Thursday, May 05, 2005


by Alfred, Lord Tennyson

WITH blackest moss the flower-plots
Were thickly crusted, one and all:
The rusted nails fell from the knots
That held the pear to the gable-wall.
The broken sheds look'd sad and strange:
Unlifted was the clinking latch;
Weeded and worn the ancient thatch
Upon the lonely moated grange.
She only said, 'My life is dreary,
He cometh not,' she said;
She said, 'I am aweary, aweary,
I would that I were dead!'

* * *

I must apologise that this poem isn't indented properly. I'm a complete dunce with html and couldn't figure out how to do it.

This is just one of many examples, first, of Tennyson's beautiful sounds (which is why Higgens makes Eliza read it with marbles in her mouth in My Fair Lady), and second, of his power to evoke a strong mood simply by describing a scene.


Charlemagne said...

'Blackest,' 'broken,' 'sad,' 'strange,' 'worn,' 'lonely;' Tennyson really did know how to pull the heartstrings. Such sad imagery, and yet so beautiful. Kind of like the ruins of a castle. Did he ever write anything about a young man wishing to undo his mistakes?

Sheila said...

Read "Maud." That's tragic, but a really beautiful poem.

"Come into the garden, Maud,
For the black bat, Night, has flown;
Come into the garden, Maud,
I am here at the gate alone;
And the scent of the woodbine is wafted abroad,
And the musk of the rose is blown."

The rest I found here:

It's too long to post here, but the whole thing is worth reading if you've got an hour or two free and don't mind being melancholy.