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

April 2

Mirabeau Dying

By William Ross Wallace (1819–1881)

  • Mirabeau was the greatest orator of the French Revolution. His ability in that line made him president of the Jacobin Club and later of the National Assembly. His course of life undermined his constitution, and he died on April 2, 1791, at the age of forty-three.

  • WHY do ye wonder at my wish?

    Despite my tiger-face,

    Have ye ne’er felt that in my heart

    There was a gentle place?

    Bears not the storm-cloud in his breast

    The power of giving birth

    To rainbows, at the sun’s command,

    For tempest-shaken earth?

    Then gently lift my window up,

    And let the summer breeze

    Waft blessings on my changing brow,

    From yonder murmuring trees;

    And set some flowers upon the sill,

    And round me pour perfume;

    And sing the tenderest song ye know,

    In death’s fast-gathering gloom.

    A rainbow from the breaking storm

    Is brightly springing, see

    Its glories twine beneath the sun

    Of Immortality!

    O thus! O thus with music, flowers,

    To the Unknown I go;

    Peace, Peace at last is on the brow

    Of storm-souled Mirabeau.