Alfred Lord Tennyson Poems Part,A Cambridge Scholar with no degree but exceptional skill in the artistry of the written language, Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809 – 1892) stands among the best known as well as the most criticized poets of all time. The poet quite literally spent his entire life dedicated to pen and parchment.
Records indicate that Alfred, Lord Tennyson began writing as early as five years of age and never stopped doing so. Where his drive and passion for literature was formed is quite obviously from his family roots. His two brothers were poets (though less popular). This combined with his scholarly influences refined his skills as a blacksmith does a treasured metal.
Alfred Lord Tennyson Bio
One of the Chief influences in Alfred Lord Tennyson’s life was Arthur Hallman. One must not succumb to believing rumors that Tennyson and Hallman had sexual relations as some critics have suggested. Where it is evident that Tennyson had a deep love for the man, there remains no definitive proof beyond speculation and rumor of a physical relationship.
Hallman was merely a close companion. Being as how Tennyson’s beginning works got minimal acclaim, one can say that Arthur Hallman made it possible for the reader to have Alfred Lord Tennyson’s poems today. Through his encouragement and through his death Tennyson received the drive which he needed to press forward. One can hear Tennyson’s mourning ring out in his poems Morte d’ Arthur as well as in Ulysses.
Alfred Lord Tennyson Poems Part 22
The Princess (part 3)
Morn in the wake of the morning star
Came furrowing all the orient into gold.
We rose, and each by other drest with care
Descended to the court that lay three parts
In shadow, but the Muses’ heads were touched
Above the darkness from their native East.
There while we stood beside the fount, and watched
Or seemed to watch the dancing bubble, approached
Melissa, tinged with wan from lack of sleep,
Or grief, and glowing round her dewy eyes
The circled Iris of a night of tears;
‘And fly,’ she cried, ‘O fly, while yet you may!
My mother knows:’ and when I asked her ‘how,’
‘My fault’ she wept ‘my fault! and yet not mine;
Yet mine in part. O hear me, pardon me.
My mother, ’tis her wont from night to night
To rail at Lady Psyche and her side.
She says the Princess should have been the Head,
Herself and Lady Psyche the two arms;
And so it was agreed when first they came;
But Lady Psyche was the right hand now,
And the left, or not, or seldom used;
Hers more than half the students, all the love.
And so last night she fell to canvass you:
~Her~ countrywomen! she did not envy her.
“Who ever saw such wild barbarians?
Girls?–more like men!” and at these words the snake,
My secret, seemed to stir within my breast;
And oh, Sirs, could I help it, but my cheek
Began to burn and burn, and her lynx eye
To fix and make me hotter, till she laughed:
“O marvellously modest maiden, you!
Men! girls, like men! why, if they had been men
You need not set your thoughts in rubric thus
For wholesale comment.” Pardon, I am shamed
That I must needs repeat for my excuse
What looks so little graceful: “men” (for still
My mother went revolving on the word)
“And so they are,–very like men indeed–
And with that woman closeted for hours!”
Then came these dreadful words out one by one,
“Why–these–~are~–men:” I shuddered: “and you know it.”
“O ask me nothing,” I said: “And she knows too,
And she conceals it.” So my mother clutched
The truth at once, but with no word from me;
And now thus early risen she goes to inform
The Princess: Lady Psyche will be crushed;
But you may yet be saved, and therefore fly;
But heal me with your pardon ere you go.’
‘What pardon, sweet Melissa, for a blush?’
Said Cyril: ‘Pale one, blush again: than wear
Those lilies, better blush our lives away.
Yet let us breathe for one hour more in Heaven’
He added, ‘lest some classic Angel speak
In scorn of us, “They mounted, Ganymedes,
To tumble, Vulcans, on the second morn.”
But I will melt this marble into wax
To yield us farther furlough:’ and he went.
Melissa shook her doubtful curls, and thought
He scarce would prosper. ‘Tell us,’ Florian asked,
‘How grew this feud betwixt the right and left.’
