Letitia Elizabeth Landon

Letitia Elizabeth Landon

Letitia Elizabeth Landon (August 14, 1802 – October 15, 1838) was an English poet and novelist, better known by her initials L. E. L.

See also
Romance and Reality
Francesca Carrara
Ethel Churchill (or The Two Brides)
Lady Anne Granard (or Keeping up Appearances)



The Fate of Adelaide (1821)Edit

  • Romantic Switzerland! thy scenes are traced
    With characters of strange wild loveliness,
    Beauty and desolation, side by side;
    Here lofty rocks uprise, where nature seems
    To dwell alone in silent majesty;
    Rob'd by the snow, her stately palace fram'd
    Of the white hills; towering in all their pride,
    The frost's gigantic mounds are lost in clouds,
    Like to vast castles rear'd in middle air.
    The ice has sculptur'd too strange imagery—
    Obelisks, columns, spires, fantastic piles;
    Some like the polish'd marble, others clear
    As the rock crystal, others sparkling with
    The hues that melt along the sunborn bow.
    • Canto I, I opening lines
  • And o'er them lowers destruction, high in air,
    Upon those jutting crags, whose rugged sides,
    Riven in fragments, and like ruins pil'd,
    Seem as that giants of those ancient days
    When earthborn creatures braved th' Olympic Gods,
    Those of whom fable tells, had torn away
    Rocks from their solid base, and with strong arm,
    Parted the mountains: there the avalanche hangs,
    Mighty, but tremulous; just a light breath
    Will loosen it from off its airy throne;
    Then down it hurls in wrath, like to the sound
    Of thunder amid storms, or as the voice
    Of rushing waters—death in its career.
    • Canto I, I

The Improvisatrice (1824)Edit

  • Hope is love's happiness, but not its life;—
    How many hearts have nourished a vain flame
    In silence and in secret, though they knew
    They fed the scorching fire that would consume them!
    • The Minstrel of Portugal
  • It is a night of summer,--and the sea
    Sleeps, like a child, in mute tranquillity.
    • Rosalie.
  • Then they were silent:--words are little aid
    To Love, whose deepest vows are ever made
    By the heart's beat alon.
    • Rosalie.
  • I do love violets:
    They tell the history of woman's love;
    • Roland's Tower
  • I will look on the stars and look on thee, and read the page of thy destiny.
    • The Gipsy's Prophecy.
  • Oh, tears are a most worthless token,
    When hearts they would have soothed are broken.
    • The Painter's Love
  • The father had prayed o'er his only son!
    • The Soldier's Funeral
  • Oh, softest is the cheek's love-ray
    When seen by moonlight hours
    • When Should Lovers Breathe Their Vows?

The Troubadour (1825)Edit

  • 'Tis strange how the heart can create
    Or colour from itself its fate;
    We make ourselves our own distress,
    We are ourselves our happiness.
    • Canto II

The Golden Violet (1827)Edit

  • Thou know'st how fearless is my trust in thee.
    • The Golden Violet - The Child of the Sea
  • So much to win, so much to lose,
    No marvel that I fear to choose.
    • The Golden Violet - title poem
  • Music moves us, and we know not why;
    We feel the tears, but cannot trace their source.
    Is it the language of some other state,
    Born of its memory ? For what can wake
    The soul's strong instinct of another world,
    Like music?
    • Erinna

The Venetian Bracelet (1829)Edit

  • -- social life is fill’d
    With doubts and vain aspirings; solitude,
    When the imagination is dethroned,
    Is turned to weariness.
    • A History of the Lyre
  • Alas! we make
    A ladder of our thoughts, where angels step,
    But sleep ourselves at the foot: our high resolves
    Look down upon our slumbering acts.
    • A History of the Lyre
  • I would give worlds, could I believe
    One-half that is profess'd me;
    Affection! could I think it Thee,
    When Flattery has caress'd me.
    • Song - I pray thee let me weep to-night
  • My tears are buried in my heart, like cave-locked fountains sleeping.
    • Song - I pray thee let me weep to-night

