Alfred Lord Tennyson.

Enoch Arden, &c online

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And I cried myself well-nigh blind, and all of an
evening late
I climb'd to the top of the garth, and stood by the
road at the gate.
The moon like a rick on fire was rising over the
And whit, whit, whit, in the bush beside me chirrupt
the nightingale.

All of a sudden he stopt: there past by the gate of
the farm,
Willy, - he did n't see me, - and Jenny hung on his
Out into the road I started, and spoke I scarce knew
Ah, there's no fool like the old one - it makes me
angry now.

Willy stood up like a man, and look'd the thing that
he meant;
Jenny, the viper, made me a mocking courtesy and
And I said, 'Let us part: in a hundred years it'll all
be the same,
You cannot love me at all, if you love not my good

And he turn'd, and I saw his eyes all wet, in the sweet
Sweetheart, I love you so well that your good name
is mine.
And what do I care for Jane, let her speak of you well
of ill;
But marry me out of hand: we two shall be happy

'Marry you, Willy!' said I, 'but I needs must speak
my mind,
And I fear you'll listen to tales, be jealous and hard
and unkind.'
But he turn'd and claspt me in his arms, and answer'd,
'No, love, no;'
Seventy years ago, my darling, seventy years

So Willy and I were wedded: I wore a lilac
And the ringers rang with a will, and he gave the
ringers a crown.
But the first that ever I bare was dead before he was
Shadow and shine is life, little Annie, flower and

That was the first time, too, that ever I thought of
There lay the sweet little body that never had drawn
a breath.
I had not wept, little Anne, not since I had been a
But I wept like a child that day, for the babe had
fought for his life.

His dear little face was troubled, as if with anger or
I look'd at the still little body - his trouble had all
been in vain.
For Willy I cannot weep, I shall see him another
But I wept like a child for the child that was dead
before he was born.

But he cheer'd me, my good man, for he seldom said me
Kind, like a man, was he; like a man, too, would have
his way:
Never jealous - not he: we had many a happy
And he died, and I could not weep - my own time
seem'd so near.

But I wish'd it had been God's will that I, too, then
could have died:
I began to be tired a little, and fain had slept at his
And that was ten years back, or more, if I don't
But as to the children, Annie, they're all about me

Pattering over the boards, my Annie who left me at
Patter she goes, my own little Annie, an Annie like
Pattering over the boards, she comes and goes at her
While Harry is in the five-acre and Charlie ploughing
the hill.

And Harry and Charlie, I hear them too - they sing
to their team:
Often they come to the door in a pleasant kind of a
They come and sit by my chair, they hover about my
bed -
I am not always certain if they be alive or

And yet I know for a truth, there's none of them
left alive;
For Harry went at sixty, your father at sixty-five:
And Willy, my eldest born, at nigh threescore and
I knew them all as babies, and now they're elderly

For mine is a time of peace, it is not often I
I am oftener sitting at home in my father's farm
at eve:
And the neighbors come and laugh and gossip, and
so do I;
I find myself often laughing at things that have long
gone by.

To be sure the preacher says, our sins should make
us sad:
But mine is a time of peace, and there is Grace to
be had;
And God, not man, is the Judge of us all when life
shall cease;
And in this Book, little Annie, the message is one of

And age is a time of peace, so it be free from
And happy has been my life; but I would not live
it again.
I seem to be tired a little, that's all, and long for
Only at your age, Annie, I could have wept with the

So Willy has gone, my beauty, my eldest-born, my
But how can I weep for Willy, he has but gone for
an hour, -
Gone for a minute, my son, from this room into the
I, too, shall go in a minute. What time have I to
be vext?

And Willy's wife has written, she never was over-wise.
Get me my glasses, Annie: thank God that I keep
my eyes.
There is but a trifle left you, when I shall have past
But stay with the old woman now: you cannot have
long to stay.


old style.
- - - - - - -

Wheer 'asta bean saw long and mea liggin' 'ere
Noorse? thoort nowt o' a noorse: whoy, doctor's abean
an' agoan:
Says that I moant 'a naw moor yaale: but I beant a
Git ma my yaale, fur I beant a-gooin' to break my

Doctors, they knaws nowt, for a says what's nawways
Naw soort o' koind o' use to saay the things that
a do.
I've 'ed my point o' yaale ivry noight sin' I bean
An' I've 'ed my quart ivry market-noight for foorty

Parson's a bean loikewoise, an' a sittin' ere o' my
'The amoighty's a taakin o' you to 'issen, my friend,'
'a said,
An' a towd ma my sins, an's toithe were due, an' I gied
it in hond;
I done my duty by un, as I 'a done by the

