Sunday, December 11, 2011

Tennyson in brief

Just for a little Sunday fun (?), here is the first poem in Tennyson's complete Poetical Works as published by H.B. Nims in 1886.  I love the fact that I had to look up a few of the words (lintwhite, mavis).  The phrase that first drew my eye to the poem when I opened to it was "At eve the beetle boometh/Athwart the thicket lone." Surely the start of a good story if there ever was one.

A Melody.

Where Claribel low-lieth
The breezes pause and die,
Letting the rose-leaves fall:
But the solemn oak-tree sigheth,
Thick-leaved, ambrosial,
With an ancient melody
Of an inward agony,
Where Claribel low-lieth.

At eve the beetle boometh
Athwart the thicket lone:
At noon the wild bee hummeth
About the moss'd headstone:
At midnight the moon cometh,
And looketh down alone.
Her song the lintwhite swelleth,
The clear-voiced mavis dwelleth,
The callow throstle lispeth,
The slumbrous wave outwelleth,
The babbling runnel crispeth,
The hollow grot replieth
Where Claribel low-lieth.