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The entire lyrics to the anthem can be found here. But what I'm having trouble with is in the first verse:

God save our gracious Queen
Long live our noble Queen
God save the Queen
Send her victorious
Happy and glorious
Long to reign over us
God save the Queen

I'm not sure how one should understand that part of the anthem. First of all, they're asking God to send the Queen what or where? Secondly, how do those three adjectives, victorious, happy and glorious, work there grammatically? I'm sorry, but I can't make sense of it.

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In short, the request to God is:

Send her to reign over us.

Now fill in how / with what properties to send her:

victorious, happy and glorious

and how she should reign:

long

If you scramble it a bit up to match the music (and as poetry is "allowed" to do), you end up with:

Send her victorious
Happy and glorious
Long to reign over us.


(Honestly: Singing "Make her victorious, happy and glorious and send her to reign over us for a long time." just wouldn't do, would it?)

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    Thank you for that answer. I'm Australian and that was our national anthem when I was a child, and I never knew. I'd slightly wondered, but no enough to ask, as the overall meaning was clear. – Sydney May 13 '15 at 13:32

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