Love and Sorrow – Poem by Alfred Lord Tennyson

“O maiden, fresher than the first green leaf
With which the fearful springtide flecks the lea,
Weep not, Almeida, that I said to thee
That thou hast half my heart, for bitter grief
Doth hold the other half in sovranty.
Thou art my heart’s sun in love’s crystalline:
Yet on both sides at once thou canst not shine:
Thine is the bright side of my heart, and thine
My heart’s day, but the shadow of my heart,
Issue of its own substance, my heart’s night
Thou canst not lighten even with thy light,
All powerful in beauty as thou art.
Almeida, if my heart were substanceless,
Then might thy rays pass thro’ to the other side,
So swiftly, that they nowhere would abide,
But lose themselves in utter emptiness.
Half-light, half-shadow, let my spirit sleep
They never learnt to love who never knew to weep. “

12 thoughts on “Love and Sorrow – Poem by Alfred Lord Tennyson

    • Lol! I’ve spent the last three days going through my favorites and diving into their words again. The fourth grade teacher I wrote about a while ago – had us reading Tennyson’s Ulysses before the year was over. He walked us through it with such imagination.

      He’s most probably responsible for the jumpstart of my passion, as well as my love of words.

      What a gift we were given. I think it’s such a tragedy that kids aren’t taught the beauty, imagination and emotion of poetry early on. I’m not sure they get any at all these days.


  1. Here, kids are taught poetry early on. Mostly through rote learning and recitation, but they are also taught how to write poetry from the time they know how to write.
    I don’t know that it was very efficient with me, because, as a child, I didn’t allow myself the freedom to feel poetry. I felt there was a right and a wrong way to read and interpret it. I had a good imagination as a child, but it quickly disappeared when I hit middle school.
    It’s only recently I’ve discovered the beauty of expressing myself through my words, and through poetry.

    I was particularly touched by the last two lines. Somehow made me hopeful: I have wept my fair share, now I can enjoy love too 🙂
    (and by that I mean I finally allow myself the right to enjoy it)

    Liked by 1 person

    • I loved it! My teacher introduced a world beyond my hopeless existence and taught me how to use the power of my words, if only to myself, to release the damage in a constructive way.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hahaha! 1st grade for me! :/
    In High school… I was throwing words at my teachers. Usually to defend my less academic friends. I still remember this one time when I clashed one (In my junior year I think) and all he could say was “Gosh, you’re hard on me” while the rest of the class looked in awe at my daring ways 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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