« AnteriorContinuar »
Again I see her, but how changëd now,
All that once made her glory fled away
And the deep lines of sorrow on her brow,
And those fair tresses turned too soon to grey,
Those locks so lovely only yesterday;
*And hope that for one moment seemed so near,
That last hope dying with the dying day;
Nor e'en one ray of light is left to cheer,
But all henceforth is night, dark, solitary, drear.
For all too true the portent of thy birth!
That cast its fell shade on thy natal hour
As thou wast born, convulsive throes of earth
In ruin whelmed fair Lisbon's pride of power:
So died thy young joys like a blasted flower;
A captive now among inhuman foes, -
Thy kingdom shrunk to yon dark frowning tower,--
Alas! that drear captivity shall close
Only when death for aye divorce thee from thy woes !
Her doom draws near! Henceforth fair hope no more
Shall light her joyous lamp in that sad eye :-
Round her the guilty city, drunk with gore,
Rages; and Death broods o'er her ceaselessly.
But hark! what maddened shout, what fiendish cry ?
Surges and swells around her prison wall ?
What means yon hideous trophy borne on high?
Meet emblem of that bloody festival,
They raise thy gory head, fair Princess of Lainballe!
Alas! and hast thou fallen like the rest ?
Thou too, last friend of France's throneless queen ?
Yet still one pang remains to rack her breast;
One bitterer than the bitter past hath been !
*Oh! who can tell the agony of that scene
When last a mother's tearful eye shall trace
The features of her boy, and o'er him lean
Those longing eyes, that grief convulsed face, Those tender arms that cling in one long, last embrace ?
'Tis past, the mother now no more shall see
The face that cheered so oft her dreary way!
Drained to the dregs her cup of woe; but he
Still pines in darkness ; soon the rising day
Shall drive the night of sorrow far away,
But now he lies a captive and alone;
Though not for long the boy-king's dungeon sway
Shall flout his royalty :-—she who has gone
Before him, soon in Heaven, once more shall greet her
And now she stands in that tribunal rude-
Before her judgesah ! can this be seen-
That tender grace of suffering womanhood-
Those cruel wrongs, and that all noble mien-
And no sword flash to strike for France's Queen ?
No knightly champion rise with ready hand ?
Where is the courage high that once has been ?
Where the devotion of the warrior land ?
Shall wrong and shame be wrought and France all careless
Yet see! alone she gazes on that rude
Wild tossing sea of faces white with hate,
Who by her stately patience unsubdued,
Wait for her death, and curse her as they wait:
Unqueened she stands before them, desolate,
Struck to the heart by woes too deep to heal,
But with a soul that fears no coming fate :
Rings in mine ears her agonized appeal,
*To all a mother's heart can know, a mother feel.
What cell is this? What lonely form is here
Kneeling in prayer before the altar stone?
The worst is o'er, naught now remains to fear:
The lawless judge, the yelling crowd are gone,
And her brief life's last hours are nearly flown ;
Bright as the lamp that lights her upturned face,
E'en here her spirit shines serene, alone,
And o'er her sheds a more than earthly grace,
And leaves that lonely cell for aye a holy place!
Her foes have triumphed; and from sunless dens
Of guilt and crime troop forth to see her die,
Whose thrice-polluted name of citizens
Boasts of a law their lawless deeds deny.
These have their triumph ; but their victory
Preludes their Queen's, for her's shall then begin
When theirs has ended, and the exulting cry
Which sets the seal on their rebellious sin,
Dies at the gate of Heaven as she doth enter in.
LAMARTINE, XLVI. 20.--"Si je n'ai pas répondu, c'est que la nature se refuse à répondre à une pareille in culpation faite à une