The Kaiser’s Questions – Anon

This was from the days before the First World War when Kaiser Wilhelm was still treated as a grand son of Queen Victoria. This is a children’s song, I don’t know who wrote it and I don’t know the story behind it. It’s an abrupt end and I am not sure if it is complete.

The Kaiser went to the orphanage, upon a summer’s day,
And the children braided their flaxen hair and tied it with ribbon gay;
They tied it with ribbons pink and blue and each wore her dress of white
And the Kaiser said he thought no man could see a lovelier sight.
He took his plumed hat off his head, and the children curtsied low;
“God bless you children dear,” he said, “and make you in wisdom grow,”
Then he called to his side a blue-eyed maid, as fair as a child could be,
He said, “Come stand thou here, pretty maid, and answer me questions three
“This lily so pure and white and sweet – to what kingdom does it belong?”
“To the vegetable kingdom Sire,” – and her voice was like a song.
“And this little harp of purest gold?” (He showed her a mimic lyre).
She looked up with a smile, and said, “To the mineral kingdom Sire.”
“Now tell me, my clever little maid, to what kingdom do I belong?”
She thought of lions, and cows, and sheep – the animal sure is wrong.
And with a still and solemn air she said – “I think to the kingdom of heaven.”
The Kaiser looked up, and then he looked down, and his eyes were full of tears.
“The kingdom of heaven dwells,” he said, “in a child of tender years.”


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