|ELCore.Net > Poetry > Catholic Poets > Poems of Alice Meynell|
|Saint Catherine of Siena|
|Written for Strephon, who said that a woman must|
lean, or she should not have his chivalry.
The light young man who was to die, |
Stopped in his frolic by the State,
Aghast, beheld the world go by;
But Catherine crossed his dungeon gate.
She found his lyric courage dumb, |
His stripling beauties strewn in wrecks,
His modish bravery overcome;
Small profit had he of his sex.
On any old wife’s level he, |
For oncefor all. But he alone
Manmust not fear the mystery,
The pang, the passage, the unknown:
Death. He did fear it, in his cell, |
Darkling amid the Tuscan sun;
And, weeping, at her feet he fell,
The sacred, young, provincial nun.
She prayed, she preached him innocent; |
She gave him to the Sacrificed;
On her courageous breast he leant,
The breast where beat the heart of Christ.
He left it for the block, with cries |
Of victory on his severed breath.
That crimson head she clasped, her eyes
Blind with the splendour of his death.
And will the man of modern years |
Stern on the Votewithhold from thee,
Thou prop, thou cross, erect, in tears,
Catherine, the service of his knee?
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Lane Core Jr. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Created April 9, 2001; not revised.