Photo by Sebastian Voortman on


With their gilt letterheads
And their bunting-clad dreams,
Where the serfs are so happy
Beneath their regimes –
But history swept them
From palace and pomp,
When young turks and comrades
Have drained the old swamp.

With a God save the king
From the Mayan to Ming –
So soon shall the peasants
Once more kiss our ring.

Yet now they must sit out
And mingle with riffraff
In Kensington squalor
And only three staff.
They’re blind to the passage
Of fortune and time,
Like grand dukes and dames
In a lost pantomime.

With a title and crest
And a well-feathered nest
And a son and successor
Exquisitely dressed.

Their ancestors ruled
With the richest of tastes,
Those kings lived like kings –
But they now must be chaste.
Where once their great splendour
Was cheered by the proles,
Now their Swiss bank accounts
Are all filling with holes.

With a hip hip hurray
To the misty-eyed day
When the jumped-up and bourgeois
Are all swept away.

These make-believe monarchs
In exile, alone,
With their cronies uncrowned
And their thrones overthrown –
They long to return
To their castles and knights
Where the realms was unsullied
By voters and rights.

With a curtsey and bow
And a greater-than-thou,
Oh, we’ll soon send these yokels
Right back to the plough.

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