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Best Famous Alfred Lord Tennyson Poems

Here is a collection of the all-time best famous Alfred Lord Tennyson poems. This is a select list of the best famous Alfred Lord Tennyson poetry. Reading, writing, and enjoying famous Alfred Lord Tennyson poetry (as well as classical and contemporary poems) is a great past time. These top poems are the best examples of alfred lord tennyson poems.

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Written by Alfred Lord Tennyson |

Tears Idle Tears

  Tears, idle tears, I know not what they mean,
Tears from the depth of some divine despair
Rise in the heart, and gather to the eyes,
In looking on the happy Autumn-fields,
And thinking of the days that are no more.
Fresh as the first beam glittering on a sail, That brings our friends up from the underworld, Sad as the last which reddens over one That sinks with all we love below the verge; So sad, so fresh, the days that are no more.
Ah, sad and strange as in dark summer dawns The earliest pipe of half-awakened birds To dying ears, when unto dying eyes The casement slowly grows a glimmering square; So sad, so strange, the days that are no more.
Dear as remembered kisses after death, And sweet as those by hopeless fancy feigned On lips that are for others; deep as love, Deep as first love, and wild with all regret; O Death in Life, the days that are no more!

Written by Alfred Lord Tennyson |

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 and 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.

Written by Alfred Lord Tennyson |

Beautiful City

 Beautiful city

Beautiful city, the centre and crater of European confusion,
O you with your passionate shriek for the rights of an equal
humanity,
How often your Re-volution has proven but E-volution
Roll’d again back on itself in the tides of a civic insanity!

More great poems below...

Written by Alfred Lord Tennyson |

The Charge of the Light Brigade

Half a league, half a league, 
Half a league onward, 
All in the valley of Death 
Rode the six hundred.
"Forward, the Light Brigade! Charge for the guns!" he said: Into the valley of Death Rode the six hundred.
"Forward, the Light Brigade!" Was there a man dismayed? Not though the soldier knew Some one had blundered: Their's not to make reply, Their's not to reason why, Their's but to do and die: Into the valley of Death Rode the six hundred.
Cannon to right of them, Cannon to left of them, Cannon in front of them Volleyed and thundered; Stormed at with shot and shell, Boldly they rode and well, Into the jaws of Death, Into the mouth of Hell Rode the six hundred.
Flashed all their sabres bare, Flashed as they turned in air Sabring the gunners there, Charging an army, while All the world wondered: Plunged in the battery-smoke Right through the line they broke; Cossack and Russian Reeled from the sabre-stroke Shattered and sundered.
Then they rode back, but not, Not the six hundred.
Cannon to right of them, Cannon to left of them, Cannon behind them Volleyed and thundered; Stormed at with shot and shell, While horse and hero fell, They that had fought so well Came through the jaws of Death Back from the mouth of Hell, All that was left of them, Left of six hundred.
When can their glory fade? O the wild charge they made! All the world wondered.
Honour the charge they made! Honour the Light Brigade, Noble six hundred!

Written by Alfred Lord Tennyson |

The Mermaid

 I

Who would be
A mermaid fair,
Singing alone,
Combing her hair
Under the sea,
In a golden curl
With a comb of pearl,
On a throne?

