The night before the Battle of Waterloo, the Duchess of Richmond held a Ball for the officers of the Duke of Wellington’s army, at a chateau in Belgium. This poem was prompted after a visit to that chateau over 200 years later, whilst gazing up at that same chandelier. This poem was chosen by the Tavistock Music and Fine Arts Festival 2011, to be the only poem in their published book of short stories about the battle, titled “THE WATERLOO COLLECTION.”
Oh! Chandelier, if you could speak,
of that night, so long ago.
That fateful night, the one I seek,
and of those I wish to know.
Oh! Chandelier, please tell me pray,
of the dancing in this hall.
Of young couples swirling gay,
at the Duchess of Richmond’s ball.
Oh! Chandelier, those scarlet coats,
with gold and silver thread.
Ensigns, laughter in their throats,
as in their dance, they led.
Oh! Chandelier those ballroom gowns,
rustling beneath your light.
You heard the music’s magic sounds,
and saw maidens eyes so bright.
Oh! Chandelier, please tell me true,
of that battle on the morrow.
Did you know of Waterloo,
and which poor maids would sorrow.?
Oh! Chandelier, I seek one pair,
young lovers newly wed.
This last night, that they would share,
on the morrow, his body bled.
Oh! Chandelier, as you looked down,
at those waltzing pairs below,
did you see her eyes, so softly brown,
and his face framed by your glow?
Oh! Chandelier, could you have known,
the last thing that he saw,
as his gallant horse was thrown,
and the lancers thrust he bore?
Oh! Chandelier, as he lay there still,
dying, upon the ground.
A vivid light did fill his eyes,
with music all around.
Oh! Chandelier, he saw her face,
surrounded by your light,
and as he entered god’s good grace,
he thought about that night.