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The Englishman and Other Poems is a Webnovel created by Ella Wheeler Wilcox.
This lightnovel is currently completed.
The Englishman and Other Poems.
by Ella Wheeler Wilc.o.x.
PREFACE–THE QUEEN’S LAST RIDE
(Written on the day of Queen Victoria’s funeral)
The Queen is taking a drive to-day, They have hung with purple the carriage-way, They have dressed with purple the royal track Where the Queen goes forth and never comes back.
Let no man labour as she goes by On her last appearance to mortal eye; With heads uncovered let all men wait For the Queen to pa.s.s in her regal state.
Army and Navy shall lead the way For that wonderful coach of the Queen’s to-day.
Kings and Princes and Lords of the land Shall ride behind her, a humble band; And over the city and over the world Shall the Flags of all Nations be half-mast-furled, For the silent lady of royal birth Who is riding away from the Courts of earth, Riding away from the world’s unrest To a mystical goal, on a secret quest.
Though in royal splendour she drives through town, Her robes are simple, she wears no crown: And yet she wears one, for widowed no more, She is crowned with the love that has gone before, And crowned with the love she has left behind In the hidden depths of each mourner’s mind.
Bow low your heads–lift your hearts on high – The Queen in silence is driving by!
Born in the flesh, and bred in the bone, Some of us harbour still A New World pride: and we flaunt or hide The Spirit of Bunker Hill.
We claim our place, as a separate race, Or a self-created clan; Till there comes a day when we like to say, ‘We are kin of the Englishman.’
For under the front that seems so cold, And the voice that is wont to storm, We are certain to find, a big, broad mind And a heart that is soft and warm.
And he carries his woes in a lordly way, As only the great souls can: And it makes us glad when in truth we say, We are kin of the Englishman.’
He slams his door in the face of the world, If he thinks the world too bold.
He will even curse; but he opens his purse To the poor, and the sick, and the old.
He is slow in giving to woman the vote, And slow to put up her fan; But he gives her room in the hour of doom, And dies–like an Englishman.
England, father and mother in one, Look on your stalwart son.
St.u.r.dy and strong, with the valour of youth, Where is another so l.u.s.ty?
Coated and mailed, with the armour of truth, Where is another so trusty?
Flesh of your flesh, and bone of your bone, He is yours alone.
England, father and mother in one, See the wealth of your son.
Forests primeval, and virginal sod, Wheat-fields golden and splendid: Riches of nature and opulent G.o.d For the use of his children intended.
A courage that dares, and a hope that endures, And a soul all yours.
England, father and mother in one, Hear the cry of your son.
Little cares he for the glories of earth Lying around and above him, Yearning is he for the rights of his birth, And the heart of his mother to love him.
Vast are your gifts to him, ample his store, Now open your door.
England, father and mother in one, Heed the voice of your son.
Proffer him place in your councils of state: Let him sit near, and attend you.
Ponder his words in the hour of debate, Strong is his arm to defend you.
Flesh of your flesh, and bone of your bone, Give him his own.
In the banquet hall of Progress G.o.d has bidden to a feast All the women in the East.
Some have said ‘We are not ready, – We must wait another day.’
Some, with voices clear and steady, ‘Lord, we hear, and we obey.’
Others, timid and uncertain, Step forth trembling in the light, Many hide behind the curtain With their faces hid from sight.
In the banquet hall of Progress All must gather soon or late, And the patient Host will wait.
If to-day, or if to-morrow, If in gladness, or in woe, If with pleasure, or with sorrow, All must answer, all must go.
They must go with unveiled faces, Clothed in virtue and in pride.
For the Host has set their places, And He will not he denied.
CORONATION POEM AND PRAYER
The world has crowned a thousand kings: But destiny has kept Her weightiest hour of kingly power To offer England’s son.
The rising bell of Progress rings; And Truths which long have slept, Like prophets strange, predicting change, Before Time’s chariot run.
The greatest Empire of the Earth.
Old England proudly stands.
Like arteries her Colonies Reach out from sea to sea.
She clasps all races in her girth; Her gaze the world commands; And far and wide where strong ships ride, The British Flag floats free.
Oh, never since the stars began Their round of Cosmic law, And souls evolved in ways unsolved, And kingdoms reached their prime Has Destiny held out to Man A gift so full of awe, As England’s crown which she hands down In this stupendous time.
This is a crucial hour, when Fate Tries Monarchs as by fire.
All rulers must be more than just – Men starve on bread alone.
Old England’s sense of RIGHT is great: But now let her aspire To feel more love, and build thereof An everlasting Throne.
The dreaming East, awake at last, Is asking ‘when’ and ‘why’; Wait not too long nor answer wrong, Nor in too stern a voice.