Tennyson's Poems

Claribel: A Melody

First published in 1830.

In 1830 and in 1842 edd. the poem is in one long stanza, with a full stop in 1830 ed. after line 8; 1842 ed. omits the full stop. The name "Claribel" may have been suggested by Spenser ('F. Q.', ii., iv., or Shakespeare, 'Tempest').


Where Claribel low-lieth

The breezes pause and die,

Letting the rose-leaves fall:

But the solemn oak-tree sigheth,

Thick-leaved, ambrosial,

With an ancient melody

Of an inward agony,

Where Claribel low-lieth.


At eve the beetle boometh

Athwart the thicket lone:

At noon the wild bee [1] hummeth

About the moss'd headstone:

At midnight the moon cometh,

And looketh down alone.

Her song the lintwhite swelleth,

The clear-voiced mavis dwelleth,

The callow throstle [2] lispeth,

The slumbrous wave outwelleth,

The babbling runnel crispeth,

The hollow grot replieth

Where Claribel low-lieth.

[Footnote 1: 1830. "Wild" omitted, and "low" inserted with a hyphen] before "hummeth".

[Footnote 2: 1851 and all previous editions, "fledgling" for "callow".]