Mondays With McGonagall: Ode to Edward VII

This week’s McGonagall (late, I know – I’m sorry) is an ode that William wrote for the coronation of Edward VII of England. My guess is he’d been itching to write a coronation poem for years, having spent most of his career during the long reign of Queen Victoria.

Oh! God, I thank Thee for restoring King Edward the Seventh’s health again,
And let all his subjects throughout the Empire say Amen;
May God guard him by night and day,
At home and abroad, when he’s far away.

May angels guard his bed at night when he lies down,
And may his subjects revere him, and on him do not frown;
May he be honoured by them at home and abroad,
And may he always be protected by the Eternal God.

My blessing on his noble form, and on his lofty head,
May all good angels guard him while living and when dead;
And when the final hour shall come to summons him away,
May his soul be wafted to the realms of bliss I do pray.

Long may he reign, happy and serene,
Also his Queen most beautiful to be seen;
And may God guard his family by night and day,
That they may tread in the paths of virtue and not go astray.

May God prosper King Edward the Seventh wherever he goes,
May he always reign victorious over his foes;
Long may he be spared to wear the British Crown,
And may God be as a hedge around him at night when he lies down;
May God inspire him with wisdom, and long may he reign
As Emperor of India and King Edward the VII. –Amen.


A half-century of mulling it over pre-coronation seems to have paid off for the poet. The third stanza almost scans, giving this poem a timely and uncharacteristically polished edge.