Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE ZEGRI LADY'S VIGIL, by LETITIA ELIZABETH LANDON



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THE ZEGRI LADY'S VIGIL, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Ever sits the lady weeping
Last Line: Of the ladye weeping there.
Alternate Author Name(s): L. E. L.; Maclean, Letitia
Subject(s): Grief; Sorrow; Sadness


EVER sits the lady weeping --
Weeping night and day --
One perpetual vigil keeping,
Till life pass away,
And she join the seven who sleep.
Daylight enters not that building,
Tho' so rich and fair --
With the azure and the gilding
That are lavish'd there;
Round the purple curtains sweep,
Heavily their shadows creep
Around the Zegri Ladye --
The Ladye weeping there.

On the walls are many a sentence,
In bright letters wrought --
Touch'd not with the meek repentance
By the Gospel brought --
But the Koran's haughty words --
Words that, like a trumpet calling,
Urge the warrior on;
In the front of battle falling,
Paradise is won --
By the red and ready swords --
Can they soothe the spirit's chords
Of the lonely Zegri Ladye --
Of the Ladye weeping there!

Seven tombs are in that chamber --
Each a marble tomb: --
Lamps that breathe of musk and amber
Tremble in the gloom.
Seven lamps perfume the air.
On each tomb a statute lying,
Almost seems like life;
And, above, the banner flying
Seems to dare the strife --
Which again it may not dare.
Can the carved statutes there
Suffice the Zegri Ladye --
The Ladye weeping there!

While the others fled around them,
Did the seven die. --
In the front of war she found them
With none others nigh: --
Noble was the blood they shed.
Sacred in her grief and beauty,
Did the Ladye go,
Asking life's last sacred duty
Of the Christian foe.
Those white feet were stain'd with red,
When the King bestow'd her dead
On the lovely Zegri Ladye --
The Ladye weeping there.

Never since the hour she brought them
To that ancient hall,
Since with her sad hands she wrought them
Their embroidered pall,
Hath the daylight seen her face.
Rosy o'er the Guadalquivir
Doth the morning gleam;
Pale the silver moonbeams shiver
O'er the haunted stream.
Nothing knows she of their grace --
Nothing cheers the funeral place
Of the lonely Zegri Ladye --
The Ladye weeping there.

Each of six tombs hold a brother --
All her house's pride: --
Six contain her line; one other
Riseth at her side.
Who is in that seventh tomb?
One far dearer than the others
Shares their place of rest:
Well she loved her noble brothers --
But she loved him best --
He who shared the warrior's doom
With the favour at his plume
Of the lovely Zegri Ladye --
The Ladye weeping there.

Never more when first appearing
Will he watch her eye,
In the mounted lists careering,
When his steed went by
Rapid as the lance he flung.
Never more when night is lonely
Will the warrior glide
To the citron shade, where only
He was at her side,
While the very wild wind hung
On the music of the tongue
Of the lovely Zegri Ladye --
The Ladye weeping there.

Not with daylight to discover
How the wretched weep
Will the maiden wail her lover,
Or her brothers keep
In remembrance with her tears.
Grief hath stern and silent powers,
And her house is proud;
Not to day's cold guarded hours
Is despair allow'd;
But, shut out with haughty fears,
Pride with daylight disappears,
From the lovely Zegri Ladye --
The Ladye weeping there.

But her slight frame has been shaken
By the sudden blight,
And her dark eyes are forsaken
By their former light;
Heavy is their settled gloom.
And her wan cheek beareth token
Of young life's decline;
You may see the heart is broken
By each outward sign.
Soon the heart can life consume,
Fast approaching is the tomb
Of the lonely Zegri Ladye --
Of the Ladye weeping there.





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