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Idylls of the King

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(1885)



Dedication:


These to His Memory--since he held them dear,

Perchance as finding there unconsciously

Some image of himself--I dedicate,

I dedicate, I consecrate with tears--

These Idylls.



And indeed He seems to me

Scarce other than my king's ideal knight,

'Who reverenced his conscience as his king;

Whose glory was, redressing human wrong;

Who spake no slander, no, nor listened to it;

Who loved one only and who clave to her--'

Her--over all whose realms to their last isle,

Commingled with the gloom of imminent war,

The shadow of His loss drew like eclipse,

Darkening the world. We have lost him: he is gone:

We know him now: all narrow jealousies

Are silent; and we see him as he moved,

How modest, kindly, all-accomplished, wise,

With what sublime repression of himself,

And in what limits, and how tenderly;

Not swaying to this faction or to that;

Not making his high place the lawless perch

Of winged ambitions, nor a vantage-ground

For pleasure; but through all this tract of years

Wearing the white flower of a blameless life,

Before a thousand peering littlenesses,

In that fierce light which beats upon a throne,

And blackens every blot: for where is he,

Who dares foreshadow for an only son

A lovelier life, a more unstained, than his?

Or how should England dreaming of his sons

Hope more for these than some inheritance

Of such a life, a heart, a mind as thine,

Thou noble Father of her Kings to be,

Laborious for her people and her poor--

Voice in the rich dawn of an ampler day--

Far-sighted summoner of War and Waste

To fruitful strifes and rivalries of peace--

Sweet nature gilded by the gracious gleam

Of letters, dear to Science, dear to Art,

Dear to thy land and ours, a Prince indeed,

Beyond all titles, and a household name,

Hereafter, through all times, Albert the Good.



Break not, O woman's-heart, but still endure;

Break not, for thou art Royal, but endure,

Remembering all the beauty of that star

Which shone so close beside Thee that ye made

One light together, but has past and leaves

The Crown a lonely splendour.



May all love,

His love, unseen but felt, o'ershadow Thee,

The love of all Thy sons encompass Thee,

The love of all Thy daughters cherish Thee,

The love of all Thy people comfort Thee,

Till God's love set Thee at his side again!



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Recent Forum Posts on Idylls of the King

Discussion on the Idylls?

Since I've run into a number of litnetters who have an interest in Arthurian texts, would anyone like to have a discussion on Tennyson? I'm beginning to work my way through this text (I've only gotten through the first idyll, "The Coming of Arthur"), and we could go as quickly or slowly as need be. Let me know. :)

based on Malory?

I've not yet had the chance to read Idylls of the King, but I'd like to know how much Arthurian lore Tennyson took from Malory? Did he borrow from the earlier French romances as well?

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