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On Hearing The Princess Royal Sing
by [?]

On Hearing the Princess Royal[1] Sing

(“Dans ta haute demeure.”)

[Bk. III. ix., 1881.]

In thine abode so high
Where yet one scarce can breathe,
Dear child, most tenderly
A soft song thou dost wreathe.

Thou singest, little girl–
Thy sire, the King is he:
Around thee glories whirl,
But all things sigh in thee.

Thy thought may seek not wings
Of speech; dear love’s forbidden;
Thy smiles, those heavenly things,
Being faintly born, are chidden.

Thou feel’st, poor little Bride,
A hand unknown and chill
Clasp thine from out the wide
Deep shade so deathly still.

Thy sad heart, wingless, weak,
Is sunk in this black shade
So deep, thy small hands seek,
Vainly, the pulse God made.

Thou art yet but highness, thou
That shaft be majesty:
Though still on thy fair brow
Some faint dawn-flush may be,

Child, unto armies dear,
Even now we mark heaven’s light
Dimmed with the fume and fear
And glory of battle-might.

Thy godfather is he,
Earth’s Pope,–he hails thee, child!
Passing, armed men you see
Like unarmed women, mild.

As saint all worship thee;
Thyself even hast the strong
Thrill of divinity
Mingled with thy small song.

Each grand old warrior
Guards thee, submissive, proud;
Mute thunders at thy door
Sleep, that shall wake most loud.

Around thee foams the wild
Bright sea, the lot of kings.
Happier wert thou, my child,
I’ the woods a bird that sings!

Translated by NELSON R. TYERMAN.

[Footnote 1: Marie, daughter of King Louis Philippe, afterwards Princess of Wuertemburg.]