THE UNINVITED GUEST

         By Ella Wheeler Wilcox

[This poem was published on the day it was announced
that, because of his serious illness, the coronation of Edward
VII, would be indefinitely postponed.]

Right through the merry heart of that vast throng
That filled historic streets with bloom and song,
Unseen by any eye he moved along.

To Prince and Peer, to Pride or Pedigree,
He paid no homage.  Greater far was he
Than any monarch ruling land or sea.

But never yet to any scene of mirth
Or coronation of the Kings of earth
Had he been bidden, tho of royal birth.

And yet he came invincible as fate;
No haughty keeper of the door or gate
Could stay his progress or dare bid him wait.

The King had longed a lifetime for the prize
Held now before his sad, still longing eyes,
And the whole kingdom rang with joyful cries.

The great Archbishop reached to him the Crown,
When high beyond the uproar of the town
A voice commanded, "Put the dauble down!"

Above the King the uninvited guest
Leaned with a wreath which bore the one word, "Rest."
"Wear this," he whispered gently; "it is best."
 
                               -In New York Journal.

"Current Poetry" in The Literary Digest 25:1 (July 5, 1902): 25.


Back to Poem Index