February 4, 2010

And Ask Ye Why These Sad Tears Stream?

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--Description: 19th C, Tennyson Lord Alfred, Death, Dreams, Love--


'And ask ye why these sad tears stream?'

‘Te somnia nostra reducunt.’
OVID.

And ask ye why these sad tears stream?
Why these wan eyes are dim with weeping?
I had a dream–a lovely dream,
Of her that in the grave is sleeping.

I saw her as ’twas yesterday,
The bloom upon her cheek still glowing;
And round her play’d a golden ray,
And on her brows were gay flowers blowing.

With angel-hand she swept a lyre,
A garland red with roses bound it;
Its strings were wreath’d with lambent fire
And amaranth was woven round it.

I saw her mid the realms of light,
In everlasting radiance gleaming;
Co-equal with the seraphs bright,
Mid thousand thousand angels beaming.

I strove to reach her, when, behold,
Those fairy forms of bliss Elysian,
And all that rich scene wrapt in gold,
Faded in air–a lovely vision!

And I awoke, but oh! to me
That waking hour was doubly weary;
And yet I could not envy thee,
Although so blest, and I so dreary.


Lord Alfred Tennyson

--Did You Know: (6 August 1809 – 6 October 1892) Tennyson was much better known as "Alfred, Lord Tennyson," and was Poet Laureate of the United Kingdom during much of Queen Victoria's reign and remains one of the most popular poets in the English language. Tennyson excelled at penning short lyrics, "In the valley of Cauteretz", "Break, break, break", "The Charge of the Light Brigade", "Tears, idle tears" and "Crossing the Bar". Much of his verse was based on classical mythological themes, although In Memoriam A.H.H. was written to commemorate his best friend Arthur Hallam, a fellow poet and classmate at Trinity College, Cambridge, who was engaged to Tennyson's sister, but died from a cerebral hemorrhage before they were married. Tennyson also wrote some notable blank verse including Idylls of the King, Ulysses, and Tithonus. His use of blank verse, rare in his day, may be related to his complete tone deafness which made it hard for him to follow the conventional rhythms of the poetry of his day.[1] During his career, Tennyson attempted drama, but his plays enjoyed little success. Tennyson wrote a number of phrases that have become commonplaces of the English language, including: "Nature, red in tooth and claw", "'Tis better to have loved and lost / Than never to have loved at all", "Theirs not to reason why, / Theirs but to do and die", "My strength is as the strength of ten, / Because my heart is pure", "Knowledge comes, but Wisdom lingers", and "The old order changeth, yielding place to new". He is the second most frequently quoted writer in The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations after Shakespeare. Read more at: Alfred, Lord Tennyson

--Poetry Terminology: Sapphic-
Classical Greek stanza used by the lyric poetess Sappho and comprising of four unrhymed lines. The first three lines are written in trochaic pentameter except for the third foot which is a dactyl. The fourth line has only two feet: a dactyl and a trochee.

--Word of the Day: evince \ih-VIN(T)S\, transitive verb:
To show in a clear manner; to manifest; to make evident; to bring to light.
Example:
The study showed that girls were better prepared for class, had better attendance records, and evinced more positive academic behavior overall.
-Christina Hoff Sommers, The War Against Boys

--Quote of the Day: Resilience is about believing in yourself, and trusting your own wisdom rather than being swayed by the opinions of others.
-Jonathon Lockwood Huie

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