Larn'd a ma' bea. I reckons I 'annot sa mooch to
But a cost oop, thot a did, 'boot Bessy Marris's
Thof a knaws I hallus voated wi' Squoire an' choorch
an staate,
An' i' the woost o' toimes I wur niver agin the

An' I hallus comed to 's choorch afoor moy Sally wur
An' 'eerd un a bummin' awaay loike a buzzard-clock*
ower my yead,
An' I niver knaw'd whot a mean'd but I thowt a 'ad
summut to saay,
An I thowt a said whot a owt to 'a said an' I comed

Bessy Marris's barn! tha knaws she laaid it to
Mowt 'a bean, mayhap, for she wur a bad un,
'Siver, I kep un, I kep un, my lass, tha mun under-stond;
I done my duty by un as I 'a done by the

But Parson a comes an' a goos, an' a says it easy an'
'The amoighty's a taakin o' you to 'issen, my friend,'
says 'ea.
I weant saay men be loiars, thof summun said it in
But a reads wonn sarmin a weeak, an' I 'a stubb'd
Thornaby waaste.

D'ya moind the waaste, my lass? naw, naw, tha was
not born then;
Theer wur a boggle in it, I often 'eerd un
Moast loike a butter-bump,* for I 'eerd un aboot an
But I stubb'd un oop wi' the lot, an' raaved an
rembled un oot.

Keaper's it wur; fo' they fun un theer a laaid on 'is
Doon i' the woild 'enemies* afoor I comed to the
Noaks or Thimbleby - toner 'ed shot un as dead as
a naail.
Noaks wur 'ang'd for it oop at 'soize - but git ma
my yaale.

Dubbut looak at the waaste: theer warn't not fead
for a cow:
Nowt at all but bracken an' fuzz, an' looak at it
now -
Warn't worth nowt a haacre, an' now theer's lots o'
Fourscore yows upon it an' some on it doon in

Nobbut a bit on it's left, an' I mean'd to 'a stubb'd
it at fall,
Done it ta-year I mean'd, an' runn'd plow thruff it
an' all,
If godamoighty an' parson 'ud nobbut let ma
Mea, wi' haate oonderd haacre o' Squoire's an' lond
o' my oan.

Do godamoighty knaw what a's doing a-taakin' o'
I beant wonn as saws 'ere a bean an' yonder a
An' Squoire 'ull be sa mad an' all - a' dear a'
And I 'a monaged for Squoire come Michaelmas
thirty year.

A mowt 'a taaken Joanes, as 'ant a 'aapoth o'
Or a mowt a' taaken Robins - a niver mended a
But godamoighty a moost taake mea an' taake ma
Wi 'auf the cows to cauve an' Thornaby holms to

Looak 'ow quoloty smoiles when they sees ma a
passin' by,
Says to thessen naw doot 'what a mon a be
For they knaws what I bean to Squoire sin fust a
comed to the 'All;
I done my duty by Squoire an' I done my duty
by all.

Squoire's in Lunnon, an' summun I reckons 'ull 'a to
For who's to howd the lond ater mea thot muddles
ma quoit;
Sartin-sewer I bea, thot a weant niver give it to
Noither a moant to Robins - a niver rembles the

But summun 'ull come ater mea mayhap wi' 'is kittle
o' steam
Huzzin' an' maazin' the blessed fealds wi' the Divil's
oan team.
Gin I mun doy I mun doy, an' loife they says is
But gin I mun doy I mun doy, for I couldn abear to
see it.

What atta stannin' theer for, an' doesn bring ma the
Doctor's a 'tottler, lass, an a's hallus i' the owd
I weant break rules for Doctor, a knaws naw moor
nor a floy;
Git ma my yaale, I tell tha, an' gin I mun doy I
mun doy.


- - - - -

The woods decay, the woods decay and fall,
The vapors weep their burthen to the ground,
Man comes and tills the field and lies beneath,
And after many a summer dies the swan.
Me only cruel immortality
Consumes: I wither slowly in thine arms,
Here at the quiet limit of the world,
A white-hair'd shadow roaming like a dream
The ever-silent spaces of the East,
Far-folded mists, and gleaming halls of morn.

Alas! for this gray shadow, once a man -
So glorious in his beauty and thy choice,
Who madest him thy chosen, that he seem'd
To his great heart none other than a God!
I ask'd thee, 'Give me immortality.'
Then didst thou grant mine asking with a smile,
Like wealthy men who care not how they give.
But thy strong Hours indignant work'd their wills,
And beat me down and marr'd and wasted me,
And tho' they could not end me, left me maim'd
To dwell in presence of immortal youth,
Immortal age beside immortal youth,
And all I was, in ashes. Can thy love,
Thy beauty, make amends, tho' even now,
Close over us, the silver star, thy guide,
Shines in those tremulous eyes that fill with tears
To hear me? Let me go: take back thy gift:
Why should a man desire in any way
To vary from the kindly race of men,
Or pass beyond the goal of ordinance
Where all should pause, as is most meet for all?

