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Author: Tennyson, Alfred Lord, 1809-1892
Title: The Suppressed Poems of Alfred Lord Tennyson
Publisher: Project Gutenberg
Tag(s): tennyson; poems
Contributor(s): Edwards, Owen Morgan, Sir, 1858-1920 [Editor]
Versions: original; local mirror; HTML (this file); printable
Services: find in a library; evaluate using concordance
Rights: GNU General Public License
Size: 24,608 words (really short) Grade range: 10-12 (high school) Readability score: 62 (easy)
Identifier: etext14094
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The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Suppressed Poems of Alfred Lord Tennyson
by Alfred Lord Tennyson

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Title: The Suppressed Poems of Alfred Lord Tennyson

Author: Alfred Lord Tennyson

Release Date: November 19, 2004 [EBook #14094]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ASCII


Produced by Jonathan Ingram, Cori Samuel and the PG Online Distributed
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Edited By J.C. Thomson





    i. The How and the Why
   ii. The Burial of Love
  iii. To ----
   iv. Song _'I' the gloaming light'_
    v. Song _'Every day hath its night'_
   vi. Hero to Leander
  vii. The Mystic
 viii. The Grasshopper
   ix. Love, Pride and Forgetfulness
    x. Chorus _'The varied earth, the moving heaven'_
   xi. Lost Hope
  xii. The Tears of Heaven
 xiii. Love and Sorrow
  xiv. To a Lady sleeping
   xv. Sonnet _'Could I outwear my present state of woe'_
  xvi. Sonnet _'Though night hath climbed'_
 xvii. Sonnet _'Shall the hag Evil die'_
xviii. Sonnet _'The pallid thunder stricken sigh for gain'_
  xix. Love
   xx. English War Song
  xxi. National Song
 xxii. Dualisms
xxiii. [Greek: ohi rheontes]
 xxiv. Song _'The lintwhite and the throstlecock'_


   xxv. A Fragment
  xxvi. Anacreontics
 xxvii. _'O sad no more! O sweet no more'_
xxviii. Sonnet _'Check every outflash, every ruder sally'_
  xxix. Sonnet _'Me my own fate to lasting sorrow doometh'_
   xxx. Sonnet _'There are three things that fill my heart with sighs'_

POEMS, 1833

   xxxi. Sonnet _'Oh beauty, passing beauty'_
  xxxii. The Hesperides
 xxxiii. Rosalind
  xxxiv. Song _'Who can say'_
   xxxv. Sonnet _'Blow ye the trumpet, gather from afar'_
  xxxvi. O Darling Room
 xxxvii. To Christopher North
xxxviii. The Lotos-Eaters
  xxxix. A Dream of Fair Women


    xl. Cambridge
   xli. The Germ of 'Maud'
  xlii. _'A gate and afield half ploughed'_
 xliii. The Skipping-Rope
  xliv. The New Timon and the Poets
   xlv. Mablethorpe
  xlvi. _'What time I wasted youthful hours'_
 xlvii. Britons, guard your own
xlviii. Hands all round
  xlix. Suggested by reading an article in a newspaper
     l. _'God bless our Prince and Bride'_
    li. The Ringlet
   lii. Song _'Home they brought him slain with spears'_
  liii. 1865-1866




_To those unacquainted with Tennyson's conscientious methods, it may
seem strange that a volume of 160 pages is necessary to contain those
poems written and published by him during his active literary career,
and ultimately rejected as unsatisfactory. Of this considerable body
of verse, a great part was written, not in youth or old age, but while
Tennyson's powers were at their greatest. Whatever reasons may once
have existed for suppressing the poems that follow, the student of
English literature is entitled to demand that the whole body of
Tennyson's work should now be open, without restriction or impediment,
to the critical study to which the works of his compeers are

_The bibliographical notes prefixed to the various poems give, in every
case, the date and medium of first publication._



A Poem Which Obtained The Chancellor's Medal At The
_Cambridge Commencement_  MDCCCXXIX

A. Tennyson
Of Trinity College

[Printed in Cambridge _Chronicle and Journal_ of Friday, July 10,
1829, and at the University Press by James Smith, among the
_Prolusiones Academicae Praemiis annuis dignatae et in Curia
Cantabrigiensi Recitatae Comitiis Maximis_, MDCCCXXIX. Republished in
_Cambridge Prize Poems_, 1813 to 1858, by Messrs. Macmillan in 1859,
without alteration; and in 1893 in the appendix to a reprint of _Poems
by Two Brothers_].


    Deep in that lion-haunted inland lies
    A mystic city, goal of high Emprize.[A]

  I stood upon the Mountain which o'erlooks
  The narrow seas, whose rapid interval
  Parts Afric from green Europe, when the Sun
  Had fall'n below th' Atlantick, and above
  The silent Heavens were blench'd with faery light,
  Uncertain whether faery light or cloud,
  Flowing Southward, and the chasms of deep, deep blue
  Slumber'd unfathomable, and the stars
  Were flooded over with clear glory and pale.
  I gaz'd upon the sheeny coast beyond,
  There where the Giant of old Time infixed
  The limits of his prowess, pillars high
  Long time eras'd from Earth: even as the sea
  When weary of wild inroad buildeth up
  Huge mounds whereby to stay his yeasty waves.
  And much I mus'd on legends quaint and old
  Which whilome won the hearts of all on Earth
  Toward their brightness, ev'n as flame draws air;
  But had their being in the heart of Man
  As air is th' life of flame: and thou wert then
  A center'd glory-circled Memory,
  Divinest Atalantis, whom the waves
  Have buried deep, and thou of later name
  Imperial Eldorado root'd with gold:
  Shadows to which, despite all shocks of Change,
  All on-set of capricious Accident,
  Men clung with yearning Hope which would not die.
  As when in some great City where the walls
  Shake, and the streets with ghastly faces throng'd
  Do utter forth a subterranean voice,
  Among the inner columns far retir'd
  At midnight, in the lone Acropolis.
  Before the awful Genius of the place
  Kneels the pale Priestess in deep faith, the while
  Above her head the weak lamp dips and winks
  Unto the fearful summoning without:
  Nathless she ever clasps the marble knees,
  Bathes the cold hand with tears, and gazeth on
  Those eyes which wear no light but that wherewith
  Her phantasy informs them.

                   Where are ye
  Thrones of the Western wave, fair Islands green?
  Where are your moonlight halls, your cedarn glooms,
  The blossoming abysses of your hills?
  Your flowering Capes and your gold-sanded bays
  Blown round with happy airs of odorous winds?
  Where are the infinite ways which, Seraphtrod,
  Wound thro' your great Elysian solitudes,
  Whose lowest depths were, as with visible love,
  Fill'd with Divine effulgence, circumfus'd,
  Flowing between the clear and polish'd stems,
  And ever circling round their emerald cones
  In coronals and glories, such as gird
  The unfading foreheads of the Saints in Heaven?
  For nothing visible, they say, had birth
  In that blest ground but it was play'd about
  With its peculiar glory. Then I rais'd
  My voice and cried 'Wide Afric, doth thy Sun
  Lighten, thy hills enfold a City as fair
  As those which starr'd the night o' the Elder World?
  Or is the rumour of thy Timbuctoo
  A dream as frail as those of ancient Time?'

  A curve of whitening, flashing, ebbing light!
  A rustling of white wings! The bright descent
  Of a young Seraph! and he stood beside me
  There on the ridge, and look'd into my face
  With his unutterable, shining orbs,
  So that with hasty motion I did veil
  My vision with both hands, and saw before me
  Such colour'd spots as dance athwart the eyes
  Of those that gaze upon the noonday Sun.
  Girt with a Zone of flashing gold beneath
  His breast, and compass'd round about his brow
  With triple arch of everchanging bows,
  And circled with the glory of living light
  And alternations of all hues, he stood.
  'O child of man, why muse you here alone
  Upon the Mountain, on the dreams of old
  Which fill'd the Earth with passing loveliness,
  Which flung strange music on the howling winds,
  And odours rapt from remote Paradise?
  Thy sense is clogg'd with dull mortality,
  Thy spirit fetter'd with the bond of clay:
  Open thine eye and see.'

                    I look'd, but not
  Upon his face, for it was wonderful
  With its exceeding brightness, and the light
  Of the great angel mind which look'd from out
  The starry glowing of his restless eyes.
  I felt my soul grow mighty, and my spirit
  With supernatural excitation bound
  Within me, and my mental eye grew large
  With such a vast circumference of thought,
  That in my vanity I seem'd to stand
  Upon the outward verge and bound alone
  Of full beatitude. Each failing sense
  As with a momentary flash of light
  Grew thrillingly distinct and keen. I saw
  The smallest grain that dappled the dark Earth,
  The indistinctest atom in deep air,
  The Moon's white cities, and the opal width
  Of her small glowing lakes, her silver heights
  Unvisited with dew of vagrant cloud,
  And the unsounded, undescended depth
  Of her black hollows. The clear Galaxy
  Shorn of its hoary lustre, wonderful,
  Distinct and vivid with sharp points of light
  Blaze within blaze, an unimagin'd depth
  And harmony of planet-girded Suns
  And moon-encircled planets, wheel in wheel,
  Arch'd the wan Sapphire. Nay, the hum of men,
  Or other things talking in unknown tongues,
  And notes of busy life in distant worlds
  Beat like a far wave on my anxious ear.

  A maze of piercing, trackless, thrilling thoughts
  Involving and embracing each with each
  Rapid as fire, inextricably link'd,
  Expanding momently with every sight
  And sound which struck the palpitating sense,
  The issue of strong impulse, hurried through
  The riv'n rapt brain: as when in some large lake
  From pressure of descendant crags, which lapse
  Disjointed, crumbling from their parent slope
  At slender interval, the level calm
  Is ridg'd with restless and increasing spheres
  Which break upon each other, each th' effect
  Of separate impulse, but more fleet and strong
  Than its precursor, till the eyes in vain
  Amid the wild unrest of swimming shade
  Dappled with hollow and alternate rise
  Of interpenetrated arc, would scan
  Definite round.
                   I know not if I shape
  These things with accurate similitude
  From visible objects, for but dimly now,
  Less vivid than a half-forgotten dream,
  The memory of that mental excellence
  Comes o'er me, and it may be I entwine
  The indecision of my present mind
  With its past clearness, yet it seems to me
  As even then the torrent of quick thought
  Absorbed me from the nature of itself
  With its own fleetness. Where is he that, borne
  Adown the sloping of an arrowy stream,
  Could link his shallop to the fleeting edge,
  And muse midway with philosophic calm
  Upon the wondrous laws which regulate
  The fierceness of the bounding element?
  My thoughts which long had grovell'd in the slime
  Of this dull world, like dusky worms which house
  Beneath unshaken waters, but at once
  Upon some earth-awakening day of spring
  Do pass from gloom to glory, and aloft
  Winnow the purple, bearing on both sides
  Double display of starlit wings which burn
  Fanlike and fibred, with intensest bloom:
  E'en so my thoughts, erewhile so low, now felt
  Unutterable buoyancy and strength
  To bear them upward through the trackless fields
  Of undefin'd existence far and free.

  Then first within the South methought I saw
  A wilderness of spires, and chrystal pile
  Of rampart upon rampart, dome on dome,
  Illimitable range of battlement
  On battlement, and the Imperial height
  Of Canopy o'ercanopied.
  In diamond light, upsprung the dazzling Cones
  Of Pyramids, as far surpassing Earth's
  As Heaven than Earth is fairer. Each aloft
  Upon his renown'd Eminence bore globes
  Of wheeling suns, or stars, or semblances
  Of either, showering circular abyss
  Of radiance. But the glory of the place
  Stood out a pillar'd front of burnish'd gold
  Interminably high, if gold it were
  Or metal more ethereal, and beneath
  Two doors of blinding brilliance, where no gaze
  Might rest, stood open, and the eye could scan
  Through length of porch and lake and boundless
  Part of a throne of fiery flame, wherefrom
  The snowy skirting of a garment hung,
  And glimpse of multitudes of multitudes
  That minister'd around it--if I saw
  These things distinctly, for my human brain
  Stagger'd beneath the vision, and thick night
  Came down upon my eyelids, and I fell.

  With ministering hand he rais'd me up;
  Then with a mournful and ineffable smile,
  Which but to look on for a moment fill'd
  My eyes with irresistible sweet tears,
  In accents of majestic melody,
  Like a swol'n river's gushings in still night
  Mingled with floating music, thus he spake:
  'There is no mightier Spirit than I to sway
  The heart of man: and teach him to attain
  By shadowing forth the Unattainable;
  And step by step to scale that mighty stair
  Whose landing-place is wrapt about with clouds
  Of glory of Heaven.[B] With earliest Light of Spring,
  And in the glow of sallow Summertide,
  And in red Autumn when the winds are wild
  With gambols, and when full-voiced Winter roofs
  The headland with inviolate white snow,
  I play about his heart a thousand ways,
  Visit his eyes with visions, and his ears
  With harmonies of wind and wave and wood
  --Of winds which tell of waters, and of waters
  Betraying the close kisses of the wind--
  And win him unto me: and few there be
  So gross of heart who have not felt and known
  A higher than they see: They with dim eyes
  Behold me darkling. Lo! I have given _thee_
  To understand my presence, and to feel
  My fullness; I have fill'd thy lips with power.
  I have rais'd thee higher to the Spheres of Heaven,
  Man's first, last home: and thou with ravish'd sense
  Listenest the lordly music flowing from
  Th' illimitable years. I am the Spirit,
  The permeating life which courseth through
  All th' intricate and labyrinthine veins
  Of the great vine of _Fable_, which, outspread
  With growth of shadowing leaf and clusters rare,
  Reacheth to every corner under Heaven,
  Deep-rooted in the living soil of truth:
  So that men's hopes and fears take refuge in
  The fragrance of its complicated glooms
  And cool impleached twilights. Child of Man,
  See'st thou yon river, whose translucent wave,
  Forth issuing from darkness, windeth through
  The argent streets o' the City, imaging
  The soft inversion of her tremulous Domes;
  Her gardens frequent with the stately Palm,
  Her Pagods hung with music of sweet bells:
  Her obelisks of ranged Chrysolite,
  Minarets and towers? Lo! how he passeth by,
  And gulphs himself in sands, as not enduring
  To carry through the world those waves, which bore
  The reflex of my City in their depths.
  Oh City! Oh latest Throne! where I was rais'd
  To be a mystery of loveliness
  Unto all eyes, the time is well nigh come
  When I must render up this glorious home
  To keen _Discovery_: soon yon brilliant towers
  Shall darken with the waving of her wand;
  Darken, and shrink and shiver into huts,
  Black specks amid a waste of dreary sand,
  Low-built, mud-walled, Barbarian settlement,
  How chang'd from this fair City!'
                    Thus far the Spirit:
  Then parted Heavenward on the wing: and I
  Was left alone on Calpe, and the Moon
  Had fallen from the night, and all was dark!

