William the Conqueror

Great King William spread before him
All his stores of wealth untold,
Diamonds, emeralds, and rubies,
Heaps on heaps of minted gold.
Mournfully he gazed upon it
As it glittered in the sun,
Sighing to himself, ‘Oh! treasure
Held in care, by sorrow won;
Millions think me rich and happy,
But, alas! before me piled,
I would give thee ten times over
For the slumbers of a child.’

Great King William from his turret
Heard the martial trumpets blow,
Saw the crimson banners floating
Of a countless host below;
Saw their weapons flash in sunlight,
As the squadrons trod the sward;
And he sigh'd, ‘Oh! mighty army,
Hear thy miserable lord;
At my word thy legions gather—
At my nod thy captains bend—
But with all thy power and splendor,
I would give thee for a friend!’

Great King William stood on Windsor,
Looking from its castled height,
O'er his wide-spread realm of England
Glittering in the morning light;
Looking on the tranquil river
And the forest waving free,
And he sigh'd, ‘Oh! land of beauty,
Fondled by the circling sea,
Mine thou art, but I would yield thee,
And be happy, could I gain,
In exchange, a peasant's garden
And a conscience free from stain.’
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