To H.R.H. Princess Beatrice

A poem by Alfred Tennyson

Two Suns of Love make day of human life,
Which else with all its pains, and griefs, and deaths,
Were utter darkness–one, the Sun of dawn
That brightens thro’ the Mother’s tender eyes,
And warms the child’s awakening world–and one
The later-rising Sun of spousal Love,
Which from her household orbit draws the child
To move in other spheres. The Mother weeps
At that white funeral of the single life,
Her maiden daughter’s marriage; and her tears
Are half of pleasure, half of pain–the child
Is happy–even in leaving her! but thou,
True daughter, whose all-faithful, filial eyes
Have seen the loneliness of earthly thrones,
Wilt neither quit the widow’d Crown, nor let
This later light of Love have risen in vain,
But moving thro’ the Mother’s home, between
The two that love thee, lead a summer life,
Sway’d by each Love, and swaying to each Love,
Like some conjectured planet in mid heaven
Between two suns, and drawing down from both
The light and genial warmth of double day.

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