William Bell Scott

(1811-1890 / Scotland)

An Aftermath


MADAME ROLAND AT THE FOOT OF THE SCAFFOLD.

'Give me a pen, I will not hold you long,
But I have some few words that I would say
Before I mount, before I pass away,
Following my friends all gone; it is not wrong
What I would write, nor any foolish song,
But now I stand beside the shoreless sea,
A word or two from out my heart would flee
Not said before, that coming death makes strong.'

How many have felt thus besides the brave
Fair queen of womankind, the good Roland:
Life's long years past, both joyous years and grave
The wish descends upon the untired hand
To leave some self-drawn picture, or some stave
Of speech for those left waiting on the strand.

Submitted: Thursday, April 22, 2010
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