Littell's Living Age/Volume 169/Issue 2184/From "L'Annee Terrible"

Originally published in Blackwood's Magazine.

"Moi-même, un jour, après la mort, je connaîtrai."

Myself shall one day, after death, be taught
          My unknown destiny;
And bend o'er you from realms celestial, fraught
          With dawn and mystery.

Shall learn, why exiled; why a shroud was thrown
          Over your childhood's sense;
And why my justice and my love alone
          To all seem an offence.

Shall learn why, as you gaily carolled songs,
          O'er my funereal head, —
Mine, to whom pity for all woe belongs, —
          Such gloomy darkness spread.

Why upon me the ruthless shadows lie;
          Why all these hecatombs;
Why endless winter wraps me round; and why
          I flourish over tombs.

Why such wars, tears, and misery should be;
          Why things with grief replete;
Why God willed me to be a cypress-tree,
          While you were roses sweet.