Monday, August 06, 2007

Tennyson - Ulysses (1842) excerpt

Tennyson - Ulysses (1842)
It little profits that an idle king,
By this still hearth, among these barren crags,
I cannot rest from travel ; I will drink
Life to the lees. All times I have enjoy'd
Greatly, have suffer'd greatly, both with those
That loved me, and alone ; on shore, and when
Thro' scudding drifts the rainy Hyades
Vext the dim sea.

I am a part of all that I have met ;
Yet all experience is an arch wherethro'
Gleams that untravell'd world whose margin fades
For ever and for ever when I move.

How dull it is to pause, to make an end,
To rust unburnish'd, not to shine in use !
As tho' to breathe were life ! Life piled on life
Were all too little, and of one to me
Little remains ; but every hour is saved
From that eternal silence, something more,
A bringer of new things...

Old age hath yet his honor and his toil.
Death closes all ; but something ere the end,
Some work of noble note, may yet be done,
Not unbecoming men that strove with Gods.
The lights begin to twinkle from the rocks ;
The long day wanes ; the slow moon climbs ; the deep
Moans round with many voices. Come, my friends.
'T is not too late to seek a newer world.

Tho' much is taken, much abides ; and tho'
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are,
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

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