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Alfred Lord Tennyson

Alfred Lord Tennyson

ALFRED LORD TENNYSON: L'Envoi

L'Envoi

(A fragment from the poem from "The Day-Dream")
You shake your head. A random string
   Your finer female sense offends.
Well – were it not a pleasant thing
   To fall asleep with all one’s friends;
To pass with all our social ties
   To silence from the paths of men; 
And every hundred years to rise
   And learn the world and sleep again;
To sleep through years of mighty wars,
   And wake on science grown to more,
On secrets of the brain, the stars,
   As wild as aught on fairy lore;
And all that else the years will show,
   The Poet-forms of stronger hours,
The vast Republics that may grow,
   The Federations and the Powers;
Titanic forces taking birth
   In diverse seasons, diverse climes;
For we are Ancients of the earth,
   And in the morning of the times.
So sleeping, so aroused from sleep
   Through sunny decades new and strange,
Or gay quinquenniads, would we reap
   The flower and quintessence of change.




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