James Whitcomb Riley

(7 October 1849 - 22 July 1916 / Greenfield, Indiana)

The King - Poem by James Whitcomb Riley

They rode right out of the morning sun--
A glimmering, glittering cavalcade
Of knights and ladies and every one
In princely sheen arrayed;
And the king of them all, O he rode ahead,
With a helmet of gold, and a plume of red
That spurted about in the breeze and bled
In the bloom of the everglade.

And they rode high over the dewy lawn,
With brave, glad banners of every hue
That rolled in ripples, as they rode on
In splendor, two and two;
And the tinkling links of the golden reins
Of the steeds they rode rang such refrains
As the castanets in a dream of Spain's
Intensest gold and blue.

And they rode and rode; and the steeds they neighed
And pranced, and the sun on their glossy hides
Flickered and lightened and glanced and played
Like the moon on rippling tides;

And their manes were silken, and thick and strong,
And their tails were flossy, and fetlock-long,
And jostled in time to the teeming throng,
And their knightly song besides.

Clank of scabbard and jingle of spur,
And the fluttering sash of the queen went wild
In the wind, and the proud king glanced at her
As one at a wilful child--,
And as knight and lady away they flew,
And the banners flapped, and the falcon too,
And the lances flashed and the bugle blew,
He kissed his hand and smiled.

And then, like a slanting sunlit shower,
The pageant glittered across the plain,
And the turf spun back, and the wildweed flower
Was only a crimson stain.
And a dreamer's eyes they are downward cast,
As he blends these words with the wailing blast:
'It is the King of the Year rides past!'
And Autumn is here again.

Comments about The King by James Whitcomb Riley

  • Subhas Chandra Chakra (10/24/2016 11:08:00 PM)

    Simply beautiful
    And the tinkling links of the golden reins
    Of the steeds they rode rang such refrains
    As the castanets in a dream of Spain's
    Intensest gold and blue.
    (Report) Reply

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  • (10/24/2016 10:43:00 PM)

    A marvelously penned story poem reflecting the royal advent of autumn, the king of seasons with the magnificent retinue provided by the nature itself. Thanks for sharing it here. (Report) Reply

  • Gary Liles (10/24/2016 3:58:00 PM)

    A lot of ands in there but once you get over that a joy to read.😀😁😂 (Report) Reply

  • (10/24/2016 3:56:00 PM)

    The first line makes the reader think of running out of time when there is no time left: 'They rode right out of the morning sun'. People need an enlightenment coming from above (the direction is ''ahead'' and the plume is red) .The need of sacrifice is underlined through the word 'bled' -this bleeding is a red bloom from the water 'of the everglade') . The most suggestive line is this one: 'And they rode high over the dewy lawn'.
    This red of sacrifice has hues because this bleeding suffering is mixed with the happiness when we approach The Lord. Another color specified in the poem is gold: 'the morning sun', 'a helmet of gold', 'golden reins', 'Intensest gold' suggesting the temple of God, 'And Autumn is here again'. To use this path of life, they need to 'rode on/In splendor, two and two; ', they have 'golden reins'. like a painter, the poet uses the color to express more clearly his ideas. Blue is a color of light. People are candles alive: 'the sun on their glossy hides/Flickered and lightened and glanced'. They need purity: 'the proud king glanced at her/ As one at a wilful child'. They need to fight for their goal: 'And the banners flapped, and the falcon too, /And the lances flashed and the bugle blew'. Woodrow Wilson wrote that James Whitcomb Riley was “a man who imparted joyful pleasure and a thoughtful view of many things that other men would have missed”.
    (Report) Reply

  • Mizzy ........ (10/24/2016 2:08:00 PM)

    Lovely share....great write! (Report) Reply

  • Margarita Cortes-morton (10/24/2016 10:56:00 AM)

    Beautifully penned! Thanks for sharing! (Report) Reply

  • Mohammad Jahoorul Islam (10/24/2016 7:01:00 AM)

    the king of the year is autumn but spring to me...anyway an artistic write 10 (Report) Reply

  • Edward Kofi Louis (10/24/2016 6:18:00 AM)

    In a dream! Thanks for sharing this poem with us. (Report) Reply

    Mohammed Asim Nehal Mohammed Asim Nehal (10/24/2016 1:35:00 PM)

    Yes In dreams things are different.

  • Bernard F. Asuncion (10/24/2016 2:30:00 AM)

    Congrats for being chosen... (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Friday, April 9, 2010

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