Come into the Garden, Maud

by ALFRED, LORD TENNYSON (1809-1892)

Come into the garden, Maud,
For the black bat, Night, has flown,
Come into the garden, Maud,
I am here at the gate alone;
And the woodbine spices are wafted abroad,
And the musk of the roses blown.

For a breeze of morning moves,
And the planet of Love is on high,
Beginning to faint in the light that she loves
On a bed of daffodil sky,
To faint in the light of the sun she loves,
To faint in his light, and to die.

All night have the roses heard
The flute, violin, bassoon;
All night has the casement jessamine stirr’d
To the dancers dancing in tune:
Till a silence fell with the waking bird,
And a hush with the setting moon.

I said to the lily, “There is but one
With whom she has heart to be gay.
When will the dancers leave her alone?
She is weary of dance and play.”
Now half to the setting moon are gone,
And half to the rising day;
Low on the sand and loud on the stone
The last wheel echoes away.

I said to the rose, “The brief night goes
In babble and revel and wine.
O young lord-lover, what sighs are those
For one that will never be thine?
But mine, but mine,” so I sware to the rose,
“For ever and ever, mine.”

And the soul of the rose went into my blood,
As the music clash’d in the hall;
And long by the garden lake I stood,
For I heard your rivulet fall
From the lake to the meadow and on to the wood,
Our wood, that is dearer than all;

When in London, Alfred Lord Tennyson spent a great deal of time at the salon of literary and artistic salon of Mrs. Prinsep at Little Holland House, whose distinguished guests included Charles Dickens, Robert Browning, William Makepeace Thackeray, and Thomas Carlyle, among others.

Tennyson served as England’s Poet Laureate from 1850 until his death. He was appointed by letters patent, a type of legal document which is an open letter issued by a monarch or government granting a right, monopoly, title or status to someone or some entity. In Tennyson’s case, the monarch was Queen Victoria.

Tennyson Contemporaries
Victor Hugo
Edgar Allan Poe
Edward Lear

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