The Bird’s Brief Song (For Elizabeth of Hungary, Princess and Philanthropist)

When the time approached that God had ordained, that she which had despised the reign mortal should have the reign of angels, she lay sick of the fevers and turned her to the wall, and they that were there heard her put out a sweet melody; and when one of the chamberers had enquired of her what it was, she answered and said: A bird came between me and the wall and sang so sweetly that it provoked me to sing with it.
(From The Golden Legend by Jacobus de Voragine)

A princess and wife at fourteen;
Always seen bearing and giving out bread.

Friend of beggars and hostess to lepers;
Thief to her own fortune; to others, bounteous.

A widow at twenty;
Four years later, taken home,

A song in her heart, the cross in her bed;
A life lived to be laid down and given.

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