The Lady of Shalott, and Other Poems

On a Mourner

Alfred Tennyson

NATURE, so far as in her lies,
    Imitates God, and turns her face
To every land beneath the skies,
    Counts nothing that she meets with base,
    But lives and loves in every place;

Fills out the homely quickset-screens,
    And makes the purple lilac ripe,
Steps from her airy hill, and greens
    The swamp, where humm’d the dropping snipe,
    With moss and braided marish-pipe;

And on thy heart a finger lays,
    Saying, ‘Beat quicker, for the time
Is pleasant, and the woods and ways
    Are pleasant, and the beech and lime
    Put forth and feel a gladder clime.’

And murmurs of a deeper voice,
    Going before to some far shrine,
Teach that sick heart the stronger choice,
    Till all thy life one way incline
    With one wide Will that closes thine.

And when the zoning eve has died
    Where yon dark valleys wind forlorn,
Come Hope and Memory, spouse and bride,
    From out the borders of the morn,
    With that fair child betwixt them born.

And when no mortal motion jars
    The blackness round the tombing sod,
Thro’ silence and the trembling stars
    Comes Faith from tracts no feet have trod,
    And Virtue, like a household god

Promising empire; such as those
    Once heard at dead of night to greet
Troy’s wandering prince, so that he rose
    With sacrifice, while all the fleet
    Had rest by stony hills of Crete.

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