King Robert of Sicily

32191719_101904924021542_5396361742949285888_nRobert of Sicily, brother of Pope Urbane

And Valmond, Emperor of Allemaine,

Despoiled of his magnificent attire,

Bareheaded, breathless, and besprent with mire,

With sense of wrong and outrage desperate,

Strode on and thundered at the palace gate;

Rushed through the courtyard, thrusting in his rage

To right and left each seneschal and page,

And hurried up the broad and sounding stair,

His white face ghastly in the torches’ glare.

King Robert crossed both hands upon his breast,

And meekly answered him: “Thou knowest best!

My sins as scarlet are; let me go hence,

And in some cloister’s school of penitence,

Across those stones, that pave the way to heaven,

Walk barefoot, till my guilty soul be shriven!

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