The Passing Of The Queen

A poem by William Arthur Dunkerley

Hark! The drums! Muffled drums!
The long low ruffle of the drums!--
And every head is bowed,
In the vast expectant crowd,
As the Great Queen comes,--
By the way she knew so well,
Where our cheers were wont to swell,
As we tried in vain to tell
Of our love unspeakable.
Now she comes
To the rolling of the drums,
And the slow sad tolling of the bell.
Let every head be bowed,
In the silent waiting crowd,
As the Great Queen comes,
To the slow sad ruffle of the drums!

Who is this that comes,
To the rolling of the drums,
In the sorrowful great silence of the peoples?
Take heart of grace,
She is not here!
The Great Queen is not here!
What most in her we did revere,--
The lofty spirit, white and clear,
The tender love that knew no fear,
The soul sincere,--
These come not here,
To the rolling of the drums,
In the silence and the sorrow of the peoples.

Death has but little part
In her. Love cannot die.
Who reigns in every heart
Hath immortality.
So, though our heads are bent,
Our hearts are jubilant,
As she comes,--
As a conqueror she comes--
With the rolling of the drums,
To the stateliest of her homes,
In the hearts of her true and faithful peoples.
For the Great Queen lives for ever
In the hearts of those who love her.
January, 1901.

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