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Walter Savage Landor
1775-1864


Landor - "forced to leave Oxford because of his opinions" - raised a regiment, and, in 1807, went off to Spain to fight Napoleon. It is surprising to read this, for, Birrell, in his work on Hazlitt, said: "Between Hazlitt and Landor there were obvious resemblances. Both hated kings far better than they loved peoples. ... Both men had idolized Napoleon ... " Landor lived in Italy for a number of years (it was in Florence, 1824, that Hazlitt met Landor; and, so, too, for Henry Crabb Robinson, in 1831). By 1838 Landor was living at Bath. Dickens, in his novel, Bleak House, models Mr. Boythorn after Landor.


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Why, why repine, my pensive friend
God scattered beauty
Smiles soon abate
I strove with none
On his eighteenth birthday
Death stands above me
Mild is the parting year
One lovely name adorns my song
Death of the Day
You smiled, you spoke, and I believed
On The Four Georges
William Gifford

WHY, why repine, my pensive friend,
At pleasures slipp'd away?
Some the stern Fates will never lend,
And all refuse to stay.
I see the rainbow in the sky,
The dew upon the grass,
I see them, and I ask not why
They glimmer or they pass.
With folded arms I linger not
To call them back; 'twere vain;
In this, or in some other spot,
I know they'll shine again.

GOD scatters beauty as he scatters flowers
O'er the wide earth, and tells us all are ours.
A hundred lights in every temple burn,
And at each shrine I bend my knee in turn.


The Evening Star

SMILES soon abate; the boisterous throes
Of anger long burst forth;
Inconstantly the south-wind blows,
But steadily the north.
Thy star, O Venus! often changes
Its radiant seat above,
The chilling pole-star never ranges --
'Tis thus with Hate and Love.


On His Seventy-fifth Birthday

I STROVE with none; for none was worth my strife;
Nature I loved, and next to Nature, Art;
I warmed both hands before the fire of life;
It sinks, and I am ready to depart.


On his eighteenth birthday.

TO my ninth decade I have tottered on,
And no soft arm bends now my steps to steady;
She, who once led me where she would, is gone,
So when he calls me, Death shall find me ready.

DEATH stands above me, whispering low
I know not what into my ear:
Of his strange language all I know
Is, there is not a word of fear.

1 Mild is the parting year, and sweet
2 The odour of the falling spray;
3 Life passes on more rudely fleet,
4 And balmless is its closing day.

5 I wait its close, I court its gloom,
6 But mourn that never must there fall
7 Or on my breast or on my tomb
8 The tear that would have soothed it all.



ONE lovely name adorns my song,

And, dwelling in the heart,
Forever falters at the tongue,
And trembles to depart.

Death of the Day

My pictures blacken in their frames
As night come on,
And youthful maids and wrinkled dames
Are now all one.

Death of the day! A sterner Death
Did worse before;
The fairest form, the sweetest breath,
Away he bore.


1 You smiled, you spoke, and I believed,
2 By every word and smile deceived.
3 Another man would hope no more;
4 Nor hope I what I hoped before:
5 But let not this last wish be vain;
6 Deceive, deceive me once again!


On The Four Georges

George the First was always reckond
Vile - but viler George the Second;
And what mortal ever heard
Any good of George the Third?
When from earth the Fourth descended,
God be praised, the Georges ended.


William Gifford

Clap, clap the doule nightcap on!
Gifford will read you his amours...
Lazy as Scheld and cold as Don...
Kneel, and thank Heaven they are not yours.

Alas! 'tis very sad to hear,
Your and your Muse's end draws near:
I only wish, if this be true,
To lie a little way from you.
The grave is cold enough for me
Without you and yuor poetry.


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2000 Elena and Yacov Feldman