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TENNYSON, Alfred Lord


The Long And Winding Road

I envy not in any moods

The captive void of noble rage,

The linnet born within the cage,

That never knew the summer woods:


I envy not the beast that takes

His license in the field of time,

Unfettered by the sense of crime,

To whom a conscience never wakes;


Nor, what may count itself as blest,

The heart that never plighted troth

But stagnates in the weeds of sloth;

Nor any want-begotten rest.


I hold it true, whate’er befall;

I feel it, when I sorrow most;

‘Tis better to have loved and lost

Than never to have loved at all.


Come not, when I am dead


COME not, when I am dead,

To drop thy foolish tears upon my grave,

To trample round my fallen head,

And vex the unhappy dust thou wouldst not save.

There let the wind sweep and the plover cry;

But thou, go by.


Child, if it were thine error or thy crime

I care no longer, being all unblest:

Wed whom thou wilt, but I am sick of Time,

And I desire to rest.

Pass on, weak heart, and leave me where I lie:

Go by, go by.


Crossing the Bar

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.


Now Sleeps the Crimson Petal


Now sleeps the crimson petal, now the white;

Nor waves the cypress in the palace walk;

Nor winks the gold fin in the porphyry font:

The fire-fly wakens: waken thou with me.


Now droops the milkwhite peacock like a ghost,

And like a ghost she glimmers on to me.


Now lies the Earth all Danaë to the stars,

And all thy heart lies open unto me.


Now slides the silent meteor on, and leaves

A shining furrow, as thy thoughts in me.


Now folds the lily all her sweetness up,

And slips into the bosom of the lake:

So fold thyself, my dearest, thou, and slip

Into my bosom and be lost in me.


The Dragonfly

Today I saw the dragonfly

Come from the wells where he did lie.

An inner impulse rent the veil

Of his old husk: from head to tail

Came out clear plates of sapphire mail.

He dried his wings: like gauze they grew;

Thro’ crofts and pastures wet with dew

A living flash of light he flew.


In Memoriam A.H.H
…..
VII

Dark house, by which once more I stand

Here in the long unlovely street,

Doors, where my heart was used to beat

So quickly, waiting for a hand,

A hand that can be clasp'd no more—

Behold me, for I cannot sleep,

And like a guilty thing I creep

At earliest morning to the door.

He is not here; but far away

The noise of life begins again,

And ghastly thro' the drizzling rain

On the bald street breaks the blank day.
…..


The Eagle

He clasps the crag with crooked hands;

Close to the sun in lonely lands,

Ringed with the azure world, he stands.

The wrinkled sea beneath him crawls;

He watches from his mountain walls,

And like a thunderbolt he falls.


De Arend


Hij klemt de klip met kromme hand;

Dichtbij de zon in een verlaten land,

Houdt hij in de azuren wereld kringlend stand.

De rimpelzee onder hem klotst keer op keer;

Hij tuurt vanop zijn bergwand,

En als een schicht stort hij zich neer.

Vertaling: Zaj DE MEESTER



The Lady of Shalott
…..
There she weaves by night and day
A magic web with colours gay.
She has heard a whisper say,
A curse is on her if she stay
To look down to Camelot.
She knows not what the curse may be,
And so she weaveth steadily,
And little other care hath she,
The Lady of Shalott.
…..
But in her web she still delights
To weave the mirror’s magic sights,
For often thro’ the silent nights
A funeral, with plumes and lights
And music, went to Camelot:
Or when the moon was overhead,
Came two young lovers lately wed;
“I am half-sick of shadows,” said
The Lady of Shalott.
…..
Who is this? and what is here?

And in the lighted palace near

Died the sound of royal cheer;

And they cross'd themselves for fear,

All the knights at Camelot:

But Lancelot mused a little space;

He said, "She has a lovely face;

God in his mercy lend her grace,

The Lady of Shalott.


THE MILLER'S DAUGHTER

IT is the miller's daughter,

And she is grown so dear, so dear,

That I would be the jewel

That trembles in her ear:

For hid in ringlets day and night,

I'd touch her neck so warm and white.

And I would be the girdle

About her dainty dainty waist,

And her heart would beat against me,

In sorrow and in rest:

And I should know if it beat right,

I'd clasp it round so close and tight.