[The following review of 'Timbuctoo' was published in the _Athenaeum_
of 22nd July, 1829: 'We have accustomed ourselves to think, perhaps
without any very good reason, that poetry was likely to perish among
us for a considerable period after the great generation of poets which
is now passing away. The age seems determined to contradict us, and
that in the most decided manner; for it has put forth poetry by a
young man, and that where we should least expect it--namely, in a
prize poem. These productions have often been ingenious and elegant
but we have never before seen one of them which indicated really
first-rate poetical genius, and which would have done honour to any
men that ever wrote. Such, we do not hesitate to affirm, is the little
work before us; and the examiners seem to have felt it like ourselves,
for they have assigned the prize to the author, though the measure in
which he writes was never before, we believe, thus selected for
honour. We extract a few lines to justify our admiration (50 lines,
62-112, quoted). How many men have lived for a century who could equal
this?' At the time when this highly eulogistic notice of the youthful
unknown poet appeared, the _Athenaeum_ was edited by John Sterling and
Frederick Denison Maurice, its then proprietors.]

[Footnote A: Mr Swinburne failed to find this couplet in any of
Chapman's original poems or translations, and was of opinion that it
is Tennyson's own.]

[Footnote B: Be ye perfect even as your Father in Heaven is perfect.]

=Poems Chiefly Lyrical=

[The poems numbered I-XXIV which follow, were published in 1830 in the
volume _Poems chiefly Lyrical_. (London: Effingham Wilson, Royal
Exchange, 1830.) They were never republished by Tennyson.]


=The 'How' and the 'Why'=

      I am any man's suitor,
      If any will be my tutor:
  Some say this life is pleasant,
      Some think it speedeth fast:
  In time there is no present,
      In eternity no future,
      In eternity no past.
  We laugh, we cry, we are born, we die,
  Who will riddle me the _how_ and the _why_?

  The bulrush nods unto his brother
  The wheatears whisper to each other:
  What is it they say? What do they there?
  Why two and two make four? Why round is not square?
  Why the rocks stand still, and the light clouds fly?
  Why the heavy oak groans, and the white willows sigh?
  Why deep is not high, and high is not deep?
  Whether we wake or whether we sleep?
  Whether we sleep or whether we die?
  How you are you? Why I am I?
  Who will riddle me the _how_ and the _why_?

  The world is somewhat; it goes on somehow;
  But what is the meaning of _then_ and _now_!
  I feel there is something; but how and what?
  I know there is somewhat; but what and why!
  I cannot tell if that somewhat be I.

  The little bird pipeth 'why! why!'
  In the summerwoods when the sun falls low,
  And the great bird sits on the opposite bough,
  And stares in his face and shouts 'how? how?'
  And the black owl scuds down the mellow twilight,
  And chaunts 'how? how?' the whole of the night.

  Why the life goes when the blood is spilt?
  What the life is? where the soul may lie?
  Why a church is with a steeple built;
  And a house with a chimney-pot?
  Who will riddle me the how and the what?
  Who will riddle me the what and the why?


=The Burial of Love=

      His eyes in eclipse,
      Pale cold his lips,
  The light of his hopes unfed,
      Mute his tongue,
      His bow unstrung
  With the tears he hath shed,
  Backward drooping his graceful head.

      Love is dead;
      His last arrow sped;
  He hath not another dart;
      Go--carry him to his dark deathbed;
  Bury him in the cold, cold heart--
      Love is dead.

  Oh, truest love! art thou forlorn,
      And unrevenged? Thy pleasant wiles
  Forgotten, and thine innocent joy?
      Shall hollow-hearted apathy,
  The cruellest form of perfect scorn,
      With langour of most hateful smiles,
  For ever write
  In the weathered light
      Of the tearless eye
      An epitaph that all may spy?
      No! sooner she herself shall die.

  For her the showers shall not fall,
  Nor the round sun that shineth to all;
      Her light shall into darkness change;
  For her the green grass shall not spring,
  Nor the rivers flow, nor the sweet birds sing,
      Till Love have his full revenge.


=To ----=

  Sainted Juliet! dearest name!
      If to love be life alone,
        Divinest Juliet,
      I love thee, and live; and yet
  Love unreturned is like the fragrant flame
      Folding the slaughter of the sacrifice
      Offered to Gods upon an altarthrone;
  My heart is lighted at thine eyes,
  Changed into fire, and blown about with sighs.




      I' the glooming light
      Of middle night,
      So cold and white,
  Worn Sorrow sits by the moaning wave;
      Beside her are laid,
      Her mattock and spade,
  For she hath half delved her own deep grave.
      Alone she is there:
  The white clouds drizzle: her hair falls loose;
      Her shoulders are bare;
  Her tears are mixed with the bearded dews.


      Death standeth by;
      She will not die;
      With glazed eye
  She looks at her grave: she cannot sleep;
      Ever alone
      She maketh her moan:
  She cannot speak; she can only weep;
      For she will not hope.
  The thick snow falls on her flake by flake,
      The dull wave mourns down the slope,
  The world will not change, and her heart will not break.




  Every day hath its night:
      Every night its morn:
  Through dark and bright
      Winged hours are borne;
          Ah! welaway!
  Seasons flower and fade;
      Golden calm and storm
          Mingle day by day.
      There is no bright form
  Doth not cast a shade--
          Ah! welaway!


  When we laugh, and our mirth
      Apes the happy vein,
  We're so kin to earth
      Pleasuance fathers pain--
          Ah! welaway!
  Madness laugheth loud:
      Laughter bringeth tears:
          Eyes are worn away
      Till the end of fears
  Cometh in the shroud,
          Ah! welaway!


  All is change, woe or weal;
      Joy is sorrow's brother;
  Grief and sadness steal
      Symbols of each other;
          Ah! welaway!
  Larks in heaven's cope
      Sing: the culvers mourn
          All the livelong day.
      Be not all forlorn;
  Let us weep in hope--
          Ah! welaway!


=Hero to Leander=

  Oh go not yet, my love,
      The night is dark and vast;
  The white moon is hid in her heaven above,
      And the waves climb high and fast.
  Oh! kiss me, kiss me, once again,
      Lest thy kiss should be the last.
      Oh kiss me ere we part;
      Grow closer to my heart.
  My heart is warmer surely than the bosom of the main.

  Oh joy! O bliss of blisses!
      My heart of hearts art thou.
  Come bathe me with thy kisses,
      My eyelids and my brow.
  Hark how the wild rain hisses,
      And the loud sea roars below.

  Thy heart beats through thy rosy limbs
      So gladly doth it stir;
  Thine eye in drops of gladness swims.
      I have bathed thee with the pleasant myrrh;
  Thy locks are dripping balm;
      Thou shalt not wander hence to-night,
  I'll stay thee with my kisses.
      To-night the roaring brine
  Will rend thy golden tresses;
      The ocean with the morrow light
  Will be both blue and calm;
      And the billow will embrace thee with a kiss as soft as mine.

  No western odours wander
      On the black and moaning sea,
  And when thou art dead, Leander,
      My soul shall follow thee!
  Oh go not yet, my love,
      Thy voice is sweet and low;
  The deep salt wave breaks in above
      Those marble steps below.
  The turretstairs are wet
      That lead into the sea.
  Leander! go not yet.
  The pleasant stars have set!
  Oh! go not, go not yet,
      Or I will follow thee.


=The Mystic=

  Angels have talked with him, and showed him thrones:
  Ye knew him not: he was not one of ye,
  Ye scorned him with an undiscerning scorn:
  Ye could not read the marvel in his eye,
  The still serene abstraction; he hath felt
  The vanities of after and before;
  Albeit, his spirit and his secret heart
  The stern experiences of converse lives,
  The linked woes of many a fiery change
  Had purified, and chastened, and made free.
  Always there stood before him, night and day,
  Of wayward vary coloured circumstance,
  The imperishable presences serene,
  Colossal, without form, or sense, or sound,
  Dim shadows but unwaning presences
  Fourfaced to four corners of the sky;
  And yet again, three shadows, fronting one,
  One forward, one respectant, three but one;
  And yet again, again and evermore,
  For the two first were not, but only seemed
  One shadow in the midst of a great light,
  One reflex from eternity on time,
  One mighty countenance of perfect calm,
  Awful with most invariable eyes.
  For him the silent congregated hours,
  Daughters of time, divinely tall, beneath
  Severe and youthful brows, with shining eyes
  Smiling a godlike smile (the innocent light
  Of earliest youth pierced through and through with all
  Keen knowledges of low-embowed eld)
  Upheld, and ever hold aloft the cloud
  Which droops low hung on either gate of life,
  Both birth and death; he in the centre fixed,
  Saw far on each side through the grated gates
  Most pale and clear and lovely distances.
  He often lying broad awake, and yet
  Remaining from the body, and apart
  In intellect and power and will, hath heard
  Time flowing in the middle of the night,
  And all things creeping to a day of doom.
  How could ye know him? Ye were yet within
  The narrower circle; he had well nigh reached
  The last, with which a region of white flame,
  Pure without heat, into a larger air
  Upburning, and an ether of black hue,
  Investeth and ingirds all other lives.


=The Grasshopper=


  Voice of the summerwind,
      Joy of the summerplain,
      Life of the summerhours,
    Carol clearly, bound along.
      No Tithon thou as poets feign
  (Shame fall 'em they are deaf and blind)
    But an insect lithe and strong,
      Bowing the seeded summerflowers.
  Prove their falsehood and thy quarrel,
      Vaulting on thine airy feet.
  Clap thy shielded sides and carol,
      Carol clearly, chirrup sweet
  Thou art a mailed warrior in youth and strength complete;
      Armed cap-a-pie,
      Full fair to see;
        Unknowing fear,
      Undreading loss,
        A gallant cavalier
  _Sans peur et sans reproche_,
      In sunlight and in shadow,
      The Bayard of the meadow.


  I would dwell with thee,
      Merry grasshopper,
  Thou art so glad and free,
      And as light as air;
  Thou hast no sorrow or tears,
  Thou hast no compt of years,
  No withered immortality,
  But a short youth sunny and free.
  Carol clearly, bound along,
      Soon thy joy is over,
  A summer of loud song,
      And slumbers in the clover.
      What hast thou to do with evil
      In thine hour of love and revel,
      In thy heat of summerpride,
      Pushing the thick roots aside
      Of the singing flowered grasses,
      That brush thee with their silken tresses?
  What hast thou to do with evil,
  Shooting, singing, ever springing
      In and out the emerald glooms,
  Ever leaping, ever singing,
      Lighting on the golden blooms?


=Love, Pride and Forgetfulness=

  Ere yet my heart was sweet Love's tomb,
  Love laboured honey busily.
  I was the hive and Love the bee,
  My heart the honey-comb.
  One very dark and chilly night
  Pride came beneath and held a light.

  The cruel vapours went through all,
  Sweet Love was withered in his cell;
  Pride took Love's sweets, and by a spell
  Did change them into gall;
  And Memory tho' fed by Pride
  Did wax so thin on gall,
  Awhile she scarcely lived at all,
  What marvel that she died?



_In an unpublished drama written very early._

  The varied earth, the moving heaven,
      The rapid waste of roving sea,
  The fountainpregnant mountains riven
      To shapes of wildest anarchy,
  By secret fire and midnight storms
      That wander round their windy cones,
  The subtle life, the countless forms
      Of living things, the wondrous tones
  Of man and beast are full of strange
  Astonishment and boundless change.

  The day, the diamonded light,
      The echo, feeble child of sound,
  The heavy thunder's girding might,
      The herald lightning's starry bound,
  The vocal spring of bursting bloom,
      The naked summer's glowing birth,
  The troublous autumn's sallow gloom,
      The hoarhead winter paving earth
  With sheeny white, are full of strange
  Astonishment and boundless change.

  Each sun which from the centre flings
      Grand music and redundant fire,
  The burning belts, the mighty rings,
      The murmurous planets' rolling choir,
  The globefilled arch that, cleaving air,
      Lost in its effulgence sleeps,
  The lawless comets as they glare,
      And thunder thro' the sapphire deeps
  In wayward strength, are full of strange
  Astonishment and boundless change.


=Lost Hope=

  You cast to ground the hope which once was mine,
      But did the while your harsh decree deplore,
  Embalming with sweet tears the vacant shrine,
      My heart, where Hope had been and was no more.

  So on an oaken sprout
      A goodly acorn grew;
  But winds from heaven shook the acorn out,
      And filled the cup with dew.


=The Tears of Heaven=

  Heaven weeps above the earth all night till morn,
  In darkness weeps, as all ashamed to weep,
  Because the earth hath made her state forlorn
  With selfwrought evils of unnumbered years,
  And doth the fruit of her dishonour reap.
  And all the day heaven gathers back her tears
  Into her own blue eyes so clear and deep,
  And showering down the glory of lightsome day,
  Smiles on the earth's worn brow to win her if she may.


=Love and Sorrow=

  O maiden, fresher than the first green leaf
  With which the fearful springtide flecks the lea,
  Weep not, Almeida, that I said to thee
  That thou hast half my heart, for bitter grief
  Doth hold the other half in sovranty.
  Thou art my heart's sun in love's crystalline:
  Yet on both sides at once thou canst not shine:
  Thine is the bright side of my heart, and thine
  My heart's day, but the shadow of my heart,
  Issue of its own substance, my heart's night
  Thou canst not lighten even with _thy_ light,
  All powerful in beauty as thou art.
  Almeida, if my heart were substanceless,
  Then might thy rays pass thro' to the other side,
  So swiftly, that they nowhere would abide,
  But lose themselves in utter emptiness.
  Half-light, half-shadow, let my spirit sleep
  They never learnt to love who never knew to weep.


=To a Lady Sleeping=

  O thou whose fringed lids I gaze upon,
  Through whose dim brain the winged dreams are born,
  Unroof the shrines of clearest vision,
  In honour of the silverflecked morn:
  Long hath the white wave of the virgin light
  Driven back the billow of the dreamful dark.
  Thou all unwittingly prolongest night,
  Though long ago listening the poised lark,
  With eyes dropt downward through the blue serene,
  Over heaven's parapets the angels lean.



  Could I outwear my present state of woe
  With one brief winter, and indue i' the spring
  Hues of fresh youth, and mightily outgrow
  The wan dark coil of faded suffering--
  Forth in the pride of beauty issuing
  A sheeny snake, the light of vernal bowers,
  Moving his crest to all sweet plots of flowers
  And watered vallies where the young birds sing;
  Could I thus hope my lost delights renewing,
  I straightly would commend the tears to creep
  From my charged lids; but inwardly I weep:
  Some vital heat as yet my heart is wooing:
  This to itself hath drawn the frozen rain
  From my cold eyes and melted it again.



  Though Night hath climbed her peak of highest noon,
  And bitter blasts the screaming autumn whirl,
  All night through archways of the bridged pearl
  And portals of pure silver walks the moon.
  Wake on, my soul, nor crouch to agony:
  Turn cloud to light, and bitterness to joy,
  And dross to gold with glorious alchemy,
  Basing thy throne above the world's annoy.
  Reign thou above the storms of sorrow and ruth
  That roar beneath; unshaken peace hath won thee:
  So shall thou pierce the woven glooms of truth;
  So shall the blessing of the meek be on thee;
  So in thine hour of dawn, the body's youth,
  An honourable eld shall come upon thee.



  Shall the hag Evil die with the child of Good,
  Or propagate again her loathed kind,
  Thronging the cells of the diseased mind,
  Hateful with hanging cheeks, a withered brood,
  Though hourly pastured on the salient blood?
  Oh! that the wind which bloweth cold or heat
  Would shatter and o'erbear the brazen beat
  Of their broad vans, and in the solitude
  Of middle space confound them, and blow back
  Their wild cries down their cavernthroats, and slake
  With points of blastborne hail their heated eyne!
  So their wan limbs no more might come between
  The moon and the moon's reflex in the night;
  Nor blot with floating shades the solar light.



