Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, A WOMAN'S EXECUTION (PARIS, 1817), by EDWARD KING

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A WOMAN'S EXECUTION (PARIS, 1817), by            
First Line: Sweet-breathed and young
Last Line: "vive la commune!"
Subject(s): Capital Punishment; Paris, France; Hanging; Executions; Death Penalty


The people's daughter,
No nerves unstrung,
Going to slaughter!

"Good morning, friends,
You'll love us better, --
Make us amends:
We've burst your fetter!

"How the sun gleams!
(Women are snarling):
Give me your beams,
Liberty's darling!

"Marie's my name;
Christ's mother bore it.

That badge? No shame:
Glad that I wore it!"

(Hair to her waist,
Limbs like a Venus):
Robes are displaced:
"Soldiers, please screen us!

"He at the front?
That is my lover:
Stood all the brunt; --
Now -- the fight's over.

"Powder and bread
Gave out together:
Droll! to be dead
In this bright weather!

"Jean, boy, we might
Have married in June!
This the wall? Right!
Vive la Commune!"

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