Contemplate all this work of Time,

The giant labouring in his youth;

Nor dream of human love and truth,

As dying Nature’s earth and lime;

But trust that those we call the dead

Are breathers of an ampler day

For ever nobler ends. They say,

The solid earth whereon we tread

In tracts of fluent heat began,

And grew to seeming-random forms,

The seeming prey of cyclic storms,

Till at the last arose the man;

Who throve and branch’d from clime to clime,

The herald of a higher race,

And of himself in higher place,

If so he type this work of time

Within himself, from more to more;

Or, crown’d with attributes of woe

Like glories, move his course, and show

That life is not as idle ore,

But iron dug from central gloom,

And heated hot with burning fears,

And dipt in baths of hissing tears,

And batter’d with the shocks of doom

To shape and use. Arise and fly

The reeling Faun, the sensual feast;

Move upward, working out the beast,

And let the ape and tiger die.





Lord Alfred Tennyson

More poems by Baron Alfred, Lord Tennyson