Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The celebration continues!

As part of the ongoing observance of Queen Elizabeth's eighty-second birthday, which lasts from her actual birthday on April 21st until the official celebration of it sometime in June (at least in these parts), I have written a poem. After Elizabeth's father, King George VI, died in 1952, there was a period of about a year when England had three living queens: Queen Elizabeth II, Queen Mother Elizabeth (George VI's widow), and Dowager Queen Mary (George V's widow and Queen Elizabeth II's grandmother). It apparently was considered a sign of Divine favor for the reigning monarch that three queens were alive at the same time.

My poem is about one of those women and is written after the style of Ogden Nash, or at least how I think Mr. Nash would write it if he had written it. The rhyme scheme is AABBCCDDAA, which I discovered afterward and didn't impose beforehand. I have dubbed the meter “limerick on steroids, appended with some nice double dactyls, unless they are anapests,” which is to say, it is irregular.

Dowager Queen Mary, or 'Tis A Gift To Be Simple
by Robert H. Brague

There once was a girl with a long, slender neck,
Who from all appearances kept her true feelings in check,
She was the mother-in-law of Wallis Warfield Simpson, whose third husband was King Edward VIII of England, whom Mrs. Simpson married after he had abdicated the throne in order to have the help and support of the woman he loved and had become the Duke of Windsor, and rather than referring to her new daughter-in-law, if she referred to her at all, as the Duchess of Windsor, probably felt like calling her “Her Royal Hagness,”
Plus she carried the burden of having been given at birth, by her parents, a long string of names the like of which few people have ever been forced to bear, namely, Victoria Mary Augusta Louise Olga Pauline Claudine Agnes,
So she had every right to look pained and aloof
When waving from Buckingham Palace’s roof;
It’s also no wonder that when she was grown,
And wed to George V, and come to the throne,
She thought to herself, “Golly, gee, what the heck,”
And said, “Call me, simply, Queen Mary of Teck.”

That picture up there is not Queen Elizabeth II, by the way. It's her grandmother, Queen Mary of Teck. Quite the family resemblance, eh, what? Here's another picture of Queen Mary when she was younger, taken during her husband's reign (1910-1935).

Stay tuned for more celebratory items.


  1. It took me a while to find the BB rhyme; there were a *lot* of words between "check" and "Hagness."
    Very clever, Mr.B.

  2. Completely off topic for this post, but wanted to let you know that I visited the Prairie Home Companion web site and read your most interesting and well-written stories.