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Kate

Reprinted without alteration among the 'Juvenilia' in 1895.

I know her by her angry air, Her brightblack eyes, her brightblack hair, Her rapid laughters wild and shrill, As laughter of the woodpecker From the bosom of a hill. 'Tis Kate--she sayeth what she will; For Kate hath an unbridled tongue, Clear as the twanging of a harp. Her heart is like a throbbing star. Kate hath a spirit ever strung Like a new bow, and bright and sharp As edges of the scymetar. Whence shall she take a fitting mate? For Kate no common love will feel; My woman-soldier, gallant Kate, As pure and true as blades of steel.

Kate saith "the world is void of might". Kate saith "the men are gilded flies". Kate snaps her fingers at my vows; Kate will not hear of lover's sighs. I would I were an armèd knight, Far famed for wellwon enterprise, And wearing on my swarthy brows The garland of new-wreathed emprise: For in a moment I would pierce The blackest files of clanging fight, And strongly strike to left and right, In dreaming of my lady's eyes. Oh! Kate loves well the bold and fierce; But none are bold enough for Kate, She cannot find a fitting mate.


Lord Alfred Tennyson

Early Poems

Suppressed Poems

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