And I would be the necklace,

And all day long to fall and rise

Upon her balmy bosom,

With her laughter or her sighs:

And I would lie so light, so light,

I scarce should be unclasp'd at night.


MARIANA

WITH blackest moss the flower-pots

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!'
…..
Her tears fell with the dews at even;

Her tears fell ere the dews were dried;

She could not look on the sweet heaven,

Either at morn or eventide.

After the flitting of bats,

When thickest dark did trance the sky,

She drew her casement-curtain by,

And glanced athwart the glooming flats.

She only said, 'The night is dreary,

He cometh not,' she said;

She said, 'I am aweary, aweary,

I would that I were dead!'

Upon the middle of the night,

Waking she heard the night-fowl crow;

The cock sung out an hour ere light;

From the dark fen the oxen's low

Came to her: without hope of change,

In sleep she seemed to walk forlorn,

Till cold winds woke the gray-eyed morn

About the lonely moated grange.

She only said, 'The day is dreary,

He cometh not,' she said;

She said, 'I am aweary, aweary,

I would that I were dead!'

About a stone-cast from the wall

A sluice with blacken'd waters slept,

And o'er it many, round and small,

The cluster'd marish-mosses crept.

Hard by a poplar shook alway,

All silver-green with gnarlèd bark:

For leagues no other tree did mark

The level waste, the rounding gray.

She only said, 'My life is dreary,

He cometh not,' she said;

She said, 'I am aweary, aweary,

I would that I were dead!'

And ever when the moon was low,

And the shrill winds were up and away,

In the white curtain, to and fro,

She saw the gusty shadows sway.

But when the moon was very low,

And wild winds bound within their cell,

the shadow of the poplar fell

Upon her bed, across her brow.

She only said, 'The night is dreary,

He cometh not,' she said;

She said, 'I am aweary, aweary,

I would that I were dead!'

All day within the dreamy house,

The doors upon their hinges creak'd;

The blue fly sung in the pane; the mouse

Behind the mouldering wainscot shriek'd,

Or from the crevice peered about.

Old faces glimmer'd thro' the doors,

Old footsteps trod the upper floors,

Old voices called her from without.

She only said, 'My life is dreary,

He cometh not,' she said;

She said, 'I am aweary, aweary,

I would that I were dead!'

The sparrow's chirrup on the roof,

The slow clock ticking, and the sound,

Which to the wooing wind aloof

The poplar made, did all confound

Her sense; but most she loathed the hour

When the thick-moted sunbeam lay

Athwart the chambers, and the day

Was sloping toward his western bower.

Then said she, 'I am very dreary,

He will not come,' she said;

She wept, 'I am aweary, aweary,

O God, that I were dead!'


Tears, Idle Tears

Tears, idle tears, I know not what they mean,
Tears from the depth of some divine despair
Rise in the heart, and gather to the eyes,
In looking on the happy Autumn fields,
And thinking of the days that are no more.

Fresh as the first beam glittering on a sail,
That brings our friends up from the underworld,
Sad as the last which reddens over one
That sinks with all we love below the verge;
So sad, so fresh, the days that are no more.

Ah, sad and strange as in dark summer dawns
The earliest pipe of half-awakened birds
To dying ears, when unto dying eyes
The casement slowly grows a glimmering square;
So sad, so strange, the days that are no more.

Dear as remembered kisses after death,
And sweet as those by hopeless fancy feigned
On lips that are for others; deep as love,
Deep as first love, and wild with all regret;
O Death in Life, the days that are no more.


The Splendor Falls

The splendor 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, bugles; answer, echoes, dying, dying, dying.

love, they die in yon rich sky,

They faint on hill or field or river;

Our echoes roll from soul to soul,

And grow forever and forever.

Blow, bugle, blow, set the wild echoes flying,

And answer, echoes, answer, dying, dying, dying.


In Memoriam
…..
Happy New Year!

Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,

The flying cloud, the frosty light:

The year is dying in the night;

Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.

Ring out the old, ring in the new,

Ring, happy bells, across the snow:

The year is going, let him go;

Ring out the false, ring in the true.

Ring out the grief that saps the mind

For those that here we see no more;

Ring out the feud of rich and poor,

Ring in redress to all mankind.

