The King

A poem by Henry Lawson

Among the sons of Englishmen
Full many feel like real tears,
For, though he reigned but scarcely ten,
He bore the burden many years.
He lived the dead past doubly down,
He shamed, by manliness and truth,
The lies that beat about a crown,
And round a known man in his youth.

For he had lived as men have done
Since Adam’s time, to prove them true.
He proved it in his manhood’s prime,
And to the end, as strong men do.
And so he died, and, ever since,
And on through years the words shall ring:
“He lived a man, he lived a prince,
And died a gentleman and King.”

Unto the friends of his hot youth,
In his wise age, he still was true.
He showed, by steadfastness and truth,
What kings as well as men can do;
Till all was manlike or forgot,
Long years ere he found his release;
He made them loyal who were not,
He won respect, and kept the peace.

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