THE QUEEN'S LAST RIDE

(Written on the day of Queen Victoria's funeral ceremonies in London.)

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 pass, 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.

Tho' 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!

Poems of Power by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Chicago : W. B. Conkey, 1902.


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