The President by Charles H. L. Johnston

No gilt or tinsel taints the dress
Of him who holds the natal power,
No weighty helmet's fastenings press
On brow that shares Columbia's dower,
No blaring trumpets mark the step
Of him with mind on peace intent,
And so—HATS OFF! Here comes the State,
A modest King:
THE PRESIDENT.
 
No cavalcade with galloping squads
Surrounds this man, whose mind controls
The actions of the million minds
Whose hearts the starry banner folds;
Instead, in simple garb he rides,
The King to whom grim Fate has lent
Her dower of righteousness and faith
To guide his will:
THE PRESIDENT.
 
The ancient lands are struck with awe,
Here stands a power at which they scoffed,
Kings, rulers, scribes of pristine states.
Are dazed,—at Columbia they mocked;
Yet human wills have forged new states,
Their wills on justice full intent,
And fashioned here a lowly King,
The People's choice:
THE PRESIDENT.
 
War-ravaged, spent, and torn—old worlds
With hatred rent, turn to the West,
"Give help!" they cry—"our souls are wracked,
On every side our kingdom's pressed."
And see! Columbia hastens forth,
Her healing hand to peace is lent,
Her sword unsheathed has forged the calm,
Her sons sent by
THE PRESIDENT.
 
Full many a storm has tossed the barque
Since first it had its maiden trip,
Full many a conflagration's spark
Has scorched and seared the laboring ship;
And yet it ploughs a straightway course,
Through wrack of billows; wind-tossed, spent,
On sails the troubled Ship of State,
Steered forward by
THE PRESIDENT.
 
STAND UP! HATS OFF! He's coming by,
No roll of drums peals at his course,
NOW GIVE A CHEER! He's part of you,
Your will with his: the nation's force.
And—as he passes—breathe a prayer,
May justice to his mind be lent,
And may the grace of Heaven be with
The man who rules:
OUR PRESIDENT.