The Poet (Tennyson)

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
Lady Clara Vere de Vere
by Alfred Tennyson


The poet in a golden clime was born,
     With golden stars above;
Dower’d with the hate of hate, the scorn of scorn,
         The love of love.

He saw thro’ life and death, thro’ good and ill,
     He saw thro’ his own soul.
The marvel of the everlasting will,
         An open scroll,

Before him lay; with echoing feet he threaded
     The secretest walks of fame:
The viewless arrows of his thoughts were headed
         And wing’d with flame,

Like Indian reeds blown from his silver tongue,
     And of so fierce a flight,
From Calpe unto Caucasus they sung,
         Filling with light

And vagrant melodies the winds which bore
     Them earthward till they lit;
Then, like the arrow-seeds of the field flower,
         The fruitful wit

Cleaving took root, and springing forth anew
     Where’er they fell, behold,
Like to the mother plant in semblance, grew
         A flower all gold,

And bravely furnish’d all abroad to fling
     The winged shafts of truth,
To throng with stately blooms the breathing spring
         Of Hope and Youth.

So many minds did gird their orbs with beams,
     Tho’ one did fling the fire;
Heaven flow’d upon the soul in many dreams
         Of high desire.

Thus truth was multiplied on truth, the world
     Like one great garden show’d,
And thro’ the wreaths of floating dark up-curl’d,
         Rare sunrise flow’d.

And Freedom rear’d in that august sunrise
     Her beautiful bold brow,
When rites and forms before his burning eyes
         Melted like snow.

There was no blood upon her maiden robes
     Sunn’d by those orient skies;
But round about the circles of the globes
         Of her keen eyes

And in her raiment’s hem was traced in flame
     WISDOM, a name to shake
All evil dreams of power–a sacred name.
         And when she spake,

Her words did gather thunder as they ran,
     And as the lightning to the thunder
Which follows it, riving the spirit of man,
         Making earth wonder,

So was their meaning to her words. No sword
     Of wrath her right arm whirl’d,
But one poor poet’s scroll, and with his word
         She shook the world.

This work was published before January 1, 1923, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.