The Maid's Lament

Original Text: 
Walter Savage Landor, Citation and Examination of William Shakespeare (London: Saunders and Otley, 1834). PR 2935 L25 ROBA.
2      I feel I am alone.
3I check'd him while he spoke; yet, could he speak,
4      Alas! I would not check.
5For reasons not to love him once I sought,
6      And wearied all my thought
7To vex myself and him: I now would give
8      My love could he but live
9Who lately lived for me, and, when he found
10      'Twas vain, in holy ground
11He hid his face amid the shades of death!
12      I waste for him my breath
13Who wasted his for me! but mine returns,
14      And this torn bosom burns
15With stifling heat, heaving it up in sleep,
16      And waking me to weep
17Tears that had melted his soft heart: for years
18      Wept he as bitter tears!
19Merciful God! such was his latest prayer,
20      These may she never share.
21Quieter is his breath, his breast more cold,
22      Than daisies in the mould,
23Where children spell, athwart the churchyard gate,
24      His name and life's brief date.
25Pray for him, gentle souls, whoe'er you be,
26      And oh! pray too for me!


1] Published in Citation and Examination of William Shakespeare, 1834, an imaginary account of the trial of the future dramatist before Sir Thomas Lucy on a charge of deer-stealing. The verses are found in Shakespeare's pocket and are read aloud by the magistrate's clerk. Sir Thomas falls asleep. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
RPO poem Editors: 
H. Kerpneck
RPO Edition: 
3RP 3.7.