Ring out a slowly dying cause,

And ancient forms of party strife;

Ring in the nobler modes of life,

With sweeter manners, purer laws.

Ring out the want, the care, the sin,

The faithless coldness of the times;

Ring out, ring out my mournful rhymes

But ring the fuller minstrel in.

Ring out false pride in place and blood,

The civic slander and the spite;

Ring in the love of truth and right,

Ring in the common love of good.

Ring out old shapes of foul disease;

Ring out the narrowing lust of gold;

Ring out the thousand wars of old,

Ring in the thousand years of peace.

Ring in the valiant man and free,

The larger heart, the kindlier hand;

Ring out the darkness of the land,

Ring in the Christ that is to be.
…..


Ulysses


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.


The Farewell of King Arthur to Queen Guinevere

From ‘Idylls of the King’


BUT when the Queen, immersed in such a trance,

And moving through the past unconsciously,

Came to that point where first she saw the King

Ride toward her from the city, sighed to find

Her journey done, glanced at him, thought him cold. 5

High, self-contained, and passionless, not like him,

“Not like my Lancelot”—while she brooded thus

And grew half guilty in her thoughts again,

There rode an armèd warrior to the doors.

A murmuring whisper through the nunnery ran, 10

Then on a sudden a cry, “The King!” She sat

Stiff-stricken, listening: but when armèd feet

Through the long gallery from the outer doors

Rang coming, prone from off her seat she fell,

And groveled with her face against the floor; 15

There with her milk-white arms and shadowy hair

She made her face a darkness from the King;

And in the darkness heard his armed feet

Pause by her: then came silence, then a voice,

Monotonous and hollow like a ghost’s 20

Denouncing judgment, but though changed, the King’s:—


“Liest thou here so low, the child of one

I honored, happy, dead before thy shame?

Well is it that no child is born of thee.

The children born of thee are sword and fire, 25

Red ruin, and the breaking-up of laws,

The craft of kindred, and the Godless hosts

Of heathen swarming o’er the Northern Sea;

Whom I, while yet Sir Lancelot, my right arm,

The mightiest of my knights, abode with me, 30

Have everywhere about this land of Christ

In twelve great battles ruining overthrown.

And knowest thou now from whence I come?—From him,

From waging bitter war with him; and he,

That did not shun to smite me in worse way, 35

Had yet that grace of courtesy in him left,

He spared to lift his hand against the King

Who made him knight: but many a knight was slain;

And many more, and all his kith and kin

Clave to him, and abode in his own land. 40

And many more when Modred raised revolt,

Forgetful of their troth and fealty, clave

To Modred, and a remnant stays with me.

And of this remnant will I leave a part,

True men who love me still, for whom I live, 45

To guard thee in the wild hour coming on,

Lest but a hair of this low head be harmed.

Fear not: thou shalt be guarded till my death.

Howbeit I know, if ancient prophecies

Have erred not, that I march to meet my doom. 50

Thou hast not made my life so sweet to me,

That I the King should greatly care to live;

For thou hast spoilt the purpose of my life.

Bear with me for the last time while I show,

Even for thy sake, the sin which thou hast sinned. 55

For when the Roman left us, and their law

Relaxed its hold upon us, and the ways

Were filled with rapine, here and there a deed

Of prowess done redressed a random wrong.

But I was first of all the kings who drew 60

The knighthood-errant of this realm and all

The realms together under me, their Head,

In that fair Order of my Table Round,—

A glorious company, the flower of men,

To serve as model for the mighty world, 65

And be the fair beginning of a time.

I made them lay their hands in mine, and swear

To reverence the King as if he were

Their conscience, and their conscience as their King,

To break the heathen and uphold the Christ, 70

To ride abroad redressing human wrongs,

To speak no slander, no, nor listen to it,

To honor his own word as if his God’s,

To lead sweet lives in purest chastity,

To love one maiden only, cleave to her, 75

And worship her by years of noble deeds

Until they won her; for indeed I knew

Of no more subtle master under heaven

Than is the maiden passion for a maid,

Not only to keep down the base in man, 80

But teach high thought, and amiable words,

And courtliness, and the desire of fame,

And love of truth, and all that makes a man.

