The Maid’s Lament

By Walter Savage Landor 1775–1864
I loved him not; and yet, now he is gone,
         I feel I am alone.
I check’d him while he spoke; yet, could he speak,
         Alas! I would not check.
For reasons not to love him once I sought,
         And wearied all my thought
To vex myself and him: I now would give
         My love could he but live
Who lately lived for me, and, when he found
         ’Twas vain, in holy ground
He hid his face amid the shades of death.
         I waste for him my breath
Who wasted his for me! but mine returns,
         And this lorn bosom burns
With stifling heat, heaving it up in sleep,
         And waking me to weep
Tears that had melted his soft heart: for years
         Wept he as bitter tears.
Merciful God! such was his latest prayer,
         These may she never share.
Quieter is his breath, his breast more cold,
         Than daisies in the mould,
Where children spell, athwart the churchyard gate,
         His name and life’s brief date.
Pray for him, gentle souls, whoe’er you be,
         And oh! pray too for me!

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Poet Walter Savage Landor 1775–1864

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Romantic

Subjects Relationships, Living, Sorrow & Grieving, Death, Men & Women

Poetic Terms Couplet, Dramatic Monologue

 Walter Savage Landor

Biography

As a poet, Walter Savage Landor has enjoyed a permanent minority reputation for the classicism of his epigrams and idyls. He was a seriously emulative classicist and wrote a significant proportion of his poetry in Latin, which was also the original language of some of the long and short poems that he published in English. Indeed, he was deterred from making it his chief medium only by the example of John Milton and the advice of . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Relationships, Living, Sorrow & Grieving, Death, Men & Women

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Romantic

Poetic Terms Couplet, Dramatic Monologue

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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