Happy Birthday Alfred Tennyson!
All good things have not kept aloof
Nor wandered into other ways:
I have not lacked thy mild reproof,
Nor golden largess of thy praise.
But life is full of weary days.
Shake hands, my friend, across the brink
Of that deep grave to which I go:
Shake hands once more: I cannot sink
So far far down, but I shall know
Thy voice, and answer from below.
When in the darkness over me
The fourhanded mole shall scrape,
Plant thou no dusky cypress tree,
Nor wreathe thy cap with doleful crape,
But pledge me in the flowing grape.
And when the sappy field and wood
Grow green beneath the showery gray,
And rugged barks begin to bud,
And through damp holts new flushed with May,
Ring sudden laughters of the Jay,
Then let wise Nature work her will,
And on my clay her darnels grow;
Come only, when the days are still,
And at my headstone whisper low,
And tell me if the woodbines blow.
If thou art blest, my mother's smile
Undimmed, if bees are on the wing:
Then cease, my friend, a little while,
That I may hear the throstle sing
His bridal song, the boast of spring.
Sweet as the noise in parched plains
Of bubbling wells that fret the stones,
(If any sense in me remains)
Thy words will be: thy cheerful tones
As welcome to my crumbling bones.