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