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Short poem

Alfred Lord Tennyson (1809-1892)

Late, Late, so Late

              1    Late, late, so late! and dark the night and chill!
              2Late, late, so late! but we can enter still.
              3Too late, too late! ye cannot enter now.

              4    No light had we: for that we do repent;
              5And learning this, the bridegroom will relent.
              6Too late, too late! ye cannot enter now.

              7    No light: so late! and dark and chill the night!
              8O, let us in, that we may find the light!
              9Too late, too late: ye cannot enter now.

            10    Have we not heard the bridgegroom is so sweet?
            11O, let us in, tho' late, to kiss his feet!
            12No, no, too late! ye cannot enter now."


1] From "Guinevere" and based on the parable of the Wise and Foolish Virgins. See St. Matthew 25.

Online text copyright © 2003, Ian Lancashire for the Department of English, University of Toronto.
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services, University of Toronto Libraries.

Original text: Alfred Tennyson, Idylls of the King (Boston, Mass.: Ticknor and Fields, 1859). tenn T366 I496 1859 (Fisher Library).
First publication date: 1859
RPO poem editor: W. J. Alexander, William Hall Clawson
RP edition: RP (1916), pp. 350-51; RPO 1997.
Recent editing: 2:2002/3/7

Rhyme: aab ccb ddb eeb

Other poems by Alfred Lord Tennyson