by Lord Alfred Tennyson
English poet and dramatist, generally considered to be the chief representative of the Victorian age in poetry. Tennyson's major works include his Poems. Chiefly Lyrical (1830); his two volume work, again entitled Poems, of 1842 which includes, alongside rewritten earlier works, the dramatic monologue 'Ulysses', 'Morte d'Arthur' and 'Sir Galahad' - his first pieces dealing with Arthurian legend, 'Locksley Hall' and 'Break, Break, Break'; the novella Princess: a Medly (1847) and his In Memorium A.H.H. (1850), a tribute to his deceased friend Arthur Hallam.
Other major works, this time from Tennyson's second period of creative out put after being made poet laureate, include Ode on the Death of the Duke of Wellington (1852), The Charge of the Light Brigade (1854) and Maud (1855), what Tennyson referred to as his "monodrama".
He also wrote, in later years, a number of works centred on Arthurian legends, including The Idylls of the King (1859), The Holy Grail and Other Poems (1870) and Gareth and Lynette (1872), as well as some poetic dramas: Queen Mary (1875), Harold (1877), Becket (1884) and, his only prose work, The Promise of May (produced at the Globe Theatre in November 1882). Other important works are Despair (1881), Locksley Hall Sixty Years After (1886), Demeter and Other Poems (1889) and his famous Crossing the Bar (1889). At Alfred's request, his poem "Crossing the Bar," an epitaph of sorts, is always printed last in any collection of his works (our thanks to visitor Cynthia R. for reminding Passions of this oversight).
"The Bull, the Fleece are crammed, and not a room
I spoke, while Audley feast
We left the dying ebb that faintly lipped
There, on a slope of orchard, Francis laid
"Oh! who would fight and march and countermarch,
"Oh! who would cast and balance at a desk,
"Who'd serve the state? for if I carved my name
"Oh! who would love? I wooed a woman once,
He sang his song, and I replied with mine:
"Sleep, Ellen Aubrey, sleep, and dream of me:
"Sleep, Ellen, folded in Emilia's arm;
"Sleep, breathing health and peace upon her breast:
"I go, but I return: I would I were
So sang we each to either, Francis Hale,