II

I would be a mermaid fair;
I would sing to myself the whole of the day;
With a comb of pearl I would comb my hair;
And still as I comb'd I would sing and say,
'Who is it loves me? who loves not me?'
I would comb my hair till my ringlets would fall
 Low adown, low adown,
From under my starry sea-bud crown
 Low adown and around,
And I should look like a fountain of gold
 Springing alone
 With a shrill inner sound
 Over the throne
 In the midst of the hall;
Till that great sea-snake under the sea
From his coiled sleeps in the central deeps
Would slowly trail himself sevenfold
Round the hall where I sate, and look in at the gate
With his large calm eyes for the love of me.
And all the mermen under the sea Would feel their immortality Die in their hearts for the love of me.
III But at night I would wander away, away, I would fling on each side my low-flowing locks, And lightly vault from the throne and play With the mermen in and out of the rocks; We would run to and fro, and hide and seek, On the broad sea-wolds in the crimson shells, Whose silvery spikes are nighest the sea.
But if any came near I would call and shriek, And adown the steep like a wave I would leap From the diamond-ledges that jut from the dells; For I would not be kiss'd by all who would list Of the bold merry mermen under the sea.
They would sue me, and woo me, and flatter me, In the purple twilights under the sea; But the king of them all would carry me, Woo me, and win me, and marry me, In the branching jaspers under the sea.
Then all the dry-pied things that be In the hueless mosses under the sea Would curl round my silver feet silently, All looking up for the love of me.
And if I should carol aloud, from aloft All things that are forked, and horned, and soft Would lean out from the hollow sphere of the sea, All looking down for the love of me.

Written by Alfred Lord Tennyson |

The Revenge - A Ballad of the Fleet

 At Flores in the Azores Sir Richard Grenville lay, 
And a pinnace, like a fluttered bird, came flying from far away: 
'Spanish ships of war at sea! we have sighted' 
Then sware Lord Thomas Howard: ''Fore God I am no coward; 
But I cannot meet them here, for my ships are out of gear, 
And the half my men are sick.
I must fly, but follow quick.
We are six ships of the line; can we fight with ?' Then spake Sir Richard Grenville: 'I know you are no coward; You fly them for a moment to fight with them again.
But I've ninety men and more that are lying sick ashore.
I should count myself the coward if I left them, my Lord Howard, To these Inquisition dogs and the devildoms of Spain.
' So Lord Howard passed away with five ships of war that day, Till he melted like a cloud in the silent summer heaven; But Sir Richard bore in hand all his sick men from the land Very carefully and slow, Men of Bideford in Devon, And we laid them on the ballast down below; For we brought them all aboard, And they blest him in their pain, that they were not left to Spain, To the thumbscrew and the stake, for the glory of the Lord.
He had only a hundred seamen to work the ship and to fight, And he sailed away from Flores till the Spaniard came in sight, With his huge sea-castles heaving upon the weather bow.
'Shall we fight or shall we fly? Good Sir Richard, tell us now, For to fight is but to die! There'll be little of us left by the time this sun be set.
' And Sir Richard said again: 'We be all good English men.
Let us bang these dogs of Seville, the children of the devil, For I never turned my back upon Don or devil yet.
' Sir Richard spoke and he laughed, and we roared a hurrah, and so The little Revenge ran on sheer into the heart of the foe, With her hundred fighters on deck, and her ninety sick below; For half of their fleet to the right and half to the left were seen, And the little Revenge ran on through the long sea-lane between.
Thousands of their soldiers looked down from their decks and laughed, Thousands of their seamen made mock at the mad little craft Running on and on, till delayed By their mountain-like

Written by Alfred Lord Tennyson |

All Things Will Die

 Clearly the blue river chimes in its flowing

 Under my eye;
Warmly and broadly the south winds are blowing

 Over the sky.
One after another the white clouds are fleeting; Every heart this May morning in joyance is beating Full merrily; Yet all things must die.
The stream will cease to flow; The wind will cease to blow; The clouds will cease to fleet; The heart will cease to beat; For all things must die.
All things must die.
Spring will come never more.
O, vanity! Death waits at the door.
See! our friends are all forsaking The wine and the merrymaking.
We are call'd—we must go.
Laid low, very low, In the dark we must lie.
The merry glees are still; The voice of the bird Shall no more be heard, Nor the wind on the hill.
O, misery! Hark! death is calling While I speak to ye, The jaw is falling, The red cheek paling, The strong limbs failing; Ice with the warm blood mixing; The eyeballs fixing.
Nine times goes the passing bell: Ye merry souls, farewell.
The old earth Had a birth, As all men know, Long ago.
And the old earth must die.
So let the warm winds range, And the blue wave beat the shore; For even and morn Ye will never see Thro' eternity.
All things were born.
Ye will come never more, For all things must die.

