nearly all her life a resident in London. Her poetry, there. fore, dwells more upon human passions, desires, and enjoyments-the themes and persons that history has rendered sacred-the glorious chivalries of gone-by ages, and the ruins of nations,-than upon the gentler topics, objects, and characters which those who live in the country cherish, venerate, and love. It is to be lamented, that her intimacy with Nature has been so limited and constrained, and that the scope of her genius has been therefore narrowed. The sources of her fame have, however, been numerous and productive; and her poems have obtained a popularity scarcely second to that of any British writer. She not only obtained a reputation—she has sustained it: it is acknowledged and appreciated wherever the English language is understood. When she quitted the less substantial topics in which her early youth delighted, for themes more worthy of the Muse, she proved the strength of her mind, as well as the richness of her fancy; and her latter productions are unquestionably her best. The extent of her labour is absolutely startling. A large proportion of her poems remain scattered through various periodical works :-we believe, if collected, they would form a greater number of volumes than those already published; and her writings in prose are records of her industry, no less than of her genius.

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Come back, come back together,

All ye fancies of the past, Ye days of April weather, Ye shadows that are cast

By the haunted hours before !
Come back, come back, my childhood;

Thou art summoned by a spell
From the green leaves of the wild wood,

From beside the charmed well!
For Red Riding Hood, the darling,-
The flower of fairy lore.

The fields were covered over

With colours, as she went; Daisy, buttercup, and clover, Below her footsteps bent.

Summer shed its shining store,
She was happy as she prest them

Beneath her little feet;
She pluck'd them and caress'd them-
They were so very sweet,

They had never seemed so sweet before, To Red Riding Hood, the darling,

The flower of fairy lore.

How the heart of childhood dances

Upon a sunny day!
It has its own romances,
And a wide, wide world have they !

A world where phantasie is king,
Made all of eager dreaming,

When once grown up and tall ;
Now is the time for scheming,
Then we shall do them all!

Do such pleasant fancies spring
For Red Riding Hood, the darling,—

The flower of fairy lore?

She seems like an ideal love,

The poetry of childhood shown, And yet

loved with a real love, As if she were our own;

A younger sister for the heart;
Like the woodland pheasant,

Her hair is brown and bright;
And her smile is pleasant,
With its rosy light.

Never can the memory part
With Red Riding Hood, the darling,--

The flower of fairy lore.

Did the painter, dreaming

In a morning hour, Catch the fairy seeming

Of this fairy flower ?

Winning it with eager eyes,
From the old enchanted stories,

Lingering with a long delight,
On the unforgotten glories
Of the infant sight?

Giving us a sweet surprise
In Red Riding Hood, the darling,

The flower of fairy lore?

Too long in the meadow staying,

Where the cowslip bends, With the buttercups delaying As with early friends,

Did the little maiden stay.
Sorrowful the tale for us,

We, too, loiter mid life's flowers,
A little while so glorious,
So soon lost in darker hours.

All love lingering on their way,
Like Red Riding Hood, the darling -

The flower of fairy lore.

THE FIRST GRAVE,

IN THE NEW CHURCHYARD AT BROMPTON.

A SINGLE grave !—the only one

In this unbroken ground,
Where yet the garden leaf and flower

Are lingering around.
A single grave !--my heart has felt

How utterly alone
In crowded halls, were breathed for me

Not one familiar tone;

The shade where forest-trees shut out

All but the distant sky ;-
I've felt the loneliness of night

When the dark winds pass'd by :
My pulse has quicken'd with its awe,

My lip has gasped for breath ;
But what were they to such as this,-

The solitude of death!

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