The 1939 Royal Visit A Poem by James Reaney

This is a poem that James Reaney wrote about the 1939 Royal Visit to Canada by King George VI and Queen Elizabeth.

The Royal Visit

When the King and Queen came to Stratford

Everyone felt at once

How heavy the Crown must be.

The Mayor shook hands with their Majesties

And everyone presentable was presented

And those who weren’t have resented

It, and will

To their dying day.

Everyone had almost a religious experience

When the King and Queen came to visit us

(I wonder what they felt!)

And hydrants flowed water in the gutters

All day.

People put quarters on the railroad tracks

So as to get squashed by the Royal train

And some people up the line at Shakespeare

Stayed in Shakespeare, just in case—

They did stop too,

While thousands in Stratford

Didn’t even see them

Because the Engineer didn’t slow down

Enough in time.

And although,

But although we didn’t see them in any way

(I didn’t even catch the glimpse

The teacher who was taller did

Of a gracious pink figure)

I’ll remember it to my dying day.

Source: James Reaney