Rose Hartwick Thorpe

(1850 - 1939)

The Queen And The Beggar's Child

Silk and diamonds and trailing lace,
Haughty carriage and fair proud face;
Out from the palace towering high
Grand and gray 'neath the bending sky,
O'er the lawn with its carpet green,
Lightly stepping, came Austria's Queen,
Flashing gems in the summer's sun,
Tender Mother and Queen in one.

Jewels gleam on her royal hands,
Clasp her arms with their shining bands,
Sparkle and glow where the sunbeams fall;
But the most precious of them all
The nurse is holding with tender care, ―
The royal baby, rosy and fair;
Pressing fond kisses on cheek and brow,
The Queen is only a Mother now.

Down the lawn, in its shadow deep,
A beggar-woman lies asleep.
Hunger, poverty, pain, and care
Darken the face once young and fair;
There by the wayside, seeking rest,
Clasping a babe upon her breast,
Its hungry wail across the green
Stirs the heart of the Mother Queen.

Down on the green grass kneeling low,
Baring her bosom as white as snow,
Laying the child without a name
Where only royal babes have lain,
Feeding it from her own proud breast.
Hungry, starving, ― ah! there's the test, ―
Mother-love spans the chasm wide;
Queen and station must stand aside!

Submitted: Monday, July 21, 2014

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Poet's Notes about The Poem

Ringing Ballads
Copyright 1887
D Lothrop Company,Franklin And Hawley Streets,Boston

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