Verse > Henry Wadsworth Longfellow > Complete Poetical Works
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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807–1882).  Complete Poetical Works.  1893.
 
Christus: A Mystery
Part II. The Golden Legend.
III. IV. The Nativity: A Miracle-Play.
IX. Crowned with Flowers
 
JESUS sitting among his playmates crowned with flowers as their King.

BOYS.
WE spread our garments on the ground!
With fragrant flowers thy head is crowned
While like a guard we stand around,
  And hail thee as our King!
Thou art the new King of the Jews!        5
Nor let the passers-by refuse
To bring that homage which men use
  To majesty to bring.
Here a traveller shall go by, and the boys shall lay hold of his garments and say:
 
BOYS.
Come hither! and all reverence pay
Unto our monarch, crowned to-day!        10
Then go rejoicing on your way,
  In all prosperity!
 
TRAVELLER.
Hail to the King of Bethlehem.
Who weareth in his diadem
The yellow crocus for the gem        15
  Of his authority!
He passes by; and others come in, bearing on a litter a sick child.
 
BOYS.
Set down the litter and draw near!
The King of Bethlehem is here!
What ails the child, who seems to fear
  That we shall do him harm?        20
 
THE BEARERS.
He climbed up to the robin’s nest,
And out there darted, from his rest,
A serpent with a crimson crest,
  And stung him in the arm.
 
JESUS.
Bring him to me, and let me feel
        25
The wounded place; my touch can heal
The sting of serpents, and can steal
  The poison from the bite!
He touches the wound, and the boy begins to cry.
Cease to lament! I can foresee
That thou hereafter known shalt be,        30
Among the men who follow me,
  As Simon the Canaanite!
 
 
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