Janet Hamilton

1795-1873 / Scotland

Dirge For Jessie Macpherson

Sad Winter weeps, his tears bedew thy grave,
That grave on which no kindred sorrows flow;
The wailing winds around it moan and rave,
Oh! lonely grave, where mourners never go!
Thy mangled form, wrapped in its bloody shroud,
Forgotten lies; few hearts, few eyes, will melt
For thee, poor victim. The press-ridden crowd
Have for thy cruel fate small pity felt.
O night of horror, when the murder fiend
Hacked out thy life, and revelled in thy gore;
With felon hand thy wardrobe's treasures gleaned,
And left her bloody footprints on the floor!
Yet heaven and earth were stirred, regions beneath
Were moved t' avert the proven murderer's doom;
Sensation journals, libellous in their wrath
'Gainst law and justice, foam, and rave, and fume.
The eye of Heaven beheld the fearful deed,
The ear of Heaven received the victim's cry;
'Tis Heaven's command, let earth give rev'rent heed,
The murder prove, and let the murderer die.
Nay, though another should have shared the guilt
Of this most foul and most ferocious deed,
Yet she is guilty of the blood thus spilt-
Justice accepts no offering in her stead.
Rest, murdered Jessie, on thy lowly grave
Shall ne'er be writ the branded felon's doom;
Rest thou in peace, though madmen storm and rave,
Thou hear'st them not-peace shades thy lonely tomb.
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