On this day in 1792, Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette, King and Queen of France, were deposed and imprisoned in Paris. Marie Antoinette married at fifteen and the shy Louis reportedly did not consummate the marriage for seven years, giving rise to the popular comment: ‘wedded, unbedded and beheaded’. Probably neither Louis nor his wife were wicked people but their blatant hedonism quickly alienated the starving masses. Their trials and executions by guillotine the following year was an inevitable conclusion. Today’s poem is an excerpt from The Flower Girl and the Queen by Carrie Bell Sinclair:
Who is that pale yet stately one,
Robb’d of her royal pride?
The throne, the crown, all from her gone—
The sceptre thrown aside?
Is this the haughty Austrian
That meets each scornful glance?
And will she never reign again
As the proud Queen of France?
Alas! poor, hapless one! thy brow
Is furrowed o’er with care—
For grief has made thy form to bow,
And silvered o’er thy hair!
..Still proud, though not in royal robes,
In truth and virtue strong—
Her only prayer for mercy this,
“Don’t make me suffer long!”
Today I ask that pride will not lead me into a false sense of my own importance.