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Poem by Janet Hamilton


Lines on the Trial of Madeline Smith for the Murder of L'Angelier


Shade of the hapless stranger, lost L'Angelier,
 Whose life's young light was quenched in guilt and shame,
Say haunts thou still the lane, the fatal gate,
 Where to thy arms the fair, false syren came?

We seek not now thy "merits to disclose,
 Nor draw thy frailties from their dread abode;"
We would not sit in judgment on the man
 Whose soul hath stood before the bar of God.

Not proven was thy thrice-repeated deedЧ
 Thou of the stony heart and dauntless eye:
Smile not, in Heaven's high court thou yet shalt hear
 The unerring, proven verdict of the sky.

A lovely isle lies cradled in the deep,
 Its flowery glades embowered in fruitful trees,
A weeping mother wanders on the beach
 And pours her sorrows on the seaward breeze.

Ah! to her widowed heart, her only son,
 She last had clasped upon that island shore;
He came, he saw, he loved, he sinned, he diedЧ
 We wait till heaven and time shall tell us more.



Janet Hamilton


Janet Hamilton's other poems:
  1. Address to Col. D. C. R. Carrick-Buchanan of Drumpellier
  2. The Highlands of Scotland
  3. A Phase of the War in America, 1864
  4. Address to Garibaldi in His Retirement at Caprera, 1868
  5. Night Phases of Drunkenness

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