Alfred Lord Tennyson

6 August 1809 – 6 October 1892 / Lincoln / England

Maud: A Monodrama (Part Ii, Excerpt)

.
O that 'twere possible
.
After long grief and pain
.
To find the arms of my true love
.
Round me once again!2.
When I was wont to meet her
.
In the silent woody places
.
By the home that gave me birth,
.
We stood tranced in long embraces
.
Mixt with kisses sweeter sweeter
.
Than anything on earth.2.
A shadow flits before me,
.
Not thou, but like to thee:
.
Ah Christ, that it were possible
.
For one short hour to see
.
The souls we loved, that they might tell us
.
What and where they be.2.
It leads me forth at evening,
.
It lightly winds and steals
.
In a cold white robe before me,
.
When all my spirit reels
.
At the shouts, the leagues of lights,
.
And the roaring of the wheels.2.
Half the night I waste in sighs,
.
Half in dreams I sorrow after
.
The delight of early skies;
.
In a wakeful doze I sorrow
.
For the hand, the lips, the eyes,
.
For the meeting of the morrow,
.
The delight of happy laughter,
.
The delight of low replies.2.
'Tis a morning pure and sweet,
.
And a dewy splendour falls
.
On the little flower that clings
.
To the turrets and the walls;
.
'Tis a morning pure and sweet,
.
And the light and shadow fleet;
.
She is walking in the meadow,
.
And the woodland echo rings;
.
In a moment we shall meet;
.
She is singing in the meadow,
.
And the rivulet at her feet
.
Ripples on in light and shadow
.
To the ballad that she sings.2.
So I hear her sing as of old,
.
My bird with the shining head,
.
My own dove with the tender eye?
.
But there rings on a sudden a passionate cry,
.
There is some one dying or dead,
.
And a sullen thunder is roll'd;
.
For a tumult shakes the city,
.
And I wake, my dream is fled;
.
In the shuddering dawn, behold,
.
Without knowledge, without pity,
.
By the curtains of my bed
.
That abiding phantom cold.2.
Get thee hence, nor come again,
.
Mix not memory with doubt,
.
Pass, thou deathlike type of pain,
.
Pass and cease to move about!
.
'Tis the blot upon the brain
.
That will show itself without.2.
Then I rise, the eave-drops fall,
.
And the yellow vapours choke
.
The great city sounding wide;
.
The day comes, a dull red ball
.
Wrapt in drifts of lurid smoke
.
On the misty river-tide.2.
Thro' the hubbub of the market
.
I steal, a wasted frame;
.
It crosses here, it crosses there,
.
Thro' all that crowd confused and loud,
.
The shadow still the same;
.
And on my heavy eyelids
.
My anguish hangs like shame.2.
Alas for her that met me,
.
That heard me softly call,
.
Came glimmering thro' the laurels
.
At the quiet evenfall,
.
In the garden by the turrets
.
Of the old manorial hall.2.
Would the happy spirit descend
.
From the realms of light and song,
.
In the chamber or the street,
.
As she looks among the blest,
.
Should I fear to greet my friend
.
Or to say "Forgive the wrong,"
.
Or to ask her, "Take me, sweet,
.
To the regions of thy rest"?2.
But the broad light glares and beats,
.
And the shadow flits and fleets
.
And will not let me be;
.
And I loathe the squares and streets,
.
And the faces that one meets,
.
Hearts with no love for me:
.
Always I long to creep
.
Into some still cavern deep,
.
There to weep, and weep, and weep
.
My whole soul out to thee....
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