Verse > Anthologies > James and Mary Ford, eds. > Every Day in the Year
James and Mary Ford, eds.  Every Day in the Year.  1902.
April 2
Mirabeau Dying
By William Ross Wallace (1819–1881)
          Mirabeau was the greatest orator of the French Revolution. His ability in that line made him president of the Jacobin Club and later of the National Assembly. His course of life undermined his constitution, and he died on April 2, 1791, at the age of forty-three.

WHY do ye wonder at my wish?
  Despite my tiger-face,
Have ye ne’er felt that in my heart
  There was a gentle place?
Bears not the storm-cloud in his breast        5
  The power of giving birth
To rainbows, at the sun’s command,
  For tempest-shaken earth?
Then gently lift my window up,
  And let the summer breeze        10
Waft blessings on my changing brow,
  From yonder murmuring trees;
And set some flowers upon the sill,
  And round me pour perfume;
And sing the tenderest song ye know,        15
  In death’s fast-gathering gloom.
A rainbow from the breaking storm
  Is brightly springing, see
Its glories twine beneath the sun
  Of Immortality!        20
O thus! O thus with music, flowers,
  To the Unknown I go;
Peace, Peace at last is on the brow
  Of storm-souled Mirabeau.

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