‘O long ago,’ she said, ‘betwixt these two
Division smoulders hidden; ’tis my mother,
Too jealous, often fretful as the wind
Pent in a crevice: much I bear with her:
I never knew my father, but she says
(God help her) she was wedded to a fool;
And still she railed against the state of things.
She had the care of Lady Ida’s youth,
And from the Queen’s decease she brought her up.
But when your sister came she won the heart
Of Ida: they were still together, grew
(For so they said themselves) inosculated;
Consonant chords that shiver to one note;
One mind in all things: yet my mother still
Affirms your Psyche thieved her theories,
And angled with them for her pupil’s love:
She calls her plagiarist; I know not what:
But I must go: I dare not tarry,’ and light,
As flies the shadow of a bird, she fled.
Then murmured Florian gazing after her,
‘An open-hearted maiden, true and pure.
If I could love, why this were she: how pretty
Her blushing was, and how she blushed again,
As if to close with Cyril’s random wish:
Not like your Princess crammed with erring pride,
Nor like poor Psyche whom she drags in tow.’
‘The crane,’ I said, ‘may chatter of the crane,
The dove may murmur of the dove, but I
An eagle clang an eagle to the sphere.
My princess, O my princess! true she errs,
But in her own grand way: being herself
Three times more noble than three score of men,
She sees herself in every woman else,
And so she wears her error like a crown
To blind the truth and me: for her, and her,
Hebes are they to hand ambrosia, mix
The nectar; but–ah she–whene’er she moves
The Samian Herè rises and she speaks
A Memnon smitten with the morning Sun.’
So saying from the court we paced, and gained
The terrace ranged along the Northern front,
And leaning there on those balusters, high
Above the empurpled champaign, drank the gale
That blown about the foliage underneath,
And sated with the innumerable rose,
Beat balm upon our eyelids. Hither came
Cyril, and yawning ‘O hard task,’ he cried;
‘No fighting shadows here! I forced a way
Through opposition crabbed and gnarled.
Better to clear prime forests, heave and thump
A league of street in summer solstice down,
Than hammer at this reverend gentlewoman.
I knocked and, bidden, entered; found her there
At point to move, and settled in her eyes
The green malignant light of coming storm.
Sir, I was courteous, every phrase well-oiled,
As man’s could be; yet maiden-meek I prayed
Concealment: she demanded who we were,
And why we came? I fabled nothing fair,
But, your example pilot, told her all.
Up went the hushed amaze of hand and eye.
But when I dwelt upon your old affiance,
She answered sharply that I talked astray.
I urged the fierce inscription on the gate,
And our three lives. True–we had limed ourselves
With open eyes, and we must take the chance.
But such extremes, I told her, well might harm
The woman’s cause. “Not more than now,” she said,
“So puddled as it is with favouritism.”
I tried the mother’s heart. Shame might befall
Melissa, knowing, saying not she knew:
Her answer was “Leave me to deal with that.”
I spoke of war to come and many deaths,
And she replied, her duty was to speak,
And duty duty, clear of consequences.
I grew discouraged, Sir; but since I knew
No rock so hard but that a little wave
May beat admission in a thousand years,
I recommenced; “Decide not ere you pause.
I find you here but in the second place,
Some say the third–the authentic foundress you.
I offer boldly: we will seat you highest:
Wink at our advent: help my prince to gain
His rightful bride, and here I promise you
Some palace in our land, where you shall reign
The head and heart of all our fair she-world,
And your great name flow on with broadening time
For ever.” Well, she balanced this a little,
And told me she would answer us today,
meantime be mute: thus much, nor more I gained.’
He ceasing, came a message from the Head.
‘That afternoon the Princess rode to take
The dip of certain strata to the North.
Would we go with her? we should find the land
Worth seeing; and the river made a fall
Out yonder:’ then she pointed on to where
A double hill ran up his furrowy forks
Beyond the thick-leaved platans of the vale.
Agreed to, this, the day fled on through all
Its range of duties to the appointed hour.
