Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, FOR THE INVESTITURE, by CECIL DAY LEWIS



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FOR THE INVESTITURE, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Today bells ring, bands play, flags are unfurled
Last Line: One song, one prayer—god bless the prince of wales.
Alternate Author Name(s): Blake, Nicolas
Subject(s): Castles; Charles, Prince Of Wales (B. 1948); Courts & Courtiers; Crowns; Happiness; Singing & Singers; Wales; Royal Court Life; Royalty; Kings; Queens; Joy; Delight; Songs; Welshmen; Welshwomen


Today bells ring, bands play, flags are unfurled,
Anxieties and feuds lie buried
Under a ceremonial joy. You, sir, inherit
A weight of history in a changing world,
Its treasured wisdom and its true
Aspirings the best birthday gift for you.

Coming of age, you come into a land
Of mountain, pasture, cwm, pithead,
Steelworks. A proud and fiery people, thoroughbred
For singing, eloquence, rugby football, stand
Beneath Caernarvon's battlements
To greet and take the measure of their prince.

But can they measure his hard task—to be
Both man and symbol? With the man's
Selfhood the symbol grows in clearer light, or wanes.
Your mother's grace, your father's gallantry
Go with you now to nerve and cheer you
Upon the crowded, lonely way before you.

May your integrity silence each tongue
That sneers or flatters. May this hour
Reach through its pageantry to the deep reservoir
Whence Britain's heart draws all that is fresh and young.
Over the tuneful land prevails
One song, one prayer—God bless the Prince of Wales.





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