The Family Portrait

The Tsar sat quiet and composed
His hands folded on his thigh
Around him were his daughters,
Four beauties with dark eyes
His faithful wife beside him
Posed regal and serene
Their little boy, Alexi,
kneeling there beside the Queen.

How different five years later
At their fatal, final scene
The Czar and the Czarina
Sat beside the heir, it seems.

The four girls were behind them
The maids and doctor too
All roused from sleep near midnight
by a rough and motley crew.

The White Russians were in battle
Outside the little town
They sought to save the family
Abdicated from the crown.

Lenin’s men would take no chances.
“They all must die tonight! ”
We brought them to the basement
and arranged them left to right.


The family asked no questions
It seemed they guessed their fate
There were no pleas or crying
The girls stood proud and straight.

I heard the pistols firing
Some screams borne of despair
The heir was stirring weakly
Three more shots splintered his chair.

The thugs checked for survivors
And none was to be found
Their blood flowed like a river
upon the thirsty ground.

We placed the bodies in a wagon
And took them to an nearby mine
We doused them all with Gasoline
We didn’t want them found.

The Royal corpses burned fiercely
Dynamite was brought from town
Explosions sealed their resting place
It would be years before they’re found.

by John F. McCullagh

Comments (2)

This is the Coleridge I love and admire! He can pen a line that is so sumptuous you want to sit down and feast on his poem like it was a meal.
It is marvelous. The real happiest experience of reading a good poem here I felt. I also feel my mind with gratitude of the great power the universe where in the poemGreat universal teacher he shall mould.......Thy spirit and and by giving make it ask...... to Quietly shining to the quiet moon.......Really happiest words of the great poet and likes the poem with good feeling.