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To E. L. On His Travels in Greece

This was first printed in 1853. It has not been altered since.

The poem was addressed to Edward Lear, the landscape painter, and refers to his travels.

Illyrian woodlands, echoing falls Of water, sheets of summer glass, The long divine Peneian pass, [1] The vast Akrokeraunian walls, [2]

Tomohrit, [3] Athos, all things fair, With such a pencil, such a pen, You shadow forth to distant men, I read and felt that I was there:

And trust me, while I turn'd the page, And track'd you still on classic ground, I grew in gladness till I found My spirits in the golden age.

For me the torrent ever pour'd And glisten'd--here and there alone The broad-limb'd Gods at random thrown By fountain-urns;-and Naiads oar'd

A glimmering shoulder under gloom Of cavern pillars; on the swell The silver lily heaved and fell; And many a slope was rich in bloom

From him that on the mountain lea By dancing rivulets fed his flocks, To him who sat upon the rocks, And fluted to the morning sea.

[Footnote 1: 'Cf'. Lear's description of Tempe:

"It is not a vale, it is a narrow pass, and although extremely beautiful on account of the precipitous rocks on each side, the Peneus flowing deep in the midst between the richest overhanging plane woods, still its character is distinctly that of a ravine."

--'Journal', 409.]

[Footnote 2: The Akrokeraunian walls: the promontory now called Glossa.]

[Footnote 3: Tomˇhr, Tomorit, or Tomohritt is a lofty mountain in Albania not far from Elbassan. Lear's account of it is very graphic:

"That calm blue plain with Tomˇhr in the midst like an azure island in a boundless sea haunts my mind's eye and varies the present with the past".]


Lord Alfred Tennyson

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