Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, LUCRETIA BORGIA'S LAST LETTER, by ANTOINETTE DE COURSEY PATTERSON



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LUCRETIA BORGIA'S LAST LETTER, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Before me shine the words of her last letter
Last Line: That could mix poison and write words like these.
Subject(s): Borgia, Lucrezia [lucretia] (1480-1519)


Before me shine the words of her last letter --
Lucrezia Borgia to the Pope at Rome --
Wherein she begs, as life's remaining fetter
Slips from her, that his prayers will guide her home:

The favor God has shown to me confessing,
As swift my end approaches, Father, I,
A Christian though a sinner, ask your blessing
And kiss your feet in all humility.

The thought of death brings no regret, but pleasure;
And after the last sacrament great peace
Will be mine own -- in overflowing measure,
If but your mercy marks my soul's release.

And here the letter finds a sudden ending,
As though the dying hand had lost its power:
My children to Rome's love and care commending --
Ferrara -- Friday -- at the fourteenth hour.

An odor as of incense faintly lingers
About the page of saintly sophistries --
And I am thinking clever were the fingers
That could mix poison and write words like these.





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