Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, BY THE STATUE OF KING CHARLES AT CHARING CROSS, by LIONEL PIGOT JOHNSON



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BY THE STATUE OF KING CHARLES AT CHARING CROSS, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Sombre [or, somber] and rich, the skies
Last Line: Work out a perfect will.
Subject(s): Charles I, King Of England (1600-1649)


Sombre and rich, the skies;
Great glooms, and starry plains.
Gently the night wind sighs;
Else a vast silence reigns.
The splendid silence clings
Around me: and around
The saddest of all kings
Crowned, and again discrowned.
Comely and calm, he rides
Hard by his own Whitehall:
Only the night wind glides:
No crowds, nor rebels, brawl.
Gone, too, his Court: and yet,
The stars his courtiers are:
Stars in their stations set;
And every wandering star.
Alone he rides, alone,
The fair and fatal king:
Dark night is all his own,
That strange and solemn thing.
Which are more full of fate:
The stars; or those sad eyes?
Which are more still and great:
Those brows; or the darkest skies?
Although his whole heart yearn
In passionate tragedy:
Never was face so stern
With sweet austerity.
Vanquished in life, his death
By beauty made amends:
The passing of his breath
Won his defeated ends.
Brief life, and hapless? Nay:
Through death, life grew sublime.
Speak after sentence? Yea:
And to the end of time.
Armoured he rides, his head
Bare to the stars of doom:
He triumphs now, the dead,
Beholding London's gloom.
Our wearier spirit faints,
Vexed in the world's employ:
His soul was of the saints;
And art to him was joy.
King, tried in fires of woe!
Men hunger for thy grace:
And through the night I go,
Loving thy mournful face.
Yet, when the city sleeps;
When all the cries are sill:
The stars and heavenly deeps
Work out a perfect will.




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