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The Queen Of Prussia's Tomb

Felicia Dorothea Hemans 1793 (Liverpool, Lancashire) – 1835 (Dublin, County Dublin)

In sweet pride upon that insult keen
She smiled; then drooping mute and broken-hearted,
To the cold comfort of the grave departed. ~ Milman.

It stands where northern willows weep,
  A temple fair and lone;
Soft shadows o'er its marble sweep,
  From cypress-branches thrown;
While silently around it spread,
Thou feel'st the presence of the dead.

And what within is richly shrined?
  A sculptur'd woman's form,
Lovely in perfect rest reclined,
  As one beyond the storm:
Yet not of death, but slumber, lies
The solemn sweetness on those eyes.

The folded hands, the calm pure face,
  The mantle's quiet flow,
The gentle, yet majestic grace,
  Throned on the matron brow;
These, in that scene of tender gloom,
With a still glory robe the tomb.

There stands an eagle, at the feet
  Of the fair image wrought;
A kingly emblem–nor unmeet
  To wake yet deeper thought:
She whose high heart finds rest below,
Was royal in her birth and wo.

There are pale garlands hung above,
  Of dying scent and hue;–
She was a mother–in her love
  How sorrowfully true!
Oh! hallow'd long be every leaf,
The record of her children's grief!

She saw their birthright's warrior-crown
  Of olden glory spoil'd,
The standard of their sires borne down,
  The shield's bright blazon soil'd:
She met the tempest meekly brave,
Then turn'd o'erwearied to the grave.

She slumber'd; but it came–it came,
  Her land's redeeming hour,
With the glad shout, and signal flame
  Sent on from tower to tower!
Fast thro' the realm a spirit moved–
'Twas hers, the lofty and the loved.

Then was her name a note that wrung
  To rouse bold hearts from sleep;
Her memory, as a banner flung
  Forth by the Baltic deep;
Her grief, a bitter vial pour'd
To sanctify th' avenger's sword.

And the crown'd eagle spread again
  His pinion to the sun;
And the strong land shook off its chain–
  So was the triumph won!
But wo for earth, where sorrow's tone
Still blends with victory's!–She was gone!
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Submitted on May 13, 2011

Modified by Madeleine Quinn

1:46 min read
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Felicia Dorothea Hemans

Felicia Dorothea Hemans was an English poet. Two of her opening lines, "The boy stood on the burning deck" and "The stately homes of England", have acquired classic status. more…

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