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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/books/entry_id/906743
Rated: E · Book · Educational · #2113747
Poems that pursue the horizon from past to present and poems created for NaPoWriMo 2017
#906743 added March 31, 2017 at 8:39pm
Restrictions: None
A Farewell
Flow down, cold rivulet, to the sea,
         Thy tribute wave deliver
No more by thee my steps shall be,
         For ever and for ever.

Flow, softly flow, by lawn and lea,
         A rivulet, then a river:
No where by thee my steps shall be,
         For ever and for ever.

But here will sigh thine alder-tree,
         And here thine aspen shiver;
And here by thee will hum the bee,
         For ever and for ever.

A thousand suns will stream on thee,
         A thousand moons will quiver;
But not by thee my steps shall be,
         For ever and for ever.

                             Alfred Tennyson [1809-1892]


From: The Home Book of Verse by Burton Egbert Stevenson, 1917, pg. 3354



************************


         Lord Tennyson is a beloved successful published English poet of the Victorian era. His personal life was a bit chaotic and had its ups and downs, but he persevered with his writing, earning a good sum of money from his work during his life. He was educated at Trinity College,Cambridge and was selected as Poet Laureate to succeed Wordsworth, a very high honor in England.



         When I first read this poem, I could not get through it without tears. I remembered the last year of my Dad's life when we went for a drive out to the country and then he asked me to drive up by the river. We drove back roads to the Delaware near Narrowsburg, New York and he directed me to a place where we could almost drive down to the river, a boat launch area. I found a place to park and we sat there for the longest time, looking at the river. Finally he exited the car and slowly made his way to the water's edge. I offered to bring him a folding chair, but he declined. He just stood there looking, leaning on his cane (walking was harder for him now) and offered no conversation. Eventually, he commented on the state of the water, how clean or not, the rate of flow and whether he thought the fish would be biting or hiding. After a bit, he returned to the car and we sat together in contemplation.
          The nagging worry I felt over this trip I remember pushing to the back of my mind as we drove home. This was sometime in early June; by September, he was gone. I realized far too late that he was saying good bye to the river, 'his' river, this place of peace and of many fishing and family adventures, that had brought him lifelong joy.

         Tennyson captures so eloquently the thoughts that I'm sure he had in his heart but could not bring himself to voice. This is a memory that still hurts my heart. I wish I had known this poem then and could have shared it with him. I can only hope he hears as I read it aloud. The lines "No more by thee my steps shall be, For ever and for ever" captures well my Dad's mood that day as he gazed upon the Delaware, sun shining off the water's rippling whitecaps . I imagine he declined my offer to get his fishing rod, tackle box and a chair out of the trunk as he knew this was "A Farewell".


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  Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words.~~Robert Frost

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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/books/entry_id/906743