Last week, we celebrated the birthday of Emily Bronte, and it’s the turn of another literary great this week as we commemorate Alfred, Lord Tennyson – born this week in 1809. Remaining one of the most popular and memorable of British poets to this day, it’s perhaps no surprise that Tennyson is thought of in such terms as he continues to remain the longest serving Poet Laureate, holding the post from 1850 to his death in 1892.
With such a lengthy stint there were veritable reams of verse we could have chosen as our Featured Poem, but we’re going for this particular poem which puts us in mind of climes both fair and rugged – a perfect escape to set us up for an adventurous week ahead.
Lines [‘Here often, when a child, I lay reclined’]
Here often, when a child, I lay reclined:
I took delight in this fair strand and free:
Here stood the infant Ilion of my 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 sandbanks and pale sunsets, dreary wind,
Dim shores, dense rains and heavy-clouded sea.
Yet thro’ perchance no tract of earth have more
Unlikeness to the fair Ionian plain,
I love the place that I have loved before,
I love the rolling cloud, the flying rain,
The brown sea lapsing back with sullen roar
To travel leagues before he comes again,
The misty desert of the houseless shore,
The phantom-circle of the moaning main.
Alfred, Lord Tennyson