Alfred Lord Tennyson’s 200th Birthday

Last Thursday, August 6, was Tennyson’s birthday. I’m sure you’re probably already familiar with his famous (and beautiful) “The Lady of Shalott”, so I thought I would share with you one of my other favorites that I read over and over again as a tweenager. This poem is just one segment of his retelling of the entire story of The Sleeping Beauty. I’ve borrowed it from this website: http://home.att.net/~TennysonPoetry/dd.htm.

THE SLEEPING BEAUTY

I.

Year after year unto her feet,
She lying on her couch alone,
Across the purple coverlet,
The maiden’s jet-black hair has grown,
On either side her tranced form
Forth streaming from a braid of pearl:
The slumbrous light is rich and warm,
And moves not on the rounded curl.

II.

The silk star-broider’d coverlid
Unto her limbs itself doth mould
Languidly ever; and, amid
Her full black ringlets downward roll’d,
Glows forth each softly-shadow’d arm
With bracelets of the diamond bright:
Her constant beauty doth inform
Stillness with love, and day with light.

III.

She sleeps: her breathings are not heard
In palace chambers far apart.
The fragrant tresses are not stirr’d
That lie upon her charmed heart.
She sleeps: on either hand upswells
The gold-fringed pillow lightly prest:
She sleeps, nor dreams, but ever dwells
A perfect form in perfect rest.

sleeping_beauty_1

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Published in: on August 10, 2009 at 5:20 pm  Comments (1)  

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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. Greetings from Sydney, Australia. You may like to see two stories I’ve written about the six Barons Tennyson.

    They’ve been posted in Britain’s daily literary web magazine “Open Writing”:

    http://www.openwriting.com/archives/2009/08/ay_be_merry_all_1.php

    http://www.openwriting.com/archives/2009/08/birthday_beniso.php#more

    Cheers, Eric.

    [Eric Shackle is a retired Australian journalist whose hobby is searching the Internet and writing about it. He is copy editor of Anu Garg’s Seattle-based A Word A Day http://wordsmith.org newsletter, which is e-mailed five days a week to more than 750,000 wordlovers in 200 countries]


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