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

December 14

To the Princess Alice

By Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809–1892)

  • Second daughter of Queen Victoria. She died on Dec. 14, 1878, exactly seventeen years after her father, Prince Albert.

  • DEAD Princess, living Power, if that, which lived

    True life, live on—and if the fatal kiss,

    Born of true life and love—divorce thee not

    From earthly love and life—if what we call

    The spirit flash not all at once from out

    This shadow into Substance—then perhaps

    The mellowed murmur of the people’s praise

    From thine own State, and all our breadth of realm,

    Where Love and Longing dress thy deeds in light,

    Ascends to thee; and this March morn that sees

    Thy Soldier-brother’s bridal orange-bloom

    Break through the yews and cypress of thy grave,

    And thine Imperial mother smile again,

    May send one ray to thee! and who can tell—

    Thou—England’s England-loving daughter—thou

    Dying so English thou wouldst have her flag

    Borne on thy coffin—where is he can swear

    But that some broken gleam from our poor earth

    May touch thee, while remembering thee, I lay

    At thy pale feet this ballad of the deeds

    Of England, and her banner in the East?