Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, TO THE MARQUIS OF DUFFERIN AND AVA, by ALFRED TENNYSON



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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

TO THE MARQUIS OF DUFFERIN AND AVA, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: At times our britain cannot rest
Last Line: Will mix with love for you and yours.
Alternate Author Name(s): Tennyson, Lord Alfred; Tennyson, 1st Baron; Tennyson Of Aldworth And Farringford, Baron
Subject(s): Blackwood, Frederick (1826-1902); Death - Children; India; Death - Babies


I

AT times our Britain cannot rest,
At times her steps are swift and rash;
She moving, at her girdle clash
The golden keys of East and West.

II

Not swift or rash, when late she lent
The sceptres of her West, her East,
To one that ruling has increased
Her greatness and her self-content.

III

Your rule has made the people love
Their ruler. Your viceregal days
Have added fulness to the phrase
Of 'Gauntlet in the velvet glove.'

IV

But since your name will grow with time,
Not all, as honoring your fair fame
Of Statesman, have I made the name
A golden portal to my rhyme;

V

But more, that you and yours may know
From me and mine, how dear a debt
We owed you, and are owing yet
To you and yours, and still would owe.

VI

For he -- your India was his Fate,
And drew him over sea to you --
He fain had ranged her thro' and thro',
To serve her myriads and the State, --

VII

A soul that, watch'd from earliest youth,
And on thro' many a brightening year,
Had never swerved for craft or fear,
By one side-path, from simple truth;

VIII

Who might have chased and claspt Renown
And caught her chaplet here -- and there
In haunts of jungle-poison'd air
The flame of life went wavering down;

IX

But ere he left your fatal shore,
And lay on that funereal boat,
Dying, 'Unspeakable,' he wrote,
'Their kindness,' and he wrote no more;

X

And sacred is the latest word;
And now the Was, the Might-have-been,
And those lone rites I have not seen,
And one drear sound I have not heard,

XI

Are dreams that scarce will let me be,
Not there to bid my boy farewell,
When That within the coffin fell,
Fell -- and flash'd into the Red Sea,

XII

Beneath a hard Arabian moon
And alien stars. To question why
The sons before the fathers die,
Not mine! and I may meet him soon;

XIII

But while my life's late eve endures,
Nor settles into hueless gray,
My memories of his briefer day
Will mix with love for you and yours.







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