The Suppressed Poems of Alfred Lord Tennyson eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 68 pages of information about The Suppressed Poems of Alfred Lord Tennyson.

The Lover’s Tale

  Sometimes I thought Camilla was no more,
  Some one had told me she was dead, and ask’d me
  If I would see her burial:  then I seem’d
  To rise, and thro’ the forest-shadow borne
  With more than mortal swiftness, I ran down
  The sleepy sea-bank, till I came upon
  The rear of a procession, curving round
  The silver-sheeted bay:  in front of which
  Six stately virgins, all in white, upbare
  A broad earth-sweeping pall of whitest lawn,
  Wreathed round the bier with garlands:  in the distance,
  From out the yellow woods, upon the hill,
  Look’d forth the summit and the pinnacles
  Of a grey steeple.  All the pageantry,
  Save those six virgins which upheld the bier,
  Were stoled from head to foot in flowing black;
  One walk’d abreast with me, and veiled his brow,
  And he was loud in weeping and in praise
  Of the departed:  a strong sympathy
  Shook all my soul:  I flung myself upon him
  In tears and cries:  I told him all my love,
  How I had loved her from the first; whereat
  He shrunk and howl’d, and from his brow drew back
  His hand to push me from him; and the face
  The very face and form of Lionel,
  Flash’d through my eyes into my innermost brain,
  And at his feet I seemed to faint and fall,
  To fall and die away.  I could not rise,
  Albeit I strove to follow.  They pass’d on,
  The lordly Phantasms; in their floating folds
  They pass’d and were no more:  but I had fall’n
  Prone by the dashing runnel on the grass.

  Always th’ inaudible, invisible thought
  Artificer and subject, lord and slave
  Shaped by the audible and visible,
  Moulded the audible and visible;
  All crisped sounds of wave, and leaf and wind,
  Flatter’d the fancy of my fading brain;
  The storm-pavilion’d element, the wood,
  The mountain, the three cypresses, the cave,
  Were wrought into the tissue of my dream. 
  The moanings in the forest, the loud stream,
  Awoke me not, but were a part of sleep;
  And voices in the distance, calling to me,
  And in my vision bidding me dream on,
  Like sounds within the twilight realms of dreams,
  Which wander round the bases of the hills,
  And murmur in the low-dropt eaves of sleep,
  But faint within the portals.  Oftentimes
  The vision had fair prelude, in the end
  Opening on darkness, stately vestibules
  To cares and shows of Death; whether the mind,
  With a revenge even to itself unknown,
  Made strange division of its suffering
  With her, whom to have suffering view’d had been
  Extremest pain; or that the clear-eyed Spirit,
  Being blasted in the Present, grew at length
  Prophetical and prescient of whate’er
  The Future had in store; or that which most
  Enchains belief, the sorrow of my spirit

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