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
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.
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.
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.