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    II. [
THE BALCONY SCENE.
]   Table of Contents     DESTINY.

Bibb, Eloise
Poems

- IMOGENE.
- III.

III.


These prison-walls are bleak and drear;
Who would have thought I'd enter here.
They say four men will die to-day;
My blood, also, will ebb away.
Ah, well! 'tis sweet to die for love,
That sacred essence from above.

That wretch which spoke my darling's name
With free license in homes of shame,
Deserved to die, just as he did.
I killed him,--though the law forbid;
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24
The slaughter of man's fellow-man.
His blood o'er heath and flower ran.

I hear a step. who may it be!
Some friend who comes to pity me.
A comely youth, his face is hid
His eyes are drooped beneath their lid.
The jailer locks and bars the door,
I see the light of day no more.

Who is this form that o'er me bends,
And rapture to my spirit lends?
"What! Imogene, who brings thee here
To this bleak prison, dark and drear?
Why weepest thou? 'Tis for the best,
I'll pass from woe to realms of rest."

Why does she hold her kerchief near
My nostrils? Sure, she is sincere!
A stupor deadens limb and will.
My brain receives impressions still,--
But Oh, a deadness grips my heart;
Can it be true from life I part?

I see her change her garb for mine,--
I watch her scrawl a single line,
I hear her cry, "Yes, love, I sigh
That I but once for thee can die;
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25
Far better had'st thou never seen
The proud, but faithful Imogene."

I hear her fall upon the ground.
The jailor enters at the sound,
And bears me from the darkened cell.
And Imogene,--how can I tell
The madness of that dreadful hour!
To save my love, I'd not the power.

I knew no more, my senses slept.
Of brain, of mind I was bereft.
When reason cleared the dark away,
I hastened where my darling lay.
With maddened speech I neared the spot,
But there my Imogene was not

Too late! My God! I see my love!
O angels from the choir above,
Oh, stay that hand that deals the blow!
Oh, raise that arm that trembles so!
My God! Too late! The last I've seen
Of her I love, lost Imogene.
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    II. [
THE BALCONY SCENE.
]   Table of Contents     DESTINY.