Tennyson's Poems

The Poet's Song

First published in 1842.

The rain had fallen, the Poet arose,

He pass'd by the town and out of the street,

A light wind blew from the gates of the sun,

And waves of shadow went over the wheat,

And he sat him down in a lonely place,

And chanted a melody loud and sweet,

That made the wild-swan pause in her cloud,

And the lark drop down at his feet.

The swallow stopt as he hunted the bee, [1]

The snake slipt under a spray,

The wild hawk stood with the down on his beak,

And stared, with his foot on the prey,

And the nightingale thought, "I have sung many songs,

But never a one so gay,

For he sings of what the world will be

When the years have died away".

[Footnote 1: 1889, Fly.]