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By Walter Savage Landor

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!


  • Living
  • Relationships

Poet Bio

Walter Savage Landor
Known for his devotion to classicism, Walter Savage Landor wrote poetry in both English and Latin. His poetry was never widely read, though his critical prose—on subjects ranging from life in ancient Greece to Italian literature—was very successful. Considered by most of his contemporaries to be a “poet’s poet,” Landor had a series of influential relationships with poets such as William Wordsworth, Robert Browning, and Algernon Charles Swinburne. His politically engaged verse, his understanding of the artist as an isolated genius, and the rigorous clarity of his Latinate poetry are thought to have also influenced Ezra Pound.

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