Heath's book of Beauty, 1833 (1832)Edit

The Vow of the Peacock (1835)Edit

The London Literary GazetteEdit

  • You may find many a brighter one
    Than your own rose, but there are none
    So true to thee, Love.
    • (5th January 1822) Song ("Are other eyes beguiling, Love?")
  • These are thy bridal flowers
    I am now wreathing;
    This is thy marriage hymn
    I am now breathing.
    • (12th January 1822) Sketch the first. "A woman's whole life is a history of the affections. The heart is her world. She sends forth her sympathies in adventure; she embarks her whole shoal in the traffic of love, and, if shipwrecked, her case is hopeless; it is a bankruptcy of the heart."
  • But ignorance is happiness,
    When young Hope is to show the way;
    • (12th January 1822) Ten Years Ago.
  • A blossom full of promise is life's joy,
    That never comes to fruit; hope, for a time,
    Suns the young floweret in its gladsome light,
    And it looks flourishing—a little while,
    Tis past, we know not whither, but 'tis gone—
    • (19th January 1822) Poetic Sketches, No.2
  • Do any thing but love ; or if thou lovest
    And art a Woman, hide thy love from him
    Who thou dost worship ; never let him know
    How dear he is ; flit like a bird before him, —
    Lead him from tree to tree, from flower to flower ;
    But be not won, or thou wilt, like that bird,
    When caught and caged, be left to pine neglected,
    And perish in forgetfulness.
    • (26th April 1823) Fragment - Do any thing but love ; or if thou lovest
  • There's feasting spread in gorgeous halls,
    The lamps flash round the city walls,
    And many a flood of lustre falls
    O'er many an honoured name.

    Turn thou from this, and enter where
    Some mother weeps o'er her despair,
    Some desolate bride rends her rich hair,
    Some orphan joins the cry !
    Then back again to the death plain,
    Where lie those whom they weep in vain,
    And ask, in gazing on the slain,
    What art thou, Victory ?
    • (21st January 1826) Io triumphe (under the pen name Iole)

The Monthly MagazineEdit

  • Hope is a timid thing,
    Fearful, and weak, and born in suffering;
    At least, such Hope as human life can bring.
    • (1834-1, page 303) The Future. Re-used in 'Ethel Churchill' Vol. I, Chapter 31
  • Pattern love-letter — "I — I — I — you — you — you ; you — you — you — I — I — I," garnished with loves and doves ad libitum.
    • (1834, page 425) A Calendar of the London Seasons

Fisher's Drawing Room Scrap BooksEdit


  • Few save the poor feel for the poor,
    The rich know not how hard
    It is to be of needful food
    And needful rest debarred.
    • The Widow's Mite. Re-used in Ethel Churchill (1837), Vol III Chapter 5


  • Ah, tell me not that memory
    Sheds gladness o'er the past ;
    What is recalled by faded flowers,
    Save that they did not last?
    Were it not better to forget,
    Than but remember and regret ?
    • Ethel Churchill (1837), Vol II, page 201
  • Business before pleasure.
    • Francesca Carrara (1834), Vol III, page 200
  • Charity is a calm, severe duty; it must be intellectual, to be advantageous. It is a strange mistake that it should ever be considered a merit; its fulfilment is only what we owe to each other, and is a debt never paid to its full extent.
    • Ethel Churchill (1837). Vol.III, page 278.
  • Every feeling that looks to the future elevates human nature; for life is never so low or so little as when it concentrates itself on the present. The miserable wants, the small desires, and the petty pleasures of daily existence have nothing in common with those mighty dreams which, looking forward for action and action's reward, redeem the earth over which they walk with steps like those of an angel, beneath which spring up glorious and immortal flowers. The imagination is man's noblest and most spiritual faculty ; and that ever dwells on the to-come.
    • Francesca Carrara (1834), Vol III, page 161
  • Hard are life's early steps; and but that youth is buoyant, confident, and strong in hope, men would behold its threshold, and despair.
    • Ethel Churchill (1837) Vol. I, page 79
  • Memory has many conveniences, and, among others, that of foreseeing things as they have afterwards happened.
    • Francesca Carrara (1834), Vol I, page 299.
  • No thoroughly occupied man was ever yet very miserable.
    • Romance and Reality (1831) Vol. II, page 108
  • Society is like a large piece of frozen water; and skating well is the great art of social life.
  • [Full quote: Truly, society is like a large piece of frozen water ; there are the rough places to be shunned, the very slippery ones all ready for a fall, and the holes which seem made expressly to drown you. All that can be done is to glide lightly over them. Skating well is the great art of social life.]
    • Francesca Carrara (1834) End of Chapter XXV, page 134 in combined edition.
  • We need to suffer, that we may learn to pity.
    • Ethel Churchill (1837), Vol I, page 235.
  • We would liken music to Aladdin’s lamp — worthless in itself, not so for the spirits which obey its call. We love it for the buried hopes, the garnered memories, the tender feelings, it can summon with a touch.
    • Romance and Reality (1831) Vol I, page 64

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