Written by Alfred Lord Tennyson |

Summer Night

NOW sleeps the crimson petal, now the white; 
Nor waves the cypress in the palace walk; 
Nor winks the gold fin in the porphyry font: 
The firefly wakens: waken thou with me.
Now droops the milk-white peacock like a ghost, 5 And like a ghost she glimmers on to me.
Now lies the Earth all Dana? to the stars, And all thy heart lies open unto me.
Now slides the silent meteor on, and leaves A shining furrow, as thy thoughts in me.
10 Now folds the lily all her sweetness up, And slips into the bosom of the lake: So fold thyself, my dearest, thou, and slip Into my bosom and be lost in me.

Written by Alfred Lord Tennyson |

The Kraken

Below the thunders of the upper deep;
Far, far beneath in the abysmal sea,
His ancient, dreamless, uninvaded sleep
The Kraken sleepeth: faintest sunlights flee
About his shadowy sides: above him swell
Huge sponges of millenial growth and height;
And far away into the sickly light,
From many a wondrous grot and secret cell
Unnumber'd and enormous polypi
Winnow with giant arms the slumbering green.
There hath he lain for ages and will lie Battening upon huge seaworms in his sleep, Until the latter fire shall heat the deep; Then once by man and angels to be seen, In roaring he shall rise and on the surface die.

Written by Alfred Lord Tennyson |

Charge of the Light Brigade

 I.
Half a league, half a league, Half a league onward, All in the valley of Death Rode the six hundred.
`Forward, the Light Brigade! Charge for the guns!' he said: Into the valley of Death Rode the six hundred.
II.
`Forward, the Light Brigade!' Was there a man dismay'd? Not tho' the soldier knew Some one had blunder'd: Their's not to make reply, Their's not to reason why, Their's but to do and die: Into the valley of Death Rode the six hundred.
III Cannon to right of them, Cannon to left of them, Cannon in front of them Volley'd and thunder'd; Storm'd at with shot and shell, Boldly they rode and well, Into the jaws of Death, Into the mouth of Hell Rode the six hundred.
IV Flash'd all their sabres bare, Flash'd as they turn'd in air Sabring the gunners there, Charging an army, while All the world wonder'd: Plunged in the battery-smoke Right thro' the line they broke; Cossack and Russian Reel'd from the sabre-stroke Shatter'd and sunder'd.
Then they rode back, but not Not the six hundred.
V Cannon to right of them, Cannon to left of them, Cannon behind them Volley'd and thunder'd; Storm'd at with shot and shell, While horse and hero fell, They that had fought so well Came thro' the jaws of Death, Back from the mouth of Hell, All that was left of them, Left of six hundred.
VI When can their glory fade? O the wild charge they made! All the world wonder'd.
Honour the charge they made! Honour the Light Brigade, Noble six hundred!

Written by Alfred Lord Tennyson |

Blow Bugle blow

THE splendour falls on castle walls 
And snowy summits old in story: 
The long light shakes across the lakes  
And the wild cataract leaps in glory.
Blow bugle blow set the wild echoes flying 5 Blow bugle; answer echoes dying dying dying.
O hark O hear! how thin and clear And thinner clearer farther going! O sweet and far from cliff and scar The horns of Elfland faintly blowing! 10 Blow let us hear the purple glens replying: Blow bugle; answer echoes dying dying dying.
O love they die in yon rich sky They faint on hill or field or river: Our echoes roll from soul to soul 15 And grow for ever and for ever.
Blow bugle blow set the wild echoes flying And answer echoes answer dying dying dying.