A soft air fans the cloud apart; there comes
A glimpse of that dark world where I was born.
Once more the old mysterious glimmer steals
From thy pure brows, and from thy shoulders pure,
And bosom beating with a heart renew'd.
Thy cheek begins to redden thro' the gloom,
Thy sweet eyes brighten slowly close to mine,
Ere yet they blind the stars, and the wild team
Which love thee, yearning for thy yoke, arise,
And shake the darkness from their loosen'd manes,
And beat the twilight into flakes of fire.

Lo! ever thus thou growest beautiful
In silence, then before thine answer given
Departest, and thy tears are on my cheek.

Why wilt thou ever scare me with thy tears,
And make me tremble lest a saying learnt,
In days far-off, on that dark earth, be true?
'The Gods themselves cannot recall their gifts.'

Ay me! ay me! with what another heart
In days far-off, and with what other eyes
I used to watch - if I be he that watch'd -
The lucid outline forming round thee; saw
The dim curls kindle into sunny rings;
Changed with thy mystic change, and felt my blood
Glow with the glow that slowly crimson'd all
Thy presence and thy portals, while I lay,
Mouth, forehead, eyelids, growing dewy-warm
With kisses balmier than half-opening buds
Of April, and could hear the lips that kiss'd
Whispering I knew not what of wild and sweet,
Like that strange song I heard Apollo sing,
While Ilion like a mist rose into towers.

Yet hold me not for ever in thine East:
How can my nature longer mix with thine?
Coldly thy rosy shadows bathe me, cold
Are all thy lights, and cold my wrinkled feet
Upon thy glimmering thresholds, when the steam
Floats up from those dim fields about the homes
Of happy men that have the power to die,
And grassy barrows of the happier dead.
Release me, and restore me to the ground;
Thou seest all things, thou wilt see my grave:
Thou wilt renew thy beauty morn by morn;
I earth in earth forget these empty courts,
And thee returning on thy silver wheels.

- - - - -

We left behind the painted buoy
That tosses at the harbor-mouth;
And madly danced our hearts with joy,
As fast we fleeted to the South:
How fresh was every sight and sound
On open main or winding shore!
We knew the merry world was round,
And we might sail for evermore.

Warm broke the breeze against the brow,
Dry sang the tackle, sang the sail:
The Lady's-head upon the prow
Caught the shrill salt, and sheer'd the gale.
The broad seas swell'd to meet the keel,
And swept behind: so quick the run,
We felt the good ship shake and reel,
We seem'd to sail into the Sun!

How oft we saw the Sun retire,
And burn the threshold of the night,
Fall from his Ocean-lane of fire,
And sleep beneath his pillar'd light!
How oft the purple-skirted robe
Of twilight slowly downward drawn,
As thro' the slumber of the globe
Again we dash'd into the dawn!

New stars all night above the brim
Of waters lighten'd into view;
They climb'd as quickly, for the rim
Changed every moment as we flew.
Far ran the naked moon across
The houseless ocean's heaving field,
Or flying shone, the silver boss
Of her own halo's dusky shield;

The peaky islet shifted shapes,
High towns on hills were dimly seen,
We past long lines of Northern capes
And dewy Northern meadows green.
We came to warmer waves, and deep
Across the boundless east we drove,
Where those long swells of breaker sweep
The nutmeg rocks and isles clove.

By peaks that flamed, or, all in shade,
Gloom'd the low coast and quivering brine
With ashy rains, that spreading made
Fantastic plume or sable pine;
By sands and steaming flats, and floods
Of mighty mouth, we scudded fast,
And hills and scarlet-mingled woods
Glow'd for a moment as we past.

O hundred shores of happy climes,
How swiftly stream'd ye by the bark!
At times the whole sea burn'd, at times
With wakes of fire we tore the dark;
At times a carven craft would shoot
From havens hid in fairy bowers,
With naked limbs and flowers and fruit,
But we nor paused for fruit nor flowers.

For one fair Vision ever fled
Down the waste waters day and night,
And still we follow'd where she led,
In hope to gain upon her flight.
Her face was evermore unseen,
And fixt upon the far sea-line;
But each man murmur'd 'O my Queen,
I follow till I make thee mine.'