  The palid thunderstricken sigh for gain,
  Down an ideal stream they ever float,
  And sailing on Pactolus in a boat,
  Drown soul and sense, while wistfully they strain
  Weak eyes upon the glistering sands that robe
  The understream. The wise could he behold
  Cathedralled caverns of thick-ribbed gold
  And branching silvers of the central globe,
  Would marvel from so beautiful a sight
  How scorn and ruin, pain and hate could flow:
  But Hatred in a gold cave sits below,
  Pleached with her hair, in mail of argent light
  Shot into gold, a snake her forehead clips
  And skins the colour from her trembling lips.




  Thou, from the first, unborn, undying love,
  Albeit we gaze not on thy glories near,
  Before the face of God didst breath and move,
  Though night and pain and ruin and death reign here.
  Thou foldest, like a golden atmosphere,
  The very throne of the eternal God:
  Passing through thee the edicts of his fear
  Are mellowed into music, borne abroad
  By the loud winds, though they uprend the sea,
  Even from his central deeps: thine empery
  Is over all: thou wilt not brook eclipse;
  Thou goest and returnest to His Lips
  Like lightning: thou dost ever brood above
  The silence of all hearts, unutterable Love.


  To know thee is all wisdom, and old age
  Is but to know thee: dimly we behold thee
  Athwart the veils of evil which enfold thee
  We beat upon our aching hearts with rage;
  We cry for thee: we deem the world thy tomb.
  As dwellers in lone planets look upon
  The mighty disk of their majestic sun,
  Hallowed in awful chasms of wheeling gloom,
  Making their day dim, so we gaze on thee.
  Come, thou of many crowns, white-robed love,
  Oh! rend the veil in twain: all men adore thee;
  Heaven crieth after thee; earth waileth for thee:
  Breathe on thy winged throne, and it shall move
  In music and in light o'er land and sea.


  And now--methinks I gaze upon thee now,
  As on a serpent in his agonies
  Awestricken Indians; what time laid low
  And crushing the thick fragrant reeds he lies,
  When the new year warm breathed on the earth,
  Waiting to light him with his purple skies,
  Calls to him by the fountain to uprise.
  Already with the pangs of a new birth
  Strain the hot spheres of his convulsed eyes,
  And in his writhings awful hues begin
  To wander down his sable sheeny sides,
  Like light on troubled waters: from within
  Anon he rusheth forth with merry din,
  And in him light and joy and strength abides;
  And from his brows a crown of living light
  Looks through the thickstemmed woods by day and night


=English War Song=

      Who fears to die? Who fears to die?
      Is there any here who fears to die
  He shall find what he fears, and none shall grieve
      For the man who fears to die:
  But the withering scorn of the many shall cleave
      To the man who fears to die.

  _Chorus_.--Shout for England!
                  Ho! for England!
                  George for England!
                  Merry England!
                  England for aye!

  The hollow at heart shall crouch forlorn,
  He shall eat the bread of common scorn;
      It shall be steeped in the salt, salt tear,
      Shall be steeped in his own salt tear:
  Far better, far better he never were born
      Than to shame merry England here.

  _Chorus_.--Shout for England! etc.

  There standeth our ancient enemy;
  Hark! he shouteth--the ancient enemy!
      On the ridge of the hill his banners rise;
      They stream like fire in the skies;
  Hold up the Lion of England on high
      Till it dazzle and blind his eyes.

      _Chorus_.--Shout for England! etc.

  Come along! we alone of the earth are free;
  The child in our cradles is bolder than he;
      For where is the heart and strength of slaves?
      Oh! where is the strength of slaves?
  He is weak! we are strong; he a slave, we are free;
      Come along! we will dig their graves.

      _Chorus_.--Shout for England! etc.

  There standeth our ancient enemy;
  Will he dare to battle with the free?
      Spur along! spur amain! charge to the fight:
      Charge! charge to the fight!
  Hold up the Lion of England on high!
      Shout for God and our right!

      _Chorus_.--Shout for England! etc.


=National Song=

  There is no land like England
    Where'er the light of day be;
  There are no hearts like English hearts,
    Such hearts of oak as they be.
  There is no land like England
    Where'er the light of day be;
  There are no men like Englishmen,
    So tall and bold as they be.

  _Chorus_.--For the French the Pope may shrive 'em,
                  For the devil a whit we heed 'em,
                  As for the French, God speed 'em
                    Unto their hearts' desire,
                  And the merry devil drive 'em
                    Through the water and the fire.

  _Chorus_.--Our glory is our freedom,
                    We lord it o'er the sea;
                  We are the sons of freedom,
                    We are free.

  There is no land like England,
    Where'er the light of day be;
  There are no wives like English wives,
    So fair and chaste as they be.
  There is no land like England,
    Where'er the light of day be,
  There are no maids like English maids,
    So beautiful as they be.

  _Chorus_.--For the French, etc.

[Sixty years after first publication this Song was incorporated in
'The Foresters' (published 1892) as the opening chorus of the second
act. The two verses were unaltered, but the two choruses were



  Two bees within a chrystal flowerbell rocked
  Hum a lovelay to the westwind at noontide.
  Both alike, they buzz together,
  Both alike, they hum together
  Through and through the flowered heather.

  Where in a creeping cove the wave unshocked
    Lays itself calm and wide,
  Over a stream two birds of glancing feather
  Do woo each other, carolling together.
  Both alike, they glide together
    Side by side;
  Both alike, they sing together,
  Arching blue-glossed necks beneath the purple weather.

  Two children lovelier than love, adown the lea are singing,
  As they gambol, lilygarlands ever stringing:
  Both in blosmwhite silk are frocked:
  Like, unlike, they roam together
  Under a summervault of golden weather;
  Like, unlike, they sing together
    Side by side;
  Mid May's darling goldenlocked,
  Summer's tanling diamondeyed.


[Greek: ohi rheontes]


  All thoughts, all creeds, all dreams are true,
    All visions wild and strange;
  Man is the measure of all truth
    Unto himself. All truth is change:
  All men do walk in sleep, and all
    Have faith in that they dream:
  For all things are as they seem to all,
    And all things flow like a stream.


  There is no rest, no calm, no pause,
    Nor good nor ill, nor light nor shade,
  Nor essence nor eternal laws:
    For nothing is, but all is made,
  But if I dream that all these are,
    They are to me for that I dream;
  For all things are as they seem to all,
    And all things flow like a stream.

Argal.--This very opinion is only true relatively to the flowing
philosophers. (Tennyson's note.)




  The lintwhite and the throstlecock
      Have voices sweet and clear;
    All in the bloomed May.
  They from the blosmy brere
  Call to the fleeting year,
  If that he would them hear
      And stay.
  Alas! that one so beautiful
    Should have so dull an ear.


  Fair year, fair year, thy children call,
      But thou art deaf as death;
    All in the bloomed May.
  When thy light perisheth
  That from thee issueth,
  Our life evanisheth:
      Oh! stay.
  Alas! that lips so cruel dumb
    Should have so sweet a breath!


  Fair year, with brows of royal love
      Thou comest, as a King.
    All in the bloomed May.
  Thy golden largess fling,
  And longer hear us sing;
  Though thou art fleet of wing,
      Yet stay.
  Alas! that eyes so full of light
  Should be so wandering!


  Thy locks are full of sunny sheen
      In rings of gold yronne,[C]
    All in the bloomed May,
  We pri' thee pass not on;
  If thou dost leave the sun,
  Delight is with thee gone,
      Oh! stay.
  Thou art the fairest of thy feres,
    We pri' thee pass not on.

[Footnote C: His crispe hair in ringis was yronne.--Chaucer, _Knight's
Tale_. (Tennyson's note.)]

=Contributions to Periodicals 1831-32=


=A Fragment=

[Published in _The Gem: a Literary Annual_. London: W. Marshall,
Holborn Bars, mdcccxxxi.]

  Where is the Giant of the Sun, which stood
  In the midnoon the glory of old Rhodes,
  A perfect Idol, with profulgent brows
  Far sheening down the purple seas to those
  Who sailed from Mizraim underneath the star
  Named of the Dragon--and between whose limbs
  Of brassy vastness broad-blown Argosies
  Drave into haven? Yet endure unscathed
  Of changeful cycles the great Pyramids
  Broad-based amid the fleeting sands, and sloped
  Into the slumberous summer noon; but where,
  Mysterious Egypt, are thine obelisks
  Graven with gorgeous emblems undiscerned?
  Thy placid Sphinxes brooding o'er the Nile?
  Thy shadowy Idols in the solitudes,
  Awful Memnonian countenances calm
  Looking athwart the burning flats, far off
  Seen by the high-necked camel on the verge
  Journeying southward? Where are thy monuments
  Piled by the strong and sunborn Anakim
  Over their crowned brethren [Greek: ON] and [Greek: ORE]?
  Thy Memnon, when his peaceful lips are kissed
  With earliest rays, that from his mother's eyes
  Flow over the Arabian bay, no more
  Breathes low into the charmed ears of morn
  Clear melody flattering the crisped Nile
  By columned Thebes. Old Memphis hath gone down:
  The Pharaohs are no more: somewhere in death
  They sleep with staring eyes and gilded lips,
  Wrapped round with spiced cerements in old grots
  Rock-hewn and sealed for ever.



[Published in _The Gem: a Literary Annual_. London: W. Marshall,
Holborn Bars, mdcccxxxi.]

  With roses musky breathed,
  And drooping daffodilly,
  And silverleaved lily,
  And ivy darkly-wreathed,
  I wove a crown before her,
  For her I love so dearly,
  A garland for Lenora.
  With a silken cord I bound it.
  Lenora, laughing clearly
  A light and thrilling laughter,
  About her forehead wound it,
  And loved me ever after.


[Published in _The Gem: a Literary Annual_. London: W. Marshall,
Holborn Bars, mdcccxxxi.]

      O sad _No more!_ O sweet _No more!_
                O strange _No more!_
      By a mossed brookbank on a stone
      I smelt a wildweed flower alone;
      There was a ringing in my ears,
      And both my eyes gushed out with tears.
  Surely all pleasant things had gone before,
  Low-buried fathom deep beneath with thee,
                NO MORE!



[Published in the _Englishman's Magazine_, August, 1831. London:
Edward Moxon, 64 New Bond Street. Reprinted in _Friendship's Offering:
a Literary Album_ for 1833. London; Smith and Elder.]

  Check every outflash, every ruder sally
    Of thought and speech; speak low, and give up wholly
    Thy spirit to mild-minded Melancholy;
  This is the place. Through yonder poplar alley
  Below, the blue-green river windeth slowly;
    But in the middle of the sombre valley
    The crisped waters whisper musically,
  And all the haunted place is dark and holy.
  The nightingale, with long and low preamble,
    Warbled from yonder knoll of solemn larches,
    And in and out the woodbine's flowery arches
  The summer midges wove their wanton gambol,
    And all the white-stemmed pinewood slept above--
    When in this valley first I told my love.



[Published in _Friendships Offering: a Literary Album_ for 1832.
London: Smith and Elder.]

  Me my own fate to lasting sorrow doometh:
    Thy woes are birds of passage, transitory:
    Thy spirit, circled with a living glory,
  In summer still a summer joy resumeth.
  Alone my hopeless melancholy gloometh,
    Like a lone cypress, through the twilight hoary,
  From an old garden where no flower bloometh,
    One cypress on an inland promontory.
  But yet my lonely spirit follows thine,
    As round the rolling earth night follows day:
  But yet thy lights on my horizon shine
    Into my night when thou art far away;
  I am so dark, alas! and thou so bright,
  When we two meet there's never perfect light.



[Published in the _Yorkshire Literary Annual_ for 1832. Edited by C.F.
Edgar, London: Longman and Co. Reprinted in the _Athenaeum_, 4 May,

  There are three things that fill my heart with sighs
  And steep my soul in laughter (when I view
  Fair maiden forms moving like melodies),
  Dimples, roselips, and eyes of any hue.

  There are three things beneath the blessed skies
  For which I live--black eyes, and brown and blue;
  I hold them all most dear; but oh! black eyes,
  I live and die, and only die for you.

  Of late such eyes looked at me--while I mused
  At sunset, underneath a shadowy plane
  In old Bayona, nigh the Southern Sea--
  From an half-open lattice looked at _me_.

  I saw no more only those eyes--confused
  And dazzled to the heart with glorious pain.

=Poems, 1833=

[The poems numbered XXXI-XXXIX were published in the 1832 volume
(_Poems by Alfred Tennyson_. London: Edward Moxon, 94 New Bond Street.
MDCCCXXXIII; published December, 1832), and were thereafter



  Oh, Beauty, passing beauty! sweetest Sweet!
    How canst thou let me waste my youth in sighs;
  I only ask to sit beside thy feet.
    Thou knowest I dare not look into thine eyes,
  Might I but kiss thy hand! I dare not fold
    My arms about thee--scarcely dare to speak.
  And nothing seems to me so wild and bold,
    As with one kiss to touch thy blessed cheek.
  Methinks if I should kiss thee, no control
    Within the thrilling brain could keep afloat
    The subtle spirit. Even while I spoke,
  The bare word KISS hath made my inner soul
    To tremble like a lutestring, ere the note
    Hath melted in the silence that it broke.


=The Hesperides=

    Hesperus and his daughters three
    That sing about the golden tree.

  The Northwind fall'n, in the newstarred night
  Zidonian Hanno, voyaging beyond
  The hoary promontory of Soloe
  Past Thymiaterion, in calmed bays,
  Between the Southern and the Western Horn,
  Heard neither warbling of the nightingale,
  Nor melody o' the Lybian lotusflute
  Blown seaward from the shore; but from a slope
  That ran bloombright into the Atlantic blue,
  Beneath a highland leaning down a weight
  Of cliffs, and zoned below with cedarshade,
  Came voices, like the voices in a dream,
  Continuous till he reached the other sea.



  The golden apple, the golden apple, the hallowed fruit,
  Guard it well, guard it warily,
  Singing airily,
  Standing about the charmed root.
  Round about all is mute,
  As the snowfield on the mountain-peaks,
  As the sandfield at the mountain-foot.
  Crocodiles in briny creeks
  Sleep and stir not: all is mute.
  If ye sing not, if ye make false measure,
  We shall lose eternal pleasure,
  Worth eternal want of rest.
  Laugh not loudly: watch the treasure
  Of the wisdom of the West.
  In a corner wisdom whispers. Five and three
  (Let it not be preached abroad) make an awful mystery.
  For the blossom unto three-fold music bloweth;
  Evermore it is born anew;
  And the sap to three-fold music floweth,
  From the root
  Drawn in the dark,
  Up to the fruit,
  Creeping under the fragrant bark,
  Liquid gold, honeysweet thro' and thro'.
  Keen-eyed Sisters, singing airily,
  Looking warily
  Every way,
  Guard the apple night and day,
  Lest one from the East come and take it away.


