Treasure Island

Alfred Lord Tennyson

(6 August 1809 – 6 October 1892 / Lincoln / England)

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All Things will Die


All Things will Die

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.

Submitted: Thursday, January 01, 2004

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  • Meshack Bankole (12/1/2013 1:57:00 AM)

    “For even & morn
    Ye shall not see
    thro eternity! ! “
    The attitude of Tennyson in this poem is solemn & the image transmit the inevitable truth that all shall die.
    Nice one(Y) (Report) Reply

  • Sandra Feldman (12/1/2013 1:25:00 AM)

    The form is terribly modern and free for the time. The content is terribly sad but realistic and thoughtfully expressed.
    Q25uite an amazing poem encompassing so many aspects of Death (Report) Reply

  • Ifeoluwa Dele (5/10/2013 3:33:00 AM)

    The poet persona deeply explores the vanity of life making references to the natural creation which will one day become 'pale.' A good reason human should live a good life before death beckons. (Report) Reply

  • Sangnam Nam (12/1/2012 11:33:00 PM)

    The voice of the bird
    Shall no more be heard,
    Nor the wind on the hill.
    O, misery!


    nay, when the spring comes all things dead alive again
    and that repeated for several thousand years' time (Report) Reply

  • Shahzia Batool (12/1/2012 4:09:00 AM)

    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............ (Report) Reply

Read all 8 comments »

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