I have been reading some poetry by Tennyson here and there the last few months. Here are a couple of my favorite stanzas (taken from The Suppressed Poems of Alfred Lord Tennyson).
Love & Sorrow O maiden, fresher than the first green leaf With which the fearful springtide flecks the lea, Weep not, Almeida, that I said to thee That thou hast half my heart, for bitter grief Doth hold the other half in sovranty. Thou art my heart’s sun in love’s crystalline: Yet on both sides at once thou canst not shine: Thine is the bright side of my heart, and thine My heart’s day, but the shadow of my heart, Issue of its own substance, my heart’s night Thou canst not lighten even with thy light, All powerful in beauty as thou art. Almeida, if my heart were substanceless, Then might thy rays pass thro’ to the other side, So swiftly, that they nowhere would abide, But lose themselves in utter emptiness. Half-light, half-shadow, let my spirit sleep They never learnt to love who never knew to weep.
And this one from Taliessen:
Alas, Church writers, altercating tribes– The vessel and your Church may sink in storms. Christ cried: Woe, woe, to Pharisees and Scribes! Like them, you bicker less for truth than forms. I sorrow when I read the things you write, What unheroic pertness! what un-Christian spite! Alas, our youth, so clever yet so small, Thin dilletanti deep in nature’s plan, Who make the emphatic One, by whom is all, An essence less concentred than a man! Better wild Mahmoud’s war-cry once again! O fools, we want a manlike God and Godlike men!