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I Would I Were a KIng
Words by Victor Hugo.
Translated by Sir Alexander Cockburn, Bart., G.C.B.
Dedicated by "special desire" to Prince Leopold, Duke of Albany.
Published by Boosey & Co., 1878.


Sir Alexander Cockburn was the Lord Chief Justice and a keen amateur musician whom Sullivan numbered among his friends. Cockburn went to see Trial by Jury during its initial run. Sullivan later recalled, "Although he was very fond of me personally, being very fond of music, he did not like the notion of our Trial by Jury at all, as he thought the piece was calculated to bring the bench into contempt! He went to see the piece once, remarking afterwards that it was very pretty and clever and 'all that sort of thing,' but he would not go again for fear he should seem to encourage it."


Karaoke File


An Offering
(Sir Frank Dicksee)
Dicksee - Offering
I would I were a King, fair maid,
As Kings there were of old,
My sceptre and my chariots,
And my slaves on bended knee,
My sceptre, my chariots,
And my slaves on bended knee,
My marble baths, my palaces,
My diadem of gold,
My mighty hosts, my navies,
Which the sea could scarcely hold,
I'd give them with my Kingdom
For a look of love from thee!

And were I Jove, the earth the air,
The water's wide domain,
The Titans chain'd in darkness,
And th'Immortals in their bliss,
The firmament, its countless stars,
And all that they contain,
And time and space, and Heav'n itself,
My vast and boundless reign,
I'd give them all,
I'd give them all,
I'd give them all,

And were I Jove, the earth the air,
The water's wide domain,
The Titans chain'd in darkness,
And th'Immortals in their bliss,
I'd give them all,
I'd give them all,
I'd give them all, to thee, my Love
In barter for a kiss!

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