ALFRED LORD TENNYSON


Alfred Lord Tennyson (1809-1892) succeeded William Wordsworth as the Poet Laureate of Great Britain in 1850. His American contemporary was Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. One of twelve children born to a minister, he was raised in the English countryside. Because of poverty, it was 14 years before he could marry the great love of his life, Emily Sellwood, and then in secrecy. Tennyson was fascinated with King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. His poems include The Lady of Shalott, Ulysses, and Crossing The Bar. Today he is best known for the last line of Canto XXVII of In Memoriam A. H. H:

"'Tis better to have loved and lost
than never to have loved at all."




Crossing The Bar


Sunset and evening star,
And one clear call for me!
And may there be no moaning of the bar,
When I put out to sea,

But such a tide as moving seems asleep,
Too full for sound or foam,
When that which drew from out the boundless deep
Turns again home.

Twilight and evening bell,
And after that the dark!
And may there be no sadness of farewell;
When I embark;

For though from out our bourne of Time and Place
The flood may bear me far,
I hope to see my Pilot face to face
When I have crossed the bar.


Alfred Lord Tennyson
1889



Poetry