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Short poem

Alfred Lord Tennyson (1809-1892)

The Princess: Our Enemies have Fall'n

              1      Our enemies have fall'n, have fall'n: the seed,
              2The little seed they laugh'd at in the dark,
              3Has risen and cleft the soil, and grown a bulk
              4Of spanless girth, that lays on every side
              5A thousand arms and rushes to the Sun.

              6      Our enemies have fall'n, have fall'n: they came;
              7The leaves were wet with women's tears: they heard
              8A noise of songs they would not understand:
              9They mark'd it with the red cross to the fall,
            10And would have strown it, and are fall'n themselves.

            11      Our enemies have fall'n, have fall'n: they came,
            12The woodmen with their axes: lo the tree!
            13But we will make it faggots for the hearth,
            14And shape it plank and beam for roof and floor,
            15And boats and bridges for the use of men.

            16      Our enemies have fall'n, have fall'n: they struck;
            17With their own blows they hurt themselves, nor knew
            18There dwelt an iron nature in the grain:
            19The glittering axe was broken in their arms,
            20Their arms were shatter'd to the shoulder blade.

            21      Our enemies have fall'n, but this shall grow
            22A night of Summer from the heat, a breadth
            23Of Autumn, dropping fruits of power; and roll'd
            24With music in the growing breeze of Time,
            25The tops shall strike from star to star, the fangs
            26Shall move the stony bases of the world.

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, The Princess: A Medley (London: E. Moxen, 1847). PR 5571 A1 1847 Victoria College Library (Toronto). Alfred lord Tennyson, Works (London: Macmillan, 1891). tenn T366 A1 1891a Fisher Rare Book Library (Toronto).
First publication date: 1847
RPO poem editor: H. M. McLuhan
RP edition: 3RP 3.59.
Recent editing: 2:2002/2/14

Rhyme: unrhyming

Other poems by Alfred Lord Tennyson