The Death of Œnone, and Other Poems

To the Master of Balliol

Alfred Tennyson


DEAR MASTER in our classic town,
You, loved by all the younger gown
            There at Balliol,
Lay your Plato for one minute down,


And read a Grecian tale re-told,
Which, cast in later Grecian mould,
            Quintus Calaber
Somewhat lazily handled of old;


And on this white midwinter day—
For have the far-off hymns of May,
            All her melodies,
All her harmonies echo’d away?—


To-day, before you turn again
To thoughts that lift the soul of men,
            Hear my cataract’s
Downward thunder in hollow and glen,


Till, led by dream and vague desire,
The woman, gliding toward the pyre,
            Find her warrior
Stark and dark in his funeral fire.

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