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                        Alfred, Lord Tennyson 1850-1892

              It little profits that an idle king, 
              By this still hearth, among these barren crags, 
              Matched with an aged wife, I mete and dole 
              Unequal laws unto a savage race, 
              That hoard, and sleep, and feed, and know not me. 
              I cannot rest from travel; I will drink 
              Life to the lees. All times I have enjoyed 
              Greatly, have suffered greatly, both with those 
              That loved me, and alone; on shore, and when 
              Through scudding drifts the rainy Hyades 
              Vexed the dim sea. I am become a name; 
              For always roaming with a hungry heart 
              Much have I seen and known,--cities of men 
              And manners, climates, councils, governments, 
              Myself not least, but honored of them all; 
              And drunk delight of battle with my peers, 
              Far on the ringing plains of windy Troy. 

              I am a part of all that I have met; 
              Yet all experience is an arch wherethrough 
              Gleams that untraveled world, whose margin fades 
              For ever and for ever when I move. 
              How dull it is to pause, to make an end, 
              To rust unburnished, not to shine in use! 
              As though to breathe were life! Life piled on life 
              Were all too little, and of one to me 
              Little remains; but every hour is saved 
              From that eternal silence, something more, 
              A bringer of new things; and vile it were 
              For some three suns to store and hoard myself, 
              And this grey spirit yearning in desire 
              To follow knowledge like a sinking star, 
              Beyond the utmost bound of human thought. 

              This is my son, mine own Telemacus, 
              To whom I leave the scepter and the isle-- 
              Well-loved of me, discerning to fulfil 
              This labor, by slow prudence to make mild 
              A rugged people, and through soft degrees 
              Subdue them to the useful and the good. 
              Most blameless is he, centered in the sphere 
              Of common duties, decent not to fail 
              In offices of tenderness, and pay 
              Meet adoration to my household gods, 
              When I am gone. He works his work, I mine. 

              There lies the port; the vessel puffs her sail: 
              There gloom the dark, broad seas. My mariners, 
              Souls that have toiled, and wrought, and thought with me-- 
              That ever with a frolic welcome took 
              The thunder and the sunshine, and opposed 
              Free hearts, free foreheads--you and I are old; 
              Old age hath yet his honor and his toil. 

              Death closes all; but something ere the end 
              Some work of noble note, may yet be done, 
              Not unbecoming men that strove with Gods. 
              The lights begin to twinkle from the rocks; 
              The long day wanes; the slow moon climbs; the deep 
              Moans round with many voices. Come, my friends, 
              'Tis not too late to seek a newer world. 
              Push off, and sitting well in order smite 
              The sounding furrows; for my purpose holds 
              To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths 
              Of all the western stars, until I die. 
              It may be that the gulfs will wash us down; 
              It may be that we shall touch the Happy Isles, 
              And see the great Achilles, whom we knew. 
              Though much is taken, much abides; and though 
              We are not now that strength which in the old days 
              Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are: 
              One equal temper of heroic hearts, 
              Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will 
              To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield. 

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