James and Mary Ford, eds. Every Day in the Year. 1902.

March 28

In Memoriam Prince Leopold

By Henry Halloran (1811–1893)

  • Son of Queen Victoria. Died March 28, 1884.

  • THE LIGHTNING rends the goodly tree,

    Whereon the sunbeams loved to play;

    Through which the starbeams found their way;

    But who may read God’s dark decree?

    He spares the tree of lowly form,

    Through years that seem without an end,—

    In every wind to sway and bend,

    No mark for lightning or for storm.

    Through toilsome years, on scanty fare,

    The artist and the poet seem

    Dimly to live within their dream;

    Time leaves them with their pleasant care.

    Time brings into a perfect grace

    The marvel of the stream and hills;

    And Time the perfect volume fills

    With words that thrill the human race.

    Time! that didst shape the cedar fair,

    Wilt thou not bring to her who grieves

    More than the glory of its leaves,

    A people’s love and grief and prayer?

    We are but shadows one and all:

    The solid earth on which we move

    Is nothing, seen by saints above;

    So small,—but still man is not small.

    His days are written in thy sight,

    Who rulest days and rulest men;

    And in Thy will he finds Thy when,

    And knows that all he finds is right.

    Thy Royal student’s days were led

    In ways that make the day a year,

    Fulfilled with intellectual cheer

    Whereon all noble minds are fed.

    So shall we say his life was life,

    Extended to a noble span;

    A life that was a life for man,

    Worthy of mother and of wife.