October 24, 2011

'Tis strange that those we lean on most,
Those in whose laps our limbs are nursed,
Fall into shadow, soonest lost:
Those we love first are taken first.

God gives us love. Something to love
He lends us; but, when love is grown
To ripeness, that on which it throve
Falls off, and love is left alone.

This is the curse of time. Alas!
In grief I am not all unlearn’d;
Once thro’ mine own doors Death did pass;
One went, who never hath return’d.

He will not smile—not speak to me
Once more. Two years his chair is seen
Empty before us. That was he
Without whose life I had not been.

Extract from To J.S. by Alfred Lord Tennyson (1809 - 1892)

I spoke about this poem in a seminar today. I wish I’d seen it five years ago because it speaks of so many of the things I’ve wished I could say but never known how.  

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tags #tennyson #poetry #poet laureate #death #grief #loss #poem

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