He stands within the silent square,
That square of taste, of gloom;
A heavy weight is on the air,
Which hangs as o'er a tomb.
It is a tomb which wealth and rank
Have built themselves around—
The general sympathies have shrank,
Like flowers on high dry ground.
None heed the wandering boy who sings,
An orphan though so young;
None think how far the singer brings
The songs which he has sung.
None cheer him with a kindly look,
None with a kindly word;
The singer's little pride must brook
To be unpraised, unheard.
At home, their sweet bird he was styled,
And oft, when days were long,
His mother call'd her favourite child,
To sing her favourite song.
He wanders now through weary streets,
Till cheek and eye are dim;
How little sympathy he meets,
For music or for him.
Sudden his dark brown cheek grows bright,
His dark eyes fill with glee,
Cover'd with blossoms snowy-white,
He sees an orange tree.
No more the toil-worn face is pale,
No faltering step is sad;
He sees his distant native vale,
He sees it, and is glad.
He sees the squirrel climb the pine,
The doves fly through the dell,
The purple clusters of the vine;
He hears the vesper bell.
His heart is full of hope and home,
Toil, travel, are no more;
And he has happy hours to come
Beside his father's door.
O charm of natural influence!
But for thy lovely ties,
Never might the world-wearied sense
Above the present rise.
Bless'd be thy magic everywhere,
O Nature, gentle mother;
How kindlier is for us thy care,
Than ours is for each other. [305-06]
Related material: Other “Scenes from London”
Landon, Latitia E. The Poetical Works of Miss Landon. Philadelphia: E.L. Cary and A. Hart, 1839. Hathi Trust Digital Library version of a copy in the New York Public Library. Web. 17 July 2020.
Last modified 17 July 2020