Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. VI. Fancy: Sentiment
Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume VI. Fancy.  1904.
Poems of Fancy: III. Mythical: Mystical: Legendary
The King’s Highway
Harriet Waters Preston (1836–1911)
October 6, 1892 1

I ’LL wake and watch this autumn night,
  Till the slow dawn is gray;
Lest I should miss a noble sight
  Upon the King’s highway.
For now the far-enthronèd King        5
  To whom all flesh shall come,
A glorious message sends, to bring
  His exiled minstrel home;
And I may see the guards in white
  Troop round him, crowned with bay,        10
And many a starry torch alight,
  Along the King’s highway;—
May see against the ebon skies,
  The banners backward blow,
And hear the io pæan rise        15
  About them, as they go.
What vigil would it not requite,
  That glorious array,
That sure and stately march, forthright
  Along the King’s highway?
*        *        *        *        *
I heard the bells of midnight sound
  From many an unseen tower,
But for the minstrel homeward bound
  I could not watch one hour.
And now, how strange the growing light,        25
  How blank the morning gray!
What stillness, after yesternight,
  Broods on the King’s highway!
Note 1. The day of Tennyson’s death. [back]

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