Francis Duggan

Mati Hari - Poem by Francis Duggan

An often told story that of Mati Hari she was a scapegoat as history now recall
Executed as a spy by a firing squad in Paris but the fact is she was not a spy at all
She was mistaken for a German agent and for immortal fame
with her life she did pay
Her name in almost every encyclopaedia and her legend is alive and well today.

The Dutch born Margaretha Geertruida Zelle was ex wife of Scottish born Dutch army captain Campbell Macleod
He had an over fondness of strong liquor the down fall of many who had once been proud
She left the captain in Java in Indonesia and came to Europe to perform and dance
Under the adopted stage name of Mati Hari and fame came to her one well might say by chance.

Mistaken for a known German agent Clara Benedix the Dutch born dancer was condemned to death
And though she never was a spy as was proven later a worse fate than her fate few have ever met
She had become the object of suspicion and that was Mati Hari's only crime
And the evidence against her circumstantial she was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

I'd rather live to be old and forgotten and end my life in a more natural way
Than have a fate similar to Mati Hari whose legend is alive and well today
At forty one in October Nineteen Seventeen she died under gunfire in Paris she would have preferred to have lived on to grow old and gray
And though her trial and death had made her very famous her
price for fame seemed far too high to pay.

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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, January 2, 2008

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