Then summoned to the porch we went. She stood
Among her maidens, higher by the head,
Her back against a pillar, her foot on one
Of those tame leopards. Kittenlike he rolled
And pawed about her sandal. I drew near;
I gazed. On a sudden my strange seizure came
Upon me, the weird vision of our house:
The Princess Ida seemed a hollow show,
Her gay-furred cats a painted fantasy,
Her college and her maidens, empty masks,
And I myself the shadow of a dream,
For all things were and were not. Yet I felt
My heart beat thick with passion and with awe;
Then from my breast the involuntary sigh
Brake, as she smote me with the light of eyes
That lent my knee desire to kneel, and shook
My pulses, till to horse we got, and so
Went forth in long retinue following up
The river as it narrowed to the hills.
I rode beside her and to me she said:
‘O friend, we trust that you esteemed us not
Too harsh to your companion yestermorn;
Unwillingly we spake.’ ‘No–not to her,’
I answered, ‘but to one of whom we spake
Your Highness might have seemed the thing you say.’
‘Again?’ she cried, ‘are you ambassadresses
From him to me? we give you, being strange,
A license: speak, and let the topic die.’
I stammered that I knew him–could have wished–
‘Our king expects–was there no precontract?
There is no truer-hearted–ah, you seem
All he prefigured, and he could not see
The bird of passage flying south but longed
To follow: surely, if your Highness keep
Your purport, you will shock him even to death,
Or baser courses, children of despair.’
‘Poor boy,’ she said, ‘can he not read–no books?
Quoit, tennis, ball–no games? nor deals in that
Which men delight in, martial exercise?
To nurse a blind ideal like a girl,
Methinks he seems no better than a girl;
As girls were once, as we ourself have been:
We had our dreams; perhaps he mixt with them:
We touch on our dead self, nor shun to do it,
Being other–since we learnt our meaning here,
To lift the woman’s fallen divinity
Upon an even pedestal with man.’
She paused, and added with a haughtier smile
‘And as to precontracts, we move, my friend,
At no man’s beck, but know ourself and thee,
O Vashti, noble Vashti! Summoned out
She kept her state, and left the drunken king
To brawl at Shushan underneath the palms.’
‘Alas your Highness breathes full East,’ I said,
‘On that which leans to you. I know the Prince,
I prize his truth: and then how vast a work
To assail this gray preëminence of man!
You grant me license; might I use it? think;
Ere half be done perchance your life may fail;
Then comes the feebler heiress of your plan,
And takes and ruins all; and thus your pains
May only make that footprint upon sand
Which old-recurring waves of prejudice
Resmooth to nothing: might I dread that you,
With only Fame for spouse and your great deeds
For issue, yet may live in vain, and miss,
Meanwhile, what every woman counts her due,
Love, children, happiness?’
And she exclaimed,
‘Peace, you young savage of the Northern wild!
What! though your Prince’s love were like a God’s,
Have we not made ourself the sacrifice?
You are bold indeed: we are not talked to thus:
Yet will we say for children, would they grew
Like field-flowers everywhere! we like them well:
But children die; and let me tell you, girl,
Howe’er you babble, great deeds cannot die;
They with the sun and moon renew their light
For ever, blessing those that look on them.
Children–that men may pluck them from our hearts,
Kill us with pity, break us with ourselves–
O–children–there is nothing upon earth
More miserable than she that has a son
And sees him err: nor would we work for fame;
Though she perhaps might reap the applause of Great,
Who earns the one POU STO whence after-hands
May move the world, though she herself effect
But little: wherefore up and act, nor shrink
For fear our solid aim be dissipated
By frail successors. Would, indeed, we had been,
In lieu of many mortal flies, a race
Of giants living, each, a thousand years,
That we might see our own work out, and watch
The sandy footprint harden into stone.’
I answered nothing, doubtful in myself
If that strange Poet-princess with her grand
Imaginations might at all be won.
And she broke out interpreting my thoughts:
‘No doubt we seem a kind of monster to you;
We are used to that: for women, up till this
Cramped under worse than South-sea-isle taboo,
Dwarfs of the gynæceum, fail so far
In high desire, they know not, cannot guess
How much their welfare is a passion to us.