  Father Hesper, Father Hesper, watch, watch, ever and aye,
  Looking under silver hair with a silver eye.
  Father, twinkle not thy stedfast sight;
  Kingdoms lapse, and climates change, and races die;
  Honour comes with mystery;
  Hoarded wisdom brings delight.
  Number, tell them over and number
  How many the mystic fruit-tree holds,
  Lest the redcombed dragon slumber
  Rolled together in purple folds.
  Look to him, father, lest he wink, and the golden apple be stol'n away,
  For his ancient heart is drunk with overwatchings night and day,
  Round about the hallowed fruit tree curled--
  Sing away, sing aloud and evermore in the wind, without stop,
  Lest his scaled eyelid drop,
  For he is older than the world.
  If he waken, we waken,
  Rapidly levelling eager eyes.
  If he sleep, we sleep,
  Dropping the eyelid over the eyes.
  If the golden apple be taken
  The world will be overwise.
  Five links, a golden chain, are we,
  Hesper, the dragon, and sisters three,
  Bound about the golden tree.


  Father Hesper, Father Hesper, watch, watch, night and day,
  Lest the old wound of the world be healed,
  The glory unsealed,
  The golden apple stol'n away,
  And the ancient secret revealed.
  Look from west to east along:
  Father, old Himla weakens, Caucasus is bold and strong.
  Wandering waters unto wandering waters call;
  Let them clash together, foam and fall.
  Out of watchings, out of wiles,
  Comes the bliss of secret smiles,
  All things are not told to all,
  Half round the mantling night is drawn,
  Purplefringed with even and dawn.
  Hesper hateth Phosphor, evening hateth morn.


  Every flower and every fruit the redolent breath
  Of this warm seawind ripeneth,
  Arching the billow in his sleep;
  But the land-wind wandereth,
  Broken by the highland-steep,
  Two streams upon the violet deep:
  For the western sun and the western star,
  And the low west wind, breathing afar,
  The end of day and beginning of night
  Make the apple holy and bright,
  Holy and bright, round and full, bright and blest,
  Mellowed in a land of rest;
  Watch it warily day and night;
  All good things are in the west,
  Till midnoon the cool east light
  Is shut out by the round of the tall hillbrow;
  But when the fullfaced sunset yellowly
  Stays on the flowering arch of the bough,
  The luscious fruitage clustereth mellowly,
  Goldenkernelled, goldencored,
  Sunset ripened, above on the tree,
  The world is wasted with fire and sword,
  But the apple of gold hangs over the sea,
  Five links, a golden chain, are we,
  Hesper, the dragon, and sisters three,
      Daughters three,
      Bound about
      All round about
  The gnarled bole of the charmed tree,
  The golden apple, the golden apple, the hallowed fruit,
  Guard it well, guard it warily,
      Watch it warily,
      Singing airily,
  Standing about the charmed root.



    My Rosalind, my Rosalind,
  Bold, subtle, careless Rosalind,
  Is one of those who know no strife
  Of inward woe or outward fear;
  To whom the slope and stream of life,
  The life before, the life behind,
  In the ear, from far and near,
  Chimeth musically clear.
  My falconhearted Rosalind
  Fullsailed before a vigorous wind,
  Is one of those who cannot weep
  For others' woes, but overleap
  All the petty shocks and fears
  That trouble life in early years,
  With a flash of frolic scorn
  And keen delight, that never falls
  Away from freshness, self-upborne
  With such gladness, as, whenever
  The freshflushing springtime calls
  To the flooding waters cool,
  Young fishes, on an April morn,
  Up and down a rapid river,
  Leap the little waterfalls
  That sing into the pebbled pool.
  My happy falcon, Rosalind,
  Hath daring fancies of her own,
  Fresh as the dawn before the day,
  Fresh as the early seasmell blown
  Through vineyards from an inland bay.
  My Rosalind, my Rosalind,
  Because no shadow on you falls,
  Think you hearts are tennis balls
  To play with, wanton Rosalind?



  Who can say
  Why To-day
  To-morrow will be yesterday?
  Who can tell
  Why to smell
  The violet, recalls the dewy prime
  Of youth and buried time?
  The cause is nowhere found in rhyme.



_Written on hearing of the outbreak of the Polish Insurrection._

  Blow ye the trumpet, gather from afar
    The hosts to battle: be not bought and sold.
    Arise, brave Poles, the boldest of the bold;
  Break through your iron shackles--fling them far.
  O for those days of Piast, ere the Czar
    Grew to this strength among his deserts cold;
    When even to Moscow's cupolas were rolled
  The growing murmurs of the Polish war!
  Now must your noble anger blaze out more
    Than when from Sobieski, clan by clan,
  The Moslem myriads fell, and fled before--
    Than when Zamoysky smote the Tartar Khan,
  Than earlier, when on the Baltic shore
    Boleslas drove the Pomeranian.


=O Darling Room=[D]


  O darling room, my heart's delight,
  Dear room, the apple of my sight,
  With thy two couches soft and white,
  There is no room so exquisite,
  No little room so warm and bright
  Wherein to read, wherein to write.


  For I the Nonnenwerth have seen,
  And Oberwinter's vineyards green,
  Musical Lurlei; and between
  The hills to Bingen have I been,
  Bingen in Darmstadt, where the Rhene
  Curves towards Mentz, a woody scene.


  Yet never did there meet my sight,
  In any town, to left or right,
  A little room so exquisite,
  With two such couches soft and white;
  Not any room so warm and bright,
  Wherein to read, wherein to write.

[Footnote D: 'As soon as this poem was published, I altered the second
line to "All books and pictures ranged aright"; yet "Dear room, the
apple of my sight" (which was much abused) is not as bad as "Do go,
dear rain, do go away."' [Note initialed 'A.T.' in _Life_, vol. I, p.
89.] The worthlessness of much of the criticism lavished on Tennyson
by his coterie of adulating friends may be judged from the fact that
Arthur Hallam wrote to Tennyson that this poem was 'mighty


=To Christopher North=

  You did late review my lays,
    Crusty Christopher;
  You did mingle blame and praise,
    Rusty Christopher.
  When I learnt from whom it came,
  I forgave you all the blame,
    Musty Christopher;
  I could _not_ forgive the praise,
    Fusty Christopher.

[This epigram was Tennyson's reply to an article by Professor
Wilson--'Christopher North'--in _Blackwood's Magazine_ for May 1832,
dealing in sensible fashion with Tennyson's 1830 volume, and
ridiculing the fulsome praise lavished on him by his inconsiderate
friends--especially referring to Arthur Hallam's article in the
_Englishman's Magazine_ for August, 1831.]


=The Lotos-Eaters=

[These forty lines formed the conclusion to the original (1833)
version of the poem. When the poem was reprinted in the 1842 volumes
these lines were suppressed.]

  We have had enough of motion,
  Weariness and wild alarm,
  Tossing on the tossing ocean,
  Where the tusked seahorse walloweth
  In a stripe of grassgreen calm,
  At noon-tide beneath the lea;
  And the monstrous narwhale swalloweth
  His foamfountains in the sea.
  Long enough the winedark wave our weary bark did carry.
  This is lovelier and sweeter,
  Men of Ithaca, this is meeter,
  In the hollow rosy vale to tarry,
  Like a dreamy Lotos-eater, a delirious Lotos-eater!
  We will eat the Lotos, sweet
  As the yellow honeycomb,
  In the valley some, and some
  On the ancient heights divine;
  And no more roam,
  On the loud hoar foam,
  To the melancholy home
  At the limit of the brine,
  The little isle of Ithaca, beneath the day's decline.
  We'll lift no more the shattered oar,
  No more unfurl the straining sail;
  With the blissful Lotos-eaters pale
  We will abide in the golden vale
  Of the Lotos-land, till the Lotos fail;
  We will not wander more.
  Hark! how sweet the horned ewes bleat
  On the solitary steeps,
  And the merry lizard leaps,
  And the foam-white waters pour;
  And the dark pine weeps,
  And the lithe vine creeps,
  And the heavy melon sleeps
  On the level of the shore:
  Oh! islanders of Ithaca, we will not wander more,
  Surely, surely, slumber is more sweet than toil, the shore
  Than labour in the ocean, and rowing with the oar,
  Oh! islanders of Ithaca, we will return no more.


=A Dream of Fair Women=

[In the 1833 volume the poem opened with the following four verses,
suppressed after 1842. These Fitz Gerald considered made 'a perfect
poem by themselves.']

  As when a man, that sails in a balloon,
    Downlooking sees the solid shining ground
  Stream from beneath him in the broad blue noon,
    Tilth, hamlet, mead and mound:

  And takes his flags and waves them to the mob
    That shout below, all faces turned to where
  Glows rubylike the far-up crimson globe,
    Filled with a finer air:

  So, lifted high, the poet at his will
    Lets the great world flit from him, seeing all,
  Higher thro' secret splendours mounting still,
    Self-poised, nor fears to fall.

  Hearing apart the echoes of his fame.
    While I spoke thus, the seedsman, Memory,
  Sowed my deep-furrowed thought with many a name
    Whose glory will not die.

=Miscellaneous Poems and Contributions to Periodicals=



[This poem is written in pencil on the fly-leaf of a copy of _Poems_
1833 in the Dyce Collection in South Kensington Museum. Reprinted with
many alterations in _Life_, vol. I, p. 67.]

  Therefore your halls, your ancient colleges,
    Your portals statued with old kings and queens,
  Your bridges and your busted libraries,
    Wax-lighted chapels and rich carved screens,
    Your doctors and your proctors and your deans
  Shall not avail you when the day-beam sports
    New-risen o'er awakened Albion--No,
    Nor yet your solemn organ-pipes that blow
  Melodious thunders through your vacant courts
  At morn and even; for your manner sorts
    Not with this age, nor with the thoughts that roll,
  Because the words of little children preach
  Against you,--ye that did profess to teach
    And have taught nothing, feeding on the soul.


=The Germ of 'Maud'=

[There was published in 1837 in _The Tribute_, (a collection of
original poems by various authors, edited by Lord Northampton), a
contribution by Tennyson entitled 'Stanzas,' consisting of xvi stanzas
of varying lengths (110 lines in all). In 1855 the first xii stanzas
were published as the fourth section of the second part of 'Maud.'
Some verbal changes and transpositions of lines were made; a new
stanza (the present sixth) and several new lines were introduced, and
the xth stanza of 1837 became the xiiith of 1855. But stanzas xiii-xvi
of 1837 have never been reprinted in any edition of Tennyson's works,
though quoted in whole or part in various critical studies of the
poet. Swinburne refers to this poem as 'the poem of deepest charm and
fullest delight of pathos and melody ever written, even by Mr
Tennyson.' This poem in _The Tribute_ gained Tennyson his first notice
in the _Edinburgh Review_, which had till then ignored him.]


  But she tarries in her place
  And I paint the beauteous face
      Of the maiden, that I lost,
          In my inner eyes again,
  Lest my heart be overborne,
  By the thing I hold in scorn,
      By a dull mechanic ghost
          And a juggle of the brain.


  I can shadow forth my bride
      As I knew her fair and kind
          As I woo'd her for my wife;
  She is lovely by my side
      In the silence of my life--
          'Tis a phantom of the mind.


  'Tis a phantom fair and good
      I can call it to my side,
          So to guard my life from ill,
      Tho' its ghastly sister glide
          And be moved around me still
  With the moving of the blood
      That is moved not of the will.


  Let it pass, the dreary brow,
      Let the dismal face go by,
  Will it lead me to the grave?
      Then I lose it: it will fly:
  Can it overlast the nerves?
      Can it overlive the eye?
  But the other, like a star,
  Thro' the channel windeth far
      Till it fade and fail and die,
  To its Archetype that waits
  Clad in light by golden gates,
  Clad in light the Spirit waits
      To embrace me in the sky.


[On the fly-leaf of a book illustrated by Bewick, in the library of
the late Lord Ravensworth, the following lines in Tennyson's autograph
were discovered in 1903.]

  A gate and a field half ploughed,
  A solitary cow,
  A child with a broken slate,
  And a titmarsh in the bough.
  But where, alack, is Bewick
  To tell the meaning now?


=The Skipping-Rope=

[This poem, published in the second volume of _Poems by Alfred
Tennyson_ (in two volumes, London, Edward Moxon, MDCCCXLII), was
reprinted in every edition until 1851, when it was suppressed.]

  Sure never yet was Antelope
    Could skip so lightly by.
  Stand off, or else my skipping-rope
    Will hit you in the eye.
  How lightly whirls the skipping-rope!
    How fairy-like you fly!
  Go, get you gone, you muse and mope--
    I hate that silly sigh.
  Nay, dearest, teach me how to hope,
    Or tell me how to die.
  There, take it, take my skipping-rope
    And hang yourself thereby.


=The New Timon and the Poets=

[From _Punch_, February 28, 1846. Bulwer Lytton published in 1845 his
satirical poem 'New Timon: a Romance of London,' in which he bitterly
attacked Tennyson for the civil list pension granted the previous
year, particularly referring to the poem 'O Darling Room' in the 1833
volume. Tennyson replied in the following vigorous verses, which made
the literary sensation of the year. Tennyson afterwards declared: 'I
never sent my lines to _Punch_. John Forster did. They were too
bitter. I do not think that I should ever have published
them.'--_Life_, vol. I, p. 245.]

  We know him, out of Shakespeare's art,
    And those fine curses which he spoke;
  The old Timon, with his noble heart,
    That, strongly loathing, greatly broke.

  So died the Old: here comes the New:
    Regard him: a familiar face:
  I _thought_ we knew him: What, it's you
    The padded man--that wears the stays--

  Who killed the girls and thrill'd the boys
    With dandy pathos when you wrote,
  A Lion, you, that made a noise,
    And shook a mane en papillotes.

  And once you tried the Muses too:
    You fail'd, Sir: therefore now you turn,
  You fall on those who are to you
    As captain is to subaltern.

  But men of long enduring hopes,
    And careless what this hour may bring,
  Can pardon little would-be Popes
    And Brummels, when they try to sting.

  An artist, Sir, should rest in art,
    And wave a little of his claim;
  To have the deep poetic heart
    Is more than all poetic fame.

  But you, Sir, you are hard to please;
    You never look but half content:
  Nor like a gentleman at ease
    With moral breadth of temperament.

  And what with spites and what with fears,
    You cannot let a body be:
  It's always ringing in your ears,
    'They call this man as good as _me_.'

  What profits now to understand
    The merits of a spotless shirt--
  A dapper boot--a little hand--
    If half the little soul is dirt?

  _You_ talk of tinsel! why we see
    The old mark of rouge upon your cheeks.
  _You_ prate of nature! you are he
  That spilt his life about the cliques.

  A Timon you! Nay, nay, for shame:
    It looks too arrogant a jest--
  The fierce old man--to take _his_ name
  You bandbox. Off, and let him rest.



[Published in _Manchester Athaenaum Album_, 1850. Written, 1837.
Republished, altered, in _Life_, vol. I, p. 161.]

  How often, when a child I lay reclined,
    I took delight in this locality!
  Here stood the infant Ilion of the mind,
    And here the Grecian ships did seem to be.

  And here again I come and only find
    The drain-cut levels of the marshy lea,--
  Gray sand banks and pale sunsets--dreary wind,
    Dim shores, dense rains, and heavy clouded sea.


[Published in _The Keepsake for 1851: an illustrated annual_, edited
by Miss Power. London: David Bogue. To this issue of the Keepsake
Tennyson also contributed 'Come not when I am dead' now included in
the collected Works.]

