Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE KING'S GIFT, by ELIZABETH BARRETT BROWNING



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THE KING'S GIFT, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Teresa, ah, teresita! / now what has the messenger brought her
Last Line: Child, teresita!'
Subject(s): Gifts & Giving; Greed; Garibaldi, Guiseppe (1807-1882); Avarice; Cupidity


I

TERESA, ah, Teresita!
Now what has the messenger brought her,
Our Garibaldi's young daughter,
To make her stop short in her singing?
Will she not once more repeat a
Verse from that hymn of our hero's,
Setting the souls of us ringing?
Break off the song where the tear rose?
Ah. Teresita!

II

A young thing, mark, is Teresa:
Her eyes have caught fire, to be sure, in
That necklace of jewels from Turin,
Till blind their regard to us men is.
But still she remembers to raise a
Sly look to her father, and note --
'Could she sing on as well about Venice,
Yet wear such a flame at her throat?
Decide for Teresa.'

III

Teresa, ah, Teresita!
His right hand has paused on her head --
'Accept it, my daughter,' he said;
'Ay, wear it, true child of thy mother!
Then sing, till all start to their feet, a
New verse ever bolder and freer!
King Victor's no king like another,
But verily noble as we are,
Child, Teresita!'





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