Tennyson's Poems

To E.L.

This was first printed in 1853. It has not been altered since. The poem was addressed to Edward Lear, the landscape painter, and refers to his travels.

Illyrian woodlands, echoing falls

Of water, sheets of summer glass,

The long divine Peneian pass, [1]

The vast Akrokeraunian walls, [2]

Tomohrit, [3] Athos, all things fair,

With such a pencil, such a pen,

You shadow forth to distant men,

I read and felt that I was there:

And trust me, while I turn'd the page,

And track'd you still on classic ground,

I grew in gladness till I found

My spirits in the golden age.

For me the torrent ever pour'd

And glisten'd--here and there alone

The broad-limb'd Gods at random thrown

By fountain-urns;-and Naiads oar'd

A glimmering shoulder under gloom

Of cavern pillars; on the swell

The silver lily heaved and fell;

And many a slope was rich in bloom

From him that on the mountain lea

By dancing rivulets fed his flocks,

To him who sat upon the rocks,

And fluted to the morning sea.

[Footnote 1: 'Cf'. Lear's description of Tempe:]

"It is not a vale, it is a narrow pass, and although extremely

beautiful on account of the precipitous rocks on each side, the Peneus

flowing deep in the midst between the richest overhanging plane woods,

still its character is distinctly that of a ravine."

--'Journal', 409.

[Footnote 2: The Akrokeraunian walls: the promontory now called Glossa.]

[Footnote 3: Tomohr, Tomorit, or Tomohritt is a lofty mountain in] Albania not far from Elbassan. Lear's account of it is very graphic:

"That calm blue plain with Tomohr in the midst like an azure island in

a boundless sea haunts my mind's eye and varies the present with the