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All Things will Die
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).


All Things will Die
by Lord Alfred Tennyson

Clearly the blue river chimes in its flowing
       Under my eye;
Warmly and broadly the south winds are blowing
       Over the sky.
One after another the white clouds are fleeting;
Every heart this May morning in joyance is beating
       Full merrily;
    Yet all things must die.
 The stream will cease to flow;
 The wind will cease to blow;
 The clouds will cease to fleet;
 The heart will cease to beat;
    For all things must die.
       All things must die.
 Spring will come never more.
       O, vanity!
 Death waits at the door.
 See! our friends are all forsaking
 The wine and the merrymaking.
 We are call’d–we must go.
 Laid low, very low,
 In the dark we must lie.
 The merry glees are still;
 The voice of the bird
 Shall no more be heard,
 Nor the wind on the hill.
       O, misery!
 Hark! death is calling
 While I speak to ye,
 The jaw is falling,
 The red cheek paling,
 The strong limbs failing;
 Ice with the warm blood mixing;
 The eyeballs fixing.
 Nine times goes the passing bell:
 Ye merry souls, farewell.
       The old earth
       Had a birth,
       As all men know,
       Long ago.
 And the old earth must die.
 So let the warm winds range,
 And the blue wave beat the shore;
 For even and morn
 Ye will never see
 Thro’ eternity.
 All things were born.
 Ye will come never more,
 For all things must die.


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