Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE DEAD CZAR, by CINCINNATUS HEINE MILLER

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THE DEAD CZAR, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: A storm burst forth! From out the storm
Last Line: But god still guides his star.
Alternate Author Name(s): Miller, Joaquin
Subject(s): Alexander Ii, Czar Of Russia (1818-1881)

A storm burst forth! From out the storm
The clean, red lightning leapt,
And lo! a prostrate royal form. . .
And Alexander slept!
Down through the snow, all smoking, warm,
Like any blood, his crept.
Yea, one lay dead, for millions dead!
One red spot in the snow,
For one long damning line of red,
Where exiles endless go --
The babe at breast, the mother's head
Bowed down, and dying so.

And did a woman do this deed?
Then build her scaffold high,
That all may on her forehead read
Her martyr's right to die!
Ring Cossack round on royal steed!
Now lift her to the sky!
But see! From out the black hood shines
A light few look upon!
Lorn exiles, see, from dark, deep mines,
A star at burst of dawn!. . .
A thud! A creak of hangman's lines! --
A frail shape jerked and drawn!. . .

The Czar is dead; the woman dead,
About her neck a cord.
In God's house rests his royal head --
Hers in a place abhorred --
Yet I had rather have her bed
Than thine, most royal lord!
Aye, rather be that woman dead,
Than thee, dead-living Czar,
To hide in dread, with both hands red,
Behind great bolt and bar. . .
You may control to the North Pole,
But God still guides his star.

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