Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, DEDICATED TO HER HIGHNESS, by ELIZABETH JANE COATSWORTH

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DEDICATED TO HER HIGHNESS, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: The queen of sheba was a true romantic
Last Line: A sovereign in state, surrounded by her servants.
Alternate Author Name(s): Beston, Henry, Mrs.
Subject(s): Sheba, Queen Of (10th Century B.c.)

The Queen of Sheba was a true romantic --
Her imagination being touched, she prepared a caravan,
Marshalled her servants, loaded her dromedaries
With spices and gold
And with precious stones,
And so set off, a queen leaving her kingdom
To follow an adventure of the mind.
Paltry-spirited persons, reasoning from Solomon's known tendencies,
And thinking that, as she admired him
She must have loved him,
Have underestimated the quest,
And deducted from it the entire line of the Abyssinian kings.
But her real interest in him was intellectual.
She probed relentlessly the profundity of his mind
With qustions she had evolved in the long days of meditation
On her swaying dromedary,
Among the noises and confusion of the march.
It was the story of his wisdom that had stirred her from her kingdom,
It was to test it that she had made her dangerous wayfaring.
His prosperity, and his House of the Cedars of Lebanon,
With its throne flanked by golden lions and its shields of gold,
His stables and His chariots, the pillars embossed with lilies and pomegranates,
The numbers of his servants and the orderliness of his household --
These things proved to her that from understanding comes peace,
And from peace, beauty. They were the justification of knowledge.
So -- having found the truth of travellers' tales --
She gave praise with the warm courtesy of a queen,
Presented and received gifts as was the custom,
And took her departure once more into the mythical depths of Sheba,
A sovereign in state, surrounded by her servants.

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