If we could give them surer, quicker proof–
Oh if our end were less achievable
By slow approaches, than by single act
Of immolation, any phase of death,
We were as prompt to spring against the pikes,
Or down the fiery gulf as talk of it,
To compass our dear sisters’ liberties.’
She bowed as if to veil a noble tear;
And up we came to where the river sloped
To plunge in cataract, shattering on black blocks
A breadth of thunder. O’er it shook the woods,
And danced the colour, and, below, stuck out
The bones of some vast bulk that lived and roared
Before man was. She gazed awhile and said,
‘As these rude bones to us, are we to her
That will be.’ ‘Dare we dream of that,’ I asked,
‘Which wrought us, as the workman and his work,
That practice betters?’ ‘How,’ she cried, ‘you love
The metaphysics! read and earn our prize,
A golden brooch: beneath an emerald plane
Sits Diotima, teaching him that died
Of hemlock; our device; wrought to the life;
She rapt upon her subject, he on her:
For there are schools for all.’ ‘And yet’ I said
‘Methinks I have not found among them all
One anatomic.’ ‘Nay, we thought of that,’
She answered, ‘but it pleased us not: in truth
We shudder but to dream our maids should ape
Those monstrous males that carve the living hound,
And cram him with the fragments of the grave,
Or in the dark dissolving human heart,
And holy secrets of this microcosm,
Dabbling a shameless hand with shameful jest,
Encarnalize their spirits: yet we know
Knowledge is knowledge, and this matter hangs:
Howbeit ourself, foreseeing casualty,
Nor willing men should come among us, learnt,
For many weary moons before we came,
This craft of healing. Were you sick, ourself
Would tend upon you. To your question now,
Which touches on the workman and his work.
Let there be light and there was light: ’tis so:
For was, and is, and will be, are but is;
And all creation is one act at once,
The birth of light: but we that are not all,
As parts, can see but parts, now this, now that,
And live, perforce, from thought to thought, and make
One act a phantom of succession: thus
Our weakness somehow shapes the shadow, Time;
But in the shadow will we work, and mould
The woman to the fuller day.’
With kindled eyes; we rode a league beyond,
And, o’er a bridge of pinewood crossing, came
On flowery levels underneath the crag,
Full of all beauty. ‘O how sweet’ I said
(For I was half-oblivious of my mask)
‘To linger here with one that loved us.’ ‘Yea,’
She answered, ‘or with fair philosophies
That lift the fancy; for indeed these fields
Are lovely, lovelier not the Elysian lawns,
Where paced the Demigods of old, and saw
The soft white vapour streak the crownèd towers
Built to the Sun:’ then, turning to her maids,
‘Pitch our pavilion here upon the sward;
Lay out the viands.’ At the word, they raised
A tent of satin, elaborately wrought
With fair Corinna’s triumph; here she stood,
Engirt with many a florid maiden-cheek,
The woman-conqueror; woman-conquered there
The bearded Victor of ten-thousand hymns,
And all the men mourned at his side: but we
Set forth to climb; then, climbing, Cyril kept
With Psyche, with Melissa Florian, I
With mine affianced. Many a little hand
Glanced like a touch of sunshine on the rocks,
Many a light foot shone like a jewel set
In the dark crag: and then we turned, we wound
About the cliffs, the copses, out and in,
Hammering and clinking, chattering stony names
Of shales and hornblende, rag and trap and tuff,
Amygdaloid and trachyte, till the Sun
Grew broader toward his death and fell, and all
The rosy heights came out above the lawns.
The splendour falls on castle walls
And snowy summits old in story:
The long light shakes across the lakes,
And the wild cataract leaps in glory.
Blow, bugle, blow, set the wild echoes flying,
Blow, bugle; answer, echoes, dying, dying, dying.
O hark, O hear! how thin and clear,
And thinner, clearer, farther going!
O sweet and far from cliff and scar
The horns of Elfland faintly blowing!
