James and Mary Ford, eds. Every Day in the Year. 1902.

August 13

Philip My King

By Dinah Maria Mulock Craik (1826–1887)

  • “Who bears upon his baby brow the round and top of sovereignty.”
  • Philip Bourke Marston was an English poet who was born on August 13, 1850. He became blind at an early age.

  • LOOK at me with thy large brown eyes,

    Philip, my King!

    For round thee the purple shadow lies

    Of babyhood’s regal dignities.

    Lay on my neck thy tiny hand

    With Love’s invisible sceptre laden;

    I am thine Esther, to command

    Till thou shalt find thy queen-handmaiden,

    Philip, my King!

    Oh, the day when thou goest a-wooing,

    Philip, my King!

    When those beautiful lips are suing,

    And, some gentle heart’s bars undoing,

    Thou dost enter, love-crowned, and there

    Sittest all glorified!—Rule kindly,

    Tenderly, over thy kingdom fair;

    For we that love, ah! we love so blindly,

    Philip, my King!

    I gaze from thy sweet mouth up to thy brow,

    Philip, my King!

    Ay, there lies the spirit, all sleeping now,

    That may rise like a giant, and make men bow

    As to one God-throned amidst his peers.

    My Saul, than thy brethren higher and fairer,

    Let me behold thee in coming years!

    Yet thy head needeth a circlet rarer,

    Philip, my King—

    A wreath, not of gold, but palm! One day,

    Philip, my King!

    Thou too must tread, as we tread, a way

    Thorny, and bitter, and cold, and gray;

    Rebels within thee, and foes without

    Will snatch at thy crown. But go on, glorious,

    Martyr, yet monarch! till angels shout,

    As thou sittest at the feet of God victorious,

    “Philip, the King!”