Alfred Lord Tennyson

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

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‘And ask ye why these sad tears stream?’


'And ask ye why these sad tears stream?'

‘Te somnia nostra reducunt.’
OVID.

And ask ye why these sad tears stream?
Why these wan eyes are dim with weeping?
I had a dream–a lovely dream,
Of her that in the grave is sleeping.

I saw her as ’twas yesterday,
The bloom upon her cheek still glowing;
And round her play’d a golden ray,
And on her brows were gay flowers blowing.

With angel-hand she swept a lyre,
A garland red with roses bound it;
Its strings were wreath’d with lambent fire
And amaranth was woven round it.

I saw her mid the realms of light,
In everlasting radiance gleaming;
Co-equal with the seraphs bright,
Mid thousand thousand angels beaming.

I strove to reach her, when, behold,
Those fairy forms of bliss Elysian,
And all that rich scene wrapt in gold,
Faded in air–a lovely vision!

And I awoke, but oh! to me
That waking hour was doubly weary;
And yet I could not envy thee,
Although so blest, and I so dreary.

Submitted: Thursday, January 01, 2004

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Read poems about / on: fairy, sad, dream, angel, red, fire, light, flower, rose, sleep

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Comments about this poem (‘And ask ye why these sad tears stream?’ by Alfred Lord Tennyson )

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  • Krishnakumar Chandrasekar Nair (11/7/2013 7:20:00 AM)

    And love is an emotion of this kind
    That multiplies with the lover demise
    And you keep seeing her day and night
    Till one day you join her in astral light............

    All ye poets reading this welcome to my page too... (Report) Reply

  • Ramesh T A (11/7/2012 3:08:00 AM)

    As if asking the reader Tennyson begins his poem in a wonderful way and gives his answer from his beautiful dream about the lady who has brought tears to his eyes by her loss of demise! (Report) Reply

  • Karen Sinclair (11/7/2012 2:22:00 AM)

    Just devine... how love lingers in the mind...googled the latin, it means my dreams bring you back....how lovely that he chose just that line to put in latin as when read it seems so more poignant once you have opened the box of understanding, although im sure when written most educated people would of understood it straight away and just fluently rolled it off with a rich tongue (so to speak) (Report) Reply

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