  What time I wasted youthful hours
  One of the shining winged powers,
  Show'd me vast cliffs with crown of towers,

  As towards the gracious light I bow'd,
  They seem'd high palaces and proud,
  Hid now and then with sliding cloud.

  He said, 'The labour is not small;
  Yet winds the pathway free to all:--
  Take care thou dost not fear to fall!'


=Britons, Guard your Own=

[Published in _The Examiner_, January 31, 1852. Verses 1 (considerably
altered), 7, 8 and 10, are reprinted in Life, vol. I, p. 344.]

  Rise, Britons, rise, if manhood be not dead;
  The world's last tempest darkens overhead;
          The Pope has bless'd him;
          The Church caress'd him;
  He triumphs; maybe, we shall stand alone:
          Britons, guard your own.

  His ruthless host is bought with plunder'd gold,
  By lying priest's the peasant's votes controlled.
          All freedom vanish'd,
          The true men banished,
  He triumphs; maybe, we shall stand alone.
          Britons, guard your own.

  Peace-lovers we--sweet Peace we all desire--
  Peace-lovers we--but who can trust a liar?--
         Peace-lovers, haters
         Of shameless traitors,
  We hate not France, but this man's heart of stone.
          Britons, guard your own.

  We hate not France, but France has lost her voice
  This man is France, the man they call her choice.
          By tricks and spying,
          By craft and lying,
  And murder was her freedom overthrown.
          Britons, guard your own.

  'Vive l'Empereur' may follow by and bye;
  'God save the Queen' is here a truer cry.
          God save the Nation,
          The toleration,
  And the free speech that makes a Briton known.
          Britons, guard your own.

  Rome's dearest daughter now is captive France,
  The Jesuit laughs, and reckoning on his chance,
          Would, unrelenting,
          Kill all dissenting,
  Till we were left to fight for truth alone.
          Britons, guard your own.

  Call home your ships across Biscayan tides,
  To blow the battle from their oaken sides.
          Why waste they yonder
          Their idle thunder?
  Why stay they there to guard a foreign throne?
          Seamen, guard your own.

  We were the best of marksmen long ago,
  We won old battles with our strength, the bow.
          Now practise, yeomen,
          Like those bowmen,
  Till your balls fly as their true shafts have flown.
          Yeomen, guard your own.

  His soldier-ridden Highness might incline
  To take Sardinia, Belgium, or the Rhine:
         Shall we stand idle,
         Nor seek to bridle
  His vile aggressions, till we stand alone?
          Make their cause your own.

  Should he land here, and for one hour prevail,
  There must no man go back to bear the tale:
          No man to bear it--
          Swear it! We swear it!
  Although we fought the banded world alone,
          We swear to guard our own.


=Hands all Round=

[Published in _The Examiner_, February 7, 1852. Reprinted, slightly
altered, in Life, vol. I, p. 345. Included, almost entirely
re-written, in collected Works.]

  First drink a health, this solemn night,
    A health to England, every guest;
  That man's the best cosmopolite
    Who loves his native country best.
  May Freedom's oak for ever live
    With stronger life from day to day;
  That man's the best Conservative
    Who lops the mouldered branch away.
          Hands all round!
  God the tyrant's hope confound!
  To this great cause of Freedom drink, my friends,
    And the great name of England round and round.

  A health to Europe's honest men!
    Heaven guard them from her tyrants' jails!
  From wronged Poerio's noisome den,
    From iron limbs and tortured nails!
  We curse the crimes of Southern kings,
    The Russian whips and Austrian rods--
  We likewise have our evil things;
    Too much we make our Ledgers, Gods.
          Yet hands all round!
    God the tyrant's cause confound!
  To Europe's better health we drink, my friends,
    And the great name of England round and round.

  What health to France, if France be she
    Whom martial progress only charms?
  Yet tell her--better to be free
    Than vanquish all the world in arms.
  Her frantic city's flashing heats
    But fire, to blast the hopes of men.
  Why change the titles of your streets?
    You fools, you'll want them all again.
          Hands all round!
    God the tyrant's cause confound!
  To France, the wiser France, we drink, my friends,
    And the great name of England round and round.

  Gigantic daughter of the West,
    We drink to thee across the flood,
  We know thee most, we love thee best,
    For art thou not of British blood?
  Should war's mad blast again be blown,
    Permit not thou the tyrant powers
  To fight thy mother here alone,
    But let thy broadsides roar with ours.
          Hands all round!
    God the tyrant's cause confound!
  To our great kinsmen of the West, my friends,
    And the great name of England round and round.

  O rise, our strong Atlantic sons,
    When war against our freedom springs!
  O speak to Europe through your guns!
  They _can_ be understood by kings.
  You must not mix our Queen with those
    That wish to keep their people fools;
  Our freedom's foemen are her foes,
    She comprehends the race she rules.
          Hands all round!
    God the tyrant's cause confound!
  To our dear kinsmen of the West, my friends,
    And the great name of England round and round.


=Suggested by Reading an Article in a Newspaper=

[Published in _The Examiner_, February 14, 1852, and never reprinted
nor acknowledged. The proof sheets of the poem, with alterations in
Tennyson's autograph, were offered for public sale in 1906.]

To the Editor of _The Examiner_.

SIR,--I have read with much interest the poems of Merlin. The enclosed
is longer than either of those, and certainly not so good: yet as I
flatter myself that it has a smack of Merlin's style in it, and as I
feel that it expresses forcibly enough some of the feelings of our
time, perhaps you may be induced to admit it.


  How much I love this writer's manly style!
    By such men led, our press had ever been
  The public conscience of our noble isle,
    Severe and quick to feel a civic sin,
  To raise the people and chastise the times
  With such a heat as lives in great creative rhymes.

  O you, the Press! what good from you might spring!
    What power is yours to blast a cause or bless!
  I fear for you, as for some youthful king,
    Lest you go wrong from power in excess.
  Take heed of your wide privileges! we
  The thinking men of England, loathe a tyranny.

  A freeman is, I doubt not, freest here;
    The single voice may speak his mind aloud;
  An honest isolation need not fear
    The Court, the Church, the Parliament, the crowd.
  No, nor the Press! and look you well to that--
  We must not dread in you the nameless autocrat.

  And you, dark Senate of the public pen,
    You may not, like yon tyrant, deal in spies.
  Yours are the public acts of public men,
    But yours are not their household privacies.
  I grant you one of the great Powers on earth,
  But be not you the blatant traitors of the hearth.

  You hide the hand that writes: it must be so,
    For better so you fight for public ends;
  But some you strike can scarce return the blow;
    You should be all the nobler, O my friends.
  Be noble, you! nor work with faction's tools
    To charm a lower sphere of fulminating fools.

  But knowing all your power to heat or cool,
    To soothe a civic wound or keep it raw,
  Be loyal, if you wish for wholesome rule:
    Our ancient boast is this--we reverence law.
  We still were loyal in our wildest fights,
  Or loyally disloyal battled for our rights.

  O Grief and Shame if while I preach of laws
    Whereby to guard our Freedom from offence--
  And trust an ancient manhood and the cause
    Of England and her health of commonsense--
  There hang within the heavens a dark disgrace,
  Some vast Assyrian doom to burst upon our race.

  I feel the thousand cankers of our State,
    I fain would shake their triple-folded ease,
  The hogs who can believe in nothing great,
    Sneering bedridden in the down of Peace
  Over their scrips and shares, their meats and wine,
  With stony smirks at all things human and divine!

  I honour much, I say, this man's appeal.
    We drag so deep in our commercial mire,
  We move so far from greatness, that I feel
    Exception to be character'd in fire.
  Who looks for Godlike greatness here shall see
  The British Goddess, sleek Respectability.

  Alas for her and all her small delights!
    She feels not how the social frame is rack'd.
  She loves a little scandal which excites;
    A little feeling is a want of tact.
  For her there lie in wait millions of foes,
  And yet the 'not too much' is all the rule she knows.

  Poor soul! behold her: what decorous calm!
    She, with her week-day worldliness sufficed,
  Stands in her pew and hums her decent psalm
    With decent dippings at the name of Christ!
  And she has mov'd in that smooth way so long,
    She hardly can believe that she shall suffer wrong.

  Alas, our Church! alas, her growing ills,
    And those who tolerate not her tolerance,
  But needs must sell the burthen of their wills
    To that half-pagan harlot kept by France!
  Free subjects of the kindliest of all thrones,
  Headlong they plunge their doubts among old rags and bones.

  Alas, Church writers, altercating tribes--
    The vessel and your Church may sink in storms.
  Christ cried: Woe, woe, to Pharisees and Scribes!
    Like them, you bicker less for truth than forms.
  I sorrow when I read the things you write,
  What unheroic pertness! what un-Christian spite!

  Alas, our youth, so clever yet so small,
    Thin dilletanti deep in nature's plan,
  Who make the emphatic One, by whom is all,
    An essence less concentred than a man!
  Better wild Mahmoud's war-cry once again!
  O fools, we want a manlike God and Godlike men!

  Go, frightful omens. Yet once more I turn
    To you that mould men's thoughts; I call on you
  To make opinion warlike, lest we learn
    A sharper lesson than we ever knew.
  I hear a thunder though the skies are fair,
  But shrill you, loud and long, the warning-note:


[Lord Tennyson wrote, by Royal request, two stanzas which were sung as
part of _God Save the Queen_ at a State concert in connection with the
Princess Royal's marriage: these were printed in the _Times_ of
January 26, 1858.]

  God bless our Prince and Bride!
  God keep their lands allied,
    God save the Queen!
  Clothe them with righteousness,
  Crown them with happiness,
  Them with all blessings bless,
    God save the Queen.

  Fair fall this hallow'd hour,
  Farewell our England's flower,
    God save the Queen!
  Farewell, fair rose of May!
  Let both the peoples say,
  God bless thy marriage-day,
    God bless the Queen.


=The Ringlet=

[Published in _Enoch Arden_ volume (London: E. Moxon & Co, 1864) and
never reprinted.]

  'Your ringlets, your ringlets,
    That look so golden-gay,
  If you will give me one, but one,
    To kiss it night and day,
  Then never chilling touch of Time
    Will turn it silver-gray;
  And then shall I know it is all true gold
  To flame and sparkle and stream as of old,
  Till all the comets in heaven are cold,
    And all her stars decay.'
  'Then take it, love, and put it by;
  This cannot change, nor yet can I.'

  'My ringlet, my ringlet,
    That art so golden-gay,
  Now never chilling touch of Time
    Can turn thee silver-gray;
  And a lad may wink, and a girl may hint,
    And a fool may say his say;
  For my doubts and fears were all amiss,
  And I swear henceforth by this and this,
  That a doubt will only come for a kiss,
    And a fear to be kissed away.'
  'Then kiss it, love, and put it by:
  If this can change, why so can I.'

  O Ringlet, O Ringlet,
    I kiss'd you night and day,
  And Ringlet, O Ringlet,
    You still are golden-gay,
  But Ringlet, O Ringlet,
    You should be silver-gray:
  For what is this which now I'm told,
  I that took you for true gold,
  She that gave you's bought and sold,
          Sold, sold.

  O Ringlet, O Ringlet,
    She blush'd a rosy red,
  When Ringlet, O Ringlet,
    She clipt you from her head,
  And Ringlet, O Ringlet,
    She gave you me, and said,
  'Come, kiss it, love, and put it by:
  If this can change, why so can I.'
  O fie, you golden nothing, fie
          You golden lie.

  O Ringlet, O Ringlet,
    I count you much to blame,
  For Ringlet, O Ringlet,
    You put me much to shame,
  So Ringlet, O Ringlet,
    I doom you to the flame.
  For what is this which now I learn,
  Has given all my faith a turn?
  Burn, you glossy heretic, burn,
            Burn, burn.



[This first form of the Song in _The Princess_ ('Home they brought her
warrior dead') was published only in _Selections from Tennyson_.
London: E. Moxon & Co, 1864.]

  Home they brought him slain with spears.
    They brought him home at even-fall:
  All alone she sits and hears
    Echoes in his empty hall,
      Sounding on the morrow.

  The Sun peeped in from open field,
    The boy began to leap and prance,
    Rode upon his father's lance,
  Beat upon his father's shield--
      'Oh hush, my joy, my sorrow.'



[Published in _Good Words_ for March 1, 1868 as a decorative page,
with an accompanying full page plate by T. Dalziel. The lines were
never reprinted.]

  I stood on a tower in the wet,
  And New Year and Old Year met,
  And winds were roaring and blowing;
  And I said, 'O years that meet in tears,
  Have ye aught that is worth the knowing?

  'Science enough and exploring
  Wanderers coming and going
  Matter enough for deploring
  But aught that is worth the knowing?'

  Seas at my feet were flowing
  Waves on the shingle pouring,
  Old Year roaring and blowing
  And New Year blowing and roaring.

=The Lover's Tale=

[It was originally intended by Tennyson that this poem should
form part of his 1833 volume. It was put in type and, according to
custom, copies were distributed among his friends, when, on the eve of
publication, he decided to omit it. Again, in 1869, it was sent to
press with a new third part added, and was again withdrawn, the third
part only--'The Golden Supper,' founded on a story in Boccaccio's
_Decameron_--being published in the volume, 'The Holy Grail.' In 1866,
1870 and 1875, attempts had been made by Mr Herne Shepherd to publish
editions of 'The Lover's Tale,' reprinted from stray proof copies of
the 1833 printing. Each of these attempts was repressed by Tennyson,
and at last in 1879 the complete poem, as now included in the
collected Works, was issued, with an apologetic reference to the
necessity of reprinting the poem to prevent its circulation in an
unauthorised form. But the 1879 issue is considerably altered from the
original issue of 1833, as written by Tennyson in his nineteenth year.
Since only as a product of Tennyson's youth does the poem merit any
attention, it has seemed good to reprint it here as originally


The Poem of the Lover's Tale (the lover is supposed to be himself a
poet) was written in my nineteenth year, and consequently contains
nearly as many faults as words. That I deemed it not wholly unoriginal
is my only apology for its publication--an apology lame and poor, and
somewhat impertinent to boot: so that if its infirmities meet with
more laughter than charity in the world, I shall not raise my voice in
its defence. I am aware how deficient the Poem is in point of art, and
it is not without considerable misgivings that I have ventured to
publish even this fragment of it. 'Enough,' says the old proverb, 'is
as good as a feast.'--(Tennyson's original introductory note.)

