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

November 25

Queen Henrietta Maria

By Oscar Wilde (1854–1900)

  • Daughter of Henry IV. of France and wife of Charles I. of England, born Nov. 25, 1609.

  • IN the lone tent, waiting for victory

    She stands with eyes marred by the mist of pain,

    Like some wan lily overdrenched with rain.

    The clamorous clang of arms, the ensanguined sky,

    War’s ruin, and the wreck of chivalry,

    To her proud soul no common fear can bring:

    Bravely she tarrieth for her Lord the King,

    Her soul a-flame with passionate ecstasy.

    O Hair of Gold! O crimson Lips! O Face

    Made for the luring and the love of man!

    With thee do I forget the toil and stress,

    The loveless road that knows no resting place

    Time’s straightened pulse, the soul’s dread weariness,

    My freedom and my life republican!