The Central Kingdoms
I see the golden dragon rising from
The mists of time, from those ancient shadows
When giants roamed the planet and the
people scattered from Babel settled there.
They made their home in a magic land
A land fed and made lush by golden rivers,
A land made safe by deserts and mountains,
A land made just by Xuanyuan’s governance.
Then do the strange and beautiful characters
Appear to bear witness to the generations that
Were born since, to the teachings of Master Kong,
To the states that were to unite all under heaven.
Qin Shi Huang’s ruthless hand was to bond
Them in a lasting marriage, lasting romance,
And ageless dance, where art and learning
Flourished, and like the sun, illuminated its orbit.
Some poor visitors from the West came to see
The civilization that could any barbarian sword
Eat, and seeing the wonders they beheld
Brought report of flying gold and shining silks.
They were stupefied to sing of the teachings
Of the Socrates of the East, of the porcelain
They touched, of the millions souls to win for
Christ – and the empire the mandarins cared for not.
This the princelings of Europe did not understand,
Who flung wide fleets and treasure to land
First flags, then men with arms to enslave
And claim empire over seas – but the Chinese had it.
So mysterious it yet remains, this nation
So great and powerful, that alone thought
Us beautiful, and so acknowledged the marriage
And destiny that old and new would bind.
It still stands as the empire of Polo’s lore,
Though laid low and desecrated by the proud
And ruthless nations, envious of the prestige no coin
Can buy, the immortality by hand divine given.
Like Our Lady’s nation, broken up it once again
Joined in a crazy, modern movement to a
Strange and alien music – but both the eagle and
Dragon will rise, to rule the peoples in wisdom’s glory.