  Here far away, seen from the topmost cliff,
  Filling with purple gloom the vacancies
  Between the tufted hills the sloping seas
  Hung in mid-heaven, and half-way down rare sails,
  White as white clouds, floated from sky to sky.
  Oh! pleasant breast of waters, quiet bay,
  Like to a quiet mind in the loud world,
  Where the chafed breakers of the outer sea
  Sunk powerless, even as anger falls aside,
  And withers on the breast of peaceful love,
  Thou didst receive that belt of pines, that fledged
  The hills that watch'd thee, as Love watcheth Love,--
  In thine own essence, and delight thyself
  To make it wholly thine on sunny days.
  Keep thou thy name of 'Lover's bay': See, Sirs,
  Even now the Goddess of the Past, that takes
  The heart, and sometimes toucheth but one string,
  That quivers, and is silent, and sometimes
  Sweeps suddenly all its half-moulder'd chords
  To an old melody, begins to play
  On those first-moved fibres of the brain.
  I come, Great mistress of the ear and eye:
  Oh! lead me tenderly, for fear the mind
  Rain thro' my sight, and strangling sorrow weigh
  Mine utterance with lameness. Tho' long years
  Have hallowed out a valley and a gulf
  Betwixt the native land of Love and me,
  Breathe but a little on me, and the sail
  Will draw me to the rising of the sun,
  The lucid chambers of the morning star,
  And East of life.
                    Permit me, friend, I prithee,
  To pass my hand across my brows, and muse
  On those dear hills, that nevermore will meet
  The sight that throbs and aches beneath my touch,
  As tho' there beat a heart in either eye;
  For when the outer lights are darken'd thus,
  The memory's vision hath a keener edge.
  It grows upon me now--the semicircle
  Of dark blue waters and the narrow fringe
  Of curving beach--its wreaths of dripping green--
  Its pale pink shells--the summer-house aloft
  That open'd on the pines with doors of glass,
  A mountain nest the pleasure boat that rock'd
  Light-green with its own shadow, keel to keel,
  Upon the crispings of the dappled waves
  That blanched upon its side.
                               O Love, O Hope,
  They come, they crowd upon me all at once,
  Moved from the cloud of unforgotten things,
  That sometimes on the horizon of the mind
  Lies folded--often sweeps athwart in storm--
  They flash across the darkness of my brain,
  The many pleasant days, the moolit nights,
  The dewy dawnings and the amber eyes,
  When thou and I, Camilla, thou and I
  Were borne about the bay, or safely moor'd
  Beneath some low brow'd cavern, where the wave
  Plash'd sapping its worn ribs (the while without,
  And close above us, sang the wind-tost pine,
  And shook its earthly socket, for we heard,
  In rising and in falling with the tide,
  Close by our ears, the huge roots strain and creak),
  Eye feeding upon eye with deep intent;
  And mine, with love too high to be express'd
  Arrested in its sphere, and ceasing from
  All contemplation of all forms, did pause
  To worship mine own image, laved in light,
  The centre of the splendours, all unworthy
  Of such a shrine--mine image in her eyes,
  By diminution made most glorious,
  Moved with their motions, as those eyes were moved
  With motions of the soul, as my heart beat
  Twice to the melody of hers. Her face
  Was starry-fair, not pale, tenderly flush'd
  As 'twere with dawn. She was dark-hair'd, dark-eyed;
  Oh, such dark eyes! A single glance of them
  Will govern a whole life from birth to death,
  Careless of all things else, led on with light
  In trances and in visions: look at them,
  You lose yourself in utter ignorance,
  You cannot find their depth; for they go back,
  And farther back, and still withdraw themselves
  Quite into the deep soul, that evermore,
  Fresh springing from her fountains in the brain,
  Still pouring thro', floods with redundant light
  Her narrow portals.

                      Trust me, long ago
  I should have died, if it were possible
  To die in gazing on that perfectness
  Which I do bear within me; I had died
  But from my farthest lapse, my latest ebb,
  Thine image, like a charm of light and strength
  Upon the waters, pushed me back again
  On these deserted sands of barren life.
  Tho' from the deep vault, where the heart of hope
  Fell into dust, and crumbled in the dark--
  Forgetting who to render beautiful
  Her countenance with quick and healthful blood--
  Thou didst not sway me upward, could I perish
  With such a costly casket in the grasp
  Of memory? He, that saith it, hath o'erstepp'd
  The slippery footing of his narrow wit,
  And fall'n away from judgment. Thou art light,
  To which my spirit leaneth all her flowers,
  And length of days, and immortality
  Of thought, and freshness ever self-renew'd.
  For Time and Grief abode too long with Life,
  And like all other friends i' the world, at last
  They grew aweary of her fellowship:
  So Time and Grief did beckon unto Death,
  And Death drew nigh and beat the doors of Life;
  But thou didst sit alone in the inner house,
  A wakeful port'ress and didst parle with Death,
  'This is a charmed dwelling which I hold';
  So Death gave back, and would no further come.
  Yet is my life nor in the present time,
  Nor in the present place. To me alone,
  Pushed from his chair of regal heritage,
  The Present is the vassal of the Past:
  So that, in that I _have_ lived, do I live,
  And cannot die, and am, in having been,
  A portion of the pleasant yesterday,
  Thrust forward on to-day and out of place;
  A body journeying onward, sick with toil,
  The lithe limbs bow'd as with a heavy weight
  And all the senses weaken'd in all save that
  Which, long ago, they had glean'd and garner'd up
  Into the granaries of memory--
  The clear brow, bulwark of the precious brain,
  Now seam'd and chink'd with years--and all the while
  The light soul twines and mingles with the growths
  Of vigorous early days, attracted, won,
  Married, made one with, molten into all
  The beautiful in Past of act or place.
  Even as the all-enduring camel, driven
  Far from the diamond fountain by the palms,
  Toils onward thro' the middle moonlight nights,
  Shadow'd and crimson'd with the drifting dust,
  Or when the white heats of the blinding noons
  Beat from the concave sand; yet in him keeps
  A draught of that sweet fountain that he loves,
  To stay his feet from falling, and his spirit
  From bitterness of death.

                            Ye ask me, friends,
  When I began to love. How should I tell ye?
  Or from the after fulness of my heart,
  Flow back again unto my slender spring
  And first of love, tho' every turn and depth
  Between is clearer in my life than all
  Its present flow. Ye know not what ye ask.
  How should the broad and open flower tell
  What sort of bud it was, when press'd together
  In its green sheath, close lapt in silken folds?
  It seemed to keep its sweetness to itself,
  Yet was not the less sweet for that it seem'd.
  For young Life knows not when young Life was born,
  But takes it all for granted: neither Love,
  Warm in the heart, his cradle can remember
  Love in the womb, but resteth satisfied,
  Looking on her that brought him to the light:
  Or as men know not when they fall asleep
  Into delicious dreams, our other life,
  So know I not when I began to love.
  This is my sum of knowledge--that my love
  Grew with myself--and say rather, was my growth,
  My inward sap, the hold I have on earth,
  My outward circling air wherein I breathe,
  Which yet upholds my life, and evermore
  Was to me daily life and daily death:
  For how should I have lived and not have loved?
  Can ye take off the sweetness from the flower,
  The colour and the sweetness from the rose,
  And place them by themselves? or set apart
  Their motions and their brightness from the stars,
  And then point out the flower or the star?
  Or build a wall betwixt my life and love,
  And tell me where I am? 'Tis even thus:
  In that I live I love; because I love
  I live: whate'er is fountain to the one
  Is fountain to the other; and whene'er
  Our God unknits the riddle of the one,
  There is no shade or fold of mystery
  Swathing the other.

                      Many, many years,
  For they seem many and my most of life,
  And well I could have linger'd in that porch,
  So unproportioned to the dwelling place,
  In the maydews of childhood, opposite
  The flush and dawn of youth, we lived together,
  Apart, alone together on those hills.
  Before he saw my day my father died,
  And he was happy that he saw it not:
  But I and the first daisy on his grave
  From the same clay came into light at once.
  As Love and I do number equal years
  So she, my love, is of an age with me.
  How like each other was the birth of each!
  The sister of my mother--she that bore
  Camilla close beneath her beating heart,
  Which to the imprisoned spirit of the child,
  With its true touched pulses in the flow
  And hourly visitation of the blood,
  Sent notes of preparation manifold,
  And mellow'd echoes of the outer world--
  My mother's sister, mother of my love,
  Who had a twofold claim upon my heart,
  One twofold mightier than the other was,
  In giving so much beauty to the world,
  And so much wealth as God had charged her with,
  Loathing to put it from herself for ever,
  Crown'd with her highest act the placid face
  And breathless body of her good deeds past.
  So we were born, so orphan'd. She was motherless,
  And I without a father. So from each
  Of those two pillars which from earth uphold
  Our childhood, one had fall'n away, and all
  The careful burthen of our tender years
  Trembled upon the other. He that gave
  Her life, to me delightedly fulfill'd
  All loving-kindnesses, all offices
  Of watchful care and trembling tenderness.
  He worked for both: he pray'd for both: he slept
  Dreaming of both; nor was his love the less
  Because it was divided, and shot forth
  Boughs on each side, laden with wholesome shade,
  Wherein we rested sleeping or awake,
  And sung aloud the matin-song of life.

  She was my foster-sister: on one arm
  The flaxen ringlets of our infancies
  Wander'd, the while we rested: one soft lap
  Pillow'd us both: one common light of eyes
  Was on us as we lay: our baby lips,
  Kissing one bosom, ever drew from thence
  The stream of life, one stream, one life, one blood,
  One sustenance, which, still as thought grew large,
  Still larger moulding all the house of thought,
  Perchance assimilated all our tastes
  And future fancies. 'Tis a beautiful
  And pleasant meditation, what whate'er
  Our general mother meant for me alone,
  Our mutual mother dealt to both of us:
  So what was earliest mine in earliest life,
  I shared with her in whom myself remains.
  As was our childhood, so our infancy,
  They tell me, was a very miracle
  Of fellow-feeling and communion.
  They tell me that we would not be alone,--
  We cried when we were parted; when I wept,
  Her smile lit up the rainbow on my tears,
  Stay'd on the clouds of sorrow; that we loved
  The sound of one another's voices more
  Than the grey cuckoo loves his name, and learn'd
  To lisp in tune together; that we slept
  In the same cradle always, face to face,
  Heart beating time to heart, lip pressing lip,
  Folding each other, breathing on each other,
  Dreaming together (dreaming of each other
  They should have added) till the morning light
  Sloped thro' the pines, upon the dewy pane
  Falling, unseal'd our eyelids, and we woke
  To gaze upon each other. If this be true,
  At thought of which my whole soul languishes
  And faints, and hath no pulse, no breath, as tho'
  A man in some still garden should infuse
  Rich attar in the bosom of the rose,
  Till, drunk with its own wine and overfull
  Of sweetness, and in smelling of itself,
  It fall on its own thorns--if this be true--
  And that way my wish leaneth evermore
  Still to believe it--'tis so sweet a thought,
  Why in the utter stillness of the soul
  Doth question'd memory answer not, nor tell,
  Of this our earliest, our closest drawn,
  Most loveliest, most delicious union?
  Oh, happy, happy outset of my days!
  Green springtide, April promise, glad new year
  Of Being, which with earliest violets,
  And lavish carol of clear-throated larks,
  Fill'd all the march of life.--I will not speak of thee;
  These have not seen thee, these can never know thee,
  They cannot understand me. Pass on then
  A term of eighteen years. Ye would but laugh
  If I should tell ye how I heard in thought
  Those rhymes, 'The Lion and the Unicorn'
  'The Four-and-twenty Blackbirds' 'Banbury Cross,'
  'The Gander' and 'The man of Mitylene,'
  And all the quaint old scraps of ancient crones,
  Which are as gems set in my memory,
  Because she learn'd them with me. Or what profits it
  To tell ye that her father died, just ere
  The daffodil was blown; or how we found
  The drowned seaman on the shore? These things
  Unto the quiet daylight of your minds
  Are cloud and smoke, but in the dark of mine
  Show traced with flame. Move with me to that hour,
  Which was the hinge on which the door of Hope,
  Once turning, open'd far into the outward,
  And never closed again.

                        I well remember,
  It was a glorious morning, such a one
  As dawns but once a season. Mercury
  On such a morning would have flung himself
  From cloud to cloud, and swum with balanced wings
  To some tall mountain. On that day the year
  First felt his youth and strength, and from his spring
  Moved smiling toward his summer. On that day,
  Love working shook his wings (that charged the winds
  With spiced May-sweets from bound to bound) and blew
  Fresh fire into the sun, and from within
  Burst thro' the heated buds, and sent his soul
  Into the songs of birds, and touch'd far-off
  His mountain-altars, his high hills, with flame
  Milder and purer. Up the rocks we wound;
  The great pine shook with lovely sounds of joy,
  That came on the sea-wind. As mountain brooks
  Our blood ran free: the sunshine seem'd to brood
  More warmly on the heart than on the brow.
  We often paused, and looking back, we saw
  The clefts and openings in the hills all fill'd
  With the blue valley and the glistening brooks,
  And with the low dark groves--a land of Love;
  Where Love was worshipp'd upon every height,
  Where Love was worshipp'd under every tree--
  A land of promise, flowing with the milk
  And honey of delicious memories
  Down to the sea, as far as eye could ken,
  From verge to verge it was a holy land,
  Still growing holier as you near'd the bay,
  For where the temple stood. When we had reach'd
  The grassy platform on some hill, I stoop'd,
  I gather'd the wild herbs, and for her brows
  And mine wove chaplets of the self-same flower,
  Which she took smiling, and with my work there
  Crown'd her clear forehead. Once or twice she told me
  (For I remember all things), to let grow
  The flowers that run poison in their veins.
  She said, 'The evil flourish in the world';
  Then playfully she gave herself the lie:
  'Nothing in nature is unbeautiful,
  So, brother, pluck and spare not.' So I wove
  Even the dull-blooded poppy, 'whose red flower
  Hued with the scarlet of a fierce sunrise,
  Like to the wild youth of an evil king,
  Is without sweetness, but who crowns himself
  Above the secret poisons of his heart
  In his old age'--a graceful thought of hers
  Graven on my fancy! As I said, with these
  She crown'd her forehead. O how like a nymph,
  A stately mountain-nymph, she look'd! how native
  Unto the hills she trod on! What an angel!
  How clothed with beams! My eyes, fix'd upon hers,
  Almost forgot even to move again.
  My spirit leap'd as with those thrills of bliss
  That shoot across the soul in prayer, and show us
  That we are surely heard. Methought a light
  Burst from the garland I had woven, and stood
  A solid glory on her bright black hair:
  A light, methought, broke from her dark, dark eyes,
  And shot itself into the singing winds;
  A light, methought, flash'd even from her white robe,
  As from a glass in the sun, and fell about
  My footsteps on the mountains.

                      About sunset
  We came unto the hill of woe, so call'd
  Because the legend ran that, long time since,
  One rainy night, when every wind blew loud,
  A woful man had thrust his wife and child
  With shouts from off the bridge, and following, plunged
  Into the dizzy chasm below. Below,
  Sheer thro' the black-wall'd cliff the rapid brook
  Shot down his inner thunders, built above
  With matted bramble and the shining gloss
  Of ivy-leaves, whose low-hung tresses, dipp'd
  In the fierce stream, bore downward with the wave.
  The path was steep and loosely strewn with crags
  We mounted slowly: yet to both of us
  It was delight, not hindrance: unto both
  Delight from hardship to be overcome,
  And scorn of perilous seeming: unto me
  Intense delight and rapture that I breathed,
  As with a sense of nigher Deity,
  With her to whom all outward fairest things
  Were by the busy mind referr'd, compared,
  As bearing no essential fruits of excellence.
  Save as they were the types and shadowings
  Of hers--and then that I became to her
  A tutelary angel as she rose,
  And with a fearful self-impelling joy
  Saw round her feet the country far away,
  Beyond the nearest mountain's bosky brows,
  Burst into open prospect--heath and hill,
  And hollow lined and wooded to the lips--
  And steep down walls of battlemented rock
  Girded with broom or shiver'd into peaks--
  And glory of broad waters interfused,
  Whence rose as it were breath and steam of gold;
  And over all the great wood rioting
  And climbing, starr'd at slender intervals
  With blossom tufts of purest white; and last,
  Framing the mighty landskip to the West,
  A purple range of purple cones, between
  Whose interspaces gush'd, in blinding bursts,
  The incorporate light of sun and sea.

