A Coronation Ode

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A Coronation Ode
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A CORONATION ODE The Independent welcomes this poem as "a literary event of large value and larger promise." In an editorial it says: "We warrant that it |the 'Ode'] will be easily the finest poem, which the occasion will produce. The lines that we have had from Kipling are not equal to it. The Poet-Laureate not write such a poem. It expresses, in fine musical verse, without a hit of obsequious flattery, the welcome which the procession of the British peoples offer to their new King, and their worship of right more than glory and their recognition of the task they have undertaken for the world." There are joy-bells over England, there are flags on London town; There is hunting on the Channel, where the fleets go up and down: There are bonfires alight In the pageant of the night; There are bands that blare for splendor, and guns that speak for might: For another King in England is coming to the crown. ……………………………………….. What people are these passing to the sound of pipe and drum; In the garments of all rations, and singing as they come? By the color on the cheek, By the accent when they speak, They are foreign-born and alien, and their homes are far to seek: But they all come up to England When England calls them home, And these who speak the English tongue not in the English way. With the careless mien and temper self assured, whose sons are they? By the larger, looser stride By the angle, ease and pride, By the quickest catch at laughter and the The outlook keener eyed They were bred beneath, the tent cloth of a wider, whiter day. From the rough red tides of Fundy where the ships go far inland, To Kamloops where the hills are set as at a council grand; From the waving Northern light At the edge of polar night, Where underneath the burnished stars the bitter trail is bright, To the inland seas that sparkle where goodly orchards stand: By prairie, swale and barren, by jungle and lagoon. Where endless palm trees rustle and the creamy breakers croon, By canon, ford, and pass, By desert and morass, In snows like stinging lashes, on seas like burning glass, By every land and water beneath the great lone moon; Our fathers died for England at the outposts of (illegible) Our mothers toiled for England where the settler's smoke upcurled; By packet, steam, and rail, By Portage, trek, and trail. They bore a thing called honor in hearts that did not quail. Till the twelve great winds of heaven saw their scarlet sign unfurled. ………………………………….. O East they go and West they go, and never can they hide, For the longing that is in them, and the whisper at their side ! They may 'stablish hearth and home, But the sons will forth and roam. As their fathers did before them, across the hollow foam, Till strange- lands lift to greet them at the edges of the tide. They have visions of a country that sorrow never knew; They have rumors of a region where the heart has naught to rue; And never will they rest Till they reach the tabled West, That is charted, dim but certain, in the Volume of the Breast, And forever they are dreamers who make the dream come true. In the North they are far forward, in the South they have begun, The English of three continents who take their rule from none, But follow on the gleam Of an ancient, splendid dream, That has manhood for its fabric, perfection for its theme With freedom for its morning star, and knowledge for its sun. And slowly, very slowly, the gorgeous dream grows bright. Where rise the four democracies of Anglo-Saxon might: The Republic, fair, alone; The Commonwealth new-grown; The proud, reserved Dominion with a story of her own; And One that shall emerge at length from travail, war and bright O doubt not, wrong, oppression, and violence, and tears. The ignorance and anguish and folly of the years. Must pass and leave a mind More sane, a soul more kind. And the slow ages shall evolve a loftier mankind. When over lust and carnage the great white peace appears For surely, very surely, will come the Prince of Peace To still the shrieking shrapnel and bid the Maxims cease Not as Invaders come With gun-wheel and with drum. But with the tranquil joyance of lovers going home Through the scented summer twilight when the spirit has release. By sea and plain and mountain will spread the larger creed— The love that knows no border The bond that knows no breed; For the little word of right Must grow with truth and might, Till monster-hearted Mammon and his sycophants take flight. And vex the world no longer with rapine and with greed. O England, little mother by the sleepless Northern tide Having bred so many nations to devotion, trust, and pride. Very tenderly we turn With welling hearts that yearn Still to love you and defend you- let the sons of men discern Where -in your right and title might and majesty reside. O Sir, no empty rumor comes up the earth today From the kindred and the people and the tribes a world away; For they know the Law will hold And be equal as of old, With conscience never questioned and Justice never sold, And beneath the form and letter the spirit will have play.