The English Queen
A Birthday Ode

Henry Lawson, 1892

      There's an ordinary woman whom the English call "the Queen":
      They keep her in a palace and they worship her, I ween;
      She's served as one to whom is owed a nation's gratitude;
      (May angels keep the sainted sire of her angelic brood!)
      The people must be blind, I think, or else they're very green,
      To keep that dull old woman whom the English call "the Queen",
      Whom the English call "the Queen",
      Whom the English call "the Queen", —
      That ordinary woman whom the English call "the Queen".

      The Queen has reigned for fifty years, for fifty years and five
      And scarcely done a kindly turn to anyone alive;
      It can be said, and it is said, and it is said in scorn,
      That the poor are starved the same as on the day when she was born.
      Yet she is praised and worshipped more than God has ever been —
      That ordinary woman who. the English call "the Queen",
      Whom the English call "the Queen",
      Whom the English call "the Queen", —
      That cold and selfish woman whom the English call "the Queen".

      The Queen has lived for seventy years, for seventy years and three;
      And few have lived a flatter life, more useless life than she;
      She never said a clever thing or wrote a clever line,
      She never did a noble deed, in coming times to shine;
      And yet we read, and still we read, in every magazine,
      The praises of that woman whom the English call "the Queen",
      Whom the English call "the Queen",
      Whom the English call "the Queen", —
      That dull and brainless woman whom the English call "the Queen".

      They say that she is "Gracious", and that she's inspired with love,
      They also say that she's inspired with wisdom from above.
      They say that she's a noble Queen, and can do nothing wrong,
      They call on God to bless her, and they hope she'll reign for long;
      And where her foot has never trod, her heart has never been,
      There's many a statue raised to her whom English call "the Queen",
      Whom the English call "the Queen",
      Whom the English call "the Queen", —
      That ordinary woman whom the English call "the Queen".

      They magnify her sorrow, too (it goes beyond belief),
      She lost her husband and was called "Pre-eminent in Grief";
      And now she's more pre-eminent because her son is dead,
      Tho' pauper widows starve and hear their children cry for bread.
      The cares of those who starve and freeze — the hungry-eyed and lean —
      Are nothing to the grief of one, whom people call "the Queen",
      Whom the English call "the Queen",
      Whom the English call "the Queen", —
      That fat and selfish person, whom the English call "the Queen".

      She's lived a "virtuous life", 'tis true, but then there's nothing in
      The useless life of one who ne'er had heart enough to sin.
      She's lived a blameless life, they say — she thinks it not a crime
      To take her thousands while the poor are starving half the time.
      And when they blow the final trump, we rather think Faustine
      Will stand as good a show as she whom English call "the Queen",
      Whom the English call "the Queen",
      Whom the English call "the Queen", —
      That pure and selfish woman whom the English call "the Queen".

      The Prince of Wales is worshipped next (it is a funny thing)
      For he will be the loafer whom the fools will call "the King".
      They keep the children of "the Queen", and they are not a few;
      The children of "the Queen" and all her children's children too.
      The little great-grandchild is great because the nation's green
      And Grandmama's the person whom the English call "the Queen",
      Whom the English call "the Queen",
      Whom the English call "the Queen", —
      The dull, yet gilded dummy whom the English call "the Queen".

      And yearly, on "the Queen's" birthday they praise her and rejoice,
      And even far across the sea is heard the toady's voice.
      They gammon Christianity, they go to church and pray,
      Yet thrust HER in the sight of God, an idol of to-day,
      And she is praised and worshipped more than God has ever been —
      That ordinary woman whom the English call "the Queen",
      Whom the English call "the Queen",
      Whom the English call the Queen", —
      That selfish, callous woman whom the English call "the Queen".


      The Truth