                            At length,
  Upon the tremulous bridge, that from beneath
  Seemed with a cobweb firmament to link
  The earthquake-shattered chasm, hung with shrubs,
  We passed with tears of rapture. All the West,
  And even unto the middle South, was ribb'd
  And barr'd with bloom on bloom. The sun beneath,
  Held for a space 'twixt cloud and wave, shower'd down
  Rays of a mighty circle, weaving over
  That varied wilderness a tissue of light
  Unparallel'd. On the other side the moon,
  Half-melted into thin blue air, stood still
  And pale and fibrous as a wither'd leaf,
  Nor yet endured in presence of his eyes
  To imbue his lustre; most unloverlike;
  Since in his absence full of light and joy
  And giving light to others. But this chiefest,
  Next to her presence whom I loved so well,
  Spoke loudly, even into my inmost heart,
  As to my outward hearing: the loud stream,
  Forth issuing from his portals in the crag
  (A visible link unto the home of my heart),
  Ran amber toward the West, and nigh the sea,
  Parting my own loved mountains, was received
  Shorn of its strength, into the sympathy
  Of that small bay, which into open main
  Glow'd intermingling close beneath the sun
  Spirit of Love! That little hour was bound,
  Shut in from Time, and dedicate to thee;
  Thy fires from heav'n had touch'd it, and the earth
  They fell on became hallow'd evermore.

  We turn'd: our eyes met: her's were bright, and mine
  Were dim with floating tears, that shot the sunset,
  In light rings round me; and my name was borne
  Upon her breath. Henceforth my name has been
  A hallow'd memory, like the names of old;
  A center'd, glory-circled memory,
  And a peculiar treasure, brooking not
  Exchange or currency; and in that hour
  A hope flow'd round me, like a golden mist
  Charm'd amid eddies of melodious airs,
  A moment, ere the onward whirlwind shatter it,
  Waver'd and floated--which was less than Hope,
  Because it lack'd the power of perfect Hope;
  But which was more and higher than all Hope,
  Because all other Hope hath lower aim;
  Even that this name to which her seraph lips
  Did lend such gentle utterance, this one name
  In some obscure hereafter, might inwreathe
  (How lovelier, nobler then!) her life, her love,
  With my life, love, soul, spirit and heart and strength.

  'Brother,' she said, 'let this be call'd henceforth
  The Hill of Hope'; and I replied: 'O sister,
  My will is one with thine; the Hill of Hope.'
  Nevertheless, we did not change the name.

  Love lieth deep; Love dwells not in lip-depths:
  Love wraps her wings on either side the heart,
  Constraining it with kisses close and warm,
  Absorbing all the incense of sweet thoughts
  So that they pass not to the shrine of sound.
  Else had the life of that delighted hour
  Drunk in the largeness of the utterance
  Of Love; but how should earthly measure mete
  The heavenly unmeasured or unlimited Love,
  Which scarce can tune his high majestic sense
  Unto the thunder-song that wheels the spheres;
  Scarce living in the Aeolian harmony,
  And flowing odour of the spacious air;
  Scarce housed in the circle of this earth:
  Be cabin'd up in words and syllables,
  Which waste with the breath that made 'em.
                          Sooner earth
  Might go round heaven, and the straight girth of Time
  Inswathe the fullness of Eternity,
  Than language grasp the infinite of Love.
  O day, which did enwomb that happy hour,
  Thou art blest in the years, divinest day!
  O Genius of that hour which dost uphold
  Thy coronal of glory like a God,
  Amid thy melancholy mates far-seen,
  Who walk before thee, and whose eyes are dim
  With gazing on the light and depth of thine
  Thy name is ever worshipp'd among hours!
  Had I died then, I had not seem'd to die
  For bliss stood round me like the lights of heaven,
  That cannot fade, they are so burning bright.
  Had I died then, I had not known the death;
  Planting my feet against this mound of time
  I had thrown me on the vast, and from this impulse
  Continuing and gathering ever, ever,
  Agglomerated swiftness, I had lived
  That intense moment thro' eternity.
  Oh, had the Power from whose right hand the light
  Of Life issueth, and from whose left hand floweth
  The shadow of Death, perennial effluences,
  Whereof to all that draw the wholesome air,
  Somewhile the one must overflow the other;
  Then had he stemm'd my day with night and driven
  My current to the fountain whence it sprang--
  Even his own abiding excellence--
  On me, methinks, that shock of gloom had fall'n
  Unfelt, and like the sun I gazed upon,
  Which, lapt in seeming dissolution,
  And dipping his head low beneath the verge,
  Yet bearing round about him his own day,
  In confidence of unabated strength,
  Steppeth from heaven to heaven, from light to light,
  And holding his undimmed forehead far
  Into a clearer zenith, pure of cloud;
  So bearing on thro' Being limitless
  The triumph of this foretaste, I had merged
  Glory in glory, without sense of change.

  We trod the shadow of the downward hill;
  We pass'd from light to dark. On the other side
  Is scooped a cavern and a mountain-hall,
  Which none have fathom'd. If you go far in
  (The country people rumour) you may hear
  The moaning of the woman and the child,
  Shut in the secret chambers of the rock.
  I too have heard a sound--perchance of streams
  Running far-off within its inmost halls,
  The home of darkness, but the cavern mouth,
  Half overtrailed with a wanton weed
  Gives birth to a brawling stream, that stepping lightly
  Adown a natural stair of tangled roots,
  Is presently received in a sweet grove
  Of eglantine, a place of burial
  Far lovelier than its cradle; for unseen
  But taken with the sweetness of the place,
  It giveth out a constant melody
  That drowns the nearer echoes. Lower down
  Spreads out a little lake, that, flooding, makes
  Cushions of yellow sand; and from the woods
  That belt it rise three dark tall cypresses;
  Three cypresses, symbols of mortal woe,
  That men plant over graves.

                   Hither we came,
  And sitting down upon the golden moss
  Held converse sweet and low--low converse sweet,
  In which our voices bore least part. The wind
  Told a love-tale beside us, how he woo'd
  The waters, and the crisp'd waters lisp'd
  The kisses of the wind, that, sick with love,
  Fainted at intervals, and grew again
  To utterance of passion. Ye cannot shape
  Fancy so fair as is this memory.
  Methought all excellence that ever was
  Had drawn herself from many thousand years,
  And all the separate Edens of this earth,
  To centre in this place and time. I listen'd,
  And her words stole with most prevailing sweetness
  Into my heart, as thronged fancies come,
  All unawares, into the poet's brain;
  Or as the dew-drops on the petal hung,
  When summer winds break their soft sleep with sighs,
  Creep down into the bottom of the flower.
  Her words were like a coronal of wild blooms
  Strung in the very negligence of Art,
  Or in the art of Nature, where each rose
  Doth faint upon the bosom of the other,
  Flooding its angry cheek with odorous tears.
  So each with each inwoven lived with each,
  And were in union more than double-sweet.
  What marvel my Camilla told me all?
  It was so happy an hour, so sweet a place,
  And I was as the brother of her blood,
  And by that name was wont to live in her speech,
  Dear name! which had too much of nearness in it
  And heralded the distance of this time.
  At first her voice was very sweet and low,
  As tho' she were afeard of utterance;
  But in the onward current of her speech,
  (As echoes of the hollow-banked brooks
  Are fashioned by the channel which they keep)
  His words did of their meaning borrow sound,
  Her cheek did catch the colour of her words,
  I heard and trembled, yet I could but hear;
  My heart paused,--my raised eyelids would not fall,
  But still I kept my eyes upon the sky.
  I seem'd the only part of Time stood still,
  And saw the motion of all other things;
  While her words, syllable by syllable,
  Like water, drop by drop, upon my ear
  Fell, and I wish'd, yet wish'd her not to speak,
  But she spoke on, for I did name no wish.
  What marvel my Camilla told me all
  Her maiden dignities of Hope and Love,
  'Perchance' she said 'return'd.' Even then the stars
  Did tremble in their stations as I gazed;
  But she spake on, for I did name no wish,
  No wish--no hope. Hope was not wholly dead,
  But breathing hard at the approach of Death,
  Updrawn in expectation of her change--
  Camilla, my Camilla, who was mine
  No longer in the dearest use of mine--
  The written secrets of her inmost soul
  Lay like an open scroll before my view,
  And my eyes read, they read aright, her heart
  Was Lionel's: it seem'd as tho' a link
  Of some light chain within my inmost frame
  Was riven in twain: that life I heeded not
  Flow'd from me, and the darkness of the grave,
  The darkness of the grave and utter night,
  Did swallow up my vision: at her feet,
  Even the feet of her I loved, I fell,
  Smit with exceeding sorrow unto death.

  Then had the earth beneath me yawning given
  Sign of convulsion; and tho' horrid rifts
  Sent up the moaning of unhappy spirits
  Imprison'd in her centre, with the heat
  Of their infolding element; had the angels,
  The watchers at heaven's gate, push'd them apart,
  And from the golden threshold had down-roll'd
  Their heaviest thunder, I had lain as still,
  And blind and motionless as then I lay!
  White as quench'd ashes, cold as were the hopes
  Of my lorn love! What happy air shall woo
  The wither'd leaf fall'n in the woods, or blasted
  Upon this bough? a lightning stroke had come
  Even from that Heaven in whose light I bloom'd
  And taken away the greenness of my life,
  The blossom and the fragrance. Who was cursed
  But I? who miserable but I? even Misery
  Forgot herself in that extreme distress,
  And with the overdoing of her part
  Did fall away into oblivion.
  The night in pity took away my day
  Because my grief as yet was newly born,
  Of too weak eyes to look upon the light,
  And with the hasty notice of the ear,
  Frail life was startled from the tender love
  Of him she brooded over. Would I had lain
  Until the pleached ivy tress had wound
  Round my worn limbs, and the wild briar had driven
  Its knotted thorns thro' my unpaining brows
  Leaning its roses on my faded eyes.
  The wind had blown above me, and the rain
  Had fall'n upon me, and the gilded snake
  Had nestled in this bosomthrone of love,
  But I had been at rest for evermore.
  Long time entrancement held me: all too soon,
  Life (like a wanton too-officious friend
  Who will not hear denial, vain and rude
  With proffer of unwished for services)
  Entering all the avenues of sense,
  Pass'd thro' into his citadel, the brain
  With hated warmth of apprehensiveness:
  And first the chillness of the mountain stream
  Smote on my brow, and then I seem'd to hear
  Its murmur, as the drowning seaman hears,
  Who with his head below the surface dropt,
  Listens the dreadful murmur indistinct
  Of the confused seas, and knoweth not
  Beyond the sound he lists: and then came in
  O'erhead the white light of the weary moon,
  Diffused and molten into flaky cloud.
  Was my sight drunk, that it did shape to me
  Him who should own that name? or had my fancy
  So lethargised discernment in the sense,
  That she did act the step-dame to mine eyes,
  Warping their nature, till they minister'd
  Unto her swift conceits? 'Twere better thus
  If so be that the memory of that sound
  With mighty evocation, had updrawn
  The fashion and the phantasm of the form
  It should attach to. There was no such thing.--
  It was the man she loved, even Lionel,
  The lover Lionel, the happy Lionel,
  All joy; who drew the happy atmosphere
  Of my unhappy sighs, fed with my tears,
  To him the honey dews of orient hope.
  Oh! rather had some loathly ghastful brow,
  Half-bursten from the shroud, in cere cloth bound,
  The dead skin withering on the fretted bone,
  The very spirit of Paleness made still paler
  By the shuddering moonlight, fix'd his eyes on mine
  Horrible with the anger and the heat
  Of the remorseful soul alive within,
  And damn'd unto his loathed tenement.
  Methinks I could have sooner met that gaze!
  Oh, how her choice did leap forth from his eyes!
  Oh, how her love did clothe itself in smiles
  About his lips! This was the very arch-mock
  And insolence of uncontrolled Fate,
  When the effect weigh'd seas upon my head
  To twit me with the cause.
                          Why how was this?
  Could he not walk what paths he chose, nor breathe
  What airs he pleased! Was not the wide world free,
  With all her interchange of hill and plain
  To him as well as me? I know not, faith:
  But Misery, like a fretful, wayward child,
  Refused to look his author in the face,
  Must he come my way too? Was not the South,
  The East, the West, all open, if he had fall'n
  In love in twilight? Why should he come my way,
  Robed in those robes of light I must not wear,
  With that great crown of beams about his brows?
  Come like an angel to a damned soul?
  To tell him of the bliss he had with God;
  Come like a careless and a greedy heir,
  That scarce can wait the reading of the will
  Before he takes possession? Was mine a mood
  To be invaded rudely, and not rather
  A sacred, secret, unapproached woe
  Unspeakable? I was shut up with grief;
  She took the body of my past delight,
  Narded, and swathed and balm'd it for herself,
  And laid it in a new-hewn sepulchre,
  Where man had never lain. I was led mute
  Into her temple like a sacrifice;
  I was the high-priest in her holiest place,
  Not to be loudly broken in upon.
  Oh! friend, thoughts deep and heavy as these well-nigh
  O'erbore the limits of my brain; but he
  Bent o'er me, and my neck his arm upstay'd
  From earth. I thought it was an adder's fold,
  And once I strove to disengage myself,
  But fail'd, I was so feeble. She was there too:
  She bent above me too: her cheek was pale,
  Oh! very fair and pale: rare pity had stolen
  The living bloom away, as tho' a red rose
  Should change into a white one suddenly.
  Her eyes, I saw, were full of tears in the morn,
  And some few drops of that distressful rain
  Being wafted on the wind, drove in my sight,
  And being there they did break forth afresh
  In a new birth, immingled with my own,
  And still bewept my grief. Keeping unchanged
  The purport of their coinage. Her long ringlets,
  Drooping and beaten with the plaining wind,
  Did brush my forehead in their to-and-fro:
  For in the sudden anguish of her heart
  Loosed from their simple thrall they had flowed abroad,
  And onward floating in a full, dark wave,
  Parted on either side her argent neck,
  Mantling her form half way. She, when I woke,
  After my refluent health made tender quest
  Unanswer'd, for I spoke not: for the sound
  Of that dear voice so musically low,
  And now first heard with any sense of pain,
  As it had taken life away before,
  Choked all the syllables that in my throat
  Strove to uprise, laden with mournful thanks,
  From my full heart: and ever since that hour,
  My voice hath somewhat falter'd--and what wonder
  That when hope died, part of her eloquence
  Died with her? He, the blissful lover, too,
  From his great hoard of happiness distill'd
  Some drops of solace; like a vain rich man,
  That, having always prosper'd in the world,
  Folding his hands deals comfortable words
  To hearts wounded for ever; yet, in truth,
  Fair speech was his and delicate of phrase,
  Falling in whispers on the sense, address'd
  More to the inward than the outward ear,
  As rain of the midsummer midnight soft
  Scarce-heard, recalling fragrance and the green
  Of the dead spring--such as in other minds
  Had film'd the margents of the recent wound.
  And why was I to darken their pure love,
  If, as I knew, they two did love each other,
  Because my own was darken'd? Why was I
  To stand within the level of their hopes,
  Because my hope was widow'd, like the cur
  In the child's adage? Did I love Camilla?
  Ye know that I did love her: to this present
  My full-orb'd love hath waned not. Did I love her,
  And could I look upon her tearful eyes?
  Tears wept for me; for me--weep at my grief?
  What had _she_ done to weep--let my heart
  Break rather--whom the gentlest airs of heaven
  Should kiss with an unwonted gentleness.
  Her love did murder mine; what then? she deem'd
  I wore a brother's mind: she call'd me brother:
  She told me all her love: she shall not weep.

