First printed in 1830.
The poem was written in the garden at the Old Rectory, Somersby; an autumn scene there which it faithfully describes. This poem seems to have haunted Poe, a fervent admirer of Tennyson's early poems.
A Spirit haunts the year's last hours Dwelling amid these yellowing bowers: To himself he talks; For at eventide, listening earnestly, At his work you may hear him sob and sigh In the walks; Earthward he boweth the heavy stalks Of the mouldering flowers: Heavily hangs the broad sunflower Over its grave i' the earth so chilly; Heavily hangs the hollyhock, Heavily hangs the tiger-lily.
The air is damp, and hush'd, and close, As a sick man's room when he taketh repose An hour before death; My very heart faints and my whole soul grieves At the moist rich smell of the rotting leaves, And the breath Of the fading edges of box beneath, And the year's last rose. Heavily hangs the broad sunflower Over its grave i' the earth so chilly; Heavily hangs the hollyhock, Heavily hangs the tiger-lily.
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