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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.



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