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To The Queen

Written by: Alfred Lord Tennyson | Biography
 | Quotes (78) |
 O loyal to the royal in thyself, 
And loyal to thy land, as this to thee-- 
Bear witness, that rememberable day, 
When, pale as yet, and fever-worn, the Prince 
Who scarce had plucked his flickering life again 
From halfway down the shadow of the grave, 
Past with thee through thy people and their love, 
And London rolled one tide of joy through all 
Her trebled millions, and loud leagues of man 
And welcome! witness, too, the silent cry, 
The prayer of many a race and creed, and clime-- 
Thunderless lightnings striking under sea 
From sunset and sunrise of all thy realm, 
And that true North, whereof we lately heard 
A strain to shame us 'keep you to yourselves; 
So loyal is too costly! friends--your love 
Is but a burthen: loose the bond, and go.' 
Is this the tone of empire? here the faith 
That made us rulers? this, indeed, her voice 
And meaning, whom the roar of Hougoumont 
Left mightiest of all peoples under heaven? 
What shock has fooled her since, that she should speak 
So feebly? wealthier--wealthier--hour by hour! 
The voice of Britain, or a sinking land, 
Some third-rate isle half-lost among her seas? 
THERE rang her voice, when the full city pealed 
Thee and thy Prince! The loyal to their crown 
Are loyal to their own far sons, who love 
Our ocean-empire with her boundless homes 
For ever-broadening England, and her throne 
In our vast Orient, and one isle, one isle, 
That knows not her own greatness: if she knows 
And dreads it we are fallen. --But thou, my Queen, 
Not for itself, but through thy living love 
For one to whom I made it o'er his grave 
Sacred, accept this old imperfect tale, 
New-old, and shadowing Sense at war with Soul, 
Ideal manhood closed in real man, 
Rather than that gray king, whose name, a ghost, 
Streams like a cloud, man-shaped, from mountain peak, 
And cleaves to cairn and cromlech still; or him 
Of Geoffrey's book, or him of Malleor's, one 
Touched by the adulterous finger of a time 
That hovered between war and wantonness, 
And crownings and dethronements: take withal 
Thy poet's blessing, and his trust that Heaven 
Will blow the tempest in the distance back 
From thine and ours: for some are sacred, who mark, 
Or wisely or unwisely, signs of storm, 
Waverings of every vane with every wind, 
And wordy trucklings to the transient hour, 
And fierce or careless looseners of the faith, 
And Softness breeding scorn of simple life, 
Or Cowardice, the child of lust for gold, 
Or Labour, with a groan and not a voice, 
Or Art with poisonous honey stolen from France, 
And that which knows, but careful for itself, 
And that which knows not, ruling that which knows 
To its own harm: the goal of this great world 
Lies beyond sight: yet--if our slowly-grown 
And crowned Republic's crowning common-sense, 
That saved her many times, not fail--their fears 
Are morning shadows huger than the shapes 
That cast them, not those gloomier which forego 
The darkness of that battle in the West, 
Where all of high and holy dies away.