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The Brook
by
Lord Alfred Tennyson


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I come from haunts of coot and hern,
I make a sudden sally
And sparkle out among the fern,
To bicker down a valley.

By thirty hills I hurry down,
Or slip between the ridges,
By twenty thorpes, a little town,
And half a hundred bridges.

Till last by Philip's farm I flow
To join the brimming river,
For men may come and men may go,
But I go on for ever.

I chatter over stony ways,
In little sharps and trebles,
I bubble into eddying bays,
I babble on the pebbles.

With many a curve my banks I fret
By many a field and fallow,
And many a fairy foreland set
With willow-weed and mallow.

I chatter, chatter, as I flow
To join the brimming river,
For men may come and men may go,
But I go on for ever.

I wind about, and in and out,
With here a blossom sailing,
And here and there a lusty trout,
And here and there a grayling,

And here and there a foamy flake
Upon me, as I travel
With many a silvery waterbreak
Above the golden gravel,

And draw them all along, and flow
To join the brimming river
For men may come and men may go,
But I go on for ever.

I steal by lawns and grassy plots,
I slide by hazel covers;
I move the sweet forget-me-nots
That grow for happy lovers.

I slip, I slide, I gloom, I glance,
Among my skimming swallows;
I make the netted sunbeam dance
Against my sandy shallows.

I murmur under moon and stars
In brambly wildernesses;
I linger by my shingly bars;
I loiter round my cresses;

And out again I curve and flow
To join the brimming river,
For men may come and men may go,
But I go on for ever.

This poem is in the public domain.

 
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Alfred Tennyson (1809 - 1892) is one of the world's most beloved and enduring poets. Born in a small English village to comfortable, devoutly religious parents (his father was a clergyman, his mother the daughter of a clergyman), Alfred was one of twelve children. He enjoyed an idyllic childhood, though later years brought family issues, and his father's death caused Alfred to have to leave Cambridge without completing his degree. Drawn to poetry from an early age, Alfred's first book of poetry was one he published with his brother when he was still a teenager. He published a collection of his own work shortly thereafter, to very enthusiastic reviews. But three years later, a second book was heavily criticized and Alfred was devastated. Though he continued to write, it was nearly ten years before he published another book. Ultimately, he became England's longest-serving poet laureate, spending more than forty years in that position and producing fine work until he was in his eighties.

 

 


Post New Comment:
Gilbert Allen:
Tennyson is great at refrains, isn't he?
Posted 07/26/2014 09:10 AM
Latha:
One can see the sparkle and hear the gurgle of the brook as it flows to join the river! Great poem by a great poet!
Posted 04/29/2013 06:41 AM


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