  The brightness of a burning thought awhile
  Battailing with the glooms of my dark will,
  Moonlike emerged, lit up unto itself,
  Upon the depths of an unfathom'd woe,
  Reflex of action, starting up at once,
  As men do from a vague and horrid dream,
  And throwing by all consciousness of self,
  In eager haste I shook him by the hand;
  Then flinging myself down upon my knees
  Even where the grass was warm where I had lain,
  I pray'd aloud to God that he would hold
  The hand of blessing over Lionel,
  And her whom he would make his wedded wife,
  Camilla! May their days be golden days,
  And their long life a dream of linked love,
  From which may rude Death never startle them,
  But grow upon them like a glorious vision
  Of unconceived and awful happiness,
  Solemn but splendid, full of shapes and sounds,
  Swallowing its precedent in victory.
  Let them so love that men and boys may say,
  Lo! how they love each other! till their love
  Shall ripen to a proverb unto all,
  Known when their faces are forgot in the land.
  And as for me, Camilla, as for me,
  Think not thy tears will make my name grow green,--
  The dew of tears is an unwholesome dew.
  The course of Hope is dried,--the life o' the plant--
  They will but sicken the sick plant more.
  Deem then I love thee but as brothers do,
  So shalt thou love me still as sisters do;
  Or if thou dream'st aught farther, dream but how
  I could have loved thee, had there been none else
  To love as lovers, loved again by thee.

  Or this, or somewhat like to this, I spoke,
  When I did see her weep so ruefully;
  For sure my love should ne'er induce the front
  And mask of Hate, whom woful ailments
  Of unavailing tears and heart deep moans
  Feed and envenom, as the milky blood
  Of hateful herbs a subtle-fanged snake.
  Shall Love pledge Hatred in her bitter draughts,
  And batten on his poisons? Love forbid!
  Love passeth not the threshold of cold Hate,
  And Hate is strange beneath the roof of Love.
  O Love, if thou be'st Love, dry up these tears
  Shed for the love of Love; for tho' mine image,
  The subject of thy power, be cold in her,
  Yet, like cold snow, it melteth in the source
  Of these sad tears, and feeds their downward flow.
  So Love, arraign'd to judgment and to death,
  Received unto himself a part of blame.
  Being guiltless, as an innocent prisoner,
  Who when the woful sentence hath been past,
  And all the clearness of his fame hath gone
  Beneath the shadow of the curse of men,
  First falls asleep in swoon. Wherefrom awaked
  And looking round upon his tearful friends,
  Forthwith and in his agony conceives
  A shameful sense as of a cleaving crime--
  For whence without some guilt should such grief be?
  So died that hour, and fell into the abysm
  Of forms outworn, but not to be outworn,
  Who never hail'd another worth the Life
  That made it sensible. So died that hour,
  Like odour wrapt into the winged wind
  Borne into alien lands and far away.
  There be some hearts so airy-fashioned,
  That in the death of love, if e'er they loved,
  On that sharp ridge of utmost doom ride highly
  Above the perilous seas of change and chance;
  Nay, more, holds out the lights of cheerfulness;
  As the tall ship, that many a dreary year
  Knit to some dismal sandbank far at sea,
  All through the lifelong hours of utter dark,
  Showers slanting light upon the dolorous wave.
  For me all other Hopes did sway from that
  Which hung the frailest: falling, they fell too,
  Crush'd link on link into the beaten earth,
  And Love did walk with banish'd Hope no more,
  It was ill-done to part ye, Sisters fair;
  Love's arms were wreathed about the neck of Hope,
  And Hope kiss'd Love, and Love drew in her breath
  In that close kiss, and drank her whisper'd tales.
  They said that Love would die when Hope was gone,
  And Love mourned long, and sorrowed after Hope;
  At last she sought out memory, and they trod
  The same old paths where Love had walked with Hope,
  And Memory fed the soul of Love with tears.


  From that time forth I would not see her more,
  But many weary moons I lived alone--
  Alone, and in the heart of the great forest.
  Sometimes upon the hills beside the sea
  All day I watched the floating isles of shade,
  And sometimes on the shore, upon the sands
  Insensibly I drew her name, until
  The meaning of the letters shot into
  My brain: anon the wanton billow wash'd
  Them over, till they faded like my love.
  The hollow caverns heard me--the black brooks
  Of the mid-forest heard me--the soft winds,
  Laden with thistledown and seeds of flowers,
  Paused in their course to hear me, for my voice
  Was all of thee: the merry linnet knew me,
  The squirrel knew me, and the dragon-fly
  Shot by me like a flash of purple fire.
  The rough briar tore my bleeding palms; the hemlock,
  Brow high, did strike my forehead as I pas'd;
  Yet trod I not the wild-flower in my path,
  Nor bruised the wild-bird's egg.
                        Was this the end?
  Why grew we then together i' the same plot?
  Why fed we the same fountain? drew the same sun?
  Why were our mothers branches of one stem?
  Why were we one in all things, save in that
  Where to have been one had been the roof and crown
  Of all I hoped and fear'd? if that same nearness
  Were father to this distance, and that _one_
  Vauntcourier this _double_? If affection
  Living slew Love, and Sympathy hew'd out
  The bosom-sepulchre of Sympathy.

  Chiefly I sought the cavern and the hill
  Where last we roam'd together, for the sound
  Of the loud stream was pleasant, and the wind
  Came wooingly with violet smells. Sometimes
  All day I sat within the cavern-mouth,
  Fixing my eyes on those three cypress-cones
  Which spired above the wood; and with mad hand
  Tearing the bright leaves of the ivy-screen,
  I cast them in the noisy brook beneath,
  And watch'd them till they vanished from my sight
  Beneath the bower of wreathed eglantines:
  And all the fragments of the living rock,
  (Huge splinters, which the sap of earliest showers,
  Or moisture of the vapour, left in clinging,
  When the shrill storm-blast feeds it from behind,
  And scatters it before, had shatter'd from
  The mountain, till they fell, and with the shock
  Half dug their own graves), in mine agony,
  Did I make bear of all the deep rich moss
  Wherewith the dashing runnel in the spring
  Had liveried them all over. In my brain
  The spirit seem'd to flag from thought to thought,
  Like moonlight wandering through a mist: my blood
  Crept like the drains of a marsh thro' all my body;
  The motions of my heart seem'd far within me,
  Unfrequent, low, as tho' it told its pulses;
  And yet it shook me, that my frame did shudder,
  As it were drawn asunder by the rack.
  But over the deep graves of Hope and Fear,
  The wreck of ruin'd life and shatter'd thought,
  Brooded one master-passion evermore,
  Like to a low hung and a fiery sky
  Above some great metropolis, earth shock'd
  Hung round with ragged-rimmed burning folds,
  Embathing all with wild and woful hues--
  Great hills of ruins, and collapsed masses
  Of thunder-shaken columns, indistinct
  And fused together in the tyrannous light.

  So gazed I on the ruins of that thought
  Which was the playmate of my youth--for which
  I lived and breathed: the dew, the sun, the rain,
  Unto the growth of body and of mind;
  The blood, the breath, the feeling and the motion,
  The slope into the current of my years,
  Which drove them onward--made them sensible;
  The precious jewel of my honour'd life,
  Erewhile close couch'd in golden happiness,
  Now proved counterfeit, was shaken out,
  And, trampled on, left to its own decay.

The Lover's Tale

  Sometimes I thought Camilla was no more,
  Some one had told me she was dead, and ask'd me
  If I would see her burial: then I seem'd
  To rise, and thro' the forest-shadow borne
  With more than mortal swiftness, I ran down
  The sleepy sea-bank, till I came upon
  The rear of a procession, curving round
  The silver-sheeted bay: in front of which
  Six stately virgins, all in white, upbare
  A broad earth-sweeping pall of whitest lawn,
  Wreathed round the bier with garlands: in the distance,
  From out the yellow woods, upon the hill,
  Look'd forth the summit and the pinnacles
  Of a grey steeple. All the pageantry,
  Save those six virgins which upheld the bier,
  Were stoled from head to foot in flowing black;
  One walk'd abreast with me, and veiled his brow,
  And he was loud in weeping and in praise
  Of the departed: a strong sympathy
  Shook all my soul: I flung myself upon him
  In tears and cries: I told him all my love,
  How I had loved her from the first; whereat
  He shrunk and howl'd, and from his brow drew back
  His hand to push me from him; and the face
  The very face and form of Lionel,
  Flash'd through my eyes into my innermost brain,
  And at his feet I seemed to faint and fall,
  To fall and die away. I could not rise,
  Albeit I strove to follow. They pass'd on,
  The lordly Phantasms; in their floating folds
  They pass'd and were no more: but I had fall'n
  Prone by the dashing runnel on the grass.

  Always th' inaudible, invisible thought
  Artificer and subject, lord and slave
  Shaped by the audible and visible,
  Moulded the audible and visible;
  All crisped sounds of wave, and leaf and wind,
  Flatter'd the fancy of my fading brain;
  The storm-pavilion'd element, the wood,
  The mountain, the three cypresses, the cave,
  Were wrought into the tissue of my dream.
  The moanings in the forest, the loud stream,
  Awoke me not, but were a part of sleep;
  And voices in the distance, calling to me,
  And in my vision bidding me dream on,
  Like sounds within the twilight realms of dreams,
  Which wander round the bases of the hills,
  And murmur in the low-dropt eaves of sleep,
  But faint within the portals. Oftentimes
  The vision had fair prelude, in the end
  Opening on darkness, stately vestibules
  To cares and shows of Death; whether the mind,
  With a revenge even to itself unknown,
  Made strange division of its suffering
  With her, whom to have suffering view'd had been
  Extremest pain; or that the clear-eyed Spirit,
  Being blasted in the Present, grew at length
  Prophetical and prescient of whate'er
  The Future had in store; or that which most
  Enchains belief, the sorrow of my spirit
  Was of so wide a compass it took in
  All I had loved, and my dull agony.
  Ideally to her transferred, became
  Anguish intolerable.
                 The day waned;
  Alone I sat with her: about my brow
  Her warm breath floated in the utterance
  Of silver-chorded tones: her lips were sunder'd
  With smiles of tranquil bliss, which broke in light
  Like morning from her eyes--her eloquent eyes
  (As I have seen them many hundred times),
  Fill'd all with clear pure fire, thro' mine down rain'd
  Their spirit-searching splendours. As a vision
  Unto a haggard prisoner, iron-stay'd
  In damp and dismal dungeons underground
  Confined on points of faith, when strength is shock'd
  With torment, and expectancy of worse
  Upon the morrow, thro' the ragged walls,
  All unawares before his half-shut eyes,
  Comes in upon him in the dead of night,
  And with th' excess of sweetness and of awe,
  Makes the heart tremble, and the eyes run over
  Upon his steely gyves; so those fair eyes
  Shone on my darkness forms which ever stood
  Within the magic cirque of memory,
  Invisible but deathless, waiting still
  The edict of the will to reassume
  The semblance of those rare realities
  Of which they were the mirrors. Now the light,
  Which was their life, burst through the cloud of thought
  Keen, irrepressible.
                        It was a room
  Within the summer-house of which I spoke,
  Hung round with paintings of the sea, and one
  A vessel in mid-ocean, her heaved prow
  Clambering, the mast bent, and the revin wind
  In her sail roaring. From the outer day,
  Betwixt the closest ivies came a broad
  And solid beam of isolated light,
  Crowded with driving atomies, and fell
  Slanting upon that picture, from prime youth
  Well-known, well-loved. She drew it long ago
  Forth gazing on the waste and open sea,
  One morning when the upblown billow ran
  Shoreward beneath red clouds, and I had pour'd
  Into the shadowing pencil's naked forms
  Colour and life: it was a bond and seal
  Of friendship, spoken of with tearful smiles;
  A monument of childhood and of love,
  The poesy of childhood; my lost love
  Symbol'd in storm. We gazed on it together
  In mute and glad remembrance, and each heart
  Grew closer to the other, and the eye
  Was riveted and charm-bound, gazing like
  The Indian on a still-eyed snake, low crouch'd
  A beauty which is death, when all at once
  That painted vessel, as with inner life,
  'Gan rock and heave upon that painted sea;
  An earthquake, my loud heartbeats, made the ground
  Roll under us, and all at once soul, life,
  And breath, and motion, pass'd and flow'd away
  To those unreal billows: round and round
  A whirlwind caught and bore us; mighty gyves,
  Rapid and vast, of hissing spray wind-driven
  Far through the dizzy dark. Aloud she shriek'd--
  My heart was cloven with pain. I wound my arms
  About her: we whirl'd giddily: the wind
  Sung: but I clasp'd her without fear: her weight
  Shrank in my grasp, and over my dim eyes
  And parted lips which drank her breath, down hung
  The jaws of Death: I, screaming, from me flung
  The empty phantom: all the sway and whirl
  Of the storm dropt to windless calm, and I
  Down welter'd thro' the dark ever and ever.

Index to First Lines

A gate and a field half ploughed
All thoughts, all creeds, all dreams, are true
Angels have talked with him and showed him thrones
As when a man, that sails in a balloon
Blow ye the trumpets, gather from afar
But she tarries in her place
Check every outflash, every ruder sally
Could I outwear my present state of woe
Ere yet my heart was sweet Love's tomb
Every day hath its night
First drink a health, this solemn night
God bless our Prince and Bride
Heaven weeps above the earth all night
Here far away, seen from the topmost cliff
His eyes in eclipse
Home they brought him slain with spears
How much I love this writer's manly style
How often, when a child I lay reclined
I am any man's suitor
I stood on a tower in the wet
I stood upon the Mountain which o'erlooks
I' the glooming light
Me my own fate to lasting sorrow doometh
My Rosalind, my Rosalind
O darling room, my heart's delight
Oh, Beauty, passing beauty! sweetest sweet!
Oh, go not yet, my love
O maiden fresher than the first green leaf
O sad _No more_! O sweet _No more_
O thou whose fringed lids I gaze upon
Rise, Britons, rise, if manhood be not dead
Sainted Juliet! dearest name
Shall the hag Evil die with the child of Good
Sure never yet was Antelope
The lintwhite and the throstlecock
The Northwind fall'n in the new starred night
The pallid thunderstricken sigh for gain
There are three things that fill my heart with sighs
Therefore your halls, your ancient colleges
There is no land like England
The varied earth, the moving heaven
Thou, from the first, unborn, undying love
Though Night hath climbed her peak
Two bees within a chrystal flowerbell rocked
Voice of the summerwind
We have had enough of motion
We know him, out of Shakespeare's art
What time I wasted youthful hours
Where is the Giant of the Sun, which stood
Who can say
Who fears to die? Who fears to die
With roses musky breathed
You cast to ground the hope which once was mine
You did late review my lays
Your ringlets, your ringlets

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Tennyson, by Alfred Lord Tennyson


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