King George III Lectures Americans

Thayer Smith, MD

As every schoolboy or girl once knew (and now few learn it ever)
In fourteen hundred ninety two
the world was changed forever.
Within few scores of years since truth of the New World was granted
Migration westward hopeful came from Europe's disenchanted.


Colonies sprang up on Atlantic's coast, chartered by British Crown,
And prospered over years to come, and family roots laid down.
Inland the wilderness was tamed
in slow but steady fashion,
But settlers chafed under the heel
of regal provocations;
The colonists grew restless.


From citizens of Concord came
the Shot heard round the world,
But heard it not, or paid no heed, King George the Third of England.
Then did the Founding Fathers pen
a ringing Declaration.
Of many grievances they spoke,
petitions for redress ignored,
And each bred new exactions.


Laws nullified and then redrawn
to comport with the King's fancy;
Judiciary captured, rights abased, taxes imposed, and immigration frozen;
Men seized from ships on the high seas, conscripted in the army,
And bid on pain of death to fight against comrade and cousin;
A standing garrison maintained, immune to civil law;
A multitude of bureaus spawned
and staffed with bureaucrats,
Their charge the people to harass, and fair eat out their substance.
Henceforth all ties to English rule
are permanently severed,
The colonies decreed to be States
free and independent,
(The seeds of a new nation.)
The signators invoked the help
of Providence Divine,
Pledging their lives, their fortunes, and sacred honor on the line.


The years ahead brought many
a dark day, and doubts of the rebellion.
Ill-clothed, ill-housed, and ill-equipped was the Continental Army.
But slowly fortune turned their way, and victory dawned when
The foe gave Washington
the sword of General Cornwallis.
The huddled masses came,
seeking the light of freedom,
And soon their work and diligence built up a strong great nation.
Then westward pushed until
it reached Pacific destination.
The world looked up and homage paid this citadel of freedom.


But storm clouds were gathering,
and peril was at hand.
Warning flags were hoisted,
fear spread throughout the land.
Two hundred years it grew in strength despite a Civil War,
Two wars with Mexico and Spain, and two world wars to follow.
A great depression tested its faith, and proved its strong resilience,
But greater tests lay just ahead,
it was vulnerable to show.


From beyond the grave the King arose recently to address us:
"Ex-subjects mine I do confess
my tyranny was unworthy.
Each grievance you have spoken to was righted by rebellion,
Except perhaps --- I may append --- may I have your indulgence?
A trifle here, a trifle there ---
I ask your absolution:
Your Constitution, Bill of Rights,
blindfolded courts of justice
Are showing signs of wear and tear, and rotting devolution."


Then warming up he bolder grew, and unapologetic:
"Your government has grown too fat --- you should put it on a diet;
Despotic and complacent grown,
thus sic semper tyrannis.
The laws you pass to regulate
the lives of every person,
What they may do, or may not do,
to say, to think,
With whom they may associate,
bid fair to only worsen.


"The welfare of the species
of those you call endangered:
Snail darter, rodents, spotted owl,
and cucarachas even
Are favored over livelihood and homes of women, men, and children.
Property rights are trampled on
and owners sent to prison.


"All this injustice stems
from myriad regulation
Administered by bureaucrats
consumed with depredation.
As this was prime of grievances against your English king I say
In tyranny it's plain to see
You chaps have quite outdone me!"


Dr. Smith is a member of the American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS).

Originally published in the Medical Sentinel 1999;4(2):66. Copyright ©1999 Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS).