The Suppressed Poems of Alfred Lord Tennyson eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 105 pages of information about The Suppressed Poems of Alfred Lord Tennyson.
1870 and 1875, attempts had been made by Mr Herne Shepherd to publish editions of ‘The Lover’s Tale,’ reprinted from stray proof copies of the 1833 printing.  Each of these attempts was repressed by Tennyson, and at last in 1879 the complete poem, as now included in the collected Works, was issued, with an apologetic reference to the necessity of reprinting the poem to prevent its circulation in an unauthorised form.  But the 1879 issue is considerably altered from the original issue of 1833, as written by Tennyson in his nineteenth year.  Since only as a product of Tennyson’s youth does the poem merit any attention, it has seemed good to reprint it here as originally written.]


The Poem of the Lover’s Tale (the lover is supposed to be himself a poet) was written in my nineteenth year, and consequently contains nearly as many faults as words.  That I deemed it not wholly unoriginal is my only apology for its publication—­an apology lame and poor, and somewhat impertinent to boot:  so that if its infirmities meet with more laughter than charity in the world, I shall not raise my voice in its defence.  I am aware how deficient the Poem is in point of art, and it is not without considerable misgivings that I have ventured to publish even this fragment of it.  ‘Enough,’ says the old proverb, ’is as good as a feast.’—­(Tennyson’s original introductory note.)

  Here far away, seen from the topmost cliff,
  Filling with purple gloom the vacancies
  Between the tufted hills the sloping seas
  Hung in mid-heaven, and half-way down rare sails,
  White as white clouds, floated from sky to sky. 
  Oh! pleasant breast of waters, quiet bay,
  Like to a quiet mind in the loud world,
  Where the chafed breakers of the outer sea
  Sunk powerless, even as anger falls aside,
  And withers on the breast of peaceful love,
  Thou didst receive that belt of pines, that fledged
  The hills that watch’d thee, as Love watcheth Love,—­
  In thine own essence, and delight thyself
  To make it wholly thine on sunny days. 
  Keep thou thy name of ‘Lover’s bay’:  See, Sirs,
  Even now the Goddess of the Past, that takes
  The heart, and sometimes toucheth but one string,
  That quivers, and is silent, and sometimes
  Sweeps suddenly all its half-moulder’d chords
  To an old melody, begins to play
  On those first-moved fibres of the brain. 
  I come, Great mistress of the ear and eye: 
  Oh! lead me tenderly, for fear the mind
  Rain thro’ my sight, and strangling sorrow weigh
  Mine utterance with lameness.  Tho’ long years
  Have hallowed out a valley and a gulf
  Betwixt the native land of Love and me,
  Breathe but a little on me, and the sail
  Will draw me to the rising of the sun,
  The lucid chambers of the morning star,
  And East of life. 

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The Suppressed Poems of Alfred Lord Tennyson from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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