Roden Berkeley Wriothesley Noel

(1834-1894 / England)

Jubilee, And The Good Emperor - Poem by Roden Berkeley Wriothesley Noel

Behold an empress-queen, who nobly reigns,
And an ideal womanhood sustains
Upon a throne, who wisely rules by laws,
From long deliberation, clause by clause,
Grown fair, and growing, fed with patriot blood
Of Tyndale, Hampden, Sidney, and the good
Martyred, unnamed illustrious multitude.
Her fifty years of dedicated toil
To all self-pleasing tyrants are a foil,
Who only nurse their poor prerogative,
Whether the starving people die, or live.
Her large, full heart goes forth to all that mourn,
Itself, alas! wrung, lacerate, and torn.
Our monarch hath a grander coronet
Than any mighty predecessor yet,
With many a subject people's jewel set.
First, orient India, fount of morning's beam,
Realm of Avatar, and the wondrous dream!
Australia, young with earth's glad primal power,
Who weaves weird visions in her lonely bower,
Arms for defence her well-knit, stalwart sons,
And launches navies, iron-mouthed with guns,
To assure the Mother-mistress of the seas
Dominion more unchallenged over these!
In you, blithe land of long lake, frost, and fur,
Vast volumed waters of St. Lawrence pour
Their foaming thunders with an ocean roar!
All ye sent children armed for many a mile,
To help us nobly by Egyptian Nile.
Court gentle Peace! and yet be well prepared!
Without our England, ill the world had fared!
Arm ships and soldiers! ill may they be spared!
Distrust world-citizens, who fain would loose
Thine argent armour, deemed of no more use!
And thou, dark Afric's tempest-beaten Cape,
Around whom Gama dared his course to shape,
Sublime sea-comrade of Columbus bold,
By perilous water-ways unknown of old,
Thou, in the crown a diamond-beaming star,
Art sending sons to jubilee from far!
The pageant of her triumph proudly shone
With warriors, led erst by Wellington,
And that Black-armoured Prince; red, sable, grey;
Plumed horsemen, helmed, with steel and colour gay,
Swart Indian jewelled, in dim gold array;
Elect Colonials, powerful of frame,
With nation-founding faces, known to fame;
From every quarter of the world her guard!
Whose people throng the chariot way; they ward
Her throne from danger; love is great reward.
Bending with royal grace and beaming eye,
Moves the good queen, whose name is Victory.
The stately triumph of her glory moves
With loud acclaim, upborne by all the loves
Of all the people; kings and princes ride,
Her escort, with no ill-beseeming pride;
Her chariot rolls, surrounded by her sons,
Of whom the nobler, grander port he owns,
Who wedded England's daughter; who will be
Magnanimous Emperor in Germany;
He, though great empire his mild rule embrace,
Hath character more lofty than his place.
Here towering with eagle-crested casque,
Face, form, proclaim one born for his high task.
He, a more gentle, just, God-fearing Saul,
Hath waged grim conquering battle with the Gaul;
Will wage a deadlier with the dire Disease
That lays him low; yet, scorning his own ease,
Conquereth here too; patient, cheerful, brave,
While borne in strong midmanhood to the grave,
Bends calm, composed eyes on the public good,
Who in his long death helps the multitude,
Country, and well-beloved; who will not swerve;
For if Death numbs the right hand, left will serve;
But when one symptom '
apathy
' they named,
Then all divined that Death at length hath claimed,
If to the lover his dear world grew dim!
A Light and Hope of Europe quenched in him!
Alas! for her, to whom he gave white heather,
In Caledonia, in blue lover's weather!
He lies in state, he lies in his long rest;
And she hath laid the sere wreath on his breast,
Laurel, wherewith she crowned her Paladin,
In war proved, as in peace, a king of men.
Our queen moves royally to Westminster.
Fortune hath dealt in gracious mood with her.
Yet one irreparable bereavement laid
A scathing hand upon her heart! Snows weighed
Heavily, fallen from care-laden years!
Changed, since that early hour of April tears,
When young-winged Morning in the minster shone,
Illumed with Heaven, her, wearing earthly crown;
Changed, since her marrying the wise prince she lost,
Before chill autumn, and the winter frost! . . .
But the broad highway laughs with various hue,
That seems to pour from forth aerial blue:
Roof, balcony, door, window, all the street
Teem with a happy people, fain to greet
Her, whom the royal, glad, tumultuous sound
Doth welcome, Love's loud answering rebound
From her Love-loyal reign, re-echoing round! . . .
Yet if this monarch were not good and just,
To Heaven the pageantry were only dust.


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Poem Submitted: Thursday, April 22, 2010



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