James and Mary Ford, eds. Every Day in the Year. 1902.

June 15

Frederick III

By Ina D. Coolbrith (1841–1928)

  • Emperor of Germany, died June 15, 1888.

  • THERE fell a King. Not King alone in blood,

    Nor royal throne, by right of which he reigned,

    But by the royalty of soul unstained,

    And heart that beat but for his people’s good.

    A warrior, yet beyond the battlefield

    The larger victories of peace he saw:

    His life a pledge to freedom, progress, law,

    Most patient suffering divinely sealed.

    There fell a King. Nay, there a king arose.

    Stars do not set in night, though night goes down;

    Steadfast they gleam in heaven’s eternal crown,

    Though days in nights, and nights in days may close.

    “Lord of himself,”—that greatest conqueror,—

    No nobler form in all his royal house.

    Dead, the imperial crown still sits his brows,

    And past the grave he still is emperor.