But men of long enduring hopes,
And careless what this hour may bring,
Can pardon little would-be Popes
And Brummels, when they try to sting.
An artist, Sir, should rest in art,
And wave a little of his claim;
To have the deep poetic heart
Is more than all poetic fame.
But you, Sir, you are hard to please;
You never look but half content:
Nor like a gentleman at ease
With moral breadth of temperament.
And what with spites and what with fears,
You cannot let a body be:
It’s always ringing in your ears,
‘They call this man as good as me.’
What profits now to understand
The merits of a spotless shirt—
A dapper boot—a little hand—
If half the little soul is dirt?
You talk of tinsel! why we see
The old mark of rouge upon your cheeks.
You prate of nature! you are he
That spilt his life about the cliques.
A Timon you! Nay, nay, for shame:
It looks too arrogant a jest—
The fierce old man—to take his name
You bandbox. Off, and let him rest.
[Published in Manchester Athaenaum Album, 1850. Written, 1837. Republished, altered, in Life, vol. I, p. 161.]
How often, when a child I lay reclined,
I took delight in this locality!
Here stood the infant Ilion of the mind,
And here the Grecian ships did seem to be.
And here again I come and only find
The drain-cut levels of the marshy lea,—
Gray sand banks and pale sunsets—dreary wind,
Dim shores, dense rains, and heavy clouded sea.
[Published in The Keepsake for 1851: an illustrated annual, edited by Miss Power. London: David Bogue. To this issue of the Keepsake Tennyson also contributed ‘Come not when I am dead’ now included in the collected Works.]
What time I wasted youthful hours
One of the shining winged powers,
Show’d me vast cliffs with crown of towers,
As towards the gracious light I bow’d,
They seem’d high palaces and proud,
Hid now and then with sliding cloud.
He said, ’The labour is not small;
Yet winds the pathway free to all:—
Take care thou dost not fear to fall!’
=Britons, Guard your Own=
[Published in The Examiner, January 31, 1852. Verses 1 (considerably altered), 7, 8 and 10, are reprinted in Life, vol. I, p. 344.]
Rise, Britons, rise, if manhood be not
The world’s last tempest darkens overhead;
The Pope has bless’d him;
The Church caress’d him;
He triumphs; maybe, we shall stand alone:
Britons, guard your own.