Blow, let us hear the purple glens replying:
Blow, bugle; answer, echoes, dying, dying, dying.
O love, they die in yon rich sky,
They faint on hill or field or river:
Our echoes roll from soul to soul,
And grow for ever and for ever.
Blow, bugle, blow, set the wild echoes flying,
And answer, echoes, answer, dying, dying, dying.
The Princess (The Conclusion)
So closed our tale, of which I give you all
The random scheme as wildly as it rose:
The words are mostly mine; for when we ceased
There came a minute’s pause, and Walter said,
‘I wish she had not yielded!’ then to me,
‘What, if you drest it up poetically?’
So prayed the men, the women: I gave assent:
Yet how to bind the scattered scheme of seven
Together in one sheaf? What style could suit?
The men required that I should give throughout
The sort of mock-heroic gigantesque,
With which we bantered little Lilia first:
The women–and perhaps they felt their power,
For something in the ballads which they sang,
Or in their silent influence as they sat,
Had ever seemed to wrestle with burlesque,
And drove us, last, to quite a solemn close–
They hated banter, wished for something real,
A gallant fight, a noble princess–why
Not make her true-heroic–true-sublime?
Or all, they said, as earnest as the close?
Which yet with such a framework scarce could be.
Then rose a little feud betwixt the two,
Betwixt the mockers and the realists:
And I, betwixt them both, to please them both,
And yet to give the story as it rose,
I moved as in a strange diagonal,
And maybe neither pleased myself nor them.
But Lilia pleased me, for she took no part
In our dispute: the sequel of the tale
Had touched her; and she sat, she plucked the grass,
She flung it from her, thinking: last, she fixt
A showery glance upon her aunt, and said,
‘You–tell us what we are’ who might have told,
For she was crammed with theories out of books,
But that there rose a shout: the gates were closed
At sunset, and the crowd were swarming now,
To take their leave, about the garden rails.
So I and some went out to these: we climbed
The slope to Vivian-place, and turning saw
The happy valleys, half in light, and half
Far-shadowing from the west, a land of peace;
Gray halls alone among their massive groves;
Trim hamlets; here and there a rustic tower
Half-lost in belts of hop and breadths of wheat;
The shimmering glimpses of a stream; the seas;
A red sail, or a white; and far beyond,
Imagined more than seen, the skirts of France.
‘Look there, a garden!’ said my college friend,
The Tory member’s elder son, ‘and there!
God bless the narrow sea which keeps her off,
And keeps our Britain, whole within herself,
A nation yet, the rulers and the ruled–
Some sense of duty, something of a faith,
Some reverence for the laws ourselves have made,
Some patient force to change them when we will,
Some civic manhood firm against the crowd–
But yonder, whiff! there comes a sudden heat,
The gravest citizen seems to lose his head,
The king is scared, the soldier will not fight,
The little boys begin to shoot and stab,
A kingdom topples over with a shriek
Like an old woman, and down rolls the world
In mock heroics stranger than our own;
Revolts, republics, revolutions, most
No graver than a schoolboys’ barring out;
Too comic for the serious things they are,
Too solemn for the comic touches in them,
Like our wild Princess with as wise a dream
As some of theirs–God bless the narrow seas!
I wish they were a whole Atlantic broad.’
‘Have patience,’ I replied, ‘ourselves are full
Of social wrong; and maybe wildest dreams
Are but the needful preludes of the truth:
For me, the genial day, the happy crowd,
The sport half-science, fill me with a faith.
This fine old world of ours is but a child
Yet in the go-cart. Patience! Give it time
To learn its limbs: there is a hand that guides.’
