Verse > Anthologies > James and Mary Ford, eds. > Every Day in the Year
James and Mary Ford, eds.  Every Day in the Year.  1902.
January 22
God Save the King!
By Theodosia Garrison (1874–1944)
(Accession of Edward VII., Jan. 22, 1901)

GOD save the King! Not from those things
  Duly ennumbered in the common plea,
  Not only from a court’s monotony
Or tangled trials of State high office brings;
Not only from the licensed jester’s flings,        5
  Not from a Parliament that strives to please,
Or yet from sycophantic drivellings—
  God save his Majesty from more than these!
God save the King! From what? Well, here’s the prayer:
  Save him from certain moments that may be        10
  Sacred to pomp and circumstance, when he
Feels ennui stealing o’er him unaware
With that sick longing to be otherwhere,
  That makes him envy, aye, and here’s the rub,
That man who may enjoy an easy chair        15
  And cigarette and cognac at a club.
God save the King! From what? From memories
  That come when one lies long awake o’ night,
  And hears an echo laughter, sweet and light,
Sound from old days more jubilant than wise;        20
Save him from certain thoughts of certain eyes;
  Save him from hearing in his dreams the beat
  Of unforgotten, pirouetting feet
That knew no line ’twixt men and majesties.
From all the cares that needs must hedge the Guelph,        25
  From all the ills with which our prayer-books ring,
  From fools’ advice and wise men’s blundering,
But ever and above all, from himself
          God save the King!

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