Written by Alfred Lord Tennyson |

The Brook

 I come from haunts of coot and hern, 
I make a sudden sally 
And sparkle out among the fern, 
To bicker down a valley.
By thirty hills I hurry down, Or slip between the ridges, By twenty thorpes, a little town, And half a hundred bridges.
Till last by Philip's farm I flow To join the brimming river, For men may come and men may go, But I go on for ever.
I chatter over stony ways, In little sharps and trebles, I bubble into eddying bays, I babble on the pebbles.
With many a curve my banks I fret By many a field and fallow, And many a fairy foreland set With willow-weed and mallow.
I chatter, chatter, as I flow To join the brimming river, For men may come and men may go, But I go on for ever.
I wind about, and in and out, With here a blossom sailing, And here and there a lusty trout, And here and there a grayling, And here and there a foamy flake Upon me, as I travel With many a silvery waterbreak Above the golden gravel, And draw them all along, and flow To join the brimming river For men may come and men may go, But I go on for ever.
I steal by lawns and grassy plots, I slide by hazel covers; I move the sweet forget-me-nots That grow for happy lovers.
I slip, I slide, I gloom, I glance, Among my skimming swallows; I make the netted sunbeam dance Against my sandy shallows.
I murmur under moon and stars In brambly wildernesses; I linger by my shingly bars; I loiter round my cresses; And out again I curve and flow To join the brimming river, For men may come and men may go, But I go on for ever.

Written by Alfred Lord Tennyson |

After-Thought

 I thought of Thee, my partner and my guide,
As being past away.
-Vain sympathies! For backward, Duddon! as I cast my eyes, I see what was, and is, and will abide; Still glides the Stream, and shall not cease to glide; The Form remains, the Function never dies; While we, the brave, the mighty, and the wise, We Men, who in our morn of youth defied The elements, must vanish; -be it so! Enough, if something from our hands have power To live, and act, and serve the future hour; And if, as toward the silent tomb we go, Through love, through hope, and faith's transcendent dower, We feel that we are greater than we know.

Written by Alfred Lord Tennyson |

Come down O Maid

COME down, O maid, from yonder mountain height: 
What pleasure lives in height (the shepherd sang), 
In height and cold, the splendour of the hills? 
But cease to move so near the Heavens, and cease 
To glide a sunbeam by the blasted Pine, 5 
To sit a star upon the sparkling spire; 
And come, for Love is of the valley, come, 
For Love is of the valley, come thou down 
And find him; by the happy threshold, he, 
Or hand in hand with Plenty in the maize, 10 
Or red with spirted purple of the vats, 
Or foxlike in the vine; nor cares to walk 
With Death and Morning on the silver horns, 
Nor wilt thou snare him in the white ravine, 
Nor find him dropt upon the firths of ice, 15 
That huddling slant in furrow-cloven falls 
To roll the torrent out of dusky doors: 
But follow; let the torrent dance thee down 
To find him in the valley; let the wild 
Lean-headed Eagles yelp alone, and leave 20 
The monstrous ledges there to slope, and spill 
Their thousand wreaths of dangling water-smoke, 
That like a broken purpose waste in air: 
So waste not thou; but come; for all the vales 
Await thee; azure pillars of the hearth 25 
Arise to thee; the children call, and I 
Thy shepherd pipe, and sweet is every sound, 
Sweeter thy voice, but every sound is sweet; 
Myriads of rivulets hurrying thro' the lawn, 
The moan of doves in immemorial elms, 30 
And murmuring of innumerable bees.

Written by Alfred Lord Tennyson |

Ask Me No More

 Ask me no more: the moon may draw the sea; 
The cloud may stoop from heaven and take the shape, 
With fold to fold, of mountain or of cape; 
But O too fond, when have I answer'd thee? 
Ask me no more.
Ask me no more: what answer should I give? I love not hollow cheek or faded eye: Yet, O my friend, I will not have thee die! Ask me no more, lest I should bid thee live; Ask me no more.
Ask me no more: thy fate and mine are seal'd: I strove against the stream and all in vain: Let the great river take me to the main: No more, dear love, for at a touch I yield; Ask me no more.