Tennyson's Poems

The Revival

No alteration after 1853.


A touch, a kiss! the charm was snapt.

There rose a noise of striking clocks,

And feet that ran, and doors that clapt,

And barking dogs, and crowing cocks;

A fuller light illumined all,

A breeze thro' all the garden swept,

A sudden hubbub shook the hall,

And sixty feet the fountain leapt.


The hedge broke in, the banner blew,

The butler drank, the steward scrawl'd,

The fire shot up, the martin flew,

The parrot scream'd, the peacock squall'd,

The maid and page renew'd their strife,

The palace bang'd, and buzz'd and clackt,

And all the long-pent stream of life

Dash'd downward in a cataract.


And last with these [1] the king awoke,

And in his chair himself uprear'd,

And yawn'd, and rubb'd his face, and spoke,

"By holy rood, a royal beard!

How say you? we have slept, my lords,

My beard has grown into my lap."

The barons swore, with many words,

'Twas but an after-dinner's nap.


"Pardy," return'd the king, "but still

My joints are something [2] stiff or so.

My lord, and shall we pass the bill

I mention'd half an hour ago?"

The chancellor, sedate and vain,

In courteous words return'd reply:

But dallied with his golden chain,

And, smiling, put the question by.

[Footnote 1: 1842 to 1851. And last of all.]

[Footnote 2: 1863. Somewhat.]