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Song: A spirit haunts…
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).


Song: A spirit haunts…
by Lord Alfred Tennyson

I.

A spirit haunts the year's last hours
Dwelling amid these yellowing bowers.
   To himself he talks.
For at eventide, listening earnestly,
At his work you may hear him sob and sigh
   In the walks;
Earthward he bowseth the heavy stalks
Of the moldering flowers.

   Heavily hangs the broad sunflower
        Over its grave i' the earth so chilly;
   Heavily hangs the hollyhock,
        Heavily hangs the tiger-lily.

II.

   The air is damp, and hush'd, and close
   As a sick man's room when he taketh repose
        An hour before death;
   My very heart faints and my whole soul grieves
   Ath the moist rich smell of the rotting leaves,
        And the breath
   Of the fading edges of box beneath,
   And the year's last rose.

        Heavily hangs the broad sunflower
             Over its grave i' the earth so chilly;
        Heavily hangs the hollyhock,
             Heavily hangs the tiger-lily.


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