The Royal Way

A poem by Joseph Horatio Chant

Perfection ever is the price of toil.
Of marchings long, and hardships by the way,
Of burdens borne, oft in the heat of day,
'Tis then as right the victor claims the spoil.

The world admires the wreath upon his brow,
But he alone can tell how much it cost,
And how to gain it he had all things lost.
Results men see, but not the when, or how.

The stately elm which rears its head so high,
And spreads abroad so gracefully its boughs,
Beneath which may repose a herd of cows,
Grows under ground as well as toward the sky.

The bridge which spans the swiftly-flowing stream
O'er which the iron horse, by night and day,
With heavy tread speeds on its busy way,
Rests not on sand, nor slender post and beam.

Below the shifting sand, on solid rock,
The mason safely laid the buttress stone,
And labored long before his work was shown;
But he built well--his work endures each shock.

This work takes time; we chafe at the delay
And try to gain the summit at a bound,
But find full soon our hopes dashed to the ground;
Yet there remains for all the royal way.

And he who would true eminence attain
Must heed the word of Him who came to serve,
Nor from this path a single moment swerve,
If he the great reward would surely gain.

This is the royal way--to serve in love--
Servant to servants ever aim to be
Like Him who gave His life to ransom thee;
Then shalt thou sit with Him on throne above.

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