Letitia Elizabeth Landon

(1802-1838 / England)

The Sultana's Remonstrance


IT suits thee well to weep,
As thou lookest on the fair land,
Whose sceptre thou hast held
With less than woman's hand.

On yon bright city gaze,
With its white and marble halls,
The glory of its lofty towers,
The strength of its proud walls.

And look to yonder palace,
With its garden of the rose,
With its groves and silver fountains,
Fit for a king's repose.

There is weeping in that city,
And a cry of woe and shame,
There's a whisper of dishonour,
And that whisper is thy name.

And the stranger's feast is spread,
But it is no feast of thine;
In thine own halls accursed lips
Drain the forbidden wine.

And aged men are in the streets,
Who mourn their length of days,
And young knights stand with folded arms,
And eyes they dare not raise.

There is not one whose blood was not
As the waves of ocean free,--
Their fathers died for thy fathers,
They would have died for thee.

Weep not, 'tis mine to weep,
That ever thou wert born,
Alas, that all a mother's love
Is lost in a queen's scorn!

Yet weep, thou less than woman, weep,
Those tears become thine eye,--
It suits thee well to weep the land
For which thou daredst not die.*

Submitted: Monday, April 12, 2010

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