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Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908). A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895. 1895.

Eugene Lee-Hamilton b. 1845

Charles II. of Spain to Approaching Death

MAKE way, my lords! for Death now once again

Waits on the palace stairs. He comes to lay

His finger on my brow. Make way! make way,

Ye whispering groups that scent an ending reign!

Death, if I make thee a grandee of Spain,

And give thee half my subjects, wilt thou stay

Behind the door a little, while I play

With life a moment longer? I would fain.

Oh, who shall turn the fatal shadow back

On Ahaz’ sundial now? Who ’ll cure the king

When Death awaits him, motionless and black?

Upon the wall the inexorable thing

Creeps on and on, with horror in its track.

The king is dying. Bid the great bells ring.