Wednesday, August 24, 2016

A favorite Tennyson Poem


By Alfred Lord Tennyson (1809–1892)

(Stanzas 45-60 of Section III and Stanzas 75-80, Section IV)

Oh yet we trust that somehow good 
Will be the final goal of ill 
To pangs of nature, sins of will, 
Defects of doubt, and taints of blood; 

That nothing walks with aimless feet;
That not one life shall be destroyed, 
Or cast as rubbish to the void, 
When God hath made the pile complete; 

That not a worm is cloven in vain; 
That not a moth with vain desire
Is shrivell’d in a fruitless fire, 
Or but subserves another’s gain. 

Behold, we know not anything; 
I can but trust that good shall fall 
At last—far off—at last, to all,
And every winter change to spring. 

So runs my dream: but what am I? 
An infant crying in the night: 
An infant crying for the light: 
And with no language but a cry.

I falter where I firmly trod, 
And falling with my weight of cares 
Upon the great world’s altar-stairs
That slope thro’ darkness up to God, 

I stretch lame hands of faith, and grope, 

And gather dust and chaff, and call 
To what I feel is Lord of all, 
And faintly trust the larger hope.

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