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Poetry Pleases: Lady Of The Lake

The untimely death and funeral of Diana, the Princess of Wales, moved Vera Sanderson to write this stirring poem.

Tread softly on her petalled bed
And do not wake
Diana, rose of England
The lady of the lake
Her history is writ, legend re-told
Of Arthur, Guinevere, Lancelot the bold
Her shining spirit flies and she is free
Her beauty rests in dark tranquillity
On Avalon

And those who hunted down our brightest flame
Should beat their breasts and hang their heads in shame
They crushed the flower, and broke the branch and
Wounded all the tree
of Diana, rose of England
Our fairest, sweet lady

But though the rose is crushed and gone
Her precious buds remain
And they will grow in England
And glorify her name
And they will have the bright, wild spark
That set her soul on fire
Or sent her to the dark despair
Of unfulfilled desire -

To help and hug and kiss and love
The fragile children of a lesser god
She gave them her compassion
And they will bless her name
For giving them eternal hope
That no one lives in vain
And the echo of her laughter
Cannot wither, fade or die
But will live in human memory
As long as life survives

Then came her noble brother and he read
His tribute in the abbey for his dead
Beloved sister
We thank our God that she
Should have a gallant champion such as he
To guard the honour of their family name
To cherish and remember her bright flame

That shimmering comet, one brief shining minute
Touched all our lives – then gone to the infinite
“Flawed gem” the pious preacher then intoned
Well, let the sinless cast the final stone!
For she was queen of hearts and long may she
Linger like a fragrant memory
Of Camelot and England at its best
Now goes our lady rose to her sweet rest...

But at the time when trumpets sound at dawn
And the “Blood of Spencer” takes the English throne
On that mystic Coronation Day
Within the Abbey where her body lay
Her spirit will awake again
And she will play her part
The lady of the lake will reign
The queen of all our hearts

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