My silent error, and yet feel no shame—
But if my soul, big with an ill intent,
Guilty in will, by fate be innocent,
Or being bad, yet murmurs at the curse
And incapacity of being worse
That makes my hungry passion still keep Lent
In keen expectance of a carnival;
Where, in all worlds, that round the sun revolve
And shed their influence on this passive ball,
Abides a power that can my soul absolve?
Could any sin survive, and be forgiven—
One sinful wish would make a hell of heaven.
All Nature ministers to Hope. The snow
Of sluggard Winter, bedded on the hill,
And the small tinkle of the frozen rill—
The swol'n flood's sullen roar, the storms that go
With crash, and howl, and horrid voice of woe,
Making swift passage for their lawless will—
All prophecy of good. The hungry trill
Of the lone birdie, cowering close below
The dripping eaves—it hath a kindly feeling,
And cheers the life that lives for milder hours.
Why, then, since Nature still is busy healing,
And Time, the waster, his own work concealing,
Decks every grave with verdure and with flowers, —
Why should Despair oppress immortal powers?
Sarah Siddons helped Letitia Elizabeth Landon publish her first book, The
Fate of Adelaide; a Swiss Romantic Tale; and Other Poems (1821). Beginning
in the summer of 1821, under the initials “L.E.L., ” she published a series of
“Poetical Sketches” in the Literary Gazette that became the rage.These poems
were collected in The Improvisatrice and Other Poems (1824), a smashing suc-
cess that went through six editions in the first year. Several more poetry
books followed. Landon also published two novels, Romance and Reality
(1831) and Ethel Churchill; or, The Two Brides (1837), and a collection of
prose tales for children, Traits and Trials of Early Life. In 1838 she married
George Maclean, Governor of Cape Coast, Africa; within two months of
her arrival in Africa, she was found dead under questionable circumstances.