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To the Queen

         
      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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