And all this throve before I wedded thee,

Believing, ‘Lo mine helpmate, one to feel 85

My purpose and rejoicing in my joy.’

Then came thy shameful sin with Lancelot;

Then came the sin of Tristram and Isolt;

Then others, following these my mightiest knights,

And drawing foul ensample from fair names, 90

Sinned also, till the loathsome opposite

Of all my heart had destined did obtain,

And all through thee! so that this life of mine

I guard as God’s high gift from scathe and wrong,

Not greatly care to lose; but rather think 95

How sad it were for Arthur, should he live,

To sit once more within his lonely hall,

And miss the wonted number of my knights,

And miss to hear high talk of noble deeds

As in the golden days before thy sin. 100

For which of us, who might be left, could speak

Of the pure heart, nor seem to glance at thee?

And in thy bowers of Camelot or of Usk

Thy shadow still would glide from room to room,

And I should evermore be vext with thee 105

In hanging robe or vacant ornament,

Or ghostly footfall echoing on the stair.

For think not, though thou wouldst not love thy lord,

Thy lord has wholly lost his love for thee.

I am not made of so slight elements. 110

Yet must I leave thee, woman, to thy shame.

I hold that man the worst of public foes

Who either for his own or children’s sake.

To save his blood from scandal, lets the wife

Whom he knows false, abide and rule the house; 115

For being through his cowardice allowed

Her station, taken everywhere for pure,

She like a new disease, unknown to men,

Creeps, no precaution used, among the crowd,

Makes wicked lightnings of her eyes, and saps 120

The fealty of our friends, and stirs the pulse

With devil’s leaps, and poisons half the young.

Worst of the worst were that man he that reigns!

Better the King’s waste hearth and aching heart

Than thou reseated in thy place of light, 125

The mockery of my people, and their bane.”


He paused, and in the pause she crept an inch

Nearer, and laid her hands about his feet.

Far off a solitary trumpet blew.

Then waiting by the doors the war-horse neighed 130

As at a friend’s voice, and he spake again:—


“Yet think not that I come to urge thy crimes;

I did not come to curse thee, Guinevere,—

I, whose vast pity almost makes me die

To see thee, laying there thy golden head, 135

My pride in happier summers, at my feet.

The wrath which forced my thoughts on that fierce law,

The doom of treason and the flaming death,

(When first I learnt thee hidden here) is past.

The pang which while I weighed thy heart with one 140

Too wholly true to dream untruth in thee,

Made my tears burn, is also past—in part.

And all is past, the sin is sinned, and I,

Lo! I forgive thee, as Eternal God

Forgives: do thou for thine own soul the rest. 145

But how to take last leave of all I loved?

O golden hair, with which I used to play,

Not knowing! O imperial-molded form,

And beauty such as never woman wore,

Until it came a kingdom’s curse with thee— 150

I cannot touch thy lips,—they are not mine,

But Lancelot’s: nay, they never were the King’s.

I cannot take thy hand,—that too is flesh,

And in the flesh thou hast sinned; and mine own flesh.

Here looking down on thine polluted, cries 155

‘I loathe thee;’ yet not less, O Guinevere,—

For I was ever virgin save for thee,—

My love through flesh hath wrought into my life

So far, that my doom is, I love thee still.

Let no man dream but that I love thee still. 160

Perchance, and so thou purify thy soul,

And so thou lean on our fair father Christ,

Hereafter in that world where all are pure

We two may meet before high God, and thou

Wilt spring to me, and claim me thine, and know 165

I am thine husband—not a smaller soul,

Nor Lancelot, nor another. Leave me that,

I charge thee, my last hope. Now must I hence.

Through the thick night I hear the trumpet blow:

They summon me their King to lead mine hosts 170

Far down to that great battle in the west,

Where I must strike against the man they call

My sister’s son—no kin of mine, who leagues

With Lords of the White Horse, heathen, and knights,

Traitors—and strike him dead, and meet myself 175

Death, or I know not what mysterious doom.

And thou remaining here wilt learn the event:

But hither shall I never come again,

Never lie by thy side; see thee no more—

Farewell!”


And while she groveled at his feet, 180

She felt the King’s breath wander o’er her neck,

And in the darkness o’er her fallen head

Perceived the waving of his hands that blest.