. Martyred daughter of a libeled Czar, You for whom St. Basil’s bells have rung, Condemned to die dishonored and unsung, Yet gentlest of the Romanovs by far In silent black-and-white forever young. It seems your life was but a royal dream Of gold tiaras wrought by Cartier And gilded Easter eggs from Fabergé, Caviar, ballet, a proud regime Of nobles waltzing as musicians play. But life became a fairytale deformed Once revolutionaries seized control--- Your family disgraced then butchered whole; Your palaces destroyed, the Kremlin stormed--- A brutal murder of the Russian soul. Your legend grew. The princess lived and fled! Her memories erased, she came to France Whence she would rise again! The smallest chance The antique Russian world was not quite dead! But that was just a dream of fond romance. This elegy grieves for a world long gone--- A world whose faith and honor were repealed, A Russia wrecked by war and left unhealed, Where brutal bullets tore the hope from dawn As Bolshevik betrayal was revealed. If only, Anastasia, you had fled with some young soldier---loyal as a knight--- To fight and banish Lenin’s hateful blight And raise you up to rule as Queen instead... Well, that’s the ending I would choose to write. . . Brian Yapko is a lawyer who also writes poetry. He lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.