Francis II, King of Naples Written

          Poor foolish monarch, vacillating, vain,
           Decaying victim of a race of kings,
           Swift Destiny shook out her purple wings
          And caught him in their shadow; not again
          Could furtive plotting smear another stain
           Across his tarnished honour. Smoulderings
           Of sacrificial fires burst their rings
          And blotted out in smoke his lost domain.
          Bereft of courtiers, only with his queen,
           From empty palace down to empty quay.
          No challenge screamed from hostile carabine.
           A single vessel waited, shadowy;
           All night she ploughed her solitary way
          Beneath the stars, and through a tranquil sea.

This poem is in the public domain.