Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809-1892) was Poet Laureate of Great Britain and of Ireland during much of Queen Victoria's reign and remains one of the most popular British poets. Tennyson excelled at penning short lyrics, such as "Break, Break, Break," "The Charge of the Light Brigade," "Tears, Idle Tears," and "Crossing the Bar." Tennyson also wrote some notable blank verse, including Idylls of the King, "Ulysses," and "Tithonus."
Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,
The flying cloud, the frosty light:
The year is dying in the night;
Ring out, wild bells, and let him die. Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
You ask me, why, tho' ill at ease,
Within this region I subsist,
Whose spirits falter in the mist,
And languish for the purple seas. It is the land that freemen till,
That sober-suited Freedom chose,
The land, where girt with friends or foes
Break, break, break,
On thy cold gray stones, O Sea!
And I would that my tongue could utter
The thoughts that arise in me. O, well for the fisherman's boy,
That he shouts with his sister at play!
O, well for the sailor lad,
They wrought a work which Time reveres,
A pure example to the lands,
Further and further reaching hands,
Forever into coming years; They worshipt Freedom for her sake;
We faint unless the wanton ear
Be tickled with the loud "hear, hear,"
To which the slight-built hustings shake; For...
Of old sat freedom on the heights,
The thunders breaking at her feet;
Above her shook the starry lights;
She heard the torrents meet. There in her place she did rejoice,
Self-gather'd in her prophet-mind,
But fragments of her mighty voice
Came rolling on the wind. Then...
It little profits that an idle king,
By this still hearth, among these barren crags,
Match'd with an aged wife, I mete and dole
Unequal laws unto a savage race,
That hoard, and sleep, and feed, and know not me. I cannot rest...
On either side the river lie
Long fields of barley and of rye,
That clothe the wold and meet the sky;
And thro' the field the road runs by
To many-tower'd Camelot;
And up and down the people go,
Gazing where the...