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Experiment 5

from " The Fall Of Rome" (II)

from " The Fall Of Rome" (II)

Princess, given in marriage
To a savage king whose beard
Stank of stale beer, who treated
Your Imperial Sophistication
With all the sensitivity
Of a rutting boar,
Princess, the days were
As ash in your mouth,
The nights as a rage
In your fevered brain.

Princess, here in your tomb
The sad starred ceiling is kind,
And on the walls the small
Painted birds and the gentle beasts
Among the graceful weeping trees
Have not the heart to insult
With hint of brute vigour
Your patient suffering;

Princess, those who lack hope
May wear as their mourning-veil a dream
To soothe the ache of an empty heart
And quench the fire of tears.
Your world was content to sob,
Lacking the power to scream.

page 52

End piece by Barbara Moffat and Ross O'Rourke