The Poet (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 published before January 1, 1923 is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.