Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE EXILE'S HARP, by ALFRED TENNYSON

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THE EXILE'S HARP, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: I will hang thee, my harp, by the side of the fountain
Last Line: For ever farewell!
Alternate Author Name(s): Tennyson, Lord Alfred; Tennyson, 1st Baron; Tennyson Of Aldworth And Farringford, Baron
Subject(s): Harps; Musical Instruments; Lyres

I WILL hang thee, my Harp, by the side of the fountain,
On the whispering branch of the lone-waving willow:
Above thee shall rush the hoarse gale of the mountain,
Below thee shall tumble the dark breaking billow.
The winds shall blow by thee, abandon'd, forsaken,
The wild gales alone shall arouse thy sad strain;
For where is the heart or the hand to awaken
The sounds of thy soul-soothing sweetness again?
Oh! Harp of my fathers!
Thy chords shall decay,
One by one with the strings
Shall thy notes fade away;
Till the fiercest of tempests
Around thee may yell,
And not waken one sound
Of thy desolate shell!

Yet, oh! yet, ere I go, will I fling a wreath round thee,
With the richest of flowers in the green valley springing;
Those that see shall remember the hand that hath crown'd thee,
When, wither'd and dead, to thee still they are clinging.
There! now I have wreath'd thee -- the roses are twining
Thy chords with their bright blossoms glowing and red:
Though the lapse of one day see their freshness declining,
Yet bloom for one day when thy minstrel has fled!
Oh! Harp of my fathers!
No more in the hall,
The souls of the chieftains
Thy strains shall enthral:
One sweep will I give thee,
And wake thy bold swell;
Then, thou friend of my bosom,
For ever farewell!

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