ODE ON THE INSTALLATION OF HIS ROYAL HIGHNESS PRINCE ALBERT AS
CHANCELLOR OF THE UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE, JULY 1847
INTRODUCTION AND CHORUS
FOR thirst of power that Heaven disowns,
For temples, towers, and thrones,
Too long insulted by the Spoiler's shock,
Indignant Europe cast
Her stormy foe at last
To reap the whirlwind on a Libyan rock.
War is passion's basest game
Madly played to win a name;
Up starts some tyrant, Earth and Heaven to dare,
The servile million bow;
But will the lightning glance aside to spare
The Despot's laurelled brow?
War is mercy, glory, fame,
Waged in Freedom's holy cause;
Freedom, such as Man may claim
Under God's restraining laws.
Such is Albion's fame and glory:
Let rescued Europe tell the story.
But lo, what sudden cloud has darkened all
The land as with a funeral pall?
The Rose of England suffers blight,
The flower has drooped, the Isle's delight,
Flower and bud together fall--
A Nation's hopes lie crushed in Claremont's desolate hall.
Time a chequered mantle wears;--
Earth awakes from wintry sleep;
Again the Tree a blossom bears--
Cease, Britannia, cease to weep!
Hark to the peals on this bright May morn!
They tell that your future Queen is born.
SOPRANO SOLO AND CHORUS
A Guardian Angel fluttered
Above the Babe, unseen;
One word he softly uttered--
It named the future Queen:
And a joyful cry through the Island rang,
As clear and bold as the trumpet's clang,
As bland as the reed of peace--
"VICTORIA be her name!"
For righteous triumphs are the base
Whereon Britannia rests her peaceful fame.
Time, in his mantle's sunniest fold,
Uplifted in his arms the child;
And, while the fearless Infant smiled,
Her happier destiny foretold:--
"Infancy, by Wisdom mild,
Trained to health and artless beauty;
Youth, by pleasure unbeguiled
From the lore of lofty duty;
Womanhood is pure renown,
Seated on her lineal throne:
Leaves of myrtle in her Crown,
Fresh with lustre all their own.
Love, the treasure worth possessing,
More than all the world beside,
This shall be her choicest blessing,
Oft to royal hearts denied."
That eve, the Star of Brunswick shone
With stedfast ray benign
On Gotha's ducal roof, and on
The softly flowing Leine;
Nor failed to gild the spires of Bonn,
And glittered on the Rhine--
Old Camus, too, on that prophetic night
Was conscious of the ray;
And his willows whispered in its light,
Not to the Zephyr's sway,
But with a Delphic life, in sight
Of this auspicious day:
This day, when Granta hails her chosen Lord,
And proud of her award,
Confiding in the Star serene,
Welcomes the Consort of a happy Queen.
Prince, in these Collegiate bowers,
Where Science, leagued with holier truth,
Guards the sacred heart of youth,
Solemn monitors are ours.
These reverend aisles, these hallowed towers,
Raised by many a hand august,
Are haunted by majestic Powers,
The memories of the Wise and Just,
Who, faithful to a pious trust,
Here, in the Founder's spirit sought
To mould and stamp the ore of thought
In that bold form and impress high
That best betoken patriot loyalty.
Not in vain those Sages taught,--
True disciples, good as great,
Have pondered here their country's weal,
Weighed the Future by the Past,
Learned how social frames may last,
And how a Land may rule its fate
By constancy inviolate,
Though worlds to their foundations reel
The sport of factious Hate or godless Zeal.
Albert, in thy race we cherish
A Nation's strength that will not perish
While England's sceptred Line
True to the King of Kings is found;
Like that Wise ancestor of thine
Who threw the Saxon shield o'er Luther's life,
When first above the yells of bigot strife
The trumpet of the Living Word
Assumed a voice of deep portentous sound,
From gladdened Elbe to startled Tiber heard.
What shield more sublime
E'er was blazoned or sung?
And the PRINCE whom we greet
From its Hero is sprung.
Resound, resound the strain,
That hails him for our own!
Again, again, and yet again,
For the Church, the State, the Throne!
And that Presence fair and bright,
Ever blest wherever seen,
Who deigns to grace our festal rite,
The pride of the Islands, VICTORIA THE QUEEN.