Three poems of Tennyson (early poems)

Poems published in 1830.      ‘Juvenalia’

Alfred Lord Tennyson born 1809,   died 1892.

The Brook

I come from haunts of coot and hern,

I make sudden sally

And sparkle out among the fern,

To bicker down a valley.

By thirty hills I hurry down,

Or slip between the ridges,

By twenty thorps, a little town,

And half a hundred bridges.

I chatter over stony ways,

In little sharps and trebles,

I bubble into eddying bays,

I babble on the pebbles.

With many a curve my banks I fret

By many a field and fallow,

And many a fairy foreland set

With willow-weed and mallow.

And here and there a foamy lake

Upon me, as I travel

With many a silvery waterbreak

Above the golden gravel,

And draw them all along, and flow

To join the brimming river,

For men may come and men may go,

But I go on for ever.

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Circumstance

Two children in two neighbour villages

Playing mad pranks along the healthy leas;

Two strangers meeting at a festival;

Two lovers whispering by an orchard wall;

Two lives bound fast in one with golden ease;

Two graves grass-green beside a gray church-tower,

Wash’d with still rains and daisy-blossomed;

Two children in one hamlet born and bred;

So runs the round of life from hour to hour.

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Song

A spirit haunts the year’s last hours

Dwelling amid these yellowing bowers:

To himself he talks;

For at eventide, listening earnestly,

At his work you may hear him sob and sigh

In the walks;

Earthward he boweth the heavy stalks

Of the mouldering flowers:

Heavily hangs the broad sunflower

Over its grave i’ the earth so chilly;

Heavily hangs the hollyhock,

Heavily hangs the tiger-lily.

The air is damp, and hush’d, and close,

As a sick man’s room when he taketh repose

An hour before his death;

My very heart faints and my whole soul grieves

At the moist rich smell of the rotting leaves,

And the breath

Of the fading edges of box beneath,

And the year’s last rose.

Heavily hangs the broad sunflower

Over its grave i’ the earth so chilly;

Heavily hangs the hollyhock,

Heavily hangs the tiger-lily.

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