The Burden of Austria

A poem by Algernon Charles Swinburne

O daughter of pride, wasted with misery,
With all the glory that thy shame put on
Stripped off thy shame, O daughter of Babylon,
Yea, whoso be it, yea, happy shall he be
That as thou hast served us hath rewarded thee.
Blessed, who throweth against war's boundary stone
Thy warrior brood, and breaketh bone by bone
Misrule thy son, thy daughter Tyranny.
That landmark shalt thou not remove for shame,
But sitting down there in a widow's weed
Wail; for what fruit is now of thy red fame?
Have thy sons too and daughters learnt indeed
What thing it is to weep, what thing to bleed?
Is it not thou that now art but a name?1

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