And now we lost her, now she gleam'd
Like Fancy made of golden air,
Now nearer to the prow she seem'd
Like Virtue firm, like Knowledge fair,
Now high on waves that idly burst
Like Heavenly Hope she crown'd the sea
And now, the bloodless point reversed,
She bore the blade of Liberty.

And only one among us - him
We please not - he was seldom pleased:
He saw not far: his eyes were dim:
But ours he swore were all diseased.
'A ship of fools' he shriek'd in spite,
'A ship of fools' he sneer'd and wept.
And overboard one stormy night
He cast his body, and on we swept.

And never sail of ours was furl'd,
Nor anchor dropt at eve or morn;
We loved the glories of the world,
But laws of nature were our scorn;
For blasts would rise and rave and cease,
But whence were those that drove the sail
Across the whirlwind's heart of peace,
And to and thro' the counter-gale?

Again to colder climes we came,
For still we follow'd where she led:
Now mate is blind and captain lame,
And half the crew are sick or dead.
But blind or lame or sick or sound
We follow that which flies before:
We know the merry world is round,
And we may sail for evermore.

- - - - -

All along the valley, stream that flashest white,
Deepening thy voice with the deepening of the night,
All along the valley, where thy waters flow,
I walk'd with one I loved two and thirty years ago.
All along the valley while I walk'd to-day,
The two and thirty years were a mist that rolls away;
For all along the valley, down thy rocky bed
Thy living voice to me was as the voice of the dead,
And all along the valley, by rock and cave and tree,
The voice of the dead was a living voice to me.

- - - - -

Once in a golden hour
I cast to earth a seed.
Up there came a flower,
The people said, a weed.

To and fro they went
Thro' my garden-bower,
And muttering discontent
Cursed me and my flower.

Then it grew so tall
It wore a crown of light,
But thieves from o'er the wall
Stole the seed by night.

Sow'd it far and wide
By every town and tower,
Till all the people cried
'Splendid is the flower.'

Read my little fable:
He that runs may read.
Most can raise the flowers now,
For all have got the seed.

And some are pretty enough,
And some are poor indeed;
And now again the people
Call it but a weed.

- - - - -

Fair is her cottage in its place,
Where yon broad water sweetly slowly glides.
It sees itself from thatch to base
Dream in the sliding tides.

And fairer she, but ah how soon to die!
Her quiet dream of life this hour may cease.
Her peaceful being slowly passes by
To some more perfect peace.

- - - - - - -

He rose at dawn and, fired with hope,
Shot o'er the seething harbor-bar,
And reach'd the ship and caught the rope,
And whistled to the morning star.

And while he whistled long and loud
He heard a fierce mermaiden cry,
'O boy, tho' thou art young and proud,
I see the place where thou wilt lie.

'The sands and yeasty surges mix
In caves about the dreary bay,
And on thy ribs the limpet sticks,
And in thy heart the scrawl shall play.'

'Fool,' he answer'd, 'death is sure
To those that stay and those that roam,
But I will nevermore endure
To sit with empty hands at home.

'My mother clings about my neck,
My sisters crying "stay for shame;"
My father raves of death and wreck,
They are all to blame, they are all to blame.

'God help me! save I take my part
Of danger in the roaring sea,
A devil rises in my heart,
Far worse than any death to me.'

- - - -

'Whither O whither love shall we go,
For a score of sweet little summers or so'
The sweet little wife of the singer said,
On the day that follow'd the day she was wed,
'Whither O whither love shall we go?'
And the singer shaking his curly head
Turn'd as he sat, and struck the keys
There at his right with a sudden crash,
Singing, 'and shall it be over the seas
With a crew that is neither rude nor rash,
But a bevy of Eroses apple-cheek'd,
In a shallop of crystal ivory-beak'd,
With a satin sail of a ruby glow,
To a sweet little Eden on earth that I know,
A mountain islet pointed and peak'd;
Waves on a diamond shingle dash,
Cataract brooks to the ocean run,
Fairily-delicate palaces shine
Mixt with myrtle and clad with vine,
And overstream'd and silvery-streak'd
With many a rivulet high against the Sun
The facets of the glorious mountain flash
Above the valleys of palm and pine.'

'Thither O thither, love, let us go.'

'No, no, no!
For in all that exquisite isle, my dear,
There is but one bird with a musical throat,
And his compass is but of a single note,
That it makes one weary to hear.'

'Mock me not! mock me not! love, let us go.'

'No, love, no.
For the bud ever breaks into bloom on the tree,
And a storm never wakes on the lonely sea,
And a worm is there in the lonely wood,
That pierces the liver and blackens the blood,
And makes it a sorrow to be.'

- - - - -

'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 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,
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,

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Online LibraryAlfred Lord TennysonEnoch Arden, &c → online text (page 5 of 6)