Vive le Roi
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VIVE LE ROI
By Frances Maulk Bjorkman
AYE, vive le roi. The king is dead—
So move our lives from day to day.
The triumph of to-morrow's lord
Meets for our former chiefs decay.
Then love and live and laugh and sing—
The world is good and life is free—
There's not a single care I know
That's worth a single tear from me.
What's love or fame or place or power?
What's wealth when we shall come to die?
What matters anything on earth
So long as only I am I?
The joy or grief or love or shame
That holds its little hour of sway
Is only worth its destined time—
What use to try to make it stay?
Aye, let it go. The monarch dead,
A better king our shouts may hail
And if a worse—well, still be glad;
He too will pass behind the vail.
They all must pass—fame, joy and love,
The sting of grief, the blot of shame;
The only thing that really counts
Is how we bear the praise or blame.
All take the good the while it lasts
And when it goes I'll learn to sing,
All eager for the coming joy—
“The king is dead, long live the king.”
Bjorkman Maulk Frances, “Vive le Roi,” Mother Earth 1, no. 1 (March 1906): 27.