A Farewell (Poem by Alfred, Lord Tennyson)

A Farewell - Analysis:
  • The narrator is writing about a small rivulet which he knows well but will not visit again in the future.
  • The poem is taken to mean that the narrator is thinking about his own death.
  • There is a contrasting of the potentially eternal presence of the rivulet with his own limited time on this earth.
  • There is also the comparison of his life fading away, as the rivulet fades into a river, and eventually the sea.
  • By using the nature theme, Tennyson is reminding us of how small we really are compared with the world & the universe.
  • The line “not by thee my steps shall be” is said so very matter-of-factly, that it suggests there is no regret by the narrator, for he has lived a good life.

A Farewell

Flow down, cold rivulet, to the sea,
Thy tribute wave deliver:
No more by thee my steps shall be,
For ever and for ever.

Flow, softly flow, by lawn and lea,
A rivulet then a river;
No where by thee my steps shall be,
For ever and for ever.

But here will sigh thine alder tree,
And here thine aspen shiver;
And here by thee will hum the bee,
For ever and for ever.

A thousand suns will stream on thee,
A thousand moons will quiver;
But not by thee my steps shall be,
For ever and for ever.

by Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Image Credit - Project Gutenberg Public Domain

Posted by ALCHEssMIST.
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