Where’er in world-wide skies
The Lion-Banner burns,
A common impulse turns
All hearts to where he lies:—
For as a babe the heir of that great throne
Is weak and motionless;
And they feel the deep distress
On wife and mother press,
As ’twere their own.
O! not the thought of race
From Asian Odin drawn
In History’s mythic dawn,
Nor what we downward trace,
—Plantagenet, York, Edward, Elizabeth,—
Heroic names approved,—
The blood of the people moved;
But that, ’mongst those he loved,
He fought with death.
And if the Reason said
’’Gainst Nature’s law and death
Prayer is but idle breath,’—
Yet Faith was undismayed,
Arm’d with the deeper insight of the heart:—
Nor can the wisest say
What other laws may sway
The world’s apparent way,
Known but in part.
Nor knew we on that life
What burdens may be cast;
What issues wide and vast
Dependent on that strife:—
This only:—’Twas the son of those we loved!
That in his Mother’s hand
Peace set her golden wand;
’Mid heaving realms, one land
—He fought, and we with
And other Powers were by,
Courage, and Science high,
Grappling the spectre grim
On the battle-field of quiet Sandringham:
And force of perfect Love,
And the will of One above,
Chased Death’s dark squadrons off,
—O soul, to life restored
And love, and wider aim
Than private care can claim,
—And from Death’s unsheath’d sword!
By suffering and by safety dearer made:—
O may the life new-found
Through life be wisdom-crown’d,—
Till in the common ground
Thou too art laid!
HARCOMBE NEAR LYME
Before me with one happy heave
Of golden green the hillside curves,
Where slowly, smoothly, rounding swerves
The shadow of each perfect tree,
By slanting shafts of eve
Flame-fringed and bathed in pale transparency.
And that long ridge that crowns
Stands fir-dark ’gainst the falling rays;
Above, a waft of pearly haze
Lies on the sapphire field of air,
So radiant and so still
As though a star-cloud took its station there.
Up wold and wild the valley goes,
’Mid heath and mounded slopes of oak,
And light ash-thicket, where the smoke
Wreathes high in evening’s air serene,
Floating in white repose
O’er the blue reek of cottage-hearths unseen.
Another landscape at my feet
Unfolds its nearer grace the while,
Where gorses gleam with golden smile;
Where Inula lifts a russet head
The shepherd’s spikenard sweet;
And closing Centaury points her rosy red.