Alas, our Church! alas, her growing ills,
And those who tolerate not her tolerance,
But needs must sell the burthen of their wills
To that half-pagan harlot kept by France!
Free subjects of the kindliest of all thrones,
Headlong they plunge their doubts among old rags and bones.
Alas, Church writers, altercating tribes—
The vessel and your Church may sink in storms.
Christ cried: Woe, woe, to Pharisees and Scribes!
Like them, you bicker less for truth than forms.
I sorrow when I read the things you write,
What unheroic pertness! what un-Christian spite!
Alas, our youth, so clever yet so small,
Thin dilletanti deep in nature’s plan,
Who make the emphatic One, by whom is all,
An essence less concentred than a man!
Better wild Mahmoud’s war-cry once again!
O fools, we want a manlike God and Godlike men!
Go, frightful omens. Yet once more
To you that mould men’s thoughts; I call on you
To make opinion warlike, lest we learn
A sharper lesson than we ever knew.
I hear a thunder though the skies are fair,
But shrill you, loud and long, the warning-note:
[Lord Tennyson wrote, by Royal request, two stanzas which were sung as part of God Save the Queen at a State concert in connection with the Princess Royal’s marriage: these were printed in the Times of January 26, 1858.]
God bless our Prince and Bride!
God keep their lands allied,
God save the Queen!
Clothe them with righteousness,
Crown them with happiness,
Them with all blessings bless,
God save the Queen.
Fair fall this hallow’d hour,
Farewell our England’s flower,
God save the Queen!
Farewell, fair rose of May!
Let both the peoples say,
God bless thy marriage-day,
God bless the Queen.
[Published in Enoch Arden volume (London: E. Moxon & Co, 1864) and never reprinted.]
’Your ringlets, your ringlets,
That look so golden-gay,
If you will give me one, but one,
To kiss it night and day,
Then never chilling touch of Time
Will turn it silver-gray;
And then shall I know it is all true gold
To flame and sparkle and stream as of old,
Till all the comets in heaven are cold,
And all her stars decay.’
’Then take it, love, and put it by;
This cannot change, nor yet can I.’
’My ringlet, my ringlet,
That art so golden-gay,
Now never chilling touch of Time
Can turn thee silver-gray;
And a lad may wink, and a girl may hint,
And a fool may say his say;
For my doubts and fears were all amiss,
And I swear henceforth by this and this,
That a doubt will only come for a kiss,
And a fear to be kissed away.’
’Then kiss it, love, and put it by:
If this can change, why so can I.’