Favourite Poets: Alfred, Lord Tennyson – In Memoriam A. H. H.

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(this is only the prelude: you know this poem is about several years long!)

Strong Son of God, immortal Love,
         Whom we, that have not seen thy face,
         By faith, and faith alone, embrace,
Believing where we cannot prove;
Thine are these orbs of light and shade;
         Thou madest Life in man and brute;
         Thou madest Death; and lo, thy foot
Is on the skull which thou hast made.
Thou wilt not leave us in the dust:
         Thou madest man, he knows not why,
         He thinks he was not made to die;
And thou hast made him: thou art just.
Thou seemest human and divine,
         The highest, holiest manhood, thou.
         Our wills are ours, we know not how,
Our wills are ours, to make them thine.
Our little systems have their day;
         They have their day and cease to be:
         They are but broken lights of thee,
And thou, O Lord, art more than they.
We have but faith: we cannot know;
         For knowledge is of things we see;
         And yet we trust it comes from thee,
A beam in darkness: let it grow.
Let knowledge grow from more to more,
         But more of reverence in us dwell;
         That mind and soul, according well,
May make one music as before,
But vaster. We are fools and slight;
         We mock thee when we do not fear:
         But help thy foolish ones to bear;
Help thy vain worlds to bear thy light.
Forgive what seem’d my sin in me,
         What seem’d my worth since I began;
         For merit lives from man to man,
And not from man, O Lord, to thee.
Forgive my grief for one removed,
         Thy creature, whom I found so fair.
         I trust he lives in thee, and there
I find him worthier to be loved.
Forgive these wild and wandering cries,
         Confusions of a wasted youth;
         Forgive them where they fail in truth,
And in thy wisdom make me wise.
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Favourite Poets: Alfred, Lord Tennyson – Crossing The Bar

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Sunset and evening star,
      And one clear call for me!
And may there be no moaning of the bar,
      When I put out to sea,
   But such a tide as moving seems asleep,
      Too full for sound and foam,
When that which drew from out the boundless deep
      Turns again home.
   Twilight and evening bell,
      And after that the dark!
And may there be no sadness of farewell,
      When I embark;
   For tho’ from out our bourne of Time and Place
      The flood may bear me far,
I hope to see my Pilot face to face
      When I have crost the bar.

Favourite Poets: Alfred, Lord Tennyson – Late, Late, So Late

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Late, late, so late! and dark the night and chill!
Late, late, so late! but we can enter still.
Too late, too late! ye cannot enter now.
No light had we: for that we do repent;
And learning this, the bridegroom will relent.
Too late, too late! ye cannot enter now.
No light: so late! and dark and chill the night!
O, let us in, that we may find the light!
Too late, too late: ye cannot enter now.
Have we not heard the bridegroom is so sweet?
O, let us in, tho’ late, to kiss his feet!
No, no, too late! ye cannot enter now.”

Favourite Poets: Alfred, Lord Tennyson – Ulysses

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It little profits that an idle king,
By this still hearth, among these barren crags,
Match’d with an aged wife, I mete and dole
Unequal laws unto a savage race,
That hoard, and sleep, and feed, and know not me.
I cannot rest from travel: I will drink
Life to the lees: All times I have enjoy’d
Greatly, have suffer’d greatly, both with those
That loved me, and alone, on shore, and when
Thro’ scudding drifts the rainy Hyades
Vext the dim sea: I am become a name;
For always roaming with a hungry heart
Much have I seen and known; cities of men
And manners, climates, councils, governments,
Myself not least, but honour’d of them all;
And drunk delight of battle with my peers,
Far on the ringing plains of windy Troy.
I am a part of all that I have met;
Yet all experience is an arch wherethro’
Gleams that untravell’d world whose margin fades
For ever and forever when I move.
How dull it is to pause, to make an end,
To rust unburnish’d, not to shine in use!
As tho’ to breathe were life! Life piled on life
Were all too little, and of one to me
Little remains: but every hour is saved
From that eternal silence, something more,
A bringer of new things; and vile it were
For some three suns to store and hoard myself,
And this gray spirit yearning in desire
To follow knowledge like a sinking star,
Beyond the utmost bound of human thought.
         This is my son, mine own Telemachus,
To whom I leave the sceptre and the isle,—
Well-loved of me, discerning to fulfil
This labour, by slow prudence to make mild
A rugged people, and thro’ soft degrees
Subdue them to the useful and the good.
Most blameless is he, centred in the sphere
Of common duties, decent not to fail
In offices of tenderness, and pay
Meet adoration to my household gods,
When I am gone. He works his work, I mine.
         There lies the port; the vessel puffs her sail:
There gloom the dark, broad seas. My mariners,
Souls that have toil’d, and wrought, and thought with me—
That ever with a frolic welcome took
The thunder and the sunshine, and opposed
Free hearts, free foreheads—you and I are old;
Old age hath yet his honour and his toil;
Death closes all: but something ere the end,
Some work of noble note, may yet be done,
Not unbecoming men that strove with Gods.
The lights begin to twinkle from the rocks:
The long day wanes: the slow moon climbs: the deep
Moans round with many voices. Come, my friends,
‘T is not too late to seek a newer world.
Push off, and sitting well in order smite
The sounding furrows; for my purpose holds
To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths
Of all the western stars, until I die.
It may be that the gulfs will wash us down:
It may be we shall touch the Happy Isles,
And see the great Achilles, whom we knew.
Tho’ much is taken, much abides; and tho’
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

Favourite Poets: Alfred, Lord Tennyson – Marriage Morning

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Light, so low upon earth,
   You send a flash to the sun.
Here is the golden close of love,
   All my wooing is done.
Oh, all the woods and the meadows,
   Woods, where we hid from the wet,
Stiles where we stayed to be kind,
   Meadows in which we met!
Light, so low in the vale
   You flash and lighten afar,
For this is the golden morning of love,
   And you are his morning star.
Flash, I am coming, I come,
   By meadow and stile and wood,
Oh, lighten into my eyes and my heart,
   Into my heart and my blood!
Heart, are you great enough
   For a love that never tires?
O heart, are you great enough for love?
   I have heard of thorns and briers.
Over the thorns and briers,
   Over the meadows and stiles,
Over the world to the end of it
   Flash of a million miles.

Favourite Poets: Alfred, Lord Tennyson – Break, Break, Break

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         On thy cold gray stones, O Sea!
And I would that my tongue could utter
         The thoughts that arise in me.
O, well for the fisherman’s boy,
         That he shouts with his sister at play!
O, well for the sailor lad,
         That he sings in his boat on the bay!
And the stately ships go on
         To their haven under the hill;
But O for the touch of a vanish’d hand,
         And the sound of a voice that is still!
Break, break, break
         At the foot of thy crags, O Sea!
But the tender grace of a day that is dead
         Will never come back to me.

Favourite Poets: Alfred, Lord Tennyson – Claribel

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Where Claribel low-lieth
The breezes pause and die,
Letting the rose-leaves fall:
But the solemn oak-tree sigheth,
Thick-leaved, ambrosial,
With an ancient melody
Of an inward agony,
Where Claribel low-lieth.
At eve the beetle boometh
Athwart the thicket lone:
At noon the wild bee hummeth
About the moss’d headstone:
At midnight the moon cometh,
And looketh down alone.
Her song the lintwhite swelleth,
The clear-voiced mavis dwelleth,
The callow throstle lispeth,
The slumbrous wave outwelleth,
The babbling runnel crispeth,
The hollow grot replieth
Where Claribel low-lieth.