The New Kings

By George Sterling

Not gold, but steel, O Bethlehem! they bring—
    Not myrrh, but powder; nor may shepherds find
    Wafture of frankincense upon the wind:
The breath of cannon has a sharper sting!
Far in the south awakes a muttering
        That tells a worship of a grimmer kind,
    And soon an older god shall be enshrined
Where once the Magi found an infant King.

What the repulsed Crusader could not hold,
    Take thou, O Russia! in a nobler cause!
And on the pathway of the kings of old
        Advance, with guns that sound the Moslem knell
    And northern steel and ranks that never pause,
        Led to Christ's manger by the Star of Hell!

Bibliography Entry