The Death of Œnone, and Other Poems


(In the time of the first railways.)

Alfred Tennyson

NOW first we stand and understand,
    And sunder false from true,
And handle boldly with the hand,
    And see and shape and do.

Dash back that ocean with a pier,
    Strow yonder mountain flat,
A railway there, a tunnel here,
    Mix me this Zone with that!

Bring me my horse—my horse? my wings
    That I may soar the sky,
For Thought into the outward springs,
    I find her with the eye.

O will she, moonlike, sway the main,
    And bring or chase the storm,
Who was a shadow in the brain,
    And is a living form?

Far as the Future vaults her skies,
    From this my vantage ground
To those still-working energies
    I spy nor term nor bound.

As we surpass our fathers’ skill,
    Our sons will shame our own;
A thousand things are hidden still
    And not a hundred known.

And had some prophet spoken true
    Of all we shall achieve,
The wonders were so wildly new,
    That no man would believe.

Meanwhile, my brothers, work, and wield
    The forces of to-day,
And plow the present like a field,
    And garner all you may!

You, what the cultured surface grows,
    Dispense with careful hands:
Deep under deep for ever goes,
    Heaven over heaven expands.

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