Amy Lowell

Here you will find the Poem Francis II, King of Naples of poet Amy Lowell

Francis II, King of Naples

Written after reading Trevelyan's "Garibaldi and the making of Italy"

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.