The Queen Deposed
by Elizabeth Stoddard
I was the queen of Karl, a northern king:
Amazon Olga, and I rode his Ban,
A stallion in the royal ring
Who would not bear a man.
And in Ban's saddle did I feel the pains
For my first-born, the king's sole hope, his heir;
My Karl himself would loose the reins,
Would take me up the stair.
Low was the murmur of the royal troops
Below, I saw the tapers' twinkling light;
I heard a cry --
My queen, she droops!
Then fell eternal night.
No more was Olga queen for any king;
The pathway round a throne she could not tread,
Nor triumph in the royal ring --
The boy she bore was dead!
The cloister hers; she chose the cloak and hood,
And beads of olive-wood, a pouch for alms;
So begged she, Christ, for thy dear rood,
Laus Deo sang thy psalms!
Why am I here? This country is my king's;
The lovely river, wooded hills above;
Old St. Sebastian's church-bell rings --
There flies the silver dove
That flitted by the day we came to praise
Our gracious Mary for a granted prayer;
Heralds, trumps, the same gay maze
Of troops -- King Karl is there!
Laus Deo with a child, and with his mate --
She wins the throne by bringing him a son:
Babes make or mar our queenly fate --
My woman's life is done.
Houghton, Mifflin And Company, Boston And New York