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Lament of Mary Queen of Scots, on The Eve of a New Year Analysis

Author: Poetry of William Wordsworth Type: Poetry Views: 366

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Smile of the Moon!---for I so name

That silent greeting from above;

A gentle flash of light that came

From her whom drooping captives love;

Or art thou of still higher birth?

Thou that didst part the clouds of earth,

My torpor to reprove!

Bright boon of pitying Heaven!---alas,

I may not trust thy placid cheer!

Pondering that Time tonight will pass

The threshold of another year;

For years to me are sad and dull;

My very moments are too full

Of hopelessness and fear.

And yet, the soul-awakening gleam,

That struck perchance the farthest cone

Of Scotland's rocky wilds, did seem

To visit me, and me alone;

Me, unapproached by any friend,

Save those who to my sorrow lend

Tears due unto their own.

To night the church-tower bells will ring

Through these wide realms a festire peal;

To the new year a welcoming;

A tuneful offering for the weal

Of happy millions lulled in deep;

While I am forced to watch and weep,

By wounds that may not heal.

Born all too high, by wedlock raised

Still higher—to be cast thus low!

Would that mine eyes had never gazed

On aught of more ambitious show

Than the sweet flowerets of the fields

---It is my royal state that yields

This bitterness of woe.

Yet how?---for I, if there be truth

In the world's voice, was passing fair;

And beauty, for confiding youth,

Those shocks of passion can prepare

That kill the bloom before its time;

And blanch, without the owner's crime,

The most resplendent hair.

Unblest distinction! showered on me

To bind a lingering life in chains:

All that could quit my grasp, or flee,

Is gone;---but not the subtle stains

Fixed in the spirit; for even here

Can I be proud that jealous fear

Of what I was remains.

A Woman rules my prison's key;

A sister Queen, against the bent

O£ law and holiest sympathy,

Detains me, doubtful of the event;

Great God, who feel'st for my distress,

My thoughts are all that I possess,

O keep them innocent!

Farewell desire of human aid,

Which abject mortals vainly court!

By friends deceived, by foes betrayed,

Of fears the prey, of hopes the sport;

Nought but the world-redeeming Cross

Is able to support my loss,

My burthen to support.

Hark! the death-note of the year

Sounded by the castle-clock!

From her sunk eyes a stagnant tear

Stole forth, unsettled by the shock;

But oft the woods renewed their green,

Ere the tired head of Scotland's Queen

Reposed upon the block!


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