A voice come out of ancient days, brought out of vanished Time,
Grave footsteps heard on olden ways recalled in tale and rhyme,
Now echoing upon my ear, but quickening and strong,
Rekindling my hope and fear to bright, uncertain song.
This weary age the empty chair, the high seat of the king,
Has brooded silent, cold and bare, that our remembering
Should faithful keep our deepest heart in thrall to him-to-be,
That we might know to play our part, to live in constancy.
Cloth-of-gold soft gleaming spreads across the many years,
And woven in the dreaming are the shadows and the tears,
The finding and the losing, the end and life anew,
The sifting and the choosing, the steadfast and the true.
Soon now the firm and gentle tread will pause beside my door,
And here I sleep twixt hope and dread, unsettled and unsure.
Does Time bring forth the living flesh from kings of crumbled stone?
The noble blood of old refresh, restore an ancient throne?
The hammer-blow of fate is told upon the new-forged blade;
The watching and the wait from old are not to be betrayed.
The steady steps are coming near, my heart leaps up to sing,
And speaks to me with portent clear of the coming of the king.