The Great War

from The Poems of Robert W. Sterling, an electronic edition

Hail

CROWN'D is our king to-day,

Bloom on the faded spray,

Dawn and her golden ray

After sad night;

Fled be the clouds that loom,

Routed the year-long gloom,

Shade of our Edward's tomb,

By the new Light!

Waft it, O breeze!

Whisper the Word on thy rustling wing,

Carry it over the leaping seas--

Kissing the dimly glittering sands--

To the lowly homes of far-off lands,

And the palaces of kings!

Ah! welcome the Word;

Wherever the red flag flutters

And a people's heart is true,

Wherever the olden songs are heard

Commingling with the new;

Where they think on sea-girt Britain,

And fight the wilful tears;

And the old home is the dear home

To wistful sojourners.

As when a weary captive lies,

Pale-peering through the bars,

And a noble thought flushes his brain,

And, all oblivious of pain,

His soul soars upward to the skies

And the bright joy-sobbing stars:

So, men on earth, O myriad-minded throng,

Scorning your narrow fetters, upward soar,

And with one voice to the wild air outpour

The thunderous magic of the patriots' song:

Crown'd is our king (ye say),

Crown'd are our hearts to-day,

One heart and crown for aye,

One song we sing;

Nobly his life be spent

For the world's betterment,

Peace, honour, and content:

Long reign our king!

June, 1911.