Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, FOR A ROYAL WEDDING, 29 JULY 1981, by JOHN BETJEMAN

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

FOR A ROYAL WEDDING, 29 JULY 1981, by                 Poet's Biography
First Line: Let's all in love and friendship hither come
Last Line: Are joyful in the love you share.
Subject(s): Charles, Prince Of Wales (b. 1948); Diana, Princess Of Wales (1961-1997); Wedding Song; Epithalamium

'Let's all in love and friendship hither come
Whilst the shrill Treble calls to thundering Tom,
And since the bells are for modest recreation
Let's rise and ring and fall to admiration.'

Those lines are taken from a ringer's rhyme
Composed in Cornwall in the Georgian time
From the high parish church of St. Endellion,
Loyal to the Monarch in the late Rebellion,
Loyal to King Charles the First and Charles the Second,
And through the Georges to our Prince of Wales,
A human, friendly line that never fails.
I'm glad that you are marrying at home
Below Sir Christopher's embracing dome;
Four square on that his golden cross and ball
Complete our own Cathedral of St. Paul.
Blackbirds in City churchyards hail the dawn,
Charles and Diana, on your wedding morn.
Come College youths, release your twelve-voiced power
Concealed within the graceful belfry tower
Till loud as breakers plinging up the shore
The land is drowned in one melodious roar.

A dozen years ago I wrote these lines:

'You knelt a boy, you rose a man
And thus your lonelier life began.'

The scene is changed, the outlook cleared,
The loneliness has disappeared.
And all of those assembled there
Are joyful in the love you share.

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