"The Widow at Windsor"
(notes by John McGivering and George Kieffer)
Then ‘ere’s to the sons o’ the WidowThis is an adaptation of the traditional Tyler’s Toast given at the conclusion of the Festive Board in Masonic Lodges and is the last toast of the evening. The first line is usually 'To all poor and distressed Freemasons'. Kipling’s words are sometimes used at the banquet, although not surprisingly they usually omit the line that follows:
Wherever, ‘owever they roam
‘Ere’s all they desire, an’ if they require
A speedy return to their ‘ome
(Poor beggars! – they’ll never see ‘ome)This bitter, if realistic, afterthought is in direct contradiction to the pious wishes expressed in the preceding lines.[G.K.]
If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea;The meanings are parallel. However far you go, in the psalm you cannot get away from God, in the poem you are always within earshot of the bugles saluting the Flag. [P.H.]
Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand hold me.