Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Americas: Vol. XXX. 1876–79.

Introductory to British America

To the Queen

By Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809–1892)


WITNESS, too, the silent cry,

The prayer of many a race and creed and clime,—

Thunderless lightnings striking under sea

From sunset and sunrise of all thy realm,

And that true North, whereof we lately heard

A strain to shame us “keep you to yourselves;

So loyal is too costly! friends—your love

Is but a burthen: loose the bond, and go.”

Is this the tone of empire? here the faith

That made us rulers? this, indeed, her voice

And meaning, whom the roar of Hougoumont

Left mightiest of all peoples under heaven?

What shock has fooled her since, that she should speak

So feebly? wealthier—wealthier—hour by hour!

The voice of Britain, or a sinking land,

Some third-rate isle half-lost among her seas?