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.
Let England profit by her past,
   And with her wise reply
Rouse hearts, within her foster kin
   To hope, and to rejoice.

True wealth dwells not in things we own,
   But in our use of things.
Who would command a conquered land
   Must conquer first its heart.
Such might as Man has never known,
   And power undreamed by kings,
And boundless strength would come at length
   To one who used that art.

For now has dawned the People's day:
   A day of great unrest.
Nor king nor creed can still man's need
   Of time and space to grow.
All lands must shape a wider way,
   For this eternal quest;
And Leisure yield a larger field
   Where work-worn feet may go.

The Universe is all a-thrill
   With changes imminent.
The World in faith, with bated breath,
   Holds free the Leader's place.
And wise is he whose heart and will
   At one with Time's intent,
Shall open wide doors long denied
   To mothers of the race.

On this round globe, oh, when and where
   Were fitter time and scene
For Woman's soul to reach its goal
   Than now in England's realm.
Was not the crown its King will wear
   Made glorious by its Queen?
And who steered straight its ship of State?
   Victoria at the Helm!

Kings have been kings by accident,
   By favour and by force,
But right of birth and moral worth,
   And Empires rich and broad
For England's King to-day are blent
   Like rivers on one course.
But, ah! the light falls searching white
   Down from the Throne of God.

Lord of the Earth and heavenly spheres,
   Creator of all things,
Thou who hast wrought great worlds from naught,
   Give strength to England's son.
Give courage to dispel those fears
   That come to even kings,
And for his creed give Love's full mead;
   Amen. Thy Will be done.

The Englishman and other poems by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
London : Gay and Hancock, Ltd., 1912.


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