Verse > Anthologies > T. H. Ward, ed. > The English Poets > Vol. V. Browning to Rupert Brooke
Thomas Humphry Ward, ed.  The English Poets.  1880–1918.
Vol. V. Browning to Rupert Brooke
Extracts from In Memoriam: ‘Yet if some voice that man could trust’
By Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809–1892)
YET if some voice that man could trust
    Should murmur from the narrow house,
    “The cheeks drop in; the body bows;
Man dies: nor is there hope in dust:”
Might I not say? “Yet even here,        5
    But for one hour, O Love, I strive
    To keep so sweet a thing alive:”
But I should turn mine ears and hear
The moanings of the homeless sea,
    The sound of streams that swift or slow        10
    Draw down Æonian hills, and sow
The dust of continents to be;
And Love would answer with a sigh,
    “The sound of that forgetful shore
    Will change my sweetness more and more,        15
Half-dead to know that I shall die.”
O me, what profits it to put
    An idle case? If Death were seen
    At first as Death, Love had not been,
Or been in narrowest working shut,        20
Mere fellowship of sluggish moods,
    Or in his coarsest Satyr-shape
    Had bruised the herb and crush’d the grape,
And bask’d and batten’d in the woods.

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