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The Spiteful Letter
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 Spiteful Letter
by Lord Alfred Tennyson

Here, it is here, the close of the year,
And with it a spiteful letter.
My name in song has done him much wrong,
For himself has done much better

O little bard, is your lot so hard,
If men neglect your pages?
I think not much of yours or of mine,
I hear the roll of the ages.

Rhymes and rhymes in the range of the times!
Are mine for the moment stronger?
Yet hate me not, but abide your lot,
I last but a moment longer.

This faded leaf, our names are as brief;
What room is left for a hater?
Yet the yellow leaf hates the greener leaf,
For it hangs one moment later.

Greater than I -is that your cry?
And men will live to see it.
Well -if it be so -so it is, you know;
And if it be so, so be it.

Brief, brief is a summer leaf,
But this is the time of hollies.
O hollies and ivies and evergreens,
How I hate the spites and the follies!


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