Friday, April 18, 2008

Let the King Reign

~ Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809–1892)

(from Idylls of the King)

Then while they paced a city all on fire
With sun and cloth of gold, the trumpets blew,
And Arthur’s knighthood sang before the King:–

      ‘Blow, trumpet, for the world is white with May;
Blow trumpet, the long night hath rolled away!
Blow through the living world– “Let the King reign.”

      ‘Shall Rome or Heathen rule in Arthur’s realm?
Flash brand and lance, fall battleaxe upon helm,
Fall battleaxe, and flash brand! Let the King reign.

      ‘Strike for the King and live! his knights have heard
That God hath told the King a secret word.
Fall battleaxe, and flash brand! Let the King reign.

      ‘Blow trumpet! he will lift us from the dust.
Blow trumpet! live the strength and die the lust!
Clang battleaxe, and clash brand! Let the King reign.

      ‘Strike for the King and die! and if thou diest,
The King is King, and ever wills the highest.
Clang battleaxe, and clash brand! Let the King reign.

      ‘Blow, for our Sun is mighty in his May!
Blow, for our Sun is mightier day by day!
Clang battleaxe, and clash brand! Let the King reign.

      ‘The King will follow Christ, and we the King
In whom high God hath breathed a secret thing.
Fall battleaxe, and flash brand! Let the King reign.’

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