To The Queen
written March, 1851
published in The Poetical Works of Alfred Lord Tennyson, page 1
by by London: Macmillan & Co., Ltd., 1897
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Revered, beloved—O you that hold A nobler office upon earth Than arms, or power of brain, or birth Could give the warrior kings of old,
Victoria,—since your Royal grace To one of less desert allows This laurel greener from the brows Of him that utter’d nothing base;
And should your greatness, and the care That yokes with empire, yield you time To make demand of modern rhyme If aught of ancient worth be there;
Then—while a sweeter music wakes, And thro’ wild March the throstle calls, Where all about your palace-walls The sun-lit almond-blossom shakes—
Take, Madam, this poor book of song; For tho’ the faults were thick as dust In vacant chambers, I could trust Your kindness. May you rule us long,
And leave us rulers of your blood As noble till the latest day! May children of our children say, “She wrought her people lasting good;
“Her court was pure; her life serene; God gave her peace; her land reposed; A thousand claims to reverence closed In her as Mother, Wife, and Queen;
“And statesmen at her council met Who knew the seasons when to take Occasion by the hand, and make The bounds of freedom wider yet
“By shaping some august decree, Which kept her throne unshaken still, Broad-based upon her people’s will, And compass’d by the inviolate sea.”
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