Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, A SALON SCENE, by ANTON ALEXANDER VON AUERSPERG



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A SALON SCENE, by            
First Line: Evening: in the festive halls the light of many candles gleam
Last Line: "see, they're pleading: ""may we ask you for the freedom to be free?"
Alternate Author Name(s): Grun, Anastasius
Subject(s): Freedom; Liberty


EVENING: In the festive halls the light of many candles gleams,
Shedding from the mirrors' crystal thousand-fold reflected beams.
In the sea of light are gliding, with a stately, solemn air,
Honored, venerable matrons, ladies young and very fair.

And among them wander slowly, clad in festive garments grand,
Here the valiant sons of battle, there the rulers of the land.
But on one that I see moving every eye is fixed with fear—
Few indeed among the chosen have the courage to draw near.

He it is by whose firm guidance Austrians' fortunes rise or sink,
He who in the Princes' Congress for them all must act and think.
But behold him now! How gracious, courteous, gentle he's to all,
And how modest, unassuming, and how kind to great and small!

In the light his orders sparkle with a faint and careless grace,
But a friendly, gentle smile is always playing on his face
When he plucks the ruddy rose leaves that some rounded bosom wears,
Or when, like to withered blossoms, kingdoms he asunder tears.

Equally enchanting is it, when he praises golden curls,
Or when, from anointed heads, the royal crowns away he hurls.
Yes, methinks 'tis heavenly rapture, which delights the happy man
Whom his words to Elba's fastness or to Munkacs' prison ban.

Could all Europe now but see him, so engaging, so gallant,
How the ladies, young and old, his winning smiles delight, enchant;
How the church's pious clergy, and the doughty men of war,
And the state's distinguished servants by his grace enraptured are.

Man of state and man of counsel, since you're in a mood so kind,
Since you're showing to all present such a gracious frame of mind,
See, without, a needy client standing waiting at your door
Whom the slightest sign of favor will make happy evermore.

And you do not need to fear him; he's intelligent and fair;
Hidden 'neath his homely garments, knife nor dagger does he wear.
'Tis the Austrian people, open, honest, courteous as can be.
See, they're pleading: "May we ask you for the freedom to be free?"





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