Verse > Anthologies > James and Mary Ford, eds. > Every Day in the Year
James and Mary Ford, eds.  Every Day in the Year.  1902.
May 24
To the Queen
By Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809–1892)
(Born May 24, 1819)

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        5
  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        10
  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        15
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,        20
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;        25
  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        30
  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,        35
And compass’d by the inviolate sea.”

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