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Chapter 2: a Roman winter--1878-1879; aet. 59-60

January 9, 1878

A voice of sorrow shakes the solemn pines
Within the borders of the Apennines;
A sombre vision veils the evening red,
A shuddering whisper says: the King is dead.
Low lies he near the throne

That strange desert and fortune made his own;
And at his life's completion, from his birth
In one fair record, men recount his worth.
Chief of the Vatican!

Heir of the Peter who his Lord denied,
Not of the faith which that offence might hide,
Boast not, “I live, while he is coldly laid.”
Say rather, in the jostling mortal race
He first doth look on the All-father's face.
Life's triple crown absolved weareth he,
Clear Past, sad Present, fond Futurity.

J. W. H.

The travellers arrived in Rome in good time for the Christmas dinner at Palazzo Odescalchi, where they found the Terrys and Marion Crawford. On December 31 our mother writes:--

“The last day of a year whose beginning found me full of work and fatigue. Beginning for me in a Western railway car, it ends in a Roman palace — a long stretch of travel lying between. Let me here record that this year has brought me much good and pleasure, as well as some regrets. My European tour was undertaken for dear Maud's sake. It took me away from the dear ”

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