On English soil waits wearily
The next strange page of history,
Which may be turned with bayonet,
Whose pictures are with red blood wet,
Thinking, poor boy! of struggling France;
When, lo! an idle lifted glance
Sees strangers, all in convent guise,
Pass doubtingly before his eyes.
No sunshine now. Through shadow pale,
A fugitive in hood and veil
Asks for the prince. There is a cry,
A sudden lifting of the eye,
Then folded arms and smothered speech
One lesson, old as Calv'ry, teach:
Though empires die and kingdoms fall,
Sweet mother-love outlives them all.
No crown lies on her folded hair,
But silver threads are shining there,
While merry birds sing soft and low
The song they sang in Fontainebleau.
OH, the solemn, silent midnight!
Oh, the hush of sleeping things,
When the hours above the sleepers
Softly shake their dusky wings!