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

December 14

The Prince Consort

By Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809–1892)

  • From the Dedication to the “Idylls of the King”
  • Prince Albert, husband of Queen Victoria. He died Dec. 14, 1861.

  • WE know him now; all narrow jealousies

    Are silent; and we see him as he moved,

    How modest, kindly, all-accomplish’d, wise,

    With what sublime repression of himself,

    And in what limits, and how tenderly;

    Not swaying to this faction or to that;

    Not making his high place the lawless perch

    Of wing’d ambitions, nor a vantage-ground

    For pleasure; but thro’ all this tract of years

    Wearing the white flower of a blameless life,

    Before a thousand peering littlenesses,

    In that fierce light which beats upon a throne,

    And blackens every blot: for where is he,

    Who dares foreshadow for an only son

    A lovelier life, a more unstain’d, than his?

    Or how should England dreaming of his sons

    Hope more for these than some inheritance

    Of such a life, a heart, a mind as thine,

    Thou noble Father of her Kings to be,

    Laborious for her people and her poor—

    Voice in the rich dawn of an ampler day—

    Far-sighted summoner of War and Waste

    To fruitful strifes and rivalries of peace—

    Sweet nature gilded by the gracious gleam

    Of letters, dear to Science, dear to Art,

    Dear to thy land and ours, a Prince indeed,

    Beyond all titles, and a household name,

    Hereafter, thro’ all times, Albert the Good.