In such discourse we gained the garden rails,
And there we saw Sir Walter where he stood,
Before a tower of crimson holly-hoaks,
Among six boys, head under head, and looked
No little lily-handed Baronet he,
A great broad-shouldered genial Englishman,
A lord of fat prize-oxen and of sheep,
A raiser of huge melons and of pine,
A patron of some thirty charities,
A pamphleteer on guano and on grain,
A quarter-sessions chairman, abler none;
Fair-haired and redder than a windy morn;
Now shaking hands with him, now him, of those
That stood the nearest–now addressed to speech–
Who spoke few words and pithy, such as closed
Welcome, farewell, and welcome for the year
To follow: a shout rose again, and made
The long line of the approaching rookery swerve
From the elms, and shook the branches of the deer
From slope to slope through distant ferns, and rang
Beyond the bourn of sunset; O, a shout
More joyful than the city-roar that hails
Premier or king! Why should not these great Sirs
Give up their parks some dozen times a year
To let the people breathe? So thrice they cried,
I likewise, and in groups they streamed away.
But we went back to the Abbey, and sat on,
So much the gathering darkness charmed: we sat
But spoke not, rapt in nameless reverie,
Perchance upon the future man: the walls
Blackened about us, bats wheeled, and owls whooped,
And gradually the powers of the night,
That range above the region of the wind,
Deepening the courts of twilight broke them up
Through all the silent spaces of the worlds,
Beyond all thought into the Heaven of Heavens.
Last little Lilia, rising quietly,
Disrobed the glimmering statue of Sir Ralph
From those rich silks, and home well-pleased we went.
The Princess: A Medley: Come down, O Maid
What pleasure lives in height (the shepherd sang)
In height and cold, the splendour of the hills?
But cease to move so near the Heavens, and cease
To glide a sunbeam by the blasted Pine,
To sit a star upon the sparkling spire;
And come, for Love is of the valley, come,
For Love is of the valley, come thou down
And find him; by the happy threshold, he,
Or hand in hand with Plenty in the maize,
Or red with spirted purple of the vats,
Or foxlike in the vine; nor cares to walk
With Death and Morning on the silver horns,
Nor wilt thou snare him in the white ravine,
Nor find him dropt upon the firths of ice,
That huddling slant in furrow-cloven falls
To roll the torrent out of dusky doors:
But follow; let the torrent dance thee down
To find him in the valley; let the wild
Lean-headed Eagles yelp alone, and leave
The monstrous ledges there to slope, and spill
Their thousand wreaths of dangling water-smoke,
That like a broken purpose waste in air:
So waste not thou; but come; for all the vales
Await thee; azure pillars of the hearth
Arise to thee; the children call, and I
Thy shepherd pipe, and sweet is every sound,
Sweeter thy voice, but every sound is sweet;
Myriads of rivulets hurrying thro’ the lawn,
The moan of doves in immemorial elms,
And murmuring of innumerable bees.
The Princess: A Medley: O Swallow
Fly to her, and fall upon her gilded eaves,
And tell her, tell her, what I tell to thee.
O tell her, Swallow, thou that knowest each,
That bright and fierce and fickle is the South,
And dark and true and tender is the North.
O Swallow, Swallow, if I could follow, and light
Upon her lattice, I would pipe and trill,
And cheep and twitter twenty million loves.O were I thou that she might take me in,
And lay me on her bosom, and her heart
Would rock the snowy cradle till I died.Why lingereth she to clothe her heart with love,
Delaying as the tender ash delays
To clothe herself, when all the woods are green?O tell her, Swallow, that thy brood is flown:
Say to her, I do but wanton in the South,
But in the North long since my nest is made.O tell her, brief is life but love is long,
And brief the sun of summer in the North,
And brief the moon of beauty in the South.
O Swallow, flying from the golden woods,
Fly to her, and pipe and woo her, and make her mine,
And tell her, tell her, that I follow thee.
The Princess: A Medley: Thy Voice is Heard
Thy voice is heard thro’ rolling drums,
That beat to battle where he stands;
Thy face across his fancy comes,
And gives the battle to his hands:
A moment, while the trumpets blow,
He sees his brood about thy knee;
The next, like fire he meets the foe,
And strikes him dead for thine and thee.
‘Your ringlets, your ringlets,
That look so golden-gay,
If you will give me one, but one,
To kiss it night and day,
The 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 kiss’d 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,
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,