Tennyson's Poems

The Arrival

(No alteration after 1853.)


All precious things, discover'd late,

To those that seek them issue forth;

For love in sequel works with fate,

And draws the veil from hidden worth.

He travels far from other skies

His mantle glitters on the rocks--

A fairy Prince, with joyful eyes,

And lighter footed than the fox.


The bodies and the bones of those

That strove in other days to pass,

Are wither'd in the thorny close,

Or scatter'd blanching on [1] the grass.

He gazes on the silent dead:

"They perish'd in their daring deeds."

This proverb flashes thro' his head,

"The many fail: the one succeeds".


He comes, scarce knowing what he seeks:

He breaks the hedge: he enters there:

The colour flies into his cheeks:

He trusts to light on something fair;

For all his life the charm did talk

About his path, and hover near

With words of promise in his walk,

And whisper'd voices at his ear. [2]


More close and close his footsteps wind;

The Magic Music [3] in his heart

Beats quick and quicker, till he find

The quiet chamber far apart.

His spirit flutters like a lark,

He stoops--to kiss her--on his knee.

"Love, if thy tresses be so dark,

How dark those hidden eyes must be!

[Footnote 1: 1842 to 1851. In.]

[Footnote 2: All editions up to and including 1850. In his ear.]

[Footnote 3: All editions up to and including 1851. Not capitals in] magic music.