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Alfred, Lord Tennyson: The Spirit Of A Man

Image: Unsplash, downloaded ( 25.04.2022.

The Idealist

A mighty matter I rehearse,

A mighty matter undescried;

Come listen all who can.

I am the spirit of a man,

I weave the universe,

An indivisible divide,

Creating all I hear and see.

All souls are centres: I am one,

I am the earth, the stars, the sun,

I am the clouds, the sea.

I am the citadels and palaces

Of all great cities: I am Rome,

Tadmor and Cairo: I am Place

And Time, yet is my home

Eternity: (let no man think it odd,

For I am these,

And every other birth of every other race;)

I am all things, save souls of fellow men, and

very God!

Nothing Will Die

When will the stream be aweary of flowing

Under my eye?

When will the wind be aweary of blowing

Over the sky?

When will the clouds be aweary of fleeting?

When will the heart be aweary of beating?

And nature die?

Never, oh! never, nothing will die;

The stream flows,

The wind blows,

The cloud fleets,

The heart beats,

Nothing will die.

Nothing will die;

All things will change

Thro' eternity.

'Tis the world's winter;

Autumn and summer

Are gone long ago;

Earth is dry to the centre,

But spring, a new comer,

A spring rich and strange,

Shall make the winds blow

Round and round,

Thro' and thro',

Here and there,

Till the air

And the ground

Shall be fill'd with life anew.

The world was never made;

It will change, but it will not fade.

So let the wind range;

For even and morn

Ever will be

Thro' eternity.

Nothing was born;

Nothing will die;

All things will change.

Over the dark world flies the wind

Over the dark world flies the wind

And clatters in the sapless trees,

From cloud to cloud thro' darkness blind

Quick stars scud o'er the sounding seas:

I look: the showery skirts unbind:

Mars by the lonely Pleiades

Burns overhead: with brows declined

I muse - I wander from my peace,

And still divide the rapid mind

This way and that in search of ease.

Source: Selected poems/Alfred Lord Tennyson (Tennyson, A. (1991) Selected poems/Alfred Lord Tennyson, London: Penguin Books)


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The image of Quasimodo is by French artist Louis Steinheil, which appeared in  the 1844 edition of Victor Hugo's "Notre-Dame de Paris" published by Perrotin of Paris.


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