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Alfred Lord Tennyson (1809-1892)

Maud; A Monodrama (from Part II)

(excerpt)


      2.141   O that 'twere possible
      2.142After long grief and pain
      2.143To find the arms of my true love
      2.144Round me once again!

      2.145   When I was wont to meet her
      2.146In the silent woody places
      2.147By the home that gave me birth,
      2.148We stood tranced in long embraces
      2.149Mixt with kisses sweeter sweeter
      2.150Than anything on earth.

      2.151   A shadow flits before me,
      2.152Not thou, but like to thee:
      2.153Ah Christ, that it were possible
      2.154For one short hour to see
      2.155The souls we loved, that they might tell us
      2.156What and where they be.

      2.157   It leads me forth at evening,
      2.158It lightly winds and steals
      2.159In a cold white robe before me,
      2.160When all my spirit reels
      2.161At the shouts, the leagues of lights,
      2.162And the roaring of the wheels.

      2.163   Half the night I waste in sighs,
      2.164Half in dreams I sorrow after
      2.165The delight of early skies;
      2.166In a wakeful doze I sorrow
      2.167For the hand, the lips, the eyes,
      2.168For the meeting of the morrow,
      2.169The delight of happy laughter,
      2.170The delight of low replies.

      2.171   'Tis a morning pure and sweet,
      2.172And a dewy splendour falls
      2.173On the little flower that clings
      2.174To the turrets and the walls;
      2.175'Tis a morning pure and sweet,
      2.176And the light and shadow fleet;
      2.177She is walking in the meadow,
      2.178And the woodland echo rings;
      2.179In a moment we shall meet;
      2.180She is singing in the meadow,
      2.181And the rivulet at her feet
      2.182Ripples on in light and shadow
      2.183To the ballad that she sings.

      2.184   So I hear her sing as of old,
      2.185My bird with the shining head,
      2.186My own dove with the tender eye?
      2.187But there rings on a sudden a passionate cry,
      2.188There is some one dying or dead,
      2.189And a sullen thunder is roll'd;
      2.190For a tumult shakes the city,
      2.191And I wake, my dream is fled;
      2.192In the shuddering dawn, behold,
      2.193Without knowledge, without pity,
      2.194By the curtains of my bed
      2.195That abiding phantom cold.

      2.196   Get thee hence, nor come again,
      2.197Mix not memory with doubt,
      2.198Pass, thou deathlike type of pain,
      2.199Pass and cease to move about!
      2.200'Tis the blot upon the brain
      2.201That will show itself without.

      2.202   Then I rise, the eave-drops fall,
      2.203And the yellow vapours choke
      2.204The great city sounding wide;
      2.205The day comes, a dull red ball
      2.206Wrapt in drifts of lurid smoke
      2.207On the misty river-tide.

      2.208   Thro' the hubbub of the market
      2.209I steal, a wasted frame;
      2.210It crosses here, it crosses there,
      2.211Thro' all that crowd confused and loud,
      2.212The shadow still the same;
      2.213And on my heavy eyelids
      2.214My anguish hangs like shame.

      2.215   Alas for her that met me,
      2.216That heard me softly call,
      2.217Came glimmering thro' the laurels
      2.218At the quiet evenfall,
      2.219In the garden by the turrets
      2.220Of the old manorial hall.

      2.221   Would the happy spirit descend
      2.222From the realms of light and song,
      2.223In the chamber or the street,
      2.224As she looks among the blest,
      2.225Should I fear to greet my friend
      2.226Or to say "Forgive the wrong,"
      2.227Or to ask her, "Take me, sweet,
      2.228To the regions of thy rest"?

      2.229   But the broad light glares and beats,
      2.230And the shadow flits and fleets
      2.231And will not let me be;
      2.232And I loathe the squares and streets,
      2.233And the faces that one meets,
      2.234Hearts with no love for me:
      2.235Always I long to creep
      2.236Into some still cavern deep,
      2.237There to weep, and weep, and weep
      2.238My whole soul out to thee.

...


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 Lord Tennyson, Maud, and other poems (London: E. Moxon, 1855). PR 5567 A1 1855 ROBA. Alfred lord Tennyson, Works (London: Macmillan, 1891). tenn T366 A1 1891a Fisher Rare Book Library (Toronto).
First publication date: 1855
RPO poem editor: J. D. Robins
RP edition: 2RP 2.404.
Recent editing: 2:2002/4/24

Rhyme: irregular


Other poems by Alfred Lord Tennyson