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James and Mary Ford, eds. Every Day in the Year. 1902.

June 8

In the Round Tower at Jhansi

By Christina Georgina Rossetti (1830–1894)

  • Commemorating the Massacre of Europeans at Jhansi, June 8, 1857.

  • A HUNDRED, a thousand to one; even so;

    Not a hope in the world remained;

    The swarming, howling wretches below

    Gained and gained and gained.

    Skene looked at his pale young wife:—

    “Is the time come?”—“The time is come!”—

    Young, strong and so full of life:

    The agony struck them dumb.

    Close his arm about her now,

    Close her cheek to his,

    Close the pistol to her brow—

    God forgive them this!

    “Will it hurt much?”—“No, mine own:

    I wish I could bear the pang for both.”

    “I wish I could bear the pang alone;

    Courage, dear, I am not loath.”

    Kiss and kiss: “It is not pain

    Thus to kiss and die.

    One kiss more.”—“And yet one again